Editor's note: Protests in reaction to the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision have been reported in New York, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif., and Seattle. Many gatherings have been peaceful, The Associated Press reports, but the most disruptive demonstrations outside of Missouri have been in Oakland, where protesters blocked a freeway for hours. - Stephanie
Philadelphia (/ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə/) is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the fifth-most-populous city in the United States, and the core of the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Located in the Northeastern United States at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley. The population of the city — Pennsylvania's only consolidated city-county — was measured at 1,526,006 in 2010 and estimated at 1,553,165 in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau. The five Pennsylvania counties nearest Philadelphia have a total population of 4,008,994, while its Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes parts of four states, is home to more than 6 million people. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia are Philly and The City of Brotherly Love, the latter of which comes from the literal meaning of the city's name in Greek (Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια ([pʰilaˈdelpʰeːa], Modern Greek: [filaˈðelfia]) "brotherly love", compounded from philos (φίλος) "loving", and adelphos (ἀδελφός) "brother").
In 1682, William Penn founded the city to serve as capital of Pennsylvania Colony. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire, behind London. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. During the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.
The city is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania, and is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies.
Philadelphia is known for its arts and culture. The cheesesteak and soft pretzel are emblematic of Philadelphia cuisine, which is shaped by the city's ethnic mix. The city has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city, and Philadelphia's Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world. Gentrification of Philadelphia's neighborhoods continues into the 21st century and the city has reversed its decades-long trend of population loss.