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...
read more

Craft Brewing: Another Revolution in Pennsylvania

The history of brewing beer in Pennsylvania has seen heights of success and pits of disaster. The commonwealth grew from colonial home-brewing roots to become a recognized industrial center, home to some of the most notable brewers in America before the disaster of Prohibition. After bouncing back with Repeal, Pennsylvania clung to its established favorites longer than any other state, savoring...
read more

Baking Pennsylvania Dutch Style

Regional American cuisine is fast becoming the hottest trend on the food scene today, and while we still hear a great deal about Cajun or the Southwest, one of the richest areas for culinary diversity is Pennsylvania. The Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism, a nonprofit that has taken the lead in exploring the foods of our state, has identified five distinct culinary...
read more

Historic Districts in Pennsylvania: An Evolving Sense of Place

Jim Thorpe, originally named Mauch Chunk, is a small and picturesque borough of well-preserved 19th-century buildings perched on the side of a mountain along the Lehigh River in Carbon County. It once served as an important railroad and coal shipping center. As these industries waned in the 20th century, the town sought new economic purpose by marketing its scenic appeal as the “Switzerland of...
read more

Gosztonyi Savings and Trust

The Gosztonyi Savings and Trust represents the Eastern European immigrant community’s financial investment in America and the singular vision of a woman determined to continue and expand her husband’s legacy. The bank building at 530 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem, Northampton County, was constructed around 1922, well into the evolution of the Gosztonyi family’s successful...
read more

Before and After the Act: Historic Preservation in Pennsylvania

In 1816 the City of Philadelphia purchased Independence Hall to save it from demolition. This was the first historic preservation effort in the United States. One hundred and fifty years later, the historic preservation movement found its footing as a national priority when President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act into law on October 16, 1966. The act codified the...
read more

Bringing History Out of the Closet

Joe Burns looks over hundreds of documents laid out in piles on the large dining room table in his sister’s central Pennsylvania home. He is carefully examining, organizing, cataloging and recording them in a timeline highlighting some of the key historical developments in the early lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) civil rights movement in small cities throughout...
read more

Eighteenth Century Views of Bethlehem

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1741 by a group of German Protestants known as the Unitas Fratrum – The Unity of the Brethren. Original­ly from Bohemia and Moravia, in what is modern eastern Czechoslovakia, they became known simply as Moravians. They emigrated to Saxony, Germany, where, on the estates of Count Nicholas Ludwig Von Zinzendorf, they estab­lished the community of...
read more

The Pennsylvania Germans: A Celebration of their Arts, 1683-1850, An Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The art of the Pennsylvania Germans is showy and elusive, reflective and new, easy and difficult; showy because it is boldly colorful; elusive because there is more to it than decoration; reflective because one can see the Old World in details; new because Pennsylvania Germans add­ed to the European vocabulary of designs and form; easy because it is familiar; and difficult because marks, like...
read more

Painting the Town: Bethlehem and its Artists

Since its founding in 1741, the city of Beth­lehem in eastern Pennsylvania has bene­fitted from the presence of artists associated with its Moravian founders and their educational institutions, specifically the Moravian Semi­nary for Young Ladies, founded almost as early as the city itself, and Moravian College. In the eighteenth century Valentine Haidt served as the city’s...
read more