Making History: the Heinz History Center Blog
February 15, 2018

Rare Martin Delany Signed Document

At the height of the movement to rid the nation of slavery - the abolitionist movement - Martin R. Delany was one of the more charismatic and practical leaders of the time.

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February 13, 2018

Pittsburgh Gets a Tommy Gun, 1929

Sometimes an object becomes so associated with a certain era that it eventually symbolizes larger issues that shaped part of American history. For the 1920s, one such object was the Thompson Submachine gun, or "Tommy" gun. Nearly 90 years ago, the Tommy gun's role as part of an event known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre forever entwined the gun with the dark folklore of gangsters and Prohibition-era crime.

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February 7, 2018

The Olympics on Ice: Herb Drury

The 2018 Olympics mark the 91st anniversary of the winter games and recall the importance of Pittsburgher Herb Drury in the story of ice hockey and the Olympics.

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February 5, 2018

Curator Q&A: Leslie Przybylek and American Spirits

Meet Leslie Przybylek, lead curator for the new American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibition. Leslie has been hard at work bringing this traveling exhibit from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to the History Center, adding a local connection that brings to life Prohibition-era Pittsburgh. Read our interview with Leslie for her take on the new exhibit and what it is about the '20s that continues to fascinate us, nearly a century later.

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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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