Making History: the Heinz History Center Blog
October 18, 2017

The Incredible Journey of the Steamboat New Orleans

A folk painting on display in the History Center’s Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibit captures one of Pittsburgh’s most important early innovations. On Oct. 20, 1811, the steamboat New Orleans set off from this place on a journey of more than 1,800 miles down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

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October 11, 2017

Quel Mazzolin di Fiori: I Campagnoli and the Italian American Folk Revival

Conceived by the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) at the birth of the ethnic folk revival and the tapering of Italian immigration to the United States, I Campagnoli began as mainly first and second generation working class Italian Americans versed in the culture of their Italian-born parents; as they evolved, members of the third and fourth generation and people of mix parentage joined the troupe.

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September 27, 2017

“They’re Coming to Get You:” Night of the Living Dead

The cult classic “Night of the Living Dead,” filmed in and around Western Pa., was one of the highest grossing films in 1968 and helped to revolutionize the horror movie genre. The film’s director and producer, George Romero, attended Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) University in Pittsburgh and later ran a small production company in Pittsburgh. Among Romero’s early projects was filming segments for WQED’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” before the show launched nationally in 1968.

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September 20, 2017

Manufacturing Thrills: The Legacy of Western Pennsylvania’s Roller Coaster Pioneers

The photograph of Pittsburgh-based T. M. Harton Company’s Scenic Auto-Dip is a great reminder of the remarkable legacy of multiple people from this region who manufactured the thrilling ups and downs of roller coaster rides well into the 20th century.

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September 8, 2017

The Fabric of America

An understanding of our history is key to making sense of our past and making plans for the future. While the first American rebellion (1776) began with the pulling down of King George’s statue, the second rebellion (1861) saw the striking of the Stars and Stripes of the United States. The rebels, believing themselves to be continuing the traditions of their fathers, reconstructed the flag by re-sewing the stripes of red, white, and blue as the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy.

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