tv NBC10 Issue NBC February 12, 2017 11:30am-12:01pm EST
local knowledge, you live here, but how much do you really know about the city of brotherly live? today we 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. we're helping you finally get your consumer complaints resolved. "nbc10 @ issue" starts now. good morning. this morning we'll test your knowledge about philadelphia. for example, the did you know the liberty bell was originally called the state house bell? and that ray street used to be named sassafras. and that george washington
rotated his slaves between philadelphia and mount vernon for a not very presidential reason? he's also a chief operating officer. dr. arnold, thank you very much for joining us. you are the go-to person for pennsylvania facts. >> i've been with the historical society for over 24 years. i'm also a 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. one of the first ones starts with the founding of philadelphia, founded by william penn and william penn was a quaker. part of that is street names. ray street used to be called sassafras. the east/west streets were named after trees and the north/south streets were named after numbers. philadelphia was the very first city built on a public grid and
public square system in the united states and we're also the first city that established a street numbering system based on numbers. and why numbers and trees? it's because part of his quaker philosophy. they're the plain people. you don't name things after yourselves. what less controversial things than numbers and locust and walnut and chestnut. people say were there a lot of walnuts on this street? picturing the original philadelphia with nice rows of trees, that's not the case at all. >> if you get upset or angry about anything, just go look at some nature and know we're connected to walnut and spruce. >> that's right. no controversy. >> philadelphia, i mean, just connect to a rich history of immigrants as well. >> starting with william penn,
he was given this colony in 1681 by king charles ii in honor of his father also named william penn. he called him admiral penn to differentiate from william penn, our founder. the king owed the admiral a debt so he gave william penn, the son, 45,000 square miles, which is now a good chunk of pennsylvania, to pay off that debt. i had just mentioned that as a quaker, he didn't name things after himself. how did he name it pennsylvania after himself? he didn't. the debt was to pay off his father. he didn't even want to call it in honor of his father, again, quaker. king charles insisted that he call it pennsylvania because he wanted to make sure the debt's over with. but he wanted just to call it
sylvania, which means wooded place. >> what's the biggest question people come up with for you on the tours? >> people want to see the betsy ross house. while there is some historical basis to it, there's a little bit of mythology involved. i don't go into that too much but of course i encourage people to get their picture taken. one thing i like telling people is to look up. if you look at our city hall tower for instance, the first people who settled in the area were the dutch and the swedes. it's a really wonderful swedish connection. i always tell my clients when i give tours, i want you to learn something. when you get done with this tour, you're going to be smarter than when you started. du do you know what the big swedish connection is for philadelphia?
>> i don't. >> it's the color of the philadelphia flag. it's the color of the flag of sweden. it's light blue and yellow, that's the color of the swedish flag. you look up at the city hall tower. who's on top? william penn. he's facing the indian village where the treaty of -- where penn's treaty was signed. so he's facing northeast. there are four other european statues on the top of the tower, two europeans. the europeans are swedes. 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 where gloria day church is.
the little baby is pointing toward the swedish settlement. william penn is pointing towards the settlement of the treaty. >> we know philadelphia is made up of so many neighborhoods. how did that get started? >> a lot of the neighborhoods have native american names. so a lot of the names were name d native american names. queen chrissitianchristiana of . the welsh on the mainline. so many of the towns you can refer to as welsh or unpronounceable. those are the welsh towns. of course you have big german
settlements. germantown was founded in 1683, one year after the city of philadelphia was founded. the more west you get, you have the more pennsylvania dutch. >> the liberty bell. >> it was the state house 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. it was the essential freedoms that pennsylvanians had. on the bell was a line from leviticus about climbing liberty throughout the land. eventually even though it was in the state house, 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 wasn't for 1776 and the declaration of independence. it really was for commemorating william penn's 1701 charter of liberties and adopted by the abolitionists for the emancipation of enslaved people. then other groups took the symbol of the liberty bell as well. women took the symbol of the liberty bell for the right to vote. gays and lesbians took the liberty bell and painted it rainbow colors to talk about their movement as well. >> there's some interesting history with what george washington did with the slaves in terms of rotating them. >> that's right. that's a touchy subject. there is excavations of the president's house. this was the house that george washington and mrs. washington
lived for eight years while they were president and first lady of the country in philadelphia. philadelphia was the national capitol for ten years. they also had slaves. we know that he was from mount vernon. he had a plantation. but i wasn't aware before i came and worked at the historical society that he brought his slaves up here. pennsylvania had a law if your slaves were in pennsylvania, because pennsylvania was a free state, that after six months your slaves would automatically be emancipated. george washington would rotate the slaves back to washington every six months to avoid the law. it wasn't illegal what they did, but they did that to avoid their slaves being emancipated. when they found the remains of the president's house, you had two groups. you had one group that wanted it to just be george washington lived here, isn't that wonderful. and then you have another group that says we really want to tell
the story of the enslaved people who lived here as well. it was very contentious a few years ago. they came up with a compromise. as a tour guide, i'm really happy and as a historian i'm happy because that site tells both stories. it tells the story of that being our first white house, if you will, but it also tells you what happened in that presidential residence and you really have to tell the full story. you're not chopping off part of the story, you're just telling the full story. >> the church of the holey try trinity in a christmas carol. >> that's right. little town of bethlehem. when we come back, tips for
starting your own family tree, including how experts from the historical society of pennsylvania can help you. first, courtesy of the historical society of pennsylvania, take a look at this picture from 1839. do you know what this well-known philadelphia building is? here is a hint. a worker at the u.s. mint reportedly took this photo from his office window. find out if your guess is correct. think about it and we'll give you the answer. dear fellow citizen, i know what it's like to worry about student loan debt.
