The half eagle is a United States coin, produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since the 1980s. Composed entirely of gold, it has a face value of five dollars, its production was authorized by The Act of April 2, 1792, it was the first gold coin minted by the United States. The design and composition of the half eagle changed many times over the years, but it was designed by Robert Scot. At this time the coin contained.0833 copper and silver. It had a diameter of 25 mm, a weight of 8.75 grams, a reeded edge. The obverse design, or "Turban Head", depicted a capped portrait of Liberty facing to the right; the reverse depicted a small eagle. This type was produced from 1795 to 1798. Another type was minted that depicted a larger heraldic eagle on the reverse with the inscription "E PLURIBUS UNUM"; this type was produced through 1807. From 1807 to 1812, a new type designed by John Reich was produced, the "Draped Bust", featuring a round-capped Liberty facing left on the obverse and a modified eagle on the reverse.
For the first time, the value "5 D." was placed on the reverse of the coin to indicate its value. In 1813 a modified version of the Draped Bust was introduced, removing much of the bustline and giving Liberty an overall larger appearance; this design which would last through 1834. Another modification occurred in 1829 when the diameter of the coin was reduced to 23.8 mm, although the overall design remained unchanged. By 1834, the gold in the half eagle had been worth more than its face value for several years; the Act of June 28, 1834 called for a reduction in the gold used. The weight of the coin was reduced to 8.36 grams, the diameter reduced to 22.5 mm, the composition changed to.8992 gold and.1008 silver and copper. A new obverse, the "Classic Head", was created by William Kneass for the altered coin; the reverse still depicted the modified eagle introduced in 1813, but "E PLURIBUS UNUM" was removed to distinguish further the new composition. In 1837, the gold content of this type was increased to.900 in accordance with the Act of January 18, 1837.
In 1839 the coin was redesigned again. The new obverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht and is known as the "Liberty Head or "Coronet head"; the reverse design remained the same, although the value was changed from "5 D." to "Five D.". For those struck at the Philadelphia Mint, there was no longer any silver in the coin - its composition was now.900 gold and.100 copper. However, gold ore used at the southern branch mints of Charlotte and Dahlonega had a high natural silver content, many of these coins contained up to five percent silver, giving them a distinct so-called "green gold" color, its weight was the same, 8.359 grams, but the diameter was reduced one final time, to 21.6 mm, in 1840, for a gold content of 0.242 Troy Oz. This design was used for nearly 70 years, from 1839 to 1908, with a modest change in 1866, when "In God We Trust" was placed on the reverse above the eagle; the Liberty Head half eagle holds the distinction of being the only coin of a single design to be minted at seven U.
S. Mints: Philadelphia, Charlotte, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, Denver. Common date Liberty Half Eagles in circulated grades are worth about $330 as of December 2017. Scarcer dates and coins of higher grades can be worth much more, all Charlotte, Carson City and Dahlonega pieces are scarce and valuable. In 1908, the final type, designed by Bela Lyon Pratt, was first produced; the composition and diameter of the coin remained unchanged, but both the obverse and reverse were drastically altered. The new design matched the new quarter eagle design of the same date; these two series are unique in United States coinage because the design and inscriptions are stamped in incuse, rather than being raised from the surface, meaning that the flat surfaces are the highest points of the coin. The obverse depicted an Indian head wearing a feathered headdress; the reverse depicted a perched eagle with the inscriptions "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "IN GOD WE TRUST". Production of the half eagle was suspended during World War I and not resumed until 1929, the final year of issue.
Due to higher demand common date Indian Head half eagles tend to be worth more than common date Liberty Head half eagles. The $5 denomination has the distinction of being the only denomination for which coins were minted at eight US mints. Prior to 1838 all half eagles were minted in Philadelphia because there were no other operating mints. In 1838, the Charlotte Mint and the Dahlonega Mint produced half eagles of the Coronet type in their first years of operation, would continue to mint half eagles until 1861, their last year of operation; the New Orleans Mint minted half eagles from 1840 to 1861. The San Francisco Mint first produced half eagles in 1854, its first year of operation, as did Carson City in 1870, Denver in 1906. Although circulating half eagle production was discontinued in 1929, half eagle commemorative and $5 denominated bullion coins were minted at West Point starting in the late twentieth century. Proof coins were produced at Philadelphia from 1859 on. Turban Head 1795–1807 Turban Head, Small Eagle 1795–1798 Turban Head, Large Eagle 1795–1807 Draped Bust 1807–1812 Capped Head 1813–1834 Classic Head 1834–1838 Liberty Head 1839–1907 Coronet, without motto 1839–1866 Coronet, with motto 1866–1908 Indian Head 1908–1916, 1929 A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.
