The Whiskey Boys Versus the Watermelon Army

When the issue of balancing the budget by raising taxes reared its ugly head recently, the nation once again saw the contro­versy and bitterness the sub­ject ignites. On Capitol Hill familiar questions were fiercely debated. Who should close the revenue gap, the wealthy or the working class? Should taxes be increased on ciga­rettes, gasoline, or liquor? Nearly two hundred years ago the Congress...
read more

Bookshelf

Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architec­ture by David Bruce Brownlee and David G. De Long Museum of Contemporary Art and Rizzoli International Publications, 1991 (448 pages, paper, $34.95) Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) had strong ties to Philadelphia during his internationally acclaimed architectural career. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1906, and was encouraged by the Graphic Sketch Club, Central...
read more

Letters to the Editor

You Can Go Home Again! I so enjoyed the interview with James Michener in your winter 1993 edition (see “You Can Go Home Again: An Interview With James A. Michener” by Michael J. O’Malley III), which gave me a fascinating new insight into the life of this complex and great writer. I had been aware of his intense interest in art and artists, but prior to this interview, I had...
read more

A Modern Marriage Inspired by the American Revolution

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage,” advised Benjamin Franklin in his Poor Richard’s Almanac, “half shut afterwards.” Despite their great admiration for Philadelphia’s most prominent – if not wittiest – sage, historians David and Joan Dutcher don’t set much store by his marital advice. Their courtship was inspired by the American Revolution...
read more

Bookshelf

The Genius Belt: The Story of the Arts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania edited by George S. Bush James A. Michener Art Museum in association with The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996 (174 pages, cloth, $40.00; paper, $29.95) Bucks County had known artists as neighbors for years, but in this handsome and richly illustrated book, novelist and native son James A. Michener writes that two...
read more

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...
read more

A New Birth of Freedom

President Lincoln listened patiently to Everett’s lengthy speech, noting the powerful cadence of his delivery. Then he rose, his lanky frame casting a shadow across the lectern. He reached into a pocket of his black frock coat and withdrew a single sheet of paper. He began his address with words that have since become immortal. A crowd of nearly fifteen thousand dignitaries, spectators,...
read more

Bookshelf

Wealth, Waste, and Alienation: Growth and Decline in the Connellsville Coke Industry By Kenneth Warren University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001 (297 pages, cloth, $30.00) In less than three-quarters of a century, the Connellsville coke industry, situated in southwestern Pennsylvania, mushroomed from slight beginnings into a key supplier essential to the iron and steel industries. It then fell victim...
read more

Documents for Freedom and Equality of African Americans

One of the primary responsibilities of the Pennsylvania State Archives is to maintain and make available records that document and safeguard the civic and property rights of Pennsylvanians. Many records document the struggle for freedom and equality of the Commonwealth’s African Americans. As early as the seventeenth century, some Pennsylvanians were concerned with the manner in which...
read more

In Franklin’s Footsteps: An Interview with Ralph Archbold

Greater hero worship may be accorded to other historical figures, but Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) has, for better or worse, been more commonly identified with the American national character. His remarkable success as a printer, as well as the popularity of his essays, aphorisms, and almanacs, allowed him to spread his notions of industry and frugality among the common people. In the process,...
read more