A Pitcher, A President and a Home Movie

In November 2013 the Pennsylvania State Archives was contacted by Mrs. Judith Savastio regarding a home movie that her father filmed. She had questions about preserving the film and was interested in finding a repository for its permanent care. Mrs. Savastio’s father, Major League Baseball pitcher James “Jimmie” DeShong (1909-1993), shot the film on his new 8mm home movie...
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Original and Genuine: Unadulterated and Guaranteed!

John Wanamaker felt ill. He didn’t have time for an autumn cold. There was so much work to do, espe­cially now as his great department store readied itself for the coming Christmas season. Anticipating a busier day tomorrow, he made an heroic effort to stem the cas­cade of papers across his desk into orderly piles before taking a parting glance around his office. Banks of filing cabinets,...
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Pike County: A Peak of Natural Perfection

“I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed anywhere in Europe.” – Washington Irving   Shaped roughly like a diamond, Pike County is situated in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, bordering the Delaware River on the cast across from the states of New York and New Jersey. The northwestern side of the diamond lies in Lake...
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A Grande Dame Named William Penn

A hotel is more than a place where people seek shelter, conduct business, entertain, work, play, make friends, and, perhaps, fall in love. It is so much more. It is a stage on which both small and large dramas of daily life are played out – where individuals celebrate the important occa­sions of their lives or where they may seek solitude. While all hotels are interest­ing places, a grand...
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Bookshelf

J. Horace McFarland: A Thorn for Beauty by Ernest Morrison Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1995 (393 pages, cloth, $19.95) Three-quarters of a century ago, his was a name known throughout the na­tion. To some, he was ordained the “High Priest of the Rose.” To others, he was christened the “Father of the National Park Service.” And to even more, he was...
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Current and Coming

Inventing Old America A Harvard-educated Congregational minister, Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) abandoned the ecclesiastical pulpit in 1904 to preach a gospel in which he proselytized romanticized views of the American past. Despite his staunch stance as anti-modernist, Nutting built a symbiotic business empire by embracing contemporary technology – photography, mass-­market publishing, the...
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“He, on the Whole, Stood First”: Gifford Pinchot

President Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946) was a talented and gifted public servant. Of his friend and adviser, Roosevelt wrote, “I believe it is but just to say that among the many, many public officials who, under my administra­tion, rendered literally invaluable service to the people of the United States he, on the whole, stood first.” Among Pennsylvania’s...
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Pennsylvania’s Slavic Hero: Judge Blair F. Gunther

Thousands of Slavic refugees and their descendants who have carved out a better life in the United States may owe their lives to western Pennsylvania’s Judge Blair F. Gunther (1903-1966). After Poland faced horrific Nazi brutality during World War II and the murder of thousands of the country’s army officers by the Soviet secret police, Gunther fought to expose the atrocities and...
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