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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Bookshelf

A Sacred Challenge: Violet Oakley and the Pennsylvania Capitol Murals By Ruthann Hubert-Kemper and Jason L. Wilson, editors Capitol Preservation Committee, 2003 (168 pages, cloth, $59.95) Violet Oakley (1874-1961) was an ideal candidate to accept the challenge of creating the artwork adorning the Governor’s Reception Room in Pennsylvania’s opulent State Capitol in Har­risburg. Born...
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Letters to the Editor

Over The Top! I enjoyed the Gifford Pinchot story in the Winter 2004 issue [“‘He, On the Whole, Stood First’: Gifford Pinchot,” by Kenneth C. Wolensky], particularly because there is an anecdote that was told to me many, many years ago by Henry Masker, who was the water­craft concessionaire at Promised Land State Park in Pike County. During World War I, Masker and...
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Two Hundred Years and Counting – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Two centuries ago, on Thursday, Decem­ber 26, 1805, seventy-one individuals gathered at the State House (now Independence Hall) to formally establish an art institution for Philadelphia. Meetings throughout the summer had led to the drafting of a charter, formation of a board of directors, and the collection of funds for a building. By the day after Christmas, a professional calligraph­er had...
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Bookshelf

Literature in Stone: The Hundred Year History of Pennsylvania’s State Capitol Edited by Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper and Jason L. Wilson Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, 2006; 384 pages, cloth, $29.95 The Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee knows how to celebrate a milestone, dramatically evidenced by its publication of Literature in Stone: The Hundred YearHistory of...
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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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Edwin Austin Abbey, A Capital Artist

For those familiar with his majestic works of art – particularly his grand public murals – it seems improbable that Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911) had little formal training. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for just one semester, where fellow students observed he rarely finished a drawing as assigned, preferring instead to produce sketches of his own design. Abbey was the...
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Out and About

Soul Soldiers The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center recently unveiled the most comprehensive exhibition ever to explore the issues of the Vietnam War from an African American perspective. “Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era” tells the story of the Vietnam War’s impact on African American life and culture by examining both the war and the civil rights...
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Current and Coming

Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness More than five hundred objects, artifacts, documents, and photographs have been assembled for a landmark exhibit newly opened at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown. Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness explores the Keystone State’s impact on the sixteenth president’s life, political career, and rise to power. Lincoln’s great-great-grandfather...
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Bookshelf

Building Harrisburg: The Architects and Builders, 1719–1941 by Ken Frew published by the Historical Society of Dauphin County and the Historic Harrisburg Association, 2009; 396 pages, cloth, $75.00 Ken Frew spent thirty years researching and writing Building Harrisburg: The Architects and Builders, 1719–1941, and the investment of time and effort, as well as considerable talent, has resulted in...
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