S. Yeoman ed. Kenneth Bressett, 2003 Complete U. S. Coin History United States Department of the Treasury: "Half eagle" references "Rare Half Eagle" (Profe
Frank Gasparro was the tenth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, holding this position from February 23, 1965, to January 16, 1981. Before that, he was Assistant Engraver, he designed both sides of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, both sides of the Eisenhower Dollar, the Lincoln Memorial reverse of the cent, the reverse of the Kennedy half dollar, his signature is: FG. Gasparro was born in Philadelphia on August 26, 1909, his musician father wanted his son to continue in the family profession and would rip up drawings he made out of frustration. His father relented and had Gasparro apprentice under sculptor Giuseppe Donato, who had earlier worked for Auguste Rodin. Gasparro graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1927 and has been inducted into the SPHS Alumni Cultural Hall of Fame, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and traveled to Europe with the aid of scholarships that allowed him to refine his craft. Friends close to Gasparro had serious suspicion regarding close ties he established to organized crime while in Italy but he denied any connection.
John Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI during Gasparro's tenure at the Mint, was suspicious of Gasparro's intentions. Hoover was concerned Gasparro was being influenced by an Italian crime family in the town of Bari to design coins with details counterfeited by Italian Crime families. Gasparro was hired by the United States Mint in December 1942 under Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock. Gasparro's first major successful coin design was his redesign of the reverse of the Lincoln cent as part of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, while he was Assistant Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. Gasparro's design was selected from a group of 23 designs prepared by the Mint's engraving staff to replace the Wheat cent produced by the Mint from 1909 to 1958, his original design included the words "Lincoln Memorial" and 13 stars around the rim of the coin, which he removed at the request of staff at the Mint. Despite the complaints of his superiors, the design retained his initials to the right of the monument as well as the image of Lincoln seated in the monument, making it the first American coin to have the same likeness on both sides of the coin.
Gasparro would tell cashiers that he was a sculptor, when asked where to find his work, he would reply, "It's in your pocket." By the time of his death, Gasparro's design had appeared on the more than 100 billion pennies produced by the Mint. Asked to produce a design for the Susan B. Anthony dollar, Gasparro was able to find two photos of women's suffrage leader, one at age 28 and the other when she was 84, he chose the portrait of the younger Anthony, but widespread consensus was that the design made her look too pretty. His design using the older photo was accepted. While Gasparro felt that the Anthony dollar was his "top achievement", the coin was rejected by the public, which complained that the coin was too similar to the Washington Quarter; as the Mint's Chief Engraver from 1965 to 1981, Gasparro created designs for the reverse of the Kennedy half dollar, for which he took painstaking attention to the details of the design of the Seal of the President of the United States, making the words "E pluribus unum" more prominent.
Other designs by Gasparro included medals for Winston Churchill, Albert Gallatin, Douglas MacArthur and Sam Rayburn, along with the presidential medals for all Presidents from Lyndon B. Johnson to Ronald Reagan and numerous foreign coins produced by the Mint. One of his best known works was the obverse of the Congressional gold medal for John Wayne bought by the public in bronze. After his retirement from the mint he continued to design medals for both public groups, he taught art at Philadelphia's Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial until shortly before his death. Gasparro died at age 92 on September 29, 2001, in Pennsylvania, he was survived by his wife, a daughter. A large population of individuals related to Gasparro through his brother Lawrence can be found in northeast Ohio
Joseph F. Menna is an American sculptor and engraver who has worked in both digital and traditional sculpture media. Menna trained formally at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, New York Academy Graduate School of Figurative Art in New York City, New York and Saint Petersburg Art and Industry Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Menna sculpted the reverse of the 2010 Lincoln Cent, he supplemented his training with studies at Arts Students League, the Sculpture Center in Manhattan, New York. Menna was raised in the Blackwood section of New Jersey. After graduating from Highland Regional High School he attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia from which he graduated in 1992, he was awarded a master's degree in 1994 from the New York Academy of Art. As a professional fine art sculptor, Menna's clients include the United States Mint, DC Comics, Fisher-Price and Hasbro, among others. In 2005, Menna joined the United States Mint as a medallic sculptor, he sculpted the design of United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass into the 2010 Lincoln Cent and his initials, JFM, appear on the reverse of the coin under the right side of the scroll.
