From the Executive Director

Spring is field trip season here at the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Each year, we welcome approximately 90,000 schoolchildren to our museums and historic sites, with most of them visiting between March and June, when classroom schedules have a little more flexibility and teachers are anxious to help students burn off a little of their spring fever. Many of the students who...
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“Little Doc”: Architect Of Modern Nursing

Lavinia Lloyd Dock (1858-1956) labored long and hard as educator, settlement worker, historian, author, editor, columnist, pacifist and radical suffragist. Beyond this, she strove to internationalize the public health movement while continually elevating the status of women. But her contributions to the field of nursing­ – which helped transform what was then a despised trade into a...
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Violet Oakley, Lady Mural Painter

When Violet Oak­ley accepted the commission – and challenge – of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to decorate the State Capitol then under con­struction in Harrisburg, she announced that the subject of her mural series would be “The Romance of the Found­ing of the State.” In 1902, the ardent lady mural painter, then twenty-eight years old and the only one of her kind,...
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Women in Pennsylvania … The First Two Hundred Years

In the past two hundred years thousands of women have contributed significantly to the social, economic, political and cultural richness of Pennsylvania. An encyclopedia could barely sketch their contributions. Since this article cannot possibly present a complete picture of women’s history in our state, it will survey the changes in women’s roles with brief accounts of a few famous...
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Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School Celebrates 100 Years of Magic

One hundred years ago, in 1908, two community-minded, socially-conscious single young women, Philadelphians Jeanette Selig (1886–1965) and Blanche Wolf (1886–1983), unwittingly created a school that’s become recognized as the largest community arts school in the United States, serving more than fifteen thousand students. In 1982, as the Settlement Music School observed its seventy-fifth...
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