Letters to the Editor

Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Slip Showing

For some years I’ve praised your magazine as being tops – and my wife has always shared my enthusiasm. How­ever, “your slip is showing.” The article, “Philadelphia, First,” by Michael J. O’Malley III is flawed. On page seven­teen you list major political conventions held in Philadel­phia, but omit the 1948 conven­tion which nominated Harry S. Truman. Also missing is the 1948 convention of the Pro­gressive Party which nomi­nated Henry Wallace.

Frank C. P. McGlinn
Haverford, Pa.

Coming from another city which calls itself the “City of Firsts,” Kokomo, Indiana, I was interested in the article, “Philadelphia, First,” in the winter 1992 issue. May I sug­gest major additions to the list of presidential conventions held in Philadelphia? The summer of 1948 was a busy time at Convention Hall. The Republican Party Convention (June 21-25) nominated Thomas E. Dewey; the Demo­cratic Party Convention (July 12-14) selected Harry S. Tru­man; and the Progressive Party Convention chose Henry A. Wallace. As a child in Kokomo, I remember hearing the Demo­cratic Party Convention on radio. We listened to it while trying to keep cool in the back­yard.

Donald L. Walters
Gwynedd, Pa.

I enjoy Pennsylvania Heritage very much. The quality of the writing is great and the pic­tures are wonderful. The sub­ject matter is varied and never boring with your coverage of history, art, geology, biogra­phy, and social history. I must call to your attention, as I am sure many others will, the serious omission in your article on Philadelphia County. The author claims four presidential candidates were nominated in the Quaker City. I cannot find a reference source that simply lists all the convention sites, but I know that in 1948 Harry S. Truman was nominated in Philadelphia. Dewey and Wal­lace were also nominated in the city by the Republicans and by the Progressives. Your magazine is marvelous. Please keep up the good work.

Peter B. Macky
Lewisburg, Pa.

I am a constant and almost always delighted reader of Pennsylvania Heritage and have been for an appreciable amount of time. In the winter 1992 edition, the article enti­tled “Philadelphia, First,” features a generally accurate description of Philadelphia, but the writer missed a point. The author states that” … four presidents were nominated at political conventions held at Philadelphia …. ” Not so. Pres. Harry S. Truman was the fifth in 1948. I look forward to your correction.

Natalie Saxe
Philadelphia, Pa.

The editor (who is also the author of “Philadelphia, First”) regrets this error – and thanks these eagle-eyed readers.



I read with interest the article entitled “The Magic of Mount Gretna: An Interview with Jack Bitner” by Diane B. Reed in the spring 1992 edition. In the author’s introduction, there is one glaring error con­cerning the construction of the Cornwall and Lebanon Rail­road. The main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad did not run through Lebanon, which was served instead by the Reading Railroad. The Corn­wall and Lebanon Railroad, which ran from Cornwall to Lebanon, was extended to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s main line at Conewago, west of Elizabethtown, in 1886, through a merger with the Colebrook Valley Railroad. In the teens the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad, which then became the Pennsylvania Railroad’s branch line into Lebanon. The whole point of constructing the Cornwall and Lebanon Railroad was to give the Coleman interests an out­let to the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad at Con­ewago as an alternative to the Reading Railroad at Lebanon.

Robert L. Emerson
Strasburg, Pa.

Robert L. Emerson is director of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Lan­caster County, which is admin­istered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Com­mission (PHMC).