The Eagle Has Landed… Back in Pennsylvania: An Interview with Dick Vermeil

When Dick Vermeil signed a five-year contract to coach the Philadelphia Eagles on February 8, 1976, he became at age 39 the youngest head coach in the National Football League. He also inherited a football team that had not posted a winning season in nine years. Just three seasons later, Vermeil led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. He drove his players harder than any...
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Ike’s Sanctuary: The Eisenhower Farm in Gettysburg, An Oasis from the Pressures of the Presidency

In the spring of 1915 Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower (1890-1969), a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, visited the Gettysburg battlefield along with the rest of his class. The cadets had come to study Union and Confederate troop movements in an engagement that represented the farthest penetration of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army onto northern soil before the Army of the Potomac repelled...
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The Molly Maguires: Fighting for Justice

Early on the morning of Wednesday. Septem­ber 1, 1875, a young English-born mine foreman started from his Schuylkill County residence to the Shenandoah coal colliery where he was employed. A gunshot pierced the air. Scrambling for cover behind a neighbor’s house, he was met by another assassin who drew his revolver and fired. Struck in the groin, the young man staggered blindly and fell to...
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The Friends Fight for Freedom

In September 1738, Quak­ers from throughout southeastern Pennsylva­nia and western New Jersey made their exodus to the small town of Burlington, a journey which marked the commencement of Philadel­phia Yearly Meeting, held in alternate years in the New Jersey community. Members of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly called “Quakers,” many of whom were the most respected of...
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What Love Can Do: William Penn’s Holy Experiment in Education

The founder of Pennsyl­vania stands atop Philadelphia’s City Hall, seemingly sur­veying a “Holy Experiment” he nurtured out of the ideals of his Quaker faith. William Penn, the political theorist, is still remembered for his daring experiment in establishing a colony dedicated to pacifism, civil liberty and religious free­dom in a seventeenth century world conditioned by...
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Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land

In the mid-nineteenth century, the Liberty Bell – capped by an eagle from Peale’s Museum – was enshrined in Independence Hall.   Each year thousands of Americans, as well as foreigners, travel to Philadelphia to visit the dozens of historic sites, structures and complexes associated with the nation’s independence. For many, their first stop is a small glass pavil­ion...
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Philadelphia’s Mr. Baseball and His Amazing Athletics

Connie Mack always seemed to be dressed in black. His three­-piece business suit, complete with necktie, detach­able collar and derby, gave him the appearance of a Philadel­phia funeral director rather than baseball manager. But for the ten years he had guided the hometown Athletics, Mack took his job very seriously. To be sure, on this sunny Sep­tember morning in 1911, the game of baseball had...
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A Quaker Testimony to the American Revolution

On a cool, pleasant early autumn morn­ing in the year 1834, John Price Wetherill made his way hastily down the vacant streets of Philadelphia towards the city’s western edge. Most of the respectable people were already seated in their churches, listening to the angelic sound of a choir or the piercing exhortation of a min­ister. Little did Wetherill care on this Sunday morning about...
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Benjamin Franklin, Image Maker

The history of our Revolution,” John Adams once sniffed, “will be one contin­ued lye from one end to the other. The essence of the whole will be that Dr. Frank­lin’s electrical rod smote the earth and out sprung General Washington, fully clothed and on his horse. Franklin then proceeded to electrify them with his rod and thence for­ward these three – Franklin, Washington...
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Independence Hall, The Birthplace of a Nation

September 1824 was a busy month for Phila­delphians. The Mar­quis de Lafayette returned to America for the first time since the Revolution­ary War, and it was rumored that the high point of his tra­vels would be a visit to Penn­sylvania’s venerable State House. Naturally, much of the preparation for his visit cen­tered on the old red brick building where the events of the Revolution had...
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