You really need to go back to the origins - find some history of Niklaus Wirth. Pascal started its life as a teaching language. "Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs" is a good starting point.
At the time, Pascal was far simpler than Algol 68 and PL/1. It forced structure and declaration, and strong type safety, unlike Fortran4 (Fortran 77 improved things a bit there but you could still play terribly fast-n-loose). And compared to COBOL it was short, simple and easier to write programs. (Hello world in about 6 lines instead of 600).
When it originated, there were things like character arrays in Pascal - that was it for string handling. Things improved over the years.
If you really want to delve into a Pascal history, some points you must take into account:
- Wirth's original (Standard Pascal)
- extensions by Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) on the Vax
- the UCSD p-System (on many machines but notably the Apple-2)
- Turbo Pascal
- Apollo Domain Pascal (used to write the Domain/OS operating system, also called Aegis)
- Turbo Pascal with objects and units (ver 5.5 and later. Edit: just found the TP 5.5 OOP PDF)
Back in the 1980s there was a huge slug-fest between Pascal and C. There was a vast amount of development and activity happening in both camps.
As a consequence, weird and wonderful things like Bliss-32, Algol, and PL/1 have pretty much disappeared - but ideas from these made their way into Pascal.
EDIT: character arrays could be packed which conferred some special properties, but if you wanted what we now know as string handling you needed to grow it yourself.