It’s Pennsylvania Day. What it is, how to celebrate it

By: - July 20, 2020 2:33 pm

The road to the White House runs through Pennsylvania. So here’s the map (Source: U.S. Geological Survey/ Univ. of Texas libraries)

If you’ve visited social media today, you’ve likely seen #PennsylvaniaDay trending in your feed. So where did this seemingly out-of-the-blue day come from and how do you celebrate it? 

Spoiler alert: Pennsylvania day isn’t really a holiday honoring the Keystone State. The day of recognition was made up by a North Dakota-based company called National Day Calendar, which markets and promotes days, weeks or months for causes, companies and nonprofits, looking to boost recognition, brand awareness or raise funds.

For a fee, of course. 

That said, Pennsylvania Day wasn’t bought, but created by National Day Calendar. In 2017, NDC started recognizing each state in the order that they entered the union, beginning on the week of July 4. 

As the second state to join the union, Pennsylvania earned the July 20 date as its day of recognition. 

To anyone whose bubble we’ve busted, there are still a few reasons to celebrate the albeit unofficial holiday. After all, The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were all signed in Philadelphia, the interim national capital. 

And while a quick Google search will tell you that Pennsylvania is one of several states to never (as of yet) have a female governor, in 2014, then-Gov. Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett recognized Hannah Callowhill-Penn as the commonwealth’s first female governor when she led Pennsylvania for six years after her husband, William Penn, suffered a stroke. 

If history isn’t your thing, the commonwealth also boasts 230 miles of the East Coast’s Appalachian Trail and 58 percent of Pennsylvania is forestland, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

How to celebrate

So, how does one celebrate an unofficial holiday honoring the Keystone state? In the most cliché Pennsylvania way possible, of course! 

Here are some options:

  1. Take a hike on the AT.
  2. Indulge in that Philadelphia Cheesesteak.
  3. Snack on Pennsylvania-made chips, pretzels and candy … or join a debate about them.

  1. Visit a historic landmark such as Gettysburg or Valley Forge.
  2. Have a photoshoot with some quintessential Pennsylvania backdrops.

  1. Share your love of all things Pa. on social media. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.