Arts & Entertainment

Pennsylvania's Birthday Means a Freebie for You!

Get free admission to Pennsylvania's historical museums and sites on March 10 on the 328th birthday of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's Birthday is Sunday, March 10th, but you're the one who will get a gift if you take advantage of free admission to one of the 20 "Pennsylvania Trails of History" sites and museums on that day.

Pennsylvania was created when England's King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681, making this year the commonwealth's 338th birthday. In honor the special day, the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg will exhibit William Penn's original charter and documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The charter is usually locked away to protect it from light and environmental conditions, and only comes out for public view once a year.

If you can't travel to Harrisburg, all of the other "Trails of History" sites will have free admission including some in our area that will expose you to 300 years of history from the days of the wars against native Americans, all the way through the state's early days as a cultural and industrial leader.

Fort Pitt Museum, Pittsburgh

Located in Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, it features a first floor gallery where you can step back in time and discover what daily life was like for the earliest residents of our region and the troops who protected it.

Bushy Run Battlefield, Jeannette

Less than an hour from Pittsburgh, visitors can learn about the 1763 battle between the British and native Americans prevented the capture of Fort Pitt and helped to keep the gateway to western expansion open.

Drake Well Museum and Park, Titusville

Take a road trip (about 2 hours) and you'll see the spot where, in 1859 the Drake Well struck oil, launching an industry that has forever shaped our modern world. That's a replica of the well, above.

Somerset Historical Center, Somerset

The preserves the history of life in rural southwestern Pennsylvania from the times of the region's first farmers -- including a 1770s Farmstead featuring a recreated Settler's Cabin and the 1859 Walter's Mills Covered Bridge.

(Images: Fort Pitt Museum, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Drake Well Museum)

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