Ahead of Her Time: Pennsylvania Aviator Helen Richey

It was the era of plucky barnstorming aviators. Charles Lindbergh had flown across the Atlantic in 1927 and in the ensuing decade the romance of the skies was in full flower. Flight records were being chased and broken with regularity. Faster, sleeker airplanes were being introduced. Air races with cash prizes were in vogue across the country. The public, fed by an eager press, was fascinated....
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Summer 2017 Newsletter: Third Annual Giving Circle Dinner The Giving Circle PHF-Held Endowment Funds Whiskey Still for Fort Pitt Museum Collection PHF Welcomes New Board Member PHF Receives Grant in Partnership with Eckley Miners’ Village Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation  ...
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Joseph Plavcan’s Wild Rice

  A species of wild rice, Zizania aquatica, grows on the shores of Presque Isle, the hooked peninsula that juts off the coast of the city of Erie into the Great Lake of the same name. The plant is also the titular subject of this acrylic-on-board painting of Pennsylvania’s only surf beach by legendary Erie artist Joseph Plavcan (1908-81). Plavcan is the link in a succession of...
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Other Recent Releases

A Life Well Played: My Stories by Arnold Palmer St. Martin’s Press, 258 pp., cloth $22.99 The last book by the legendary golf pro from Latrobe, Westmoreland County, is a selection of his thoughts, anecdotes and memories about golf, life and business. In the final word, he humbly reveals that he prefers not to be thought of as The King but – like his “hard-nosed golf course...
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Romani in Pennsylvania

This fascinating early 20th-century postcard of a scene from Williamsport, Lycoming County, provides a view of life in Pennsylvania that is seldom represented in formal historic records or in preservation efforts. Cultures that exist outside the mainstream and especially those not linked to specific places pose a special challenge to historians. The word “Gypsy,” which appears on...
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Braddock’s Defeat by David Preston

Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution by David Preston Oxford University Press, 480 pp., $29.95 As the sun set on a warm July evening, Gen. Edward Braddock (1695-1755) lay amongst the dead and dying of his ruined army. Still disbelieving the tragic outcome of his battle against the French four days ago, he muttered among his staff, “Who’d have thought it? We...
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Old Economy Village: The Centennial of the First Site on the Pennsylvania Trails of History

One hundred years ago, on February 3, 1916, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas, in an escheat case, awarded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 6 acres of land that had been part of the town of Economy. World War I was raging in Europe, and with the United States’ entrance in the war the following year, the state had little time or money to deal with a newly acquired historic site. In 1919 the...
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“Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”

Stephen Foster is widely considered to be America’s first great songwriter. He was born in Lawrenceville, Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh, on July 4, 1826. His first composition was published when he was 18 years old, and he would go on to write more than 250 songs, hymns and instrumental works during his lifetime, becoming the most important composer of popular music in 19th-century America....
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Reimagining William Penn: Janet de Coux and the Creation of the Pennsylvania Icon

In 1944 Pennsylvania was celebrating the 300th anniversary of William Penn’s birthday. More than 2,580 celebrations were held across the commonwealth and the nation, and approximately 1,550 Pennsylvania schools each honored Penn with the planting and dedication of a hemlock, the state tree. These activities coincided with a movement on the part of several state officials and Pennsylvania...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Recommends

The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience Samuel W. Black, editor of a collection of eight essays comprising The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (Senator John Heinz History Center in partnership with Pennsylvania Civil War 150, 2013, paper, 239 pages, $29.95), contends, “In various ways African Americans have been fighting for freedom for several...
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