Editor’s Letter

Names and dates. To some they’re the dreaded stuff of high school history exams. To those of us who study and preserve history, however, they’re essential keys for understanding the past. As we continue our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of The State Museum and Archives Complex at PHMC, a clarification of certain names and dates may be in order for understanding exactly what...
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Geography and Resources: The Story of Adaptation

The country itself, in its soil, air, water, seasons, and produce, both natural and artificial, is not to be despised. – William Penn Man is a creative and inventive creature capable of either adapt­ing to the environment, when need be, or adapting the environment to suit his particular needs. In the words of Max Savelle, “the history of the Anglo­American colonies is . . . a history...
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Expanding A Vision: Seventy-Five Years of Public History

Three-quarters of a century ago, it proba­bly surprised no one that the first act of the Pennsylvania Historical Com­mission, not long after its creation in 1913, was to survey all monuments and memorials in the Commonwealth’s sixty­-seven counties. At that time it was universally assumed that public history involved com­memoration and the rituals associated with recognizing significant...
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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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The Gentleman from Pennsylvania: An Interview with William W. Scranton

Bill Scranton is precisely what one expects of a diplomat and statesman. He is courtly, not supercilious. He is a good conversationalist, but not loquacious or self-aggrandizing. He is as graceful as he is gracious. His recall of the people and the places and the events in his life is phenomenal. In the best of northeastern Pennsylvania’s vernacular, he is a Class Act – and in a...
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Letter from President Lyndon Johnson

Act 167, signed by Governor David L. Lawrence on June 13, 1961, authorized counties, cities, boroughs, in­corporated towns, and townships in Pennsylvania to create historic districts and provided for the appointment of local Boards of Historical Architectural Review. Following the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, on March 1, 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson...
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Letters

Bravo! Bravo! I just finished reading the astonishingly well-done article treating antislavery entitled “Finding Sanctuary at Montrose” [Winter 2007]. Author William C. Kashatus deserves plaudits for filling a twofold gap: he raised the consciousness of black self-reliance and he targeted the hinterland of Susquehanna County. The Underground Railroad was aggressive. The era preceding...
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Bookshelf

Pivotal Pennsylvania: Presidential Politics from FDR to the Twenty-First Century by G. Terry Madonna published by the Pennsylvania Historical Association, 2008; 126 pages, paper, $14.95 Pivotal Pennsylvania: Presidential Politics from FDR to the Twenty-First Century by G. Terry Madonna, one of Pennsylvania’s foremost political analysts, opens with an explanation of how the Democratic Party...
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Letters

Off The Charts A cousin regularly shares her copy of Pennsylvania Heritage with me. She gave me her Winter 2009 issue over the holidays, and I write to tell you that your publication is off the charts. I enjoyed the magazine so much that I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite article. The interview [“William C. Kashatus: Bringing History to Life” by Ted R. Walke] was...
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