Keep the Boys in College! How World War I Produced a Penn State Football Legend

Pennsylvanians who remember Glenn Killinger (1898–1988) often envision the legendary coach of West Chester State Teachers’ College football and baseball teams during the decades that spanned 1933 to 1970. His name often comes up in conversations about Paul “Bear” Bryant as one of the two unbending football minds who led the North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters to one of the...
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The Gender of Assimilation: The Carlisle Indian Industrial School Experiment

In his celebrated 1702 book Magnalia Christi American (The Glorious Works of Christ in America), Puritan minister Cotton Mather described local Native Americans. “The men are most abominably slothful; making their poor Squaws, or Wives,to plant and dress, and barn, and beat their Corn, and build their Wigwams for them; which perhaps may be the reason for their extraordinary Ease in Childbirth,”...
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Carbon County: Stone Coal in the Switzerland of America

Carbon, the primary component of an­thracite coal, is also a county in eastern Pennsylvania – for the same reason. The value of anthracite to the burgeoning industrial revolution of the mid­-nineteenth century created in 1843 a new county from the northern fringes of the once­-immense Northampton County. Beginning in the nine­teenth century, an entire county of coal was carved and moved to...
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Courageous Cumberland County

Anxious to persuade a Scottish cleric, the Rev. Charles Nisbet, to become the first president of Dickinson Col­lege, its founding trustee Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote the Presbyterian worthy in 1784, describing central Cumberland County. The town of Carlisle lies 120 miles to the westward of Philadel­phia and about 18 miles from the river Susquehannah. It consists of about 300 houses, most of which...
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A King Crowns the World’s Greatest Athlete

On a sun-drenched July afternoon in 1912, thirty thousand spectators thronged the closing ceremonies of the fifth Olympiad held that year in Sweden’s capital of Stockholm. The event was quite a spectacle, punctuated by pomp and circumstance befitting a royal pageant. The stadium, especially constructed for the games, was electric with excitement. As a chorus of four thousand voices filled...
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Letters to the Editor

A Weiser World Philip E. Pendleton’s article “Finding a Light in the Forest: Conrad Weiser Homestead” in the summer 1996 issue brought back many happy boyhood memories. One of the rays of that light, I think, was kindled by my grandfather, the Reverend P. C. Croll. He suggested to the Historical Society of Berks County in 1921 that the new owner of the Conrad Weiser Homestead,...
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Currents

Moore Is More As early as 1915, acclaimed American poet Marianne Moore (1887-1972) had discovered the artists and writers who were shaping what was coming to be known as the “new art.” Comments contained in her notebooks indicate her early grasp of the significance of the New York Armory Show of 1913, a benchmark in the American Modernist movement. In several lengthy letters to her...
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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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Bookshelf

Almost a Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the 1980 Phillies by William C. Kashatus published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008; 382 pages, cloth, $34.95 Professional historian William C. Kashatus, in his introduction to Almost a Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the 1980 Phillies, reveals, “Writing this book has been a labor of love,” adding, “While the research allowed me to connect with...
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