tv NBC10 Issue NBC December 25, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm EST
local knowledge, you live here but how much do you know about the city of brotherly love. we'll fill in some of those blanks and give you philly history facts that may surprise you. learning your own family history. we've got tips for taking your family tree to the next level. and nbc 10 responds, how we're helping you finally get your consumer complaints resolved. >> good morning, i'm denise nakano. this morning we'll test your knowledge about philadelphia. did you know the liberty bell was originally called the statehouse bell? and that race street used to be named sas fras and george washington rotated his slaves
between philadelphia and mt. vernon for a not very presidential reason. with us now is lee around ornol senior director of the library and collections and chief operating officer. thanks so much for joining us. >> it's a pleasure to be here. >> you're the historical person forgo to facts. >> i'm happy to be here. i've been with the historical society for 24 years and tour guide within the city. it's always amazing that people even locals don't know a lot of the history of their own city and area. one of the first ones starts with the founding of philadelphia and that it was first founded by william penn, a quaker. you already mentioned early that race street used to be called sasa frasthe east/west trees were named for trees and north/south after numbers and philadelphia was the very first city built on a public grid and public quar system in the united
states and also first city that established a street numbering system based on numbers systemically. and why numbers and trees? it's because part of this quaker philosophy, in the sense they are the plain people, you don't name things after yourselves. what less controversial things than 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and locust and walnut and chestnut. >> were there a lot of walnuts and chestnuts on this street? i'm picturing the original philadelphia, nice rows of trees and that's not the case. that's not the case at all. >> so if you get upset or angry, look to nature and know it's connected to walnut and spruce. >> no controversy. you can't -- there's no reason to unname locust street locust. >> philadelphia connected to a rich history of immigrants as well. >> absolutely. starting with william penn, he was given this colony in 1681 by
king charles ii in honor of his father also named william penn. so we call them admiral penn or sir william penn to differentiate him from william penn our father. he owed the admiral a debt and gave william penn 45,000 square miles now a good chunk of pennsylvania, to pay off that debt. now i had just mentioned as a quaker he didn't name things after themselves, sometimes when i give tour groups, how did we name it pennsylvania after himself? he didn't. the debt was to pay off his father money owed to his father. he didn't even want to call it in honor of his father again quaker but king charles insisted he call it pennsylvania, the debt over with, to call it
sylvania which means wooded place. >> what's the biggest suggestion people come up with? >> there's a lot of questions about of course people want to see the betsy ross house also a little dicey because while there is some historical basis to it, there's a little bit of mythology involved in that. i don't go into that too much but encourage people to get their picture taken and things like that. one thing i like telling people, things they never heard of, to look up. if you look at our city hall tower, for instance, you had mentioned immigration, the first people who settled in the area were the dutch and the swedes. i always tell my clients when i give tours, i want you to learn something, when you get done with this tour, you'll be smarter than when you started. one thing about the -- do you know what the big swedish connection is for philadelphia? >> i don't. i can't say i do.
>> it's the color of the philadelphia flag, the color of the flag of sweden, light blue and yellow. that's the color of the swedish flag. you look up at the city hall tower, first of all, who's on top of the city hall tower, william penn, right? do you know where he's facing? he's facing -- no one knows this, he's facing the indian village lenape village where the treat ty penn's treaty is signe he's facing the northeast. there are four our european statues, two lenapes and two europeans, europeans are sweeds and one of them, the woman on the southeast corner is holding a baby. the baby is reaching out and the baby's arm is pointing to the southwest part of the city where the original swedes settled. so the little baby is pointing
towards the swedish settlement and william penn towards the settlement of the treaty of shack mac sin. >> you mentioned queen village, i think about the different neighborhoods, philadelphia is made up of so much neighborhoods. how did that get started? >> a lot of neighborhoods have lenni lenape names, manayunk, were named for lenape. and the early swedish colony here. other great ethnic groups that settled in groups the welsh on the main line. so many of the towns are referred to them as welsh or unpronounceable and of course you have a big german settlement
outside the city, german town founded in 1863, one year after the city of philadelphia was founded and more west you get the more the pennsylvania dutch also germans, not dutch. >> let's talk about the crowning jewel, the liberty bell, first name and history. >> it was the statehouse bell. it was cast in 1751, 50 years after william penn granted the charter of liberties for pennsylvania, which was really almost our ten amendments to the constitution, if you will, if you think about that, the essential freedoms of pennsylvanians had and so on the bell was a line about pro claiming liberty throughout the land. then eventually even though it was in the statehouse, which we now would call our legislature or assembly, eventually it became known as the liberty bell because of the words on the bell. also because of the words on the bell it was adopted by the early abolitionist movement. the liberty bell really wasn't
