Making History: the Heinz History Center Blog
January 26, 2018

The Real Rosie the Riveter

In late 1942, a Pittsburgh freelance artist named J. Howard Miller painted a poster for Westinghouse Electric, his biggest client. This particular poster was one of his simplest and most powerful compositions: a confident, bandana-coifed "woman war worker" making a muscle. A cartoon balloon above her head contained the message, "We Can Do It!" In the post-war years, this image, now recognized worldwide as "Rosie the Riveter," has taken on added meaning and importance.

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January 25, 2018

Nellie Bly: A Race Against Time

French author Jules Verne’s adventure novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days,” was published in 1873, when Nellie Bly was nine years old. Verne’s popular story highlighted the fictional character Phileas Fogg, who circumnavigated the globe in less than three months. Inspired by Jules Verne’s novel, Bly came up with another groundbreaking story idea during her career as a journalist: to travel around the world in less than 80 days.

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January 24, 2018

Consider the Can: Beer Can Appreciation Day

Looking for something to celebrate? How about singing the praises of National Beer Can Appreciation Day? Today is not just another generic "national day." Jan. 24 is the very day that canned beer first hit the American market in 1935.

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January 16, 2018

Jacob Evanson: Song Catcher

In the late 1930s, when Jacob A. Evanson joined the staff of the Pittsburgh Board of Education as special supervisor of vocal instruction, folklorists and musicologists were scouring America in search of old songs before they disappeared. The recording expeditions of father-and-son duo John and Alan Lomax, conducted under the banner of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress, inspired folklorists across the country to join in the effort to collect and preserve America’s folk traditions.

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December 21, 2017

Pittsburgh’s Santa, George Heid

Did you ever send a letter to Santa on Paul Shannon’s “Adventure Time” show? You’d wait every day as a rocket carrying the letters would blast off, then the TV would tune in to the North Pole, where Santa sat back to read a few. The big guy holding those letters was George Heid, and for a generation, he was Santa to kids in Pittsburgh and across the country.

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