David L. Lawrence, the Deft Hand Behind Pittsburgh’s – and Pennsylvania’s – Politics

David Leo Lawrence (1889-1966), governor of Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1963, and mayor of Pittsburgh from 1946 to 1959, during the city’s first heralded renaissance, was a professional politician to the very core. Ranked as one of America’s great chief executives among big cities, Lawrence immersed himself in politics, beginning at the age of fourteen when he became a city Democratic...
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Maurice K. Goddard: The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar

There is a point in crossing the top of the Allegheny Mountains between Pittsburgh and Harris­burg at which a traveler sees, at every turn, only trees. It is one of the most spectacular views on the North American Continent. The scene lacks the frenetic energy of Niagara Falls, or the awe-filling majesty of the Grand Canyon, but this several­-hundred-square-mile panorama of second-growth forest...
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In King’s Shadow: Bayard Rustin and the 1963 March on Washington

On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, a quarter-million African American and white civil rights activists walked the one-mile length of the National Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial to rally for better jobs and freedom for the nation s blacks. The signature event of the March on Washington occurred in the late afternoon when the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his...
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Letter from President Lyndon Johnson

Act 167, signed by Governor David L. Lawrence on June 13, 1961, authorized counties, cities, boroughs, in­corporated towns, and townships in Pennsylvania to create historic districts and provided for the appointment of local Boards of Historical Architectural Review. Following the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, on March 1, 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson...
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Out and About

Presidential China Selections from an extraordinary gift to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Robert L. McNeil Jr. Collection of American Presidential China, are on view in an ongoing exhibit at the museum. The collection of more than four hundred and fifty pieces designed for, and used by, presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan provides a material record of the history of the...
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Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990)

Well known among those who advanced the understanding of human behavior are Plato, Socrates, Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers. Northeastern Pennsylvania claims another great thinker as a native son, one who revolutionized the field of behavioral psychology, the controversial B. F. Skinner. Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born March 20, 1904, in Susquehanna,...
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An Activist Government in Harrisburg: Governor George H. Earle III and Pennsylvania’s “Little New Deal”

Despite substantive efforts by Governor Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) during his second non-consecutive term, from 1931 to 1935, unemployment, underemployment, and poverty continued to plague the Commonwealth. The Great Depression had crippled the nation and Pennsylvania – America’s workshop – was hard hit as unemployment soared to nearly 40 percent in several industrial...
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Bookshelf

Vietnam Zippos: American Soldiers’ Engravings and Stories, 1965–1973 by Sherry Buchanan published by the University of Chicago Press, 2007; 180 pages, cloth, $25.00 For generations of Americans, it was an icon with the decidedly distinctive click. Invented by George G. Blaisdell, the first Zippo® lighter was manufactured by the Zippo Manufacturing Company, Bradford, Bradford County, seventy-five...
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All Creatures Great and Small: The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society’s Revolution of Kindness Reformed Society and Improved Lives

On a cold February morning in 1965, Donora Mayor Albert P. Delsandro took his daily stroll in the Washington County community’s Palmer Park and made a shocking discovery. Thirteen dead dogs, each with amputated ears, lay in the tall, yellowed grass. A little-known Pennsylvania stray dog law authorized a $2 bounty for every pair of grisly trophies sent to Harrisburg. Countless citizens expressed...
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