Editor’s Letter

The State Museum of Pennsylvania has recently installed in its first-floor gallery a long-term exhibition, A Place for All, focusing on three episodes of the Civil Rights Movement in the commonwealth — struggles for integration at Highland Park swimming pool in Pittsburgh, Girard College preparatory school in Philadelphia, and the suburban community of Levittown in Bucks County. The stories were...
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Editor’s Letter

With this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage, we mark the anniversaries of two events that not only sent shock waves across Pennsylvania but also awakened communities to concerns about public and worker safety. Fifty years ago, in June 1972, a tropical cyclone made its way from the Yucatán Peninsula, up the Atlantic Seaboard of the U.S., shifting its strength as it advanced over land and sea....
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Editor’s Letter

History begets questions. What would have happened if events unfolded in a different way? How do present circumstances impact progressions from the past? How reliable is the available evidence in providing greater truth about the stories that have come down to us? The questions we ask are often as meaningful as the history itself. One of the most popular traditional stories of the American...
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Editor’s Letter

Pennsylvania is home to some of the most acclaimed mural paintings in the nation, including those in our own State Capitol created by Violet Oakley, the first woman in the country to receive a public mural commission in 1902 (see “To Form a More Perfect Union,” Fall 2019), and those found on the walls of many U.S. post offices in the state, installed as part of public work projects between 1934...
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Editor’s Letter

The cover of this edition features a poignant watercolor portrait, Woman in Blue, Waiting, by a Philadelphia artist whose work has been regrettably overlooked in the past but is now being rediscovered as new studies and exhibitions, as well as a preservation effort to save his home, have emerged in recent years. Printmaker and painter Dox Thrash sought to document the African American experience...
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Editor’s Letter

Twenty years ago, Pennsylvania became the setting for one of the most tragic but heroic episodes in recent U.S. history, when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a meadow in Somerset County after passengers fought back at al-Qaeda hijackers who had planned to use the aircraft for an attack on an unknown target in Washington, D.C. In this issue we mark the somber anniversary of 9/11 with the...
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Editor’s Letter

History is revisited and revised not only because newly found or overlooked evidence is uncovered through the years but also because distance in time and transformations in society often call for a fresh outlook to provide context and meaning for readers today. The features in this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage are written by experts who have been involved in extensive research in their...
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Editor’s Letter

The features in this edition focus on Pennsylvanians who strived for a more equitable, pluralistic America. The articles cover a period from the mid-19th century into the early 20th, a time when movements for civil rights were emerging and new barriers were being broken in several social and cultural realms. The story of Octavius V. Catto reflects a key moment in the history of the struggle for...
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Editor’s Letter

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage was produced mostly through teleworking, as all of us in the Keystone State — and the world — have been in the midst of what already has become one of the most momentous episodes in contemporary history. In the devastating weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, every realm of human existence has been profoundly affected. As we continue through the crisis, history...
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Editor’s Letter

As part of our mission “to introduce readers to Pennsylvania’s rich culture and historic legacy,” we at Pennsylvania Heritage seek to connect the commonwealth’s past with what Pennsylvania is today or what it is anticipated to become in the future. In this effort, we strive to publish stories on a variety of subjects, some of which have been overlooked or underrepresented in history, that relate...
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