News

News presents briefs about current and forthcoming programs, events, exhibits and activities of historical and cultural institutions in Pennsylvania.

Directory Due in April

The Pennsylvania Directory of Historical Organizations, 1976 will be published by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in April. The Directory, the last edition of which was published in 1970, will contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of 240 historical associations and tourist organizations interested in history.

The Directory was compiled by Mrs. Deborah M. Miller, secretary in the office of the Bureau of Archives and History of the Commission. Information was compiled from replies to questionnaires. The Directory lists officers and numbers of members, describes library and museum holdings and his­torical restoration and publication programs, and gives the frequency of meetings and elections. Member organizations of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies are designated.

The Directory may be ordered from the Division of History for one dollar, plus six percent sales tax on orders from Pennsylvania. The Commission’s address is Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.

 

Correction

We regret the misspelling of Russell F. Weigley’s name in the December issue. Dr. Weigley, history professor at Temple University, is the president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

 

New Chairman Named

Jacob W. Gruber of Philadelphia has been designated by Governor Milton J. Shapp as the new chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The new chairman is currently serving a four-year term on the Commission which continues until January 16, 1979.

Dr. Gruber is professor of anthropology at Temple University, Philadelphia. He has served on the university faculty for the last 28 years. He was appointed to a full professorship in 1964.

Born in Pittsburgh February 22, 1921, Dr. Gruber has a bachelor of arts degree and a master of arts degree from Oberlin College and a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has done extensive archaeological work in Pennsylvania on pre-historic and historic Indian culture on the Champlain French Settlement in Maine-Canada and at West Point, New York, in connection with the Revolutionary War.

At Temple University, Dr. Gruber established and be­came chairman of the Department of Anthropology in 1970. He also set up and served as director of the Temple Uni­versity’s Liberal Arts Program in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Gruber and his wife, Ms. Shirley Moskowitz, a pro­fessional painter, are the parents of three children: Ruth, a United Press-International correspondent in Brussels; Frank, a Harvard Law School student; and Sam, a Princeton Uni­versity Medieval archeology student. The family resides at 2211 Delancey Street, Philadelphia.

 

State Records Program

The National Historical Publications and Records Com­mission, Washington, D.C., has inaugurated a program to support record preservations programs at records and manuscript repositories within the various states.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Milton J. Shapp has appointed William J. Wewer, executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, as State Historical Records Coordinator. The next step in Pennsylvania will be the appointment by Governor Shapp of a State Historical Records Advisory Board. Wewer will chair the Advisory Board.

The primary responsibility of the Advisory Board will be to review and submit recommendations to the national commission on grant proposals for programs submitted by Pennsylvania institutions. Eventually, the Board possibly may formulate a statewide historical records program.

The State Historical Records Advisory Board will serve as a central advisory body for historical records planning and for projects developed and carried out under the state program. Specifically, the Board may (1) sponsor surveys of the condition and needs of historical records in the state and publish results, (2) solicit or develop plans for historical records projects to be carried out in the state by institutions or by the Board with financing by the NHPRC, (3) review historical records projects proposed by state institutions and make recommendations on them to the Commission, (4) develop, revise annually, and submit to the national commis­sion recommended state plans for historical records projects following priorities prescribed by the Commission, and (5) review the operation and progress of approved historical records projects in the state financed by the NHPRC.

A basic purpose in establishing the state programs is to deal with requests to the NHPRC for grants to be used in collecting, preserving, editing and publishing the papers of outstanding citizens as well as other documents important to an understanding of the history of the United States.

The NHPRC was created to “cooperate with and encour­age appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies and non­governmental institutions, societies, and individuals in col­lecting and preserving and, when it considers it desirable, in editing and publishing the papers of outstanding citizens of the United States and other documents as may be im­portant for an understanding and appreciation of United States history.”

Through its authorization of annual funding, the Com­mission is empowered to act as a review board for grant ap­plications for projects designed to aid in the preservation, restoration, arrangement, description and publication of historical source materials in accordance with its mandate.

Dr. James B. Rhoads, archivist of the United States, is NHPRC chairman. Executive Director of the NHPRC is Dr. Frank G. Burke. Deputy Executive Director with responsi­bility for the program on records preservation is Larry J. Hackman, former director of special programs for the John F. Kennedy Library.

