Letters to the Editor

From Here to Hollywood I am so glad that you featured an article about Jimmy Stewart before he died [see “Keystone Born, Hollywood Bred: ‘Movie Buff’ David Mallery Reviews the Acting Careers of James Stewart and Grace Kelly” by William C. Kashatus in the Winter 1997 edition]. In his inter­view, Mr. Mallery touched on so many things that later appeared in the actor’s...
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Pewter Communion Service

When the Heritage Center of Lancaster County , was established in 1974, a “wish list” of objects and artifacts for its permanent collection was devel­oped. The first item on this list was a communion service containing signifi­cant wares by noted Lancaster County pewterer Johann Christoph Heyne (1715-1781). In February 1997, the Heritage Center’s dream came true when it...
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“Your Future Depends on Yourself”: Asa Packer as the Self-Made Man

Nineteenth-century literature abounds with stories of men who rose from humble circumstances to great wealth by virtue of their own diligence, perseverance, and courage. Several of the most famous such works, novels written by Horatio Alger Jr. (1832-1899), became best-sellers because the American public relished his stories about plucky boys achieving their goals against all odds. In his first...
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Letters to the Editor

Left Hanging It’s always interesting to see articles in a statewide publication regarding the Wilkes-Barre area. As the new executive director of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, now known as the Luzerne County Historical Society, it was a treat to read “Joe Palooka: Wilkes-Barre Boxing Legend with a National Punch” by William C. Kashatus in the Spring 2000 issue....
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Milwaukee Iron, Pennsylvania Style

What takes two and a half hours to make, costs at least sixteen thousand dollars to purchase, is assembled in a former military and bowling equipment facility in York, Pennsylvania, and bears the nick­name “Milwaukee Iron”? “What” is a motorcycle. More precisely, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Created in 1903 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and revered as the quintessential...
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Sowing a Wealth Uncommon

When Pennsylvania’s thirty-seven-year-old founder William Penn (1644-1718) drew plans for Philadelphia, he specified a central park of ten acres and four symmetrically placed squares of eight acres each “for the comfort and recreation of all forever.” In his September 30, 1681, instructions to his commissioners, he also mandated private space. “Let every House be placed,...
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Old State Line

The modern-day map of Pennsylvania reveals an anomaly most puzzling – a triangular appendage of land extending to the City of Erie and providing the Commonwealth with access to Lake Erie. Early maps show that the original border of Pennsylvania ran south of its present boundary of Lake Erie. Originally, Pennsylvania was fundamentally rectangular, with an undulating eastern border defined...
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Minersville V. Gobitis

People all over the world consider America to be a great country, partly because of the many free­doms and rights it offers to its citizens. With these rights, as with any rights, come responsibilities. Some, such as obedience to laws and payment of taxes, are very clear, but oth­ers are more complicated and sometimes even controversial. Such responsibilities include those involving patriotism...
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1876 Centennial Craze Sweeps into Philadelphia!

This spring marks the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the International Exhibition of Art, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine, better known as the Centennial International Exhibition, staged to mark the one hundredth anniversary of American independence. Opening Day, Wednesday, May 10, 1876, welcome more than one hundred thousand visitors, and by closing day,...
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Waging War Their Own Way: Women and the Civil War in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s recently conserved Civil War Muster Rolls, housed at the Pennsylvania State Archives, document the commonwealth’s contributions to the Union. Nearly 345,000 Pennsylvanians served in the U.S. Army during the war, or approximately 60 percent of the adult male population.1 A century and a half ago clerks carefully transcribed the names, ages, regiments, and brief...
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