Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2020 Newsletter: PHF Sponsors Opening Reception for Violet Oakley Exhibition PHF Cosponsors Workshops in Archaeology, with Focus on PA’s Native American Cultures America250PA Honors Servicemembers and Veterans  ...
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To Form a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Murals in the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber

At breakfast tables on Sunday morning, December 3, 1911, readers of The New York Times were confronted with a surprising headline running across the magazine section: “A WOMAN CHOSEN TO COMPLETE THE ABBEY PAINTINGS.” Four months earlier, the news that the American artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911) had passed away in London raised speculation about who would receive the remainder of his...
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Editor’s Letter

August 18, 2020, will mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. In issues of Pennsylvania Heritage leading to this significant anniversary, we will be featuring articles on the early 20th-century movement that led to suffrage as it played out in Pennsylvania, as well as the stories of women’s achievements in the Keystone...
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Take Cover! Pennsylvania’s Civil-Defense Program

After World War II, US-Soviet relations broke down swiftly as both forces raced to develop powerful nuclear weapons. Civil-defense officials feared that the concentration of resources, vital industry, and transportation systems would make the commonwealth a likely target for Soviet bombers if the two powers ever went to war. “By every possible criterion, Pennsylvania will be a No. 1 target so...
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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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Honoring Valor: Pennsylvania’s Collection of Civil War Battle Flags

As the American Civil War Sesquicentennial of the past four years draws to a conclusion, it is appropriate to direct attention to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s vast collection of Civil War battle flags and its 1914 transfer from the Executive, Library and Museum Building to the Capitol’s main rotunda cases. This special event, which occurred on Monday, June 15, 1914 – Flag Day...
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Curating a New Home for History: A Conversation with W. Fred Kinsey and Irwin Richman

Established institutions rarely get the opportunity to hit the reset button. But that’s what happened with The State Museum of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s, after the long-anticipated William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives Building cleared its last bureaucratic hurdle. Ground was broken north of the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, in January 1962, and by summer Pennsylvania’s...
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Editor’s Letter

Summer is a good time to connect with the past in Pennsylvania. The state features an abundance of museums, memorials and historic structures – including the sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History – that are especially active in the summer, presenting and commemorating our history. Festivals and special events across the commonwealth also link us to our heritage with food,...
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A Home for History: S.K. Stevens and the Campaign for the William Penn Memorial Museum and Archives

by Curtis Miner On December 23, 1959, Dr. S.K. Stevens (1904-74) sent out a final, end-of-the-year message to members of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). It came in the form of a brief, typewritten memo, informing them that Governor David L. Lawrence (1889-1966) had that morning signed a spending bill for the construction of a museum and archives building. “I think this...
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Trails for the Holidays

As summer turns to fall and you start to wonder where the time went, rest assured that the Pennsylvania Trails of History still have much to offer before 2014 winds down. Take some time to explore your favorite site – or make a first visit – and see if the pace doesn’t slow just a bit. Between changing exhibits, special events and our regular offerings, it isn’t difficult to find...
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