Indomitable: Ora Washington, Philadelphia’s Ultimate Sports Trailblazer

On June 5, 1971, the African American newspaper Philadelphia Tribune published an obituary for an individual it called “Superwoman.” Although it was a fitting homage, few who read the Tribune that day would have appreciated the level of deference granted to the individual at the center of that tribute. Her name was Ora Mae Washington (1898–1971). Another African American paper, the Pittsburgh...
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Daisy E. Lampkin: Activist for Racial and Gender Equality

Daisy E. Lampkin (1883–1965) dedicated her life to advancing the rights of  women and African Americans in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. Born Daisy Elizabeth Adams in Washington, D.C., she spent her childhood in Reading, Berks County, before moving to Pittsburgh in 1909 and marrying restauranteur William Lampkin in 1912. She began her public career at the height of...
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Editor’s Letter

With the recent premiere of Country Music, director Ken Burns has launched another epic PBS TV docuseries that amplifies the significance of an enduring American institution. In this issue’s cover story, “High on a Mountain,” we follow up with a look at Pennsylvania’s key role in the evolution of country music and the state’s later contributions to the genre. Author Joe Baker takes us on a...
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From Temperance to Suffrage with WCTU in Bellefonte

  The Women’ Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) building, also known a Petrikm Hall, on High Street in the Bellefonte Historic District has a fasci­nating history and links to the women’s suffrage movement. Petrikin Hall, as depicted in this 1910 postcard, was completed in 1902 to serve the needs of WCTU’s Bellefonte chapter and was designed to house an auditorium, stage...
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To Form a More Perfect Union: Violet Oakley’s Murals in the Pennsylvania Senate Chamber

At breakfast tables on Sunday morning, December 3, 1911, readers of The New York Times were confronted with a surprising headline running across the magazine section: “A WOMAN CHOSEN TO COMPLETE THE ABBEY PAINTINGS.” Four months earlier, the news that the American artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911) had passed away in London raised speculation about who would receive the remainder of his...
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Ringing Out for Women’s Suffrage: The 1915 Campaign to Win the Vote for Women in Pennsylvania

  “The appearance in villages of this car with a “Votes for Women” apron in front, yellow pon-pons floating in the breeze and pennants flying, awakens interest in the most lethargic.” – The York Daily, October 25, 1915 On June 24, 1919, Pennsylvania became the seventh state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. For Philadelphia suffragist...
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Anna Howard Shaw, Suffragist

Anna Howard Shaw was an early activist and leader of the women’s suffrage and temperance movements. From the 1880s until the time of her death in 1919, she campaigned across America at the grassroots level for these causes and was noted for her compelling lectures. Born in England in 1847, Shaw moved with her family to America in 1851. The family first settled in Massachusetts until 1859 and...
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Women’s Suffrage: Pennsylvania’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment

The struggle for women’s suffrage in Pennsylvania has a long history. Throughout the Colonial Period, 1681–1776, only adult males who owned property could vote. After breaking from the British crown, Pennsylvania’s revolutionary political leaders broadened male voting by abolishing the property qualifications; however, they did not extend the vote to women. A significant precursor to the women’s...
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Editor’s Letter

August 18, 2020, will mark the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. In issues of Pennsylvania Heritage leading to this significant anniversary, we will be featuring articles on the early 20th-century movement that led to suffrage as it played out in Pennsylvania, as well as the stories of women’s achievements in the Keystone...
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Life of a Portrait: Laura Wheeler Waring’s Anna Washington Derry

Until recently, painter Laura Wheeler Waring (1887-1948) has been relegated to the sidelines in artist histories. A member of the African American elite, she specialized in portraits and figurative painting and did not share the hand-to-mouth experience of many of her fellow artists. Rather, she worked as an art instructor and choir director for nearly 40 years at the institution now known as...
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