High on a Mountain: Pennsylvania’s Legacy of Country Music

In 1607 Great Britain commenced the establishment of two colonial plantations. One of these was Jamestown in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. The other was much closer to home. The Ulster plantation was formed in the nine northern counties of Ireland. The goal of the colony was, in part, to extend British and Anglican hegemony over the Catholic and...
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World War I Centennial Trails

As part of PHMC’s Pennsylvania at War initiative, sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History have planned programs and events to commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Check the websites listed below or the weekly Trailheads blog and its monthly program pages for updates and additions to events and activities.   Erie Maritime Museum On April 6, 1917,...
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Good Road Followed … From Metro Philly to Rock Hall: An Interview with John Oates

John Oates is one half of the best-selling rock duo Hall & Oates, as well as an accomplished solo artist. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of 5, John Oates was destined to be a musician. He was born in 1948 in New York City, but his family relocated to North Wales, Montgomery County, in the early 1950s, a move that would change the course of his life....
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Lebanon County: Small in Size – Rich in Heritage

Lebanon County is located in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the center of the beautiful Lebanon Valley, which is formed by the Blue Ridge of the Kittatinny range of mountains to the north and the South Mountains, or Furnace Hills, to the south. Covering an area of 363 square miles, the county is inhabited by ap­proximately 100,000 people. Between the shale...
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Stability and Change: Culture During Three Periods

“Religion, … the best bond of human society, provided man did not err in the meaning of that excellent word.” – William Penn   Culture, broadly de­fined, is the way of life of a group of people; it includes all their behavioral patterns, beliefs and ar­tistic expressions. Culture is not static; it varies over time and place. Culture does not arise in a vacuum; it...
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Clinton County: Still Part of Penn’s Woods

Clinton County, one of the sixth-class counties of Pennsyl­vania, occupies 900 square miles of river valley and mountain land near the geographical center of the state. Nearly two-thirds of the area re­mains forested, al though most of the trees are second growth after a near denuding of the land by a booming lumber industry in the second half of the last century. It was in the wood­lands of...
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The Erie Warner: From Movie Palace to Movie House to Civic Center

Once upon a time, brightly lit marquees of movie palaces of Pennsylvania’s streets dazzled the eyes of pleasure seekers. Today, the genre, described as possibly “the most dis­tinctly American contribution to archi­tectural history,” is all but extinct. And when a survivor is found, as on Erie’s State Street, the structure is a reminder of the gaudy and the phony, the...
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The Volunteer Bands of Hummelstown, 1869-1927

Since 1980, junior and senior high school students throughout Pennsylvania have participated in the National History Day program, which was developed to stimulate student interest in history. Each year, district, state and national History Day contests are held, and students compete in either the junior or senior divisions in one of several categories: historical papers, projects, performances...
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Preparing Teachers for Homestead Parochial School, 1888-1921

Teacher education was not a carefully systematized and regularized process in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centur­ies. Before the mandate for college de­grees, teacher examinations and certifi­cation, teachers in American classrooms would generally teach as they had been taught. This was particularly true in Ro­man Catholic parochial schools before diocesan administration of the...
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The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1893

Six-year-old Harry Snyder had slept fit­fully and awoke at dawn to the first silts of sunlight piercing his bed­room window. He heard the softly muffled rumble of a train descending the nearby mountain. The sound grew alarmingly louder with an ur­gency that sent a chill through the young boy’s body. He leaped out of bed and rushed to the window to see the train gliding around the curve in...
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