Harrisburg is the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America.
Harrisburg played a notable role in American history during the Westward Migration, the American Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. During part of the 19th century, the building of the Pennsylvania Canal and later the Pennsylvania Railroad allowed Harrisburg to become one of the most industrialized cities in the Northeastern United States.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agriculture exposition in the United States, was first held in Harrisburg in 1917 and has been held there every January since then. Harrisburg also hosts the annual “Auto Show,” a large static display of new as well as classic cars, which is renowned nation-wide. Harrisburg is also known for the infamous Three Mile Island incident, which occurred in nearby Middletown.
The site along the Susquehanna River where Harrisburg is located is thought to have been inhabited by Native Americans as early as 3000 BC. Known to the Native Americans as “Peixtin,” or “Paxtang,” the area was an important resting place and crossroads for Native American traders, as the trails leading from the Delaware to the Ohio rivers, and from the Potomac to the Upper Susquehanna intersected there. The first European contact with Native Americans in Pennsylvania was made by the Englishman, Captain John Smith, who journeyed from Virginia up the Susquehanna River in 1608 and visited with the Susquehanna tribe. In 1719, John Harris, Sr., an English trader, settled here and 14 years later secured grants of 800 acres in this vicinity. In 1785, John Harris, Jr. made plans to lay out a town on his father’s land, which he named Harrisburg. In the spring of 1785, the town was formally surveyed by William Maclay, who was a son-in-law of John Harris, Sr. In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated and was named the Pennsylvania state capital in October 1812.