PHMC Highlights presents stories and information about PHMC programs, events, exhibits and activities.

To celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New Deal, the PHMC created an attractive commemorative poster. Kathleen Alsvary of the Publications and Sales Division designed the poster and Bureau for Historic Preservation historian Kenneth C. Wolensky authored the historical context appearing on the reverse. Commemorating Pennsylvania’s role in the New Deal economic recovery programs during the Great Depression, the poster is a valuable educational tool for the public.


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission unveiled its twenty-foot-wide-by-ten-foot-high petroglyphs banner to celebrate Pennsylvania’s first farmers — Native Americans — at the January 2008 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg, the largest annual indoor agricultural show in the United States. The PHMC’s exhibit, “Petroglyphs of Pennsylvania,” was cosponsored with the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Pennsylvania Archaeological Council, the Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The banner depicts petroglyphs on Little Indian Rock in the Susquehanna River between York and Lancaster Counties. Assisting with the exhibit were PHMC staff members Ted R. Walke, Elizabeth A. Wagner, James Herbstritt, David Burke, Janet Johnson, Jeff Decker, volunteer Spencer Johnson, Douglas C. McLearen, and Kurt W. Carr.


Bureau of Archives and History archivist Willis L. Shirk Jr., author of “Our Documentary Heritage” appearing regularly in Pennsylvania Heritage, has compiled a valuable new resource for those researching Pennsylvania’s role in the New Deal, “WPA and New Deal Era Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives.” The single largest cache of materials in the Pennsylvania State Archives relating to the activities of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is contained in Record Group 13, Records of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Shirk’s summary of the WPA records can be found online at and clicking on “PA State Archives,” “Research Topics,” and “WPA & the ‘New Deal.’”


Theatre Harrisburg actors Lisa Budwig, a previous contributor to Pennsylvania Heritage, magazine assistant editor Fred J. Lauver, and Jim Lewis, feature writer for the Harrisburg Patriot-News recently performed leading roles in the 1945 comedy predicated on the presidential election of 1948, State of the Union. Lauver had professional film and stage credits prior to his pursuit of history at the PHMC and reenacted historical figures such as Governor Samuel W. Pennypacker and J. Horace McFarland, ardent proponent of the City Beautiful movement of the early twentieth century.