The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
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Current and Coming

Jimmy Stewart Upon his death at the age of eighty-­nine, James Maitland Stewart (1908-1997) – Jimmy Stewart to adoring fans throughout the world – was described by Washington Post staff writer Bart Barnes as “a motion picture Olympian with an all-American image and a universal appeal whose roles as a movie actor helped define a national culture.” During his career, he...
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World War II Connellsville Canteen

Within days of the declaration of World War II in December 1941, American troops began mobilizing, moving swiftly across the country on their way to the front. Embracing a strong need to be a part of the war effort on the home front, many towns and cities organized canteens at their railroad depots to serve troop trains passing through. At the war’s outbreak, Con­nellsville, in Fayette...
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Two Hundred Years and Counting – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Two centuries ago, on Thursday, Decem­ber 26, 1805, seventy-one individuals gathered at the State House (now Independence Hall) to formally establish an art institution for Philadelphia. Meetings throughout the summer had led to the drafting of a charter, formation of a board of directors, and the collection of funds for a building. By the day after Christmas, a professional calligraph­er had...
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Out and About

American Etchers Abroad Beginning in the early 1880s, a large number of American artists set out for foreign lands. Europe offered travel abroad, opportunity to study great works of art, and instruction from master artists. Many were drawn to the graphic art of etching. With etching tools in hand, they explored Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and recorded their impressions of sites and people....
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Out and About

Family Affair Much Like her famous great-grandfather, Elizabeth Duane Gillespie (1821-1901) was a spirited, community-minded Philadel­phian, a tireless champion of causes she believed were in the best interests of fel­low citizens. Her notable ancestor? None other than Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). As part of the myriad events and exhibits staged in and beyond Philadelphia to mark the three...
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Bookshelf

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence Edited by Jane Watkins 2005 (312 pages; cloth, $80.00; paper, $60.00) Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: 200 Years of Excellence is difficult to summarize without relying on superlatives to describe its richness in both text and illustration. The hefty volume is elegantly designed, brimming with color and insightful narrative....
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Out and About

Soul Soldiers The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center recently unveiled the most comprehensive exhibition ever to explore the issues of the Vietnam War from an African American perspective. “Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era” tells the story of the Vietnam War’s impact on African American life and culture by examining both the war and the civil rights...
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Current and Coming

Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness More than five hundred objects, artifacts, documents, and photographs have been assembled for a landmark exhibit newly opened at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown. Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness explores the Keystone State’s impact on the sixteenth president’s life, political career, and rise to power. Lincoln’s great-great-grandfather...
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