John James Audubon, Squire of Mill Grove and Genius of Art and Science

In Pennsylvania, a beautiful state … , my father, in his desire to prove my friend through life, gave me what Americans call a beautiful “planta­tion,” refreshed during the summer heat by the waters of the Schuylkill River, and traversed by a creek named Perkioming. Its fine woodlands, its extensive acres, its fields crowned with evergreens, offered many subjects to my pencil....
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The 1948 Donora Smog

As early as 1881, the cities of Chicago, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio, had passed laws in attempts to control several types of pollution. Air pollution, however, remained an uncontrolled, unrecognized health hazard until tragedies in the twentieth century demonstrated its lethal effects. In 1930, smog covering the Meuse River Valley in Belgium sent sixty people to their graves, and in 1952...
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Violence and Vigilantes: The KKK in Pennsylvania

It was a warm, muggy day in early August 1921 in Philadelphia when F. W. Atkins of Jacksonville, Florida, and W. J. Bellamy of Cincinnati, Ohio, rented an office in the Bellevue Court Building to quietly recruit members for “a great and patriotic crusade to save the nation.” Their goal was to organize a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Posing as a prospective KKK initiate, a...
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Bookshelf

Archbishop Patrick John Ryan: His Life and Times: Ireland — St. Louis — Philadelphia, 1831–1911 by Patrick Ryan published by AuthorHouse Press, 2010; 357 pages, paper, $11.60 Upon the death of Patrick John Ryan (1831– 1911), Archbishop of Philadelphia for more than a quarter century, church bells throughout the city solemnly tolled to mark the passing of the remarkable Irish-born prelate. Ryan...
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Bookshelf

Harmony in Wood: Furniture of the Harmony Society by Philip D. Zimmerman published by the Friends of Old Economy Village, 2010; 214 pages, cloth, $60.00 Creators of an immensely successful nineteenth-century utopian society, the Harmonists, led by George Rapp (1757–1847), emigrated from Germany and first settled Harmony in Butler County in 1804, moved west to Indiana ten years later where they...
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The Mills Brothers Trace Roots to Bellefonte

Most musicologists agree: The internationally renowned Mills Brothers was the greatest vocal group of the twentieth century, a conclusion supported by mounds of evidence and unprecedented “firsts” in the world of entertainment. These family singers were the pacesetters, style blazers, and patternmakers in their field, and the first African American performing artists to attract a...
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