The Political Ascent of James Buchanan

As the nation enters the third century of the American presi­dency, only one Pennsylvanian has had the distinction of serving as its chief executive. In 1857, at the age of sixty-five, James Bu­chanan of Lancaster County became the fifteenth president of the United States. He was well prepared for the office, having spent more than thirty years in public service in various elected and appointed...
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A-Frame Compressor at the Industrial Museum

Certainly one of the largest acquisitions for a Pennsylvania museum is the enormous A­-Frame Compressor recently accepted by the Industrial Museum of the York County Heritage Trust. At a first glance, the machine’s sheer size is overwhelming – it towers thirty feet and weighs more than fifty tons. A closer look reveals the enormous amounts of engineering, labor, and materials...
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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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Letters

Cover Stories The covers of Pennsylvania Heritage are among the best I have ever seen, but the cover of the Fall 2006 issue was sheer genius! The moment I saw this issue, I just had to pick it up. Also, I couldn’t put it down, neglecting my routine chores and tasks. Thank you for the way you “cover” our history and heritage. Your magazine makes me feel as if I’m part of...
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John White Geary’s White Star Identity Badge

John White Geary (1819–1873) was a courageous individual who gallantly served his country, fighting in both the Mexican War of 1846–1848 and the American Civil War, and dutifully led his Commonwealth as governor for two consecutive terms, from 1867 to 1873. Born near Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County, he attended Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Washington County, from which he graduated in...
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Barbara T. Zolli on “A Drop of Oil”

Crude oil, found in abundance in northwestern Pennsylvania, held out many possibilities by the mid-nineteenth century. It burned when ignited, served as a practical lubricant, was thought to have medicinal properties, and had been used for various purposes by generations of Native Americans. That it might be in ample supply became apparent to many locals when it oozed from the ground and...
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Bookshelf

The Realignment of Pennsylvania Politics Since 1960: Two-Party Competition in a Battleground State by Renée M. Lamis published by the Penn State University Press, 2009; 398 pages, cloth, $65.00. The political party system in the United States has periodically undergone major realignments at various critical junctures in the nation’s history. The American Civil War boosted the Republican...
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Bookshelf

The Place I Call Home: How Abolition and the Underground Railroad Shaped the Communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania by Sherman F. Wooden published by the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, 2009; 289 pages, paper, $16.95 Established in 1996, the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) in Montrose, Susquehanna County, researches, documents, and preserves the history of abolitionism and the...
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