PENNSYLVANIA LAND OF DECISION 1950s TOURISM FILM PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE HALL MD53144

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The Keystone State is the subject of “Pennsylvania Land Of Decision.” Produced by the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce in the 1950s, we’re told in the color film’s opening seconds how the state has played a pivotal roll in the founding and continued success of the United States, from colonization and freedom of religion to the steel industry. Pennsylvania was the geographic key of the original 13 Colonies, and remains so as we look at the state’s seaports at mark 01:18. Every bend in the state offers a glimpse of history, it’s said at mark 03:10, and we see roadside markers detailing what took place in the area. The narrator provides a look at William Penn and the commonwealth’s past starting at mark 03:50 before looking at its current agricultural role. Mark 08:25 looks at the Ephrata Cloister, starting in the 18th Century by Conrad Beissel, and tour the site before learning of other religious movements that began in the state, including Quakers and Amish. We glimpse of the its small towns and cities as well as major metropolises, and learn of the state’s mining, steel, and industries. We learn more of the state’s history and view a marker on the site of the 1778 Battle of Wyoming (mark 18:00), Independence Hall, and see Washington Crossing the Delaware, the 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, on display at the United Methodist Church in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania (mark 18:25). At mark 19:09 we see Drake Well Park, home to Drake’s Folly —the first modern oil well that was built and used in Titusville in 1859, and at mark 22:05 see an aerial view of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, “the nation’s first great super highway.” As the film comes to an end there are a number of scenic views as the narrator touts some of the valleys, forests, and lakes found in the state.

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