Philadelphia served as the capital of the United States for nearly a decade towards the end of the 18th century. It was here in the Philadelphia State House (more commonly known today as Independence Hall) where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were vigorously debated and ultimately drafted and signed by the founding forefathers of the United States. It was also here in that same State House where the Declaration of Independence was read out loud to the public for the first time on July 8th 1776. But that wasn't the only "first" for the city of Philadelphia. It is home to the first university, the first zoo, the first art institution, the first hospital, and the first public library in the United States.