The 1948 Donora Smog

As early as 1881, the cities of Chicago, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio, had passed laws in attempts to control several types of pollution. Air pollution, however, remained an uncontrolled, unrecognized health hazard until tragedies in the twentieth century demonstrated its lethal effects. In 1930, smog covering the Meuse River Valley in Belgium sent sixty people to their graves, and in 1952...
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Executive Director’s Message

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage pays tribute to The State Museum of Pennsylvania on its centennial. The museum was developed as one of the first comprehensive state museums in the nation. Sylvester K. Stevens (1904-1974), the legendary executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), brought the agency to new, unparalleled levels of professionalism. Under his...
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Pennsylvania’s Slavic Hero: Judge Blair F. Gunther

Thousands of Slavic refugees and their descendants who have carved out a better life in the United States may owe their lives to western Pennsylvania’s Judge Blair F. Gunther (1903-1966). After Poland faced horrific Nazi brutality during World War II and the murder of thousands of the country’s army officers by the Soviet secret police, Gunther fought to expose the atrocities and...
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