Terror and Extortion on the Pennsylvania Railroad

Threats of terrorism and challenges to security are nothing new for railroads; these phenomena have been around for nearly 200 years of railroading in the United States. Safety and security, therefore, have been of the utmost importance for railroad lines from the 19th century to the present, and railroad police have had authority equivalent to state police in many locations. Yet, the amount of...
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From the Executive Director

With the arrival of fall, you can find festivals everywhere in Pennsylvania. Celebrations of harvest range from the National Apple Harvest Festival in Arendtsville, Adams County, and the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, Chester County, to old-country inspired Oktoberfests from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Many are established traditions with local origins — Stahlstown in Westmoreland County...
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The Oshnock Archaeology Collection

Archaeologists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania plan to spend this summer entering thousands of Native American artifacts collected from western Pennsylvania into a database that will organize the objects according to specific sites and locations. It’s a lot of work, but not nearly as much as curators typically tackle when inventorying similar collections, thanks to the brothers...
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Other Recent Releases

A Life Well Played: My Stories by Arnold Palmer St. Martin’s Press, 258 pp., cloth $22.99 The last book by the legendary golf pro from Latrobe, Westmoreland County, is a selection of his thoughts, anecdotes and memories about golf, life and business. In the final word, he humbly reveals that he prefers not to be thought of as The King but – like his “hard-nosed golf course...
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PHMC Highlights

Art of the State 2016 More than 500 guests visited The State Museum of Pennsylvania on June 26 to attend the opening of the 49th annual Art of the State. The juried exhibition, cosponsored by The State Museum and the nonprofit Jump Street, with WITF as a media sponsor, showcases 122 pieces from artists around the state. At the opening, 20 artists received awards in five categories: craft,...
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Pennsylvania Icons: State Treasures Telling the Story of the Commonwealth

  Pennsylvania Icons is a landmark exhibition at The State Museum of Pennsylvania that tells the story of the commonwealth and its people, places, industries, creations and events with more than 400 artifacts and specimens from the museum’s collection. The State Museum contains the largest and most comprehensive Pennsylvania history collection in the world, with a diverse array of objects...
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Alfred King’s Forgotten Fossil Footprints

The science of paleontology – the study of ancient life based on fossils – began in Western Europe about 1800. It soon cropped up in the United States, as the populace of a young and growing nation discovered many fossils. Among these early discoveries were those of fossil footprints, most famously found during the early 1800s in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts and...
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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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The Banana Split

Most Americans have enjoyed an ice cream sundae known specifically as the banana split sometime during their lives. A genuine banana split includes one scoop each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream topped with chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries, chopped nuts and whipped cream resting between two banana halves sliced lengthwise. There are some variations in the toppings, however, as...
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From Wilkes-Barre to the Wild West: George Catlin, Indian Painter

His early exposure to American Indians indelibly impressed northeastern Pennsylvania native George Catlin (1796–1872). His mother Mary “Polly” Sutton Catlin (1770–1844), married in 1789 to Putnam Catlin (1764–1842), formed his earliest impressions of Native Americans. With her mother Sarah Smith Sutton (1747–1834) she was captured and held captive at the age of seven by Iroquois. The day was...
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