The Longest Walk in Pennsylvania

  In the summer of 1978, cars on the Pennsylvania Turnpike slowed as they carefully drove past a procession of American Indians walking along the superhighway. The group, closely packed into the road’s shoulder, carried colorful banners and a sacred pipe. Some beat drums and chanted prayers for peace as they marched ahead. As these marchers continued across Pennsylvania, they were joined by...
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Soldiers to Governors: World War II

More than 1 million Pennsylvanians served in the Armed Forces during World War II. Five of these servicemembers would later be elected as Pennsylvania’s governor. Carrying on the great American tradition of citizen-soldiers, these civilians or members of the National Guard left their homes and families to volunteer to fight for their country during a crucial period in history. The Pennsylvania...
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Paying It Forward: The Legacy of Genevieve Blatt

When she was a judge on Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, Genevieve Blatt (1913-96) was known to instruct her law clerks that she didn’t want to see them typing. “She was very insistent that we had other people who could perform that task for us,” said Mary K. Kisthardt, a former law clerk for the judge who is now a professor of law at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law....
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“Keeping with the Dignity of the Commonwealth”: 50 Years of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence

The stately Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence overlooking the Susquehanna River at 2035 North Front Street in the Uptown neighborhood of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, reaches its half-century mark in 2018, a milestone that is being observed with a variety of events and programs throughout the year. The Georgian Revival mansion was completed in 1968, during the term of Gov. Raymond P. Shafer, its...
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Wrench in the Machine: The Shapp Gubernatorial Campaign’s Media Blitz of 1966

Pennsylvania and machine politics were synonymous for years, even into the 1960s when reformers and direct primaries thwarted old-style machine politics in other states. Political machines with their control over patronage and nominations had dominated Pennsylvania’s politics since the Civil War, but even the direct primary failed to usher in a new, more open system. That changed suddenly when...
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Editor’s Letter

Forty some years ago, when I was in elementary school, I took a field trip with my science class to The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg to see the dioramas of Pennsylvania’s wildlife in Mammal Hall. Walking around the dark, circular gallery, I peered through windows into the fascinating, realistic habitats of 13 mammals, from the common to the locally extinct, and was transported to...
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Representing Pennsylvania’s “Precious Heritage”: Art of the State 50

Art of the State is an annual juried exhibition that has been showcasing the work of Pennsylvania’s artists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania since 1968. The body of art that has been exhibited reflects half a century of creative endeavor in the Keystone State. Through the years, exhibitors have shared their ideas and engaged viewers in the categories of painting, photography, craft,...
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2016 Trails

In 2015 the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, Potter County, officially opened its expanded visitor center to the public. The museum also debuted Challenges and Choices in Pennsylvania’s Forests, an artifact-rich exhibit exploring the history of the lumber industry, the rise of the conservation movement and professional forestry, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and current best practices...
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Muriel Matzkin Shapp, World War II Relocation Camp Educator

Muriel Matzkin Shapp (1919–99), wife of Governor Milton J. Shapp (1912-94), received her undergraduate degree in biology from Brooklyn College in 1940. During the first years of American involvement in World War II, she served as a federal civil servant working in a government clerical pool in Washington, D.C. While there, she answered an advertisement seeking teachers for the relocation centers...
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Valley Forge: Commemorating the Centennial of a National Symbol

It is June 17, 1893. Ten men are meeting at the venerable Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Gov. Robert E. Pattison has recently signed a law entitled “An Act Provid­ing for the acquisition by the State of certain ground at Valley Forge for a public park, and making an appropriation therefor.” He has carefully selected these individuals and commissioned them with...
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