Expanding A Vision: Seventy-Five Years of Public History

Three-quarters of a century ago, it proba­bly surprised no one that the first act of the Pennsylvania Historical Com­mission, not long after its creation in 1913, was to survey all monuments and memorials in the Commonwealth’s sixty­-seven counties. At that time it was universally assumed that public history involved com­memoration and the rituals associated with recognizing significant...
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Executive Director’s Message

This year’s observance of Pennsylvania Archaeology Week, October 9-17, calls attention to the rich and diverse heritage of Native Americans. It also gives us an opportunity to recognize the unique research and invaluable preservation efforts undertaken by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The PHMC has earned a national reputation for its pioneering efforts in...
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Celebrating Fifty Years of State Historical Markers

On a September day in 1946, three men stood alongside U.S. Route 22, fourteen miles east of Harrisburg, inspecting a distinctive blue and gold sign that had just been erected. They were James H. Duff, chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (who in four months would be inaugurated the Commonwealth’s thirty­-fourth governor), and Commission members Charles G. Webb and...
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Grave Sites, Petroglyphs, and Relics: The Turn of the Century Archaeology of David Herr Landis

Thousands of years ago, travelers from northeastern Asia­ – ancestors of Native Americans – followed the animals they hunted into what had once been inaccessible regions of Alaska. Over the newly-formed land bridge at the Bering Strait they came, eventually spreading across the North American continent, including the territory that became Pennsylvania. In the Commonwealth, as...
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Presence from the Past: A Gift to the Future Through Historic Preservation

The United States is a nation and a people on the move. It is in an era of mobility and change … The result is a feeling of rootlessness combined with a longing for those land­marks of the past which give us a sense of stability and belonging … If the preservation movement is to be successful, it must go beyond saving bricks and mortar. It must go beyond saving occasional historic...
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This Venerable Document

The famous patient in Harrisburg needed treatment immediately. Dismembered, suffering gaping wounds, and literally growing weaker day by day, the situation was critical. The Pennsylvania State Police provided special escorts to and from Philadelphia to ensure safe transport. Once there, in the city this patient helped create, trained technicians administered highly effective restorative...
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Executive Director’s Message

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage pays tribute to The State Museum of Pennsylvania on its centennial. The museum was developed as one of the first comprehensive state museums in the nation. Sylvester K. Stevens (1904-1974), the legendary executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), brought the agency to new, unparalleled levels of professionalism. Under his...
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