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July 4, 2017

Washington, Lincoln, and the Fourth of July in Pennsylvania

In July, my thoughts inevitably turn patriotic. I can’t help it. Living in Pennsylvania, I am reminded of momentous events of July’s past and the people who made history.

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May 24, 2017

Cannonballs Unearthed at the Allegheny Arsenal

A backhoe operator excavating the site of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Arsenal for the construction of new apartments recently discovered hundreds of Civil War-era cannonballs. The contractor alerted the bomb squad and precautions were taken to keep residents near 39th and Foster streets safe from the 150-year-old artillery projectiles. But what are these balls made of, how did they get there and how dangerous are they?

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March 31, 2017

Rodman’s Big Gun

The largest cannon of the Civil War was a monstrous 20-inch caliber ship killer designed by Thomas Jackson Rodman—one of America’s most innovative and productive ordnance experts.

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