for 1776 and the declaration of independence. it really was for commemorating the chart of liberties and adochted by the abolitionists as a sense for the emancipation of enslaved people. and other groups took the liberty bell as their symbol as well. women took the symbol of the liberty bell in order to achieve the right to vote and gays and lesbians took the liberty bell and painted it rainbow colors and also use it to talk about their civil rights movement as well. >> let's talk about a george washington and his slaves and there's some interesting history with what he did with the slaves in terms of rotating them. >> that's right, that's a touchy subject. on the independence mall there is excavations of what's called the president's house. and this was the house that george washington and mrs. washington lived for eight years
while president and first lady in philadelphia, philadelphia was the national capital in the federal period from for ten years. but they also had slaves. we know that he was from mt. vernon and had a plantation. i wasn't aware before i came and worked at the historical society, that he brought the slaves up here. pennsylvania had a law, after six months your slaves would automatically be emancipated and george washington and mrs. washington would rotate the slaves back to mt. vernon every six months to avoid the law. it wasn't illegal what they did but they did it to avoid the slaves being emancipated. when he found the remains of the president's house and wanted to create historical documentation, you had two groups, one group wanted it to just be george washington lived here, isn't that wonderful. and you have another group that says we want to tell the story of the enslaved people who lived
here as well. and it was very contentious a few years ago and they came up with a compromise, i'm not sure whether either side is totally happy. as a tour guide i'm happy and historian i'm happy because that site tells both stories, it tells the story of that being our first white house if you will, first presidential president but also what happened in the residence. and you have to tell the full story. not chopping off part of the story, you're telling the full story. >> to get the bigger picture. >> the church of the holy trinity linked to a famous christmas carol. >> little town of bethlehem written by the organist of that church, another philadelphia first. i love firsts that come from philadelphia. people think we played perhaps a second fiddle to new york. i'm not one of those people. i like it better than new york and we have much more history and much more to be proud of. >> all right. when we come right back, tips for starting your own family
tree, including how experts from the historical society of pennsylvania can help you. but first, courtesy of the historical society of pennsylvania, take a good look at this picture from 1839. do you know what this well known philadelphia building is? here's a hint. a worker at the u.s. mint named joseph saxton took the photo from his office window. find out if your guess it correct. we'll give you the answer when we come right back.
do you recognize this well known philadelphia building? it's a picture from 1839. if you guessed philadelphia central high school, you are correct. this is the first known photograph taken in philadelphia. central high was then at juniper and market streets and at the time it was the nation's second public high school. welcome back to nbc 10 at
issue. and as we continue our discussion about the history of philadelphia, we are here with lee arnold, who is the historical society of pennsylvania's senior director of library and collections. we've been talking about philadelphia, how it got it start. we want to talk about how we got our individual start and how we learn about our roots. >> one of the things with our name historical society of pennsylvania people don't realize we're one of the major gene logical centers in the country. we collect genology for every state east of the mississippi river. even though i'm the first arnold in my family literally to step foot in pennsylvania. i found our family history in south carolina and tennessee collections here. so we have people calling us, writing us, we have a geneaology program and if you walk in you don't have to be a member, come in and librarians can help you on site and using both archival
tools, folders with real paper in it and real reels of microfilm, it's fun to see teenagers come in. they've never seen a reel of microfilm before or card or card catalog before. >> this is really taking on huge interest in the past year learning about your history. >> how do people get started? >> they get started by the mistake is sometimes people will say, well, i think i'm related to a signer of the constitution and want to start there. you can't start there. you have to start with you and then go up. you can't start with someone you hope you're related to then go down to you. it doesn't work out that bway. you have to start with yourself and do your parents and grandparents and then great grandparents and try to keep asking and looking for i call it, looking for dead people. you are, that's the way it is. and you want to then keep on making that chain until you get
back. and so one of the things i was able to do was get back to the 1700s, both on my mother's side in northern germany and in my father's side to northern eye ireland. then i found out about my father's ancestor who was in the south carolina militia. so i do have that sort of connection but i never even thought of that before. another way you can sort of do it and again, we also have databases at the historical society of pennsylvania, prescription databases, you would have to pay for it if you get it yourself. you come into the building, you can use them for free. if you want to use ancestry.com or find my past, you don't know whether you want to spend the money, just come and try it. try it for an afternoon. you want to supplement it and supplement it with the archival church records and ledgers, things that are not online.
