Explaining William Penn on the 350th Anniversary of His Birth: An Interview with Richard S. Dunn

In his journal entry of December 29, 1667, noted seventeenth century English diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) wrote that his young neighbor William Penn “has returned from Ireland a Quaker – or some very melancholy thing – that he cares for no company, nor comes into any.” For Pepys, who despised the noncon­formist Quakers, Penn’s reclusiveness was “a...
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Pride of the Philadelphia Phillies: An Interview with Mike Schmidt

Baseball is, essentially, a game of history. In no other sport can athletes measure their performance with such precision against those who have come before. Every aspect of the game is recorded, from most base hits to lowest earned run average. As time passes, players’ evaluations and rankings increasingly come to rest on the statistics they compiled during their careers. While nearly...
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Unconventional Patriot: An Interview with Ann Hawkes Hutton

Shadyside, the Bucks County home of Ann Hawkes Hutton, sets the perfect stage for an animated conversation with one of the country’s foremost promoters of patriotism and historic preservation. With its views of the picturesque Delaware River, its collection of fine furnishings, and its hundreds of books, photographs, and documents chronicling American history, Shadyside embodies what many...
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Meet Mister Rogers, Everybody’s Neighbor

“The greatest gift that you can give anybody,” says Fred McFeely Rogers, “is the gift of your honest self. And that’s what I try to do with the Neighborhood.” Television personality, writer, composer, and beloved neighbor worldwide, Rogers speaks of his vision for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the longest running program on Public Broadcasting System (PBS). But...
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Massacre at Lattimer, An American Rite of Passage: An Interview with Michael Novak

Why do so many kids from Pennsylvania make great quarterbacks?” Michael Novak, writer, teacher, theologian, and social philosopher leaned forward as he posed the question and then offered an answer. “Because they’re hard realists. You’re down by fourteen points with seven minutes to play. So, what’s new? That’s the way life has always been in this part of the...
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History and Community: Pennsylvania’s First Lady Makes The Connection, An Interview with Michele M. Ridge

When flood waters threatened the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg in January 1996, Michele M. Ridge quickly transformed herself from First Lady to First Curator of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Within hours, she assembled a team of National Guardsmen, weekend staff at the resi­dence, and specialists of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to move endangered works of art,...
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Sparking a Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution: An Interview with Dick Clark

For many baby boomers – members of that much-touted generation who came of age in the fifties and sixties – rock ‘n’ roll provided a defining point in their adolescent lives. Few will ever forget the first time they jitterbugged to Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets, or took to the dance floor with The Twist by Chubby Checker. Many cherish the memory of...
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Life on the Lehigh Canal: An Interview with Richard Arner

Sitting astride his horse, Josiah White peered intently into the Lehigh River, hoping to foresee the future in its swirling, icy waters. It was the winter of 1817. White, a Philadelphia merchant and iron worker with a genius for invention, with his partner Erskine Hazard, had recently solved the riddle of how to successfully burn anthracite in an iron furnace. Although their answer – which...
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Preserving Philadelphia: A Conversation with Charles E. Peterson, F.A.I.A.

Those who know Philadelphia realize that it is an enormously important city with an illustrious, prestigious past. By many it is called the birthplace of a nation, by others the cra­dle of liberty. The United States was cre­ated in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Indepen­dence. The principles of the American Revolution were...
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Scooping the Editor: Inside Pennsylvania Heritage, An Interview with Michael J. O’Malley III

For fifteen of its twenty-five years, Pennsylvania Heritage has been edited by Michael J. O’Malley III. It is a task he clearly embraces with enthusiasm – and wonder. “It’s a learning experience each and every day,” he says, “and there’s not a moment in which I don’t learn some­thing. To be able to satisfy one’s curiosity and to learn more...
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