After spending many years in the world of fine art sculpture and public art, he combined his lifelong love of comics, sci-fi, fantasy to work in the toy and collectible world. He has expanded his efforts into visual development for film and games. Beyond his sculpture skills, Menna is known for his strong classical drawing ability which informs the 2D concept work he does for his clients and personal work, his list of current and former clients includes DC Collectibles, Sideshow Collectibles, Diamond Select Toys, Dark Horse Comics, Mondo, McFarlane Toys, Hasbro and many others involved in both the fine art and collectible sculpture worlds. His sculpting work can be seen on the 2014 Everglades National Park quarter. Along with the 2010 Lincoln Cent, Menna is credited with designing or sculpting: 2007 First Spouse Martha Washington obverse 2007 First Spouse Abigail Adams obverse 2007 Utah State Quarter reverse 2007 Presidential $1 George Washington obverse 2007 Presidential $1 Thomas Jefferson obverse 2007 Presidential $1 William Henry Harrison obverse 2006 San Francisco Mint Gold obverse Joseph Menna's website Joseph Menna at Artstation Action Figure Insider's interview with Joseph Menna Joseph Menna's digital sculptures
The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint since production of that denomination was halted in 1806. The coin was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well received by the public. In 1835, Director of the United States Mint Samuel Moore resigned his post, Robert M. Patterson assumed the position. Shortly after, Patterson began an attempt to redesign the nation's coinage. After Mint Chief Engraver William Kneass suffered a stroke that year, Christian Gobrecht was hired as an engraver. On August 1, Patterson wrote a letter to Philadelphia artist Thomas Sully laying out his plans for the dollar coin, he asked Titian Peale to create a design for the coin. Sully created an obverse design depicting a seated representation of Liberty and Peale a reverse depicting a soaring bald eagle, which were converted into coin designs by Gobrecht. After the designs were created and trials struck, production of the working dies began in September 1836.
After a small quantity was struck for circulation, the Mint received complaints regarding the prominent placement of Gobrecht's name on the dollar, the design was modified to incorporate his name in a less conspicuous position. In January 1837, the legal standard for the percentage of precious metal in silver coins was changed from 89.2% to 90%, the Gobrecht dollars struck after that point reflect this change. In total, 1,900 Gobrecht dollars were struck during the official production run. Production of the Seated Liberty dollar, which utilized the same obverse design as the Gobrecht dollar, began mintage in 1840. In the 1850s, Mint officials controversially re-struck the coins without authorization; the first silver dollars struck by the United States Mint were minted in 1794. In 1804, the Mint unofficially ended production of silver dollars because many of the coins produced since that denomination had first been struck in 1794 were exported for their silver content to Eastern Asia Canton.
In 1806 Secretary of State James Madison issued an order halting mintage of the coins. In 1831, Mint Director Samuel Moore noticed a reversal; that year, President Andrew Jackson, at Moore's request, lifted the prohibition. No further action was taken until the summer of 1834, when officials suggested that proof coin sets be prepared as gifts for Asian dignitaries. After examining Mint records, personnel incorrectly concluded that the last Draped Bust dollars minted were dated 1804, so they chose that date for the coins, it is unknown why the current date was not used, but numismatic historian R. W. Julian suggests the coins were predated to prevent coin collectors from becoming angered when they would be unable to obtain the newly dated coins, which were struck in small numbers, it is unknown how many 1804 dollars were struck, though eight are known to be extant. In 1835, Mint officials began preparations for a series of silver dollars which, unlike the 1804 dollar, were intended to enter circulation in order to determine whether the denomination would be well received by the public.
In June 1835, Moore resigned his post as director, was replaced by Robert M. Patterson. Shortly thereafter, Director Patterson approached two well-known Philadelphia artists, Titian Peale and Thomas Sully, to create a design that would be used to overhaul most of the American coins in production. Mint Chief Engraver Kneass prepared a sketch based on Patterson's conception, but soon suffered a stroke, leaving him incapacitated. Following Kneass' stroke, government officials approved Patterson's urgent request that Philadelphia medallist Christian Gobrecht be hired to fulfill the duties of engraver. In a letter dated August 1, 1835, Patterson proposed that Sully create a Seated Liberty figure for the obverse, suggesting that the "figure be in a sitting posture—sitting, for example, on a rock." Patterson suggested that the seated figure should hold in her right hand a pileus atop a pole to be "emblematic of Liberty". Numismatic historian Don Taxay notes the similarity between Patterson's Seated Liberty concept and designs in use on British copper coinage: "Liberty thus emerged as a refurbished Britannia, her trident replaced by a staff and pileus."
