Breaking Nature’s Silence: Pennsylvania’s Rachel Carson

She was belittled as an anti-humanitarian crank, a priestess of nature, and a hysterical woman. The director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture believed she in­spired a “vociferous, misin­formed group of nature­-balancing, organic gardening, bird-loving, unreasonable citizenry.” An official of the Federal Pest Control Review Board, ridiculing her concern about genetic...
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You Can Go Home Again: An Interview with James A. Michener

James A Michener is a man of diverse talents, boundless energy, and seemingly countless interests. He is naturally inquisitive, passionately curious. He is fascinated by the world around him and the people who inhabit it. He collects stories about far-away places as effortlessly as one gathers seashells on the shoreline in summer. He is the Ultimate Con­noisseur. Of people. Of places. Of things....
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John O’Hara: The Child Becomes the Man

He had dreams,as do all boys. At the age of twelve, he was “looking forward to the day when, like Clint Shaefer, he would own his own Mercer; when, like Al Cullum, he would be on his way to Yale; when, like Bill Ulmer, he would know the 16th Arrondissement better than the third ward.” They were Pottsville fellows, Shaefer, Cullum, and Ulmer – and so was the boy. He was John...
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A Walk on the Wild Side: Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Creek

At one time deli­cately depicted on dainty lamp shades, the Wissahickon Creek has offered generations of Philadelphians a verdant retreat from the stress of urban life. It is a place to meet old friends, engage in spirited recreational activities, or simply seek solitude. Each person’s reason for seeking respite along the Wissahickon is as unique as the individual, but all share a common...
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Homeward Bound: An Interview with David McCullough

David McCullough is a familiar name – and face. Known to millions as the author of bestselling books, including The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Truman, Mornings on Horseback, and Brave Companions, and as host of the popular PBS television series “Smithsonian World” and “The American Experience,” he is noted for his remarkable gift of writing richly...
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Through a Looking Glass: Colonial and Colonial Revival Hope Lodge

An avenue of overarching trees leads from the road to the house which stands on a slight rise. A little to the west is St. Thomas’s Hill, thrice held by soldiers during the Revolutionary struggle. In front, to the north across the pike, the Wissahickon winds through peaceful meadows and beyond rises the long slope of wood-crowned Militia Hill – every rood of land full of historic...
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Scooping the Editor: Inside Pennsylvania Heritage, An Interview with Michael J. O’Malley III

For fifteen of its twenty-five years, Pennsylvania Heritage has been edited by Michael J. O’Malley III. It is a task he clearly embraces with enthusiasm – and wonder. “It’s a learning experience each and every day,” he says, “and there’s not a moment in which I don’t learn some­thing. To be able to satisfy one’s curiosity and to learn more...
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Broadway Takes a Bow in Bucks County: A Conversation With Kitty Carlisle and Anne Kaufman Schneider

The late afternoon sun streams brightly through large windows, belying the simple fact that it is mid-February. Outside, down below, on the streets in this concrete canyon known as New York City, traffic roars, searing the frosty air with the screams of wailing sirens, the staccato of blaring taxi cab horns, and the shouts of frenzied (if not frightened) pedestrians. The din is deafening. Inside...
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To Be Both a Negro and an American: W. E. B. DuBois and His Search for an African American Identity

What, after all, am I?” asked W.E.B. DuBois when he arrived in Philadelphia in 1897 to study the city’s black community. “Am I an American or am I a Negro? Can I be both? Or is it my duty to cease to be a Negro as soon as possible and be an American?” Not only did this tension characterize DuBois’ classic work, The Philadelphia Negro, published two years later in...
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