Editor's Letter is an introduction to the contents and themes of each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage by the editor.

With this issue, Pennsylvania Heritage continues PHMC’s observance of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New Deal by bringing you a fascinating account of an unusual relief program that gave work to artists and artisans throughout the Keystone State.

Between 1935 and 1943, the Pennsylvania State-Wide Museum Extension Project (MEP) churned out millions of visual aids for use in the classroom. PHMC curator Curtis Miner has uncovered all sorts of educational materials produced by the MEP that are guaranteed to amaze you [see “Art with a Purpose: Pennsylvania’s Museum Extension Project, 1935-1943“].

Also celebrating a landmark anniversary this year is Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School, which has taught generations since its founding in 1908. Regular contributor Jim McClelland tells us about the veritable “Who’s Who” among the school’s alumni, including tenor Mario Lanza, entertainer Chubby Checker, and actor Kevin Bacon. Longtime contributor William C. Kashatus takes on Wilkes-Barre’s Fugitive Slave Case of 1853, and unravels the complicated chain of events that ignited controversy in the northeastern Pennsylvania community. As always, Bill gives us a straightforward — and absorbing — account that’s as enthralling as it is educational.


Michael J. O’Malley III