Slovakia Consul WPSCA Sister Cities Program Links

Harrisburg is the capital city of Pennsylvania, which was one of the original 13 colonies, also known as the Keystone State. Pennsylvania is surrounded by the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. It has a land mass area of 44,820 sq. miles and 1,239 sq. miles of water surface. It ranks 33rd in size among the fifty states. The topography of Pennsylvania is varied, with rolling farmland, hills and valleys. The highest mountain peak is Mt. Davis in Somerset county, with an elevation of 3,213 ft. above sea level. The state is also home to three important water transportation systems. The port of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie provide travel via the waterways for quick and economical transport of industrial products. The ports also play an important role in the state’s tourism and recreational businesses.

Pennsylvania ranks 10th in value of mineral production among all the states. Coal, petroleum, natural gas and cement are the principal products. Others are fire clay, iron ore, lime, slate and stone. Pennsylvania’s metalworking industries are noted throughout the world for the manufacture of industrial machinery as well as structural steel. The fine iron and steel which was produced in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania can be found in the important structures all over the world.

While Pennsylvania is usually regarded as an industrial leader, the state is also a great agricultural area. Pennsylvania leads all other states in the production of mushrooms, sausage products, pretzels, potato chips, Christmas trees, apples, chocolate and dairy products. The Pennsylvania Farm Show, held in Harrisburg annually in January, is the largest Farm Show under one roof and attracts more than a half-million visitors. Much of the rich farmland in eastern Pennsylvania is owned by the Pennsylvanians of German ancestry, sometimes called Pennsylvania Dutch who came to America early in the 18th century because of religious persecution in their home country.

The drastic changes in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries brought about by the fall of the feudal system as well as religious changes caused by the reformation brought many to the shores of the new world. Many of these freedom seekers came to the colony founded by William Penn in 1681. His land grant called Pennsylvania, provided free government by free men and, in addition, treated the Indians who inhabited the land, as brothers. The founder’s humane ideals are stated in the motto inscribed in his Great Seal: Mercy, Justice, Truth, Peace, Love, Plenty.

Pennsylvania, which was founded on the biblical concept of human dignity and religious freedom attracted many early settlers to make the state their home. The state continues to hold on to the same principles and is a haven for all who believe this to be true.

The state became home to the Quakers, Puritans, Catholics, German Pietists, Scotch Calvinists, the Moravians from Switzerland, the Swedes and Dutch. The first Slovak to come to Pennslvania was in 1879.

The state ranks fifth in population nationwide. Approximately, 9.17 percent of the population is African-American, 1.9 percent is Hispanic and about 16,000 Native American. The state is home to 243,009 inhabitants of Slovak-American descent. This makes Pennsylvania the number one state for Slovak-Americans.

There are 500 school districts in the state. The Pennsylvania school system provides programs for exceptional and disadvantaged students as well as options for students looking for careers in the vocational technical and craft areas. Based on U.S. Census data, about 88 percent of the rising generation of Pennsylvanian’s can expect to complete four years of high school, and 22 percent to complete four years of college.

State - Related Universities: 4
State Universities: 14
Regional Community Colleges: 14
Private Colleges and Universities: 82
Private Two-Year Colleges: 9
Total Higher Education Enrollments: 564,208
Vo-Tech Schools: 85; 60,677 students
High School Vo-Tech Programs: 671 participating junior high and high schools : 105,566 students

First United States Mint
First zoo
First institution of art
First newspaper
First television broadcast
First professional football game
First American Stock Exchange
First American university
First American high school
First Women’s Medical College
First radio broadcast of U.S. presidential election