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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Executive Director’s Message

On March 10, 2003, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) was privileged to dedicate a state historical marker commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the creation of the Pennsylvania State Archives. Congratulations are due to all those individuals -­ both past and present – responsible for establishing and maintaining this outstanding institution. The Pennsylvania...
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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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Radium City, U.S.A.

In the spring of 1921, the preeminent French physicist Marie Curie (1867-1934) traveled from her home in Paris to the United States where, on Friday, May 20, she attended a White House ceremony during which President Warren G. Harding presented her with a key symbolizing a gift of one gram of radium from the women of America. Costing one hundred thousand dollars, this tiny amount of radium would...
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Through the Halls of History with Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper, Keeper of the Capitol

Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper became involved with the multi-faceted, twenty-five year restora­tion of Pennsylvania’s monumental State Capitol on the proverbial ground floor. She arrived in Harrisburg in February 1980 as an intern, while enrolled in Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove. Because she loved the building, she had asked to be assigned to an office in the State Capitol. She began...
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Bookshelf

At Work in Penn’s Woods: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania By Joseph M. Speakman Penn State University Press, 2006; 237 pages, cloth, $37.50 The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the most popular relief programs of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. During the nine years of the program, from 1933 to 1942, more than two and one-half million unemployed young...
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From the Ashes at Boyertown – Safety Legislation for All

Pennsylvania’s most disastrous fire broke out one hundred years ago, on Monday, January 13, 1908, killing 170 people in the Rhoads Opera House, a second-floor auditorium on East Philadelphia Avenue in the small Berks County community of Boyertown. The World Almanac records the disaster as one of the five worst fires in the United States of the twentieth century. No family in the community of...
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Wood on Glass: The Lumber Industry Photographs of William T. Clarke

William Townsend Clarke (1859–1930) photographed the forests of northcentral Pennsylvania during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, producing stunning images that tell the story of the logging industry in the vast stands of old-growth white pine and hemlock trees which Henry W. Shoemaker (1880–1958) called the “Black Forest” of Pennsylvania. Shoemaker was a prolific writer,...
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This Is a Beautiful, Bountiful Earth: Joseph Trimble Rothrock and the Preservation of Penn’s Woods

The lush, verdant woodlands characteristic of Pennsylvania’s landscape are almost entirely second-growth forests, in existence roughly for less than a century. Had it not been for the groundbreaking work of many conservationists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Keystone State’s present terrain would be dramatically different. One of the most important of those...
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