Shorts

Opening Saturday, May 29 [1999], at Allentown’s Liberty Bell Shrine Museum is “‘Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land’: The Liberty Bells of Pennsylvania.” The exhibit, continuing through Tuesday, August 31 [1999], will focus on the eight bells that summoned citizens of Pennsylvania communities to hear the public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July...
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War of Another Kind

By the summer of 1941, war had been raging in Europe for nearly two years. As a child of twelve, in an age of much slower communications, I was not keenly aware of what was going on. I cannot remember being fearful or even apprehensive that the events in Europe were going to affect my life in Adams County. For me, as for most farm children of the forties, summer was a busy, exciting time of...
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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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Letters

Down Memory Lane Thanks for the fascinating article on the WPA models [“‘Art with a Purpose’: Pennsylvania’s Museum Extension Project, 1935–1943,” by Curtis Miner, Spring 2008]. When I was a kid – more than forty years ago – I helped around our grade school in a little community near Chicago. I recall seeing several architectural models in a storeroom,...
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Built by the New Deal

With the nation mired in the grim depths of the Great Depression, industrial Pennsylvania was far from being immune to the financial instability with the closing of 5,000 manufacturing firms and the loss of 270,000 factory jobs by 1933. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched his New Deal, a series of innovative programs targeted to giving work to the unemployed, stabilizing a downward...
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Waging War Their Own Way: Women and the Civil War in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s recently conserved Civil War Muster Rolls, housed at the Pennsylvania State Archives, document the commonwealth’s contributions to the Union. Nearly 345,000 Pennsylvanians served in the U.S. Army during the war, or approximately 60 percent of the adult male population.1 A century and a half ago clerks carefully transcribed the names, ages, regiments, and brief...
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Pennsylvania’s War Governor

On September 14, 1862, Pennsylvania’s Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin invited the governors of the northern and border states to a meeting to be held at Altoona, Blair County, in ten days. The purpose of the meeting that became known as the Loyal War Governors’ Conference — or, simply, the Altoona Conference – was to “take measures for a more active support of the government’s prosecution of...
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