John William Heisman, Football Innovator

John William Heisman (1869–1936) was an athlete turned college sports coach who became one of football’s greatest innovators. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Heisman grew up near Titusville, Crawford County, in northwestern Pennsylvania. He played football at Titusville High School and then at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. He received a law degree but, diverted by an eye injury,...
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Pennsylvanians in Allied Country Units During World War I

World War I began in Europe in July 1914, shortly after Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, on June 28. Initially the United States remained neutral as the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey and Bulgaria) fought against the Allied Powers (France, Great Britain, Russia and Italy). It was not until April 1917 that the...
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Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Winter 2017 Newsletter: PHF Enhances Membership with Members-Only Events The Giving Circle Brent D. Glass Presentation and Book Signing Night of the Great Pumpkin a Smashing Success Powell Donation Helps Fund Mammal Hall Restoration Join the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation  ...
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Breaking the Color Line: The Trial That Led to the End of Legal Segregation in Pennsylvania’s Schools

The half-century following the Civil War was an unpleasant yet profound period of race relations in American history. To date, much of the scholarship about equal rights during that era concentrates on Southern reconstruction while ignoring some very important accomplishments in other parts of the country. Activists in Pennsylvania, for instance, took up a complicated struggle over state and...
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A Lifetime of Learning

Springtime brings new life to the Pennsylvania Trails of History® with the birth of farm animals, fresh green leaves sprouting on trees and shrubs and new shoots poking up in garden beds. At many of our historic sites, nothing says spring like the arrival of thousands of school-age students with teachers, parents and chaperones in tow. They come to explore history through tours, scavenger hunts,...
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Madman or Saint? Abolitionist John Brown

The door to the jail cell creaked open, and the condemned old man stared at his visitor, not recognizing the face. The one who entered spoke first, identifying himself as Morrow B. Lowry of Erie. The prisoner suddenly remembered, and “cordially and gratefully” greeted his friend of many years ago. Their reunion must have seemed strange and sad. Low­ry, learning that his former...
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Crawford County: Welcoming the 21st Century

We passed over some good land since we eft Venango, and through several extensive and very rich meadows, one of which, I believe, was nearly four miles in length, and consid­erably wide in some places. Twenty-one year old George Washington, who would in time become a major landholder and land specula­tor, described Crawford County in 1753 as he carried a dispatch demanding the com­mander of the...
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The ‘State’ of Allegheny

One of the first centers of the organization of the Re­publican party and scene of its first national conven­tion in February, 1856, Allegheny County was strongly for Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860. As the vote count proceeded, one of the leaders kept sending telegrams to Lincoln’s home in Illinois, keeping him up on the news that “Allegheny gives a majority of …...
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Erie County: Where Geography Has Shaped History

Erie County forms the northwest corner of the state, bounded by Lake Erie on the northwest, the states of Ohio and New York on the west and east respectively and parts of Warren and Crawford counties on the east and south. Historically the county was divided into two sections. The sou them region of 259 ,000 acres fell within the original land grant to William Penn. The northern portion of...
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Shorts

The descendants of natural­ist John Bartram and members of the John Bartram Associa­tion will celebrate the centennials of the association and the family reunion during the weekend of June 25-27 [1993]. The event will feature tours of Historic Bartram’s Garden, speakers, bus tours, and a gala picnic on the grounds to commemorate the family’s first reunion in 1893. To obtain...
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