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Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum

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

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Making History Blog

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A Message from Andy Masich

  I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the resilient people of our region (and beyond) for your unwavering support of the Senator John Heinz History Center and our family of museums. Thanks to our community, History Center curators and archivists have been hard at work, preserving this historic moment and collecting materials that…

Rules of Civility and Social Distancing

  Statue of Washington and Guyasuta on Mt. Washington. Courtesy of Lynne Squilla. When George Washington was a boy, he copied into his notebook over one hundred Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Most of these rules he copied or adapted from well-known publications. But they became his own rules of…

Earthrise

  Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts-Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders-held a live broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from…

The Real Rosie the Riveter

  The classic Rosie the Riveter poster created for Westinghouse by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller. In late 1942, a Pittsburgh freelance artist named J. Howard Miller painted a poster for Westinghouse Electric, his biggest client. All told, Miller designed 42 posters that would be hung on nearly 2,000 bulletin boards and factory walls across…

See the Jeep as a Lady

  While guys loved the military jeep they drove in the service, the versatile army workhorse was not practical as a family car. Created of necessity on the eve of World War II, the versatile combat vehicle that became known the world over as the “Jeep” demonstrated the best American ingenuity had to offer. The…

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. Washington at Fort Necessity. July 1754. Detail of “Charming Field for an Encounter,” Griffing. On July 4th in 1754, a young (23-year-old) George Washington surrendered…

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,…

Rodman’s Big Gun

  Little Mountain Howitzer cannon next to the 20-inch Rodman gun as a featured attraction at the 1879 Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, Pa. 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. Cast at Pittsburgh’s Fort…