Breaking Nature’s Silence: Pennsylvania’s Rachel Carson

She was belittled as an anti-humanitarian crank, a priestess of nature, and a hysterical woman. The director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture believed she in­spired a “vociferous, misin­formed group of nature­-balancing, organic gardening, bird-loving, unreasonable citizenry.” An official of the Federal Pest Control Review Board, ridiculing her concern about genetic...
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Bookshelf

Guide to Photo­graphs at the Pennsylvania State Archives by Linda A. Ries Pennsylvania Histori­cal and Museum Commission, 1993 (229 pages, paper, $6.95) Although the Pennsylvania State Archives safeguards mostly documentary materi­als – such as the private and personal papers of individuals, governmental records, maps, military records, industrial reports, and similar archival items...
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Celebrating Fifty Years of State Historical Markers

On a September day in 1946, three men stood alongside U.S. Route 22, fourteen miles east of Harrisburg, inspecting a distinctive blue and gold sign that had just been erected. They were James H. Duff, chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (who in four months would be inaugurated the Commonwealth’s thirty­-fourth governor), and Commission members Charles G. Webb and...
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Bookshelf

Guide to the State Historical Markers of Pennsylvania By George R. Beyer Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2000 (456 pages, paper, $15.95) It is generally well known that the Commonwealth’s state historical marker program is among the most popular public history initiatives ever mounted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). The program, also one of the...
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The Lady and the Titan

Before the creation of the Pulitzer Prize, long before Woodward and Bernstein, there was Pennsylvania’s own Ida M. Tarbell (1857-1944). Best known as the muckraking journalist who single-handedly took on the mighty John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), she was among the most feared and admired women of her time. Writing during the Progressive Era, an age of hope and reform running roughly from...
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The Value of Pennsylvania History

George W. Bush won the presidential election of 2000 because the fifty states cast more electoral votes for him, even though more people actually voted for his opponent, Albert A. Gore Jr. The election reminded Americans about a curious institution called the Electoral College, and an equally peculiar system known as federalism in which each state conducts elections according to distinct laws...
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Maurice K. Goddard: The Commonwealth’s Conservation Czar

There is a point in crossing the top of the Allegheny Mountains between Pittsburgh and Harris­burg at which a traveler sees, at every turn, only trees. It is one of the most spectacular views on the North American Continent. The scene lacks the frenetic energy of Niagara Falls, or the awe-filling majesty of the Grand Canyon, but this several­-hundred-square-mile panorama of second-growth forest...
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Soaring Above “This School in the Clouds”

Each fall, when north­west winds blast down from Canada, knowledgeable bird watchers hurriedly make their way to the Appalachian Mountain ridges that zig west, then zag south through the center of the Keystone State. Binoculars in hand, they climb and hike the rocky ridge tops to await the thousands of hawks, eagles, and falcons flying south­ward. Autumn’s winds have beckoned people to...
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PHMC Highlights

Marking its fortieth anniversary this summer, “Art of the State : Pennsylvania 2007,” cosponsored by The State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council was on view from June 9 through September 9 at The State Museum. Of 1,728 paintings, works on paper, sculptures, crafts, and photographs submitted by 646 Pennsylvania artists, independent judges selected 150 works by 140...
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