U.S.S. Niagara Spans Over 160 Years

Erie’s claim to maritime fame came early in its history. And this was due mainly to its geographic location. War was declared by the United States against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. The British were much better prepared for the war. Along the Great Lakes they had military posts from Niagara to Sault Ste. Marie and, equally important, had a fresh water navy. The summer campaign of 1812...
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Currents

It’s a Zoo! When the Zoological Society of Philadelphia was organized at the home of Dr. William Camac (its first presi­dent) on March 21, 1859, it was the first of its kind in North America. In spite of its auspicious beginnings, the early years of the Philadelphia Zoo – now touted as “America’s First Zoo”­ – were dampened by the Civil War, which not only...
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Josh Gibson, The Heartbreak Kid

The kid tapped his bat on Yankee Stadium’s home plate and tugged at the sleeves of his gray visi­tors’ uniform, revealing biceps “built like sledge ham­mers.” Before him, the stadi­um’s left field roof, with its famous gingerbread lattice facing, soared one hundred and eighteen feet into the air some four hundred feet from home plate. The scene was the World Series...
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Pittsburgh’s Black Opera Impressario: Mary Cardwell Dawson

More than three decades after her death, Pittsburgh’s pioneer black opera company founder Mary Cardwell Dawson (1894-1962) has finally been honored for her many contributions to the Commonwealth’s musical heritage. On Sunday, September 25, 1994, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission unveiled and dedicated a state historical marker at the site of the Cardwell School of...
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Bookshelf

The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1879-1918 by Linda F. Witmer Cumberland County Historical Society, 1993 (166 pages, cloth, $29.95) The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1879-1918, is a photo­graphic essay tracing the origins and development of the educational institu­tion established in the Cumberland County seat by Captain Richard H. Pratt. The Indian...
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John Frederick Hartranft Papers

Although little recognized today, John Frederick Hartranft (1830-1889) did make his mark in the history of the Commonwealth and the nation as governor and as general. Born near Norristown, Montgomery County, he attended college, practiced law, and in 1861 entered the Union army at the outbreak of the Civil War. His dedication to the military was unswerving. He was commissioned colonel of the...
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Currents

Peale Power The story of two generations of Philadelphia’s Peale family of artists and naturalists is one of the most captivating chapters in American history. Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) and his chil­dren Raphaelle (1774-1825), Rembrandt (1778-1860), Rubens (1784-1865), and Titian Ramsey (1799-1860), Charles Willson’s brother James (1749-1831) and James’s children, Anna...
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“To Do Good and Love Mercy”: A Conversation with C. Delores Tucker

C. Delores Tucker was only a young girl when, because of her color, she was refused seating at a lunch counter in Detroit. The incident marked the beginning of a life devoted to advancing the cause of minority groups in this country. Born in Philadel­phia in 1927, the daughter of the Reverend Whitfield and Captilda (Gardiner) Nottage, she had lived her childhood in a multi­cultural environment...
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Spalding Memorial Library – Tioga Point Museum

The Spalding Memorial Library-Tioga Point Mu­seum, in Athens, Bradford County, is an important civic building designed by architect Albert Hamilton Kipp (1850-1906) in the Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles. Kipp studied with James Renwick, architect of New York’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Smithsonian Institution’s “Castle” in Washington, D.C....
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“Thank God there are only three McCormicks”

The McCormick boys arrived at St. Michael’s Home for Boys in July 1939. Art was seventeen, I was fourteen, and Mike was seven – a trio of orphans who would now live with two hundred and fifty hard-knock boys at this Catholic orphanage in Hoban Heights, near Pittston in Luzerne County. Those were hard times, and many boys at St. Mike’s came from rough backgrounds. They came from...
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