not everything is online. i'm 57, this is how i would say everything is not this. i pretend i'm typing. but it isn't. i try to tell people that rolling up sleeves and doing historical research and old ledgers and books and papers, it's sort of fun. you gno know you're not a product of space aliens and people had to come here and have marriages and birth records somewhere and your job to find it. >> i'm sure there's a lot of aha moments. >> there is. >> is the process long? >> it is long. the problem is people think it's easy. and i mean this in the nicest way, ancestry.com in one sense has ruined my life. all you need to know is type, no, no -- >> the reality is -- >> you need help and we use ancestry.com as well at the historical society but you need to know more than that and
searching strategies and go beyond the computer and use a repository like the historical society to get information not on there. >> i know you said some aspects are free but to have individual attention, does it cost? >> once you're in the building, all of the services are free in the building. so if you are a member you get in for free. if you're not a member, you pay a small daily fee to use our library, not part of the free library system. depending on what kind of membership level you have, you're allowed discounts in research by mail. we have a wonderful service, if you're stumped or don't have time to keep coming in to hsp for an hourly rate, we'll do the research for you and track down those ancestors and beyond our building at hsp, we'll go to city hall and archives and go to harrisburg on your behalf, looking for information for you. >> lee arnold, thank you so much
for doing such interesting conversation. for access to the historical association's libraries and collection of data disbases and videos, you may want to consider being a member. costs start at $50 for a digital membership. hsp.org. next on nbc 10, helping resolve your consumer problems if you've got an esh yu with a company, a service or product and nbc 10 responds may be able to help you. we'll explain how everyone who reaches out to us gets a response. >> but first, let's test your knowledge about the history of philadelphia once more. courtesy of the historical society of pennsylvania, the philadelphia international airport sits upon this historic site, one the largest ship yard. what was its name? find out if you're correct.
before the break we asked you to test your knowledge of philadelphia's history. the international airport sits on what was the largest ship yard, what's the name? if you answered hog island you're right. the site was eventually eye used by the air national guard. in 1930 the city bought the land to expand the philadelphia municipal airport as it was known back then. shifting gears now, is it possible to pay a bill too early? one local man thinks so and he says an early payment caused huge payments with his bank account and he could not resolve the issue on his own. he reached out to nbc 10 responds to help. harry has the details. >> reporter: charles shriver is a businessman. >> i was in a warehousing business. i was in the software business. >> reporter: he always stays on
top of his bank accounts making payments online. couldn't be easier. no stamps, no banks, nothing. >> in september he made an early payment to his pnc home equity line. but when the statement came, they withdrew the money owed and ignored his early payment. >> it doesn't make sense. >> pnc told him the hiccup happened because of the day he made the payment. >> they claimed i had made the payment because i made it on the same day of the statement. >> reporter: for weeks he tried to resolve the problem. >> i spoke to four different people in the resolution department. no use. >> reporter: then he called nbc 10 responds. >> i've watched nbc 10 responds and watched the reports. it's great. >> reporter: we reached out to pnc and they told us it would contact shriver. that same day, he got a call from pnc, looking to resolve his problem. >> it was incredible.
>> reporter: shriver said after we got involved, pnc returned the 442.57 it withdrew from his account. >> harry, thanks for all of your help. mind if i give you a hug? >> not at all. >> those hugs are the best. pnc says as a general rule it can't discuss a customer's account but apologizes to mr. sliber for the inconvenience. harry works exclusively with nbc 10 responds. thanks for joining us, tell us how respond works? >> all you have to do, if you think you have an issue, go to our website and nbc 10.com and look for nbc 10 responds and fill out a data sheet telling us what the problems are and customers -- the company's name and we'll start working on it from there or call our number, hour our hot line number which we'll show to you on the screen
later on. and we reach out to the companies for you on your behalf and start to dig into it and find out exactly where the hiccup was and what went wrong and how to get you what you want. >> number one thing people need to know. read your documents and see what's in there and read the fine print. if you're also buying something from a big box company or whatever, find out who's going to be doing the work and chem them out before they do it to make sure you'll be happy. >> thanks for joining us. great advice. great having you here. if you have a problem for nbc 10 responds, give us a call, 610-668-7377 or head to our website and we'll respond to you.
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