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On This Day in History

Good News in History, October 14

On this day 375 years ago, the Quaker who was an early advocate of religious freedom and democracy in the U.S. colonies, William Penn,...

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On This Day in History

Good News in History, October 14

On this day 375 years ago, the Quaker who was an early advocate of religious freedom and democracy in the U.S. colonies, William Penn, was born. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed. Penn wrote about and advocated for the union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. The land of Pennsylvania was awarded, by charter from England’s Charles II in 1680, to William Penn, with the name derived to honor Penn’s father’s plus ‘sylvania’, meaning woodlands. Penn had earlier been imprisoned in the Tower of London due to his nonconforming Quaker faith—one of the reasons he proposed the emigration of English Quakers to leave England—and his agitating book No Cross, No Crown, written while in prison, has become a Christian classic. (1644)