In the same letter, Patterson informed Sully of his vision for the reverse, which Peale would execute: "I propose an Eagle flying, rising in flight, amidst a constellation, irregularly dispersed, of 24 stars, carrying in its claws a scroll with the words E PLURIBUS UNUM". Patterson preferred a soaring eagle because he believed that the heraldic eagle used on American coins, which he dismissed as a "mere creature of imagination", was unappealing as a design. According to a common story, the flying eagle seen on the Gobrecht dollar was modeled after Peter, the Mint's pet eagle, taxidermied after his death by becoming caught in a coining press and remains on display at the Mint to this day. In September 1835, Thomas Sully received from Patterson a set of British coins and medals to help guide him while creating the Seated Liberty design. Sully sent Patterson three rough sketches near the beginning of October, those were given to Gobrecht, who in turn set about making a copper engraving of the design.
Gobrecht completed the engraving on October 14, Patterson presented prints created from it to several government officials in an effort to gain their approval. President Jackson, Treasury Sec
Trade dollar (United States coin)
The United States trade dollar was a dollar coin minted by the United States Mint to compete with other large silver trade coins that were popular in East Asia. The idea first came about in the 1860s, when the price of silver began to decline due to increased mining efforts in the western United States. A bill providing in part for the issuance of the trade dollar was put before Congress, where it was approved and signed into law as the Coinage Act of 1873; the act made trade dollars legal tender up to five dollars. A number of designs were considered for the trade dollar, an obverse and reverse created by William Barber were selected; the first trade dollars were struck in 1873, the majority of the coins were sent to China. Bullion producers began converting large amounts of silver into trade dollars, causing the coins to make their way into American commercial channels; this caused frustration among those to whom they were given in payment, as the coins were maligned and traded for less than one dollar each.
In response to their wide distribution in American commerce, the coins were demonetized in 1876, but continued to circulate. Production of business strikes ended in 1878, though the mintage of proof coins continued until 1883; the trade dollar was re-monetized. Following the California gold rush that began in 1849 and the Australian gold rush that began in 1851, a larger amount of gold was put into commerce than could be absorbed by the normal channels; this resulted in a decrease in the value of an increase in the relative value of silver. As a result, silver coins disappeared from circulation due either to hoarding or melting. In response, Congress authorized the Mint to reduce the quantity of silver in all denominations except the three-cent piece and silver dollar. Beginning in the 1860s, silver production rose and the price decreased. During this time, silver coins disappeared from circulation and were replaced by copper and paper currency. In China, the Mexican peso was valued in commerce.
However, the Chinese were sensitive to any changes in the coin's design, were reluctant to accept newer coins due to a minor design change. The American silver dollar, 7.5 grains lighter than its Spanish counterpart, was unpopular in the Orient due to its light weight, forcing American merchants to purchase the Spanish or Mexican pieces to use in trade. Beginning in 1866, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian, the design was changed to show the Emperor's portrait. While conducting an investigation of the Mint at San Francisco, deputy comptroller of the currency John Jay Knox began discussing the monetary situation with Louis A. Garnett, a man who had worked as both the treasurer and assayer of the San Francisco Mint. Garnett recommended that the United States mint a commercial dollar that would be exported to the Orient to compete with other countries' silver trade coins that were popular in that region. Garnett's rationale was that the majority of the coins would be hoarded or melted in Asia and would never be presented for redemption, allowing the government to make a profit from the seigniorage.
During his time in San Francisco, Knox discussed the proposed commercial dollar with Henry Linderman, working as a special agent for the Treasury Department at that time. In 1870, Knox wrote the draft for a bill on coinage. Knox's bill was approved by Secretary of the Treasury. After modification and review from current and former government officials, the bill was put before Congress. On November 19, 1872, while the coinage bill was still before Congress, Linderman made a report to the Secretary of the Treasury. In the report, Linderman argued that the coin need not hold legal tender status, that it could be a piece of silver imprinted with its weight and fineness. Linderman notes that such a product could supersede the Mexican dollar and command a six to eight percent premium. Linderman proposed that the coin be named the "silver union" in order to distinguish it from the standard coins in production. In February 1872, the bill was amended by a House of Representatives committee to include authorization for a commercial dollar weighing 420 grains.