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do you recognize this well-known philadelphia building? it's a picture from 1839. well, 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 "nbc10 @
issue." 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 its start. but we want to talk about how we all got our individual start and learning about our roots. >> one of the thing with our name historical society of pennsylvania, people don't realize we're also one of the major genealogical centers in the country. we collect genealogy for every state east of the mississippi river. i found my family history in our south carolina and in our tennessee collections here at the historical society. we have people calling us, writing us. we have a genealogy program where we help teach how to do genealogy. you don't have to be a member. come on in and there are librarians who can help you on
site and also using both arch e archival tools and real microfilm. >> this has really taken on some huge interest, learning about your history. how do people get started? >> they get started -- the mistake is sometimes people will say i think i'm related to a signer of the constitution and i 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 and then go down to you. it would take forever to do that. so you have to start with yourself and then do your parents, your grandparents and then your great grandparents and try to keep asking and looking for dead people. you are. that's the way it is. then you want to then keep on making that chain until you get back.
so one of the things that i was able to do was get back to the 1700s both on my mother's side in northern germany and my father's side to northern ireland. then i found out about my father's an zcestor who was in e south carolina militia. another way you can do it -- again, we also have databases at the historical society of pennsylvania. they're subscription databases. you come into our building, you can use them all for free. it's a really good tool if you want to use ancestry.com or find my past, things you've seen ads for on tv. just come into hsp and try it for an afternoon. but you want to supplement it with the archival church records and ledgers, things that are not
online. not sefeverything is online. i try to tell people that rolling up your sleeves and doing historical research, going through old ledgers and books and papers, it's sort of fun. you really are a detective. you know you're not a product of space aliens. you know that people had to come here, they had to have marriages and birth records somewhere. >> i'm sure there's a lot of aha moments. is the process painstaking? >> it is. people think it's easy. ancestry.com in one sense has ruined my life. all you need to know is type. no, no. the reality is you need help. we use ancestry.com as well at the historical society, but you need to know more than that and
you need to know searching strategies but you need to go beyond the computer and use a repository like the historical society to get the information that's not on there. >> to get your help and have individual attention what does it cost? >> all of our services are free in the building. if you're a member, you get in for free. if you're not a member, you pay a small daily fee to get into the library. we're an independent library. depending on the membership level you have, you are allowed a discount on research by mail. we will do the research for you, we will track down those ancestors and we'll do it even beyond our building at hsp. we will go to city hall, the city archives. we will even go to harrisburg on your behalf looking for
information for you. >> thank you so much for joining us. such an interest iing informati. you may want to consider becoming a member, of course. the cost starts at 50 bucks for a digital membership. for more information log onto hsp.org. if you've got an issue with a company, a service or a product, nbc 10 responds may be able to help you. we'll explain how everyone who reaches out to us gets a response. 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, once the world's largest shipyard. what was its name?
before the break we asked you to test your knowledge of philadelphia's history. the philadelphia international airport sits upon this historic site, once the world's largest shipyard. what was its name? if you answered hog island, you were right. the shipyard closed in 1921. the site was eventually used by the air national guard. the city bought the land in 1930 to expand the philadelphia municipal airport, as it was known back then. is it possible to pay a bill too early? one local man thinks so. he says an early payment caused huge problems with his bank account. he could not get the bank to resolve the issue on his own. he reached out to nbc responds for help. >> charles is a lifelong businessman. >> i was in a wholesale grass seed business, i was in the warehousing business, i was in the software business. >> he says he always stays on
top of his bank accounts, making payments online. >> it couldn't be easier, no stamps, no banks, nothing. >> in september he made an early payment to his pnc home ec witty credit line. when the statement came three weeks later, pnc withdrew the money owed and ignored his early payment. pnc told him it happened because of the day he made the payment. >> they claimed i hadn't made the payment because i made it on the same date as the statement. >> he tells us for weeks he tried to resolve the problem. >> i spoke to four different people in the resolution department. no use. >> then he called nbc 10 responds. >> i've watched nbc 10 responds. i watch your reports. it's great. >> we reached out to pnc. it told us it would contact slihim. that same day he got a call from
pnc looking to resolve his problem. after we got involved, pnc returned the $442 it withdrew from his account. >> thanks for all your help. mind if i give you a hug. >> not at all. >> okay. >> those hugs are the best. pnc says as a general rule it can't discuss customer's accounts but it apologizes for the inconvenience. harry thanks for joining us. >> all you have to do is if you think you have an issue go to our website and look for nbc 10 responds and fill out a data sheet where you give us the information telling us exactly what your problem is, submitting documents. and we'll start working on it from there. or call our hotline number
610-668-7377. we reach out to the companies for you on your behalf. we start to dig into it to find out exactly where the hiccup was and what went wrong. number one thing people need to know, reed yoad your documents, the fine print. if you're buying from a big box company, find out who's doing the work to make sure you're going to be happy. >> if you have a problem for nbc 10 responds, give us a call at 610-668-7377 or head to our website and we'll respond to you.
watching television that's educational and informational. the more you know on nbc. lauren: hi, i'm lauren thompson, and heart of a champion starts right now. today, see how wide receiver vincent jackson is supporting america's armed forces and their families. vincent: this is a big military town. everything is about being hands-on, talking to military families, military personnel, getting direct feedback, and trying to put that to use. lauren: then, golfer justin rose opens up about an emotional tribute to his father. justin: the relationship we had, the bond we had, all unbelievable. when i look back at it, i'm grateful for what i was able to achieve in that short period of time to give him peace of mind. lauren: and later, we head across the pond with mary carillo for a fascinating history lesson on olympic curling. mary: every rock thrown during the winter games begins its backswing here on the lonely island of