Voices of Migrant Workers

The Tuesday, October 3, 2000, edition of The New York Times carried a page one story by Anthony DePalma about undocumented workers, many from Mexico, in migrant farm labor. The article cites statistics illustrating American farmers’ dependence on an increasingly high percentage of workers who illegally enter and reside in the United States. DePalma interviewed Mark Rice, an employer of...
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The Pennsylvania Dugout Canoe Project

Then: Imagine the sight of individuals clad only in loincloths, furiously chipping at a large felled log, slivers of wood flying high above them, and smoke curling upward from sections of the burning tree as they carve out a dugout canoe. Now: In painstakingly precise recreations, archaeologists of the Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP) of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission...
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Meet Don Yoder: Dean of Folklife Scholars

In 1710, Hans Joder, originally from Canton Bern in Switzerland, arrived in Pennsylvania and made a home in the fertile Oley Valley of southeastern Pennsylvania. Twenty-eight years later, Johannes Cronister of Franconia in northern Bavaria, whose grandfather had been a Protestant fugitive from Lower Austria, came to the province and settled in the region that would later become Adams County....
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Art with a Purpose: Pennsylvania’s Museum Extension Project, 1935-1943

Like other relief programs launched during the Great Depression under the aegis of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the goal of federal arts programs of the 1930s was two-fold: to rescue unemployed Americans from poverty and to produce something of public benefit. One of the unintended byproducts was controversy. In 1937, the Federal Art and Theatre Project unintentionally...
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“In Immortal Splendor”: Wilkes-Barre’s Fugitive Slave Case of 1853

On Saturday morning, September 3, 1853, U.S. Federal Marshal George Wynkoop of Philadelphia and two deputies, John Jenkins and James Crossen, sat down to breakfast in the dining room of the Phoenix Hotel on River Street in the Luzerne County seat of Wilkes-Barre. At the far end of the room was a handsome, powerfully built mulatto named Bill (or, according to various newspaper accounts, known as...
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Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park

The newly opened, $103 million Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, the result of a cooperative project between the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation, places the American Civil War’s turning point in perspective, using exhibits, sound, video, and setting to give visitors a deeper understanding of the war and its impact. A decade in the making, the...
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Building a Brand for Pennsylvania Products

Over the centuries most Pennsylvanians have traded their team of horses for cars, their work boots for street shoes, and their plows for computers. yet we still hanker for a taste of our rural roots. While many of us may be weekend gardeners, farmers are lifetime gardeners, producing a quality, diverse food supply for the world year-round. What better way to support local farmers than by...
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Black Settlement on Yellow Hill

Anyone who has ever read about the Battle of Gettysburg or visited the historic American Civil War battlefield undoubtedly learned about the generals, the courageous soldiers who fought in the grisly three-day encounter, and the thousands that lost their lives on that hallowed ground in Adams County. The stories of the famous engagements that took place at Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and the...
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Hotel Washington

An unsigned postcard of the Hotel Washington in Chambersburg sent to Roland G. Smith at the Ligonier Motor and Machine Company in Ligonier, Westmoreland County, was postmarked October 19, 1913, nearly fifty years after Confederate forces decimated the Franklin County seat on July 30, 1864. Southern soldiers destroyed 550 buildings and structures in Chambersburg in addition to looting houses and...
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Lost and Found

Lost Southern soldiers largely restrained themselves from destroying private property during the American Civil War’s Gettysburg Campaign. Their final foray into the Commonwealth, however, was drastically different. On July 30, 1864, Confederate Brigadier General John McCausland’s forces torched the Franklin County seat of Chambersburg in southcentral Pennsylvania in retaliation for Union...
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