While in the Senate, a provision was added to the bill requiring the Treasury to coin a trade dollar of 420 grains, as had been done earlier in the House. The revised bill, which came to be known as the Coinage Act of 1873, was approved in the House and Senate and was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on February 12, 1873; the bill provided, in part, for the striking of trade dollars which held legal tender status up to five dollars. The legal tender provision was added by a last-minute rider at the behest of silver interests. At the insistence of Ohio Senator John Sherman, the weight and fineness of the piece was indicated on the reverse, an attribution which numismatic historian Don Taxay found incomprehensible as "Chinese merchants would never understand them". Prior to the passage of the Coinage Act, the director of the Philadelphia Mint oversaw all branch mints. After the Act, the office of director was transferred to Washington, D. C. and responsibility for each mint was handed over to a superintendent.
Throughout the year of 1872, the Mint struck a series of commercial dollar patterns in anticipation o
John Tyler was the tenth president of the United States from 1841 to 1845 after serving as the tenth vice president. Tyler ascended to the presidency after Harrison's death in April 1841, only a month after the start of the new administration, he was a stalwart supporter of states' rights, as president he adopted nationalist policies only when they did not infringe on the powers of the states. His unexpected rise to the presidency, with the resulting threat to the presidential ambitions of Henry Clay and other politicians, left him estranged from both major political parties. Tyler, born to a prominent Virginia family, became a national figure at a time of political upheaval. In the 1820s the nation's only political party, the Democratic-Republicans, split into factions, he was a Democrat, but opposed Andrew Jackson during the Nullification Crisis, seeing Jackson's actions as infringing upon states' rights, criticized Jackson's expansion of executive power during the Bank War. This led Tyler to ally with the Whig Party.
Tyler served as a Virginia state legislator, governor, U. S. representative, U. S. senator. He was put on the 1840 presidential ticket to attract states' rights Southerners to a Whig coalition to defeat Martin Van Buren's re-election bid. With the death of President Harrison after just one month in office, Tyler became the first vice president to succeed to the presidency without election, he served longer than any president in U. S. history not elected to the office. To forestall constitutional uncertainty, Tyler took the oath of office, moved into the White House, assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that governed future successions and was codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. While Tyler did sign into law some of the Whig-controlled Congress's bills, as a strict constructionist he vetoed the party's bills to create a national bank and raise the tariff rates. Believing that the president should set policy rather than Congress, he sought to bypass the Whig establishment, most notably Kentucky Senator Henry Clay.
Most of Tyler's Cabinet resigned soon into his term, the Whigs, dubbing him His Accidency, expelled him from the party. Tyler was the first president to see his veto of legislation overridden by Congress. Although he faced a stalemate on domestic policy, he had several foreign-policy achievements, including the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China; the Republic of Texas separated from Mexico in 1836. He sought election to a full term as president, but after failing to gain the support of either Whigs or Democrats, he withdrew in support of Democrat James K. Polk, who favored annexation. Polk won the election, Tyler signed a bill to annex Texas three days before leaving office. Under Polk, the process was completed. After the American Civil War began in 1861, Tyler joined the government of the Confederacy. Although some have praised Tyler's political resolve, his presidency is held in low regard by historians, he is considered an obscure president, with little presence in American cultural memory.
John Tyler was born on March 29, 1790. The Tyler family traced its lineage to colonial Williamsburg in the 17th century. John Tyler Sr. known as Judge Tyler, was a friend and college roommate of Thomas Jefferson and served in the Virginia House of Delegates alongside Benjamin Harrison V, father of William. The elder Tyler served four years as Speaker of the House of Delegates before becoming a state court judge, he subsequently served as governor and as a judge on the U. S. District Court at Richmond, his wife, Mary Marot, was the daughter of Robert Booth Armistead. She died of a stroke. With two brothers and five sisters, Tyler was reared on Greenway Plantation, a 1,200-acre estate with a six-room manor house his father had built; the Tylers' forty slaves grew various crops, including wheat and tobacco. Judge Tyler paid high wages for tutors. Tyler was of frail health and prone to diarrhea throughout life. At the age of twelve, he entered the preparatory branch of the elite College of William and Mary, continuing the Tyler family's tradition of attending the college.
Tyler graduated from the school's collegiate branch at age seventeen. Among the books that formed his economic views was Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, he acquired a lifelong love of Shakespeare, his political opinions were shaped by Bishop James Madison, the college's president and namesake of the future president. After graduation Tyler read the law with his father, a state judge at the time, with Edmund Randolph, former United States Attorney General. Tyler was erroneously admitted to the Virginia bar at the premature age of 19—the admitting judge neglected to ask his age. By this time his father was serving as Governor of Virginia, the young Tyler started a practice in Richmond, the state capital. In 1813 he purchased Woodburn plantation, resided there until 1821. In 1811, at age 21, Tyler was elected to represent Charles City County in the House of Delegate
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a