1918’s Deadliest Killer: The Flu Pandemic Hits Pennsylvania

I had a little bird, Its name was Enza. I opened the window, And in-flu-enza. —Children’s rhyme, 1918 The year 1918 was arguably one of the darkest in modern times and the deadliest ever recorded in human history. Much of Europe was locked in a hideous, relentless military struggle that had dragged on for three years, killing millions of soldiers and bankrupting its governments. Famine stalked...
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Trails to the 28th Infantry Division National Shrine

The year 2018 marks the centennial of the last year of World War I and the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, that ended the war’s active combat. (The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the war between Germany and the Allies, was signed in June of the following year.) Memorializing those lost in the war was an important step in putting the Great War in the past....
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Charles Lenker’s M1917 Doughboy Helmet

Charles W. Lenker (1896–1973) of Palmyra, Lebanon County, entered the Army from Lebanon on April 2, 1918, and wore this M1917 steel combat helmet during his service in World War I (also see inside front cover). It is preserved today not only as a relic of the war but also as a fine example of early helmet folk art with its painted record of a soldier’s military service. The steel combat helmet...
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Pennsylvanians at Meuse-Argonne: The 28th, 79th and 80th Divisions in the Last Major Offensive of the Great War

Pennsylvanians served with honor and distinction in World War I, with more than 297,000 men from the Keystone State engaged in the conflict as part of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), established in July 1917 to join the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy) in the fight against the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria). The majority of...
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Keystone Men of Iron: The 28th Infantry Division in the Great War

In 1917, when America entered World War I, the 28th Infantry Division was the nation’s oldest National Guard unit. Organized by Pennsylvania in 1878, the division was made up of units that had already earned battle streamers for contributions in conflicts from the American Revolution to the Civil War. Arriving in France in late Spring 1918, the 28th immediately began developing a reputation for...
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Hunter Liggett, World War I General from Reading

Hunter Liggett (1857–1935), born and raised in Reading, Berks County, was a senior officer in the U.S. Army during World War I. When America entered the war, he was given command of the 41st Division, which arrived in France in late 1917 as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. He then commanded I Corps and later the First Army. Liggett had graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West...
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Pennsylvania’s Musical Publishers: Fueling a Nation’s Fervor

A dynamic America was frenetically modernizing and vigorously expand­ing during the historic decades before and following the open­ing of the twentieth century. While the West, or open land, was essentially closed with the 1889 admission of four new states, and two more the fol­lowing year, the country gen­erated a diverse output of agricultural and basic indus­trial goods. National produc­tion...
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Maurice K. Goddard: The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar

There is a point in crossing the top of the Allegheny Mountains between Pittsburgh and Harris­burg at which a traveler sees, at every turn, only trees. It is one of the most spectacular views on the North American Continent. The scene lacks the frenetic energy of Niagara Falls, or the awe-filling majesty of the Grand Canyon, but this several­-hundred-square-mile panorama of second-growth forest...
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Christy Mathewson: Baseball’s Gentleman and Tragic Hero

On Wednesday, September 23, 1908, twenty thousand baseball fans packed New York City’s Polo Grounds to watch the hometown New York Giants host the reigning World Series champion and archrival, the Chicago Cubs. The contest would determine first place in the race for the coveted National League pennant. Right-handed pitcher Christy “Matty” Mathewson (1880–1925), a thirty-seven-game winner, took...
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