 

Research Conference Set

The Eleventh Annual Research Conference, co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical Association and the Pennsyl­vania Historical and Museum Commission, will be conducted April 23 and 24 [1976] in Harrisburg.

Tentative topics include:

  1. Accomplishments and Goals of the Annual Research Conference (what research has resulted from the sug­gestions of previous conferences and what areas still require treatment);
  2. Transportation in Pennsylvania History;
  3. Approaches to Localized History.

The annual dinner will be held April 23 [1976] in conjunction with the conference. Dinner speaker will be Col. James Barron Agnew, director, U.S. Army Military History Re­search Collections, Carlisle Barracks.

 

State Hall of Fame

Six persons were elected to the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 1975 and honored at the fourth annual banquet of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. The six were: David Rittenhouse, Thomas McKean, Francis Hopkinson, George Clymer, Anthony Wayne and John Barry.

Banquet speakers and their subjects were Dr. I. M. Levitt, “David Rittenhouse”; Dr. John M. Coleman, “Thomas McKean”; James Hopkinson, “Francis Hopkinson”; Dr. Jerry Grundfest, “George Clymer”; Dr. Harry Emerson Wildes, “Anthony Wayne”; and Hon. Joseph T. McCullen, Jr., “John Barry.”

Pam Mollohan of Ridgway was guest of honor. She was the grand prize winner of the “Pennsylvania Hall of Fame 1975 Essay Contest for Junior High School Students.”

Officers of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame are Ralph P. Coleman, Jr., president; Edwin K. Daly, Jr., vice-president; Philippa Donato, treasurer; and Carolyn Bottone, secretary. Gov. Milton J. Shapp is honorary chairman, Sen. Hugh Scott, honorary vice-chairman, and Sen. Richard S. Schweiker, honorary vice-chairman.

Maxwell Whiteman, member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, serves as a juror for the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. Other jurors include Brig. Gen. William Buchanon Gold, Jr., president, The War Library and Museum; Ann Hawkes Hutton, chairman, Washington Crossing Foundation; Dr. James Kehl, professor of history, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. John D. R. Platt, National Park Service, Eastern Region; Charles Coleman Sellers, librarian emeritus, Dickinson College; James 8. Stevenson, former chairman, PHMC; and Harold E. Yoder, Jr., executive director, The Historical Society of Berks County.

 

Junior Historians Cited

The Bicentennial Section of the Oil City Derrick‘s annual edition featured the Cook Forest Chapter of Junior Historians of North Clarion High School, Leeper.

The feature included the chapter’s activities, field trips, publications, workshops and projects. Among the chapter’s achievements have been electing eight state officers within the last ten years and electing twenty-seven regional officers within the last nineteen years as well as state fair project recognitions.

William O. Gilbert, advisor of the Cook Forest Chapter, has been representing Pennsylvania at the last six National Directors’ Conferences. The work of the Cook Forest Chap­ter has been a topic of discussion at several conferences.

The chapter’s work includes a tour program with three major annual tours and emphasis on an active alumni group. For example, sixty-seven former members of the chapter attended a recent meeting in Leeper.

The chapter is currently involved in a number of Bicentennial projects and works closely with the Clarion County Historical Society in several areas.

 

Military Historians to Meet

The Company of Military Historians will meet in Harrisburg April 30 and May 1 [1976]. An estimated 500 persons will attend the sessions.

On May 1 [1976], the group will make a formal visit to William Penn Memorial Museum. Special exhibits are being prepared for the event.

Two staff members of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will be seminar speakers: Col. John B. B. Trussell, associate historian, and Bruce Bazelon, curator of registration. Trussell’s topic will be “The Case for Re­examination,” and Bazelon’s, “United States Military Heraldry.”

Over 2,000 persons belong to the Company of Military Historians while approximately 350 institutions also hold memberships.

 

Oral History Pamphlet

An oral history pamphlet based on observations at a re­cent Oral History Workshop at the William Penn Memorial Museum will be published and made available to those interested in this rapidly growing field of study.

The conference was geared to the needs of amateurs from many diverse backgrounds. For that reason, the pamphlet should be valuable as an aid in setting up such programs in the schools and at the community level.

Those interested in obtaining a copy of the publication should write to Carl Oblinger, Oral History Workshop chair­man, PHMC, Box 1026, Harrisburg 17120.