WWII Target: Altoona

The tale of the bold but fizzled 1942 Nazi plot to sabotage the Horseshoe Curve railroad landmark near Altoona, Pennsylvania, has been told in books and articles almost since the day the spy-thriller story began to unfold. First came a juvenile-fiction account in 1944 titled The Long Trains Roll by Stephen W. Meader. It recounts the story of Operation Pastorius, a wry allusion to the theme of...
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Bookshelf

African Americans in Pennsylvania: Shifting Historical Perspectives by Joe William Trotter Jr. and Eric Ledell Smith, editors The Penn State University Press and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1997 (519 pages; cloth, $45.00, paper, $19.95) Dedicated to “the African American people of Pennsylvania” and intended to honor “the historians who have diligently...
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KKK Records

Most records acquired by the Pennsylvania State Archives are obtained through regularly scheduled transfers of files no longer needed by an agency to conduct government business. When appraising records to determine if they possesses sufficient permanent or historical value to justify their transfer to the State Archives, archivists are looking for those that best document important agency...
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Violence and Vigilantes: The KKK in Pennsylvania

It was a warm, muggy day in early August 1921 in Philadelphia when F. W. Atkins of Jacksonville, Florida, and W. J. Bellamy of Cincinnati, Ohio, rented an office in the Bellevue Court Building to quietly recruit members for “a great and patriotic crusade to save the nation.” Their goal was to organize a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Posing as a prospective KKK initiate, a...
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Tom Mix (1880-1940)

Even before Hollywood producers glamorized the silver screen image of the American cowboy, huge audiences were mesmerized by touring cowboy shows, the most popular of which was William F. (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody (1846-1917) and his Wild West Show, which traveled the country for more than thirty years, from 1883 to 1916. With authentic Native Americans, skilled riders, sharpshooters,...
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Minersville V. Gobitis

People all over the world consider America to be a great country, partly because of the many free­doms and rights it offers to its citizens. With these rights, as with any rights, come responsibilities. Some, such as obedience to laws and payment of taxes, are very clear, but oth­ers are more complicated and sometimes even controversial. Such responsibilities include those involving patriotism...
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The Pittsburgh Agreement

The largest concentration of Slovakians living outside of their – homeland in 1918 was in western Pennsylvania. In addition to opportunities offered by the booming city of Pittsburgh, Slovaks, as well as Czechs, wanted their native country to be rid of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that had taken over their lands by the seventeenth century. World War I and the defeat of the empire created an...
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Lost and Found

Lost For some it can be difficult to look at a building constructed in the 1950s or 1960s and see it as an important piece of architecture, much less use the word “historic” when describing it. While these places may have been built during our lifetimes, they can tell an incredibly important story about how life in America changed during the age of the automobile after World War II....
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PHMC Highlights

In May, visitors witnessed a reenactment of World War II field life in the 1944–1945 European theater of operations as American, Allied, and German soldiers set up a bivouac on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, Centre County. Reenactors who portrayed Allied small squad tactical operations against Nazi opposition included Tom Gray, Caitlin Williamson, and Doug Hartman;...
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Innovative African Americans in Pennsylvania History

“Once [I was arrested] for standing in the road to prevent trucks from entering a housing construction site where no Blacks were employed, [and] a second time for leading a demonstration against a slum landlord [by conducting a prayer service in the street].” Those are the words of LeRoy Patrick (1915– 2006), minister, civil rights leader, former member of the Pennsylvania Historical and...
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