Weigley Elected at PHA Conference

News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

Russell F. Weigley, Temple University history pro­fessor and noted authority on military history, is the new president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association. Dr. Weigley was elected at the association’s forty-fourth annual meeting October 10 and 11 [1975].

During its business session, the association passed four recommendations that dealt with the status of history in the public schools. One of the recommendations is that the PHA “appoints a committee (a) to study certification re­quirements for social studies teachers and to formulate a recommendation concerning minimum preparation in his­tory for social studies’ certification and (b) to formulate a recommendation concerning the history component of the social studies curriculum in the public schools of the Commonwealth.”

Sponsoring this year’s meeting were St. Francis College of Pennsylvania at Loretto and the Cambria County Historical Society, Ebensburg. Harold W. Aurand chaired the program committee while John F. Coleman was in charge of the local arrangements committee.

Highlighting the two-day meeting were the opening luncheon speech of the outgoing president, Donald H. Kent; the after dinner presentation by E. McClung Fleming; and the paper presented by Ralph Hazeltine following the Saturday luncheon. Dr. Kent, retired director of the Bureau of Archives and History of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, discussed “Some Myths of Pennsylvania History” in an informative and witty presentation. He cited the example of the powerful underground railroad, in which the idea was more important since, in reality, few slaves escaped in this way. He also cited the burning of John Harris and his subsequent burial at the site of the mulberry tree, as well as the exploration of the Susquehanna by Etienne Brule as the first white man in the area as myths.

Mr. Fleming, research associate, the Winterthur Museum, used a variety of slides to illustrate his “Early Symbols of America: The Search for Identity.” He cited the following examples: the Indian princess, liberty, Columbia, Yankee Doodle, Brother John, Uncle Sam, George Washington, the flag, the eagle and the rattlesnake. Fleming noted that man seeks meaning in life and that the symbols are an inspiring arsenal of ideas for the Bicentennial year.

In his paper on “The Early Years of Franz Kline,” Hazel­tine reviewed the career of the Pennsylvania artist, present­ing aspects of Kline’s personal as well as his professional life. Dr. Hazeltine is director emeritus of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society.

In addition to two sessions held the first afternoon and three sessions on Saturday morning, features of the event in­cluded a reception held at the new headquarters of the Cambria County Historical Society, West High Street, Ebensburg, and a tour of the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.

James A. Kehl, history professor at the University of Pittsburgh, moderated a panel on “The Teaching of His­tory,” one of the two sessions held Friday afternoon. Partic­ipants included William D. Gilbert, president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies; John E. Frantz, history professor at The Pennsylvania State University; and student panelists Faith Greenfield, The Pennsylvania State University; Richard McMahon, St. Francis College; and Chris Vogelbacher and Lori Ann Mealy, North Clarion High School and Cook Forest Chapter, Pennsylvania Federation of Junior Historians. Divergent views emerged from the panel and audience as the practicality of history versus its value in a well-rounded education were debated.

Roland Baumann, historical consultant with the PHMC, chaired the second Friday session on “Terence V. Powderly: Pennsylvania Labor Leader.” Hugh G. Cleland, professor of history, State University of New York at Stony Brook, com­mented on the papers presented by Vincent J. Falzone, associate professor of history, Texas Eastern College, and Delber L. McKee, Westminster College professor of history.

Chairmen for Saturday’s sessions were Jacob E. Cooke, John Henry MacCracken professor of history, Lafayette College; James Sperry, professor of history, Bloomsburg State College; and Mrs. Frances Shields, vice-president, Cambria County Historical Society.

The first of the three Saturday sessions, on “War-Time Politics and Commerce,” included three papers presented by Milton W. Hamilton, former New York State historian; Randolph S. Klein of Connecticut College, and Eugene Slaski of The Pennsylvania State University. Hamilton’s topic was “Sir William Johnson and the Indian Uprising of 1763,” Klein’s, “The Shippen Family Kinship Network and the American Revolution,” and Slaski’s, “Thomas Willing: Reluctant Revolutionary.”

Nineteenth Century Railroading was the theme for the second session. Darwin H. Stapleton, editorial assistant, The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and Ronald M. Benson, associate professor of history, Millersville State College, were the presenters.

A slide presentation, “Allegheny Portage Railroad and Johnstown Flood,” highlighted the third session, “Chapters in the History of Cambria County.” Participants were S. Paul Okey, chief of Visitor Services, Western Pennsylvania Group, National Park Services, and Betsy Duncan-Clark, Park ranger.

Other participants included the Rev. James Angert, T.O.R., St. Francis College chaplain; John F. Coleman of the hosting St. Francis College; William W. Hummel, Albright College professor of history; the Rev. F. Edmund Jenkins, pastor, Ebensburg United Church of Christ; the Rev. Donald E. Shamhl, pastor, Ebensburg First United Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Sean M. Sullivan, president of St. Francis College; the Rev. Vincent Nezherbon, T.O.R., Shamokin; and William T. Parsons of Ursinus College, Collegeville.

Assisting on the program committee were William W. Hummel, William T. Parsons, W. Raymond Smith and James Sperry. Under John F. Coleman’s direction, the following persons worked on local arrangements: Mary Heaton, Jerome Jacob, Betty Mulhollen, Frances Shields and John Spiese.