Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

“It’ll Take an Army” Franco’s Italian Army Fifty Years Later

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Making History Blog

Christopher Candycane: Santa’s Pittsburgh Sidekick

In 1950, the venerable Joseph Horne Company Department Store introduced a special character to elevate its holiday advertising. An “impish, loveable elf” named Christopher Candycane debuted in December 1950 in a high concept Christmas window display. Twenty revolving vignettes illustrated his accidental creation by Santa’s cook, Aunt Samantha Snowball.  

Was the World’s First Gas Station in Pittsburgh? It’s Complicated.

Every December 1, posts celebrate the anniversary of Gulf opening the first drive-in gas station in 1913. That small, somewhat circular building on Baum Boulevard in East Liberty was a game-changer in automotive history, but was it the world’s first?

Ralph Kruck: Dreaming Up the Future of Industrial Design

Looking back to the 1930s and the start of a decades-long career in industrial design, Ralph Kruck recalled a profession mired in tradition and resistant to innovation.

Pittsburgh’s John Kane: A Laborer’s Life

“For I was nineteen when I came to America and then I at once became an American Workman.” -John Kane

Rock for Change: Anne Feeney and the Pittsburgh Riot Grrrls

“I think music is a fantastic way of empowering people and giving them strength and energy. I’ve spent a good part of my life trying to find and write music that will empower people to resist and stand up for what’s right.” -Anne Feeney in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 24, 2008.

Pitt vs. WVU: The History of the Backyard Brawl

Separated by just 70 miles, feelings run strong in the football rivalry between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Sept. 1, 2022 marks the first time in more than a decade that the two teams will clash in what fans affectionately refer to as the “Backyard Brawl.”

David McCullough (1933-2022)

When he was young, David McCullough couldn’t decide if he would be a painter, an actor, an architect, or a writer. Eventually, he did it all. And he did it with a style and passion that engaged and inspired generations of Americans.

Sisters in Song: Musical Sister Acts in Pittsburgh’s History

In the 1940s, three sisters, Barbara, Elaine, and Shirley, sang their way through programs on KDKA radio and toured the country selling war bonds. Known as the Kinder Sisters, these women were one of many sister musical acts that have captivated audiences throughout Pittsburgh’s history. These sister groups were not only hugely popular, they also highlighted the connective power music wields in families and communities.  

Pittsburgh’s John Kane: Coming to America

When my stepfather sent for me, I didn’t want to go to America. I was doing well in my own country and was becoming more and more in love with Scotland all the time. But Mother thought I ought to go.… And accordingly, I went. 

Title IX at 50

  “Title IX has done more for women than anything since the 19th Amendment…I thought from the very beginning the most valuable results of Title IX would come through academic…