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Pittsburgh’s John Kane: Coming to America

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Why Tell Your Story? A Reflection on October 27

  The following was first published in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. While browsing the website of a local bookstore this summer, I found a horrifying and frustrating book published in 1987 by Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. It’s called “Every Day Remembrance Day,” and it takes the form of a calendar. For each…

Celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act: Paul Dick

  Paul posing with his siblings in the summer of 1954 alongside a road. Left to right: Paul, Alan, Glen, Mary Ellen, and George Dick. Holly and Paul Dick Family Papers and Photographs, MSS 1177, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Until the 1970s, all means of public transportation in Pittsburgh and Allegheny…

Maude Y. Hawkins: Charting an Independent Path

  This story was originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of Western Pennsylvania History. Portrait of Maude Y. Hawkins, c. 1960. Maude Y. Hawkins Photographs, MSQ 