Bookshelf

Connie Mack’s ’29 Triumph: The Rise and Fall of the Philadelphia Athletics Dynasty by William C. Kashatus McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999 (216 pages, cloth, $28.50) To baseball historians, Connie Mack (1862-1956) is a star among managers. His professionalism, penetrating knowledge of the game, and ability to handle his players helped him claim nine pennants, win five World...
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Martin Ritt Takes on The Molly Maguires

Far from the glitter and glamour of Hollywood, in a remote mountain range of Pennsylvania, the film industry’s best and brightest gathered in the late 1960s to make a film that has been described as a dismal financial failure and, ironically, an extraordinary critical suc­cess. Before cameras whirred in and around the communities of Hazleton, Luzerne County, Jim Thorpe, Carbon County,...
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Can It Already Be Fall?

New Exhibits An exciting new long-term exhibit recently opened at Drake Well Museum and Park at Titusville, Venango County. In the Summer 2011 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage, I profiled the building renovation project at Drake Well, including plans for a geothermal climate control system and a new comprehensive exhibit. There’s a Drop of Oil and Gas in Your Life Every Day, which made its...
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Bookshelf

Sweet William: The Life of Billy Conn by Andrew O’Toole published by the University of Illinois Press, 2008; 253 pages, cloth, $32.95 An Irish working-class hero of Pittsburgh, William David “Billy” Conn (1917–1993) captured the hearts of his contemporaries with his stellar boxing record, ebullient personality, and good looks. A lightweight boxing champion, Conn had defeated nine current or...
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Henry “Harry” T. Burleigh

Early Life in Erie One year after the end of the American Civil War, Henry “Harry” T. Burleigh was born in Erie, on December 2, 1866, into an African American family which still sang the songs of slavery. Burleigh was the son of Henry Burley and Elizabeth Waters. After her husband died, Elizabeth changed the family name to Burleigh. The younger Burleigh recalled that the slave songs were...
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PHMC Highlights

Old Economy Village volunteer Grant Stewart, portrays the traditional Pennsylvania German figure “Belsnickel,” and talks with young visitors to an Old Economy Village Christmas program in Ambridge, Beaver County. Belsnickel is checking his book to see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. The Belsnickel is a Santa-like figure but not as jolly; he cautions children to behave well or receive...
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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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Giving a New Shine to an Old Boot and Shoe Factory

Named for Tahkamochk (or Tam-a-kwah), a Tuscarora Indian chief of the Turkey Clan, Tamaqua, in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill County, was known as the “the land where the beaver dwells in the water” and “the valley among four mountains.” It began as an anthracite (hard coal) mining town with related manufacturing interests. Tamaqua’s first settler, Burkhart Moser, is credited with...
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Our First Friends, the Early Quakers

Armed with a charter granted by England’s King Charles II, William Penn (1644-1718) and one hundred travel-weary Quakers arrived in the New World aboard the Welcome on October 27, 1682, with the intention of establishing the founder’s “holy experiment,” a colony that would be free of the religious persecution they suffered abroad. Once safely docked in the Delaware Bay at...
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Artifacts from Immaculate Conception Church

Northeastern Pennsylvania’s anthracite (or hard coal) region traces its rich religious diversity to the late nineteenth century, when many newly-arrived ethnic groups established their own neighborhoods and communities, giving rise to a large number of Catholic, Greek, Byzantine, Orthodox, and Protestant churches. The first wave of immigrants, the Welsh, was largely Protestant, but later groups,...
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