In the Public’s Best Interest

Edward Martin distin­guished himself as soldier, governor, senator and, above all, as honored citizen of the Ten Mile area in Pennsylvania, the small rural community in which he was born. His full and varied life had led him from the front lines of battle to the diplomatic circles of the nation’s capitol. The people whose lives he touched knew him as a dignified, loyal and honest...
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Historical Sketch of Greene County

Greene County lies in the southwestern corner of the state. Its many hills, the distinguishing feature of the countryside, grow more pronounced as one travels from the eastern to the western areas. The old Washington Waynes­burg Railroad, traveling through the hills, was famous for its 178 sharp turns, each of which jolted the passengers. There were some who took the trip just for the roller...
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Valley Forge: Commemorating the Centennial of a National Symbol

It is June 17, 1893. Ten men are meeting at the venerable Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Gov. Robert E. Pattison has recently signed a law entitled “An Act Provid­ing for the acquisition by the State of certain ground at Valley Forge for a public park, and making an appropriation therefor.” He has carefully selected these individuals and commissioned them with...
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A King Crowns the World’s Greatest Athlete

On a sun-drenched July afternoon in 1912, thirty thousand spectators thronged the closing ceremonies of the fifth Olympiad held that year in Sweden’s capital of Stockholm. The event was quite a spectacle, punctuated by pomp and circumstance befitting a royal pageant. The stadium, especially constructed for the games, was electric with excitement. As a chorus of four thousand voices filled...
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Letters to the Editor

From Here to Hollywood I am so glad that you featured an article about Jimmy Stewart before he died [see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition]. In his inter­view, Mr. Mallery touched on so many things that later appeared in the actor’s...
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The Difference This Day Makes

On February 1 of this past year, a day of crisp blue skies and mild chill, voices swelled above the Liberty Bell as they have every first day of February for the last fifty-five years. With prayer and in song – and in remembrance, determination, and hope – African Americans in Philadelphia celebrated National Freedom Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Thirteenth Amendment to...
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The Gentleman from Pennsylvania: An Interview with William W. Scranton

Bill Scranton is precisely what one expects of a diplomat and statesman. He is courtly, not supercilious. He is a good conversationalist, but not loquacious or self-aggrandizing. He is as graceful as he is gracious. His recall of the people and the places and the events in his life is phenomenal. In the best of northeastern Pennsylvania’s vernacular, he is a Class Act – and in a...
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Governor Tom Ridge’s Letter of Resignation

The peaceful, orderly transfer of political power is a hallmark of a mature democracy, occurring every year at various levels of government. In nearly every instance, it has become uneventful and routine; however, several transfers of power in the history of the Keystone State have been prompted by unusual circumstances. Since the creation of the office of governor, as required by Article II,...
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Violence and Vigilantes: The KKK in Pennsylvania

It was a warm, muggy day in early August 1921 in Philadelphia when F. W. Atkins of Jacksonville, Florida, and W. J. Bellamy of Cincinnati, Ohio, rented an office in the Bellevue Court Building to quietly recruit members for “a great and patriotic crusade to save the nation.” Their goal was to organize a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Posing as a prospective KKK initiate, a...
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The Watering of Philadelphia

In the glory days of the early republic, the Fairmount Water Works was one Philadelphia’s most famous landmarks: a marvel of engineering, scenic beauty, stylish design, and civic mindedness. It was built for the most practical of purposes – to provide a clean and plentiful supply of that most essential elixir: fresh water. Today, Philadelphian’s are blessed with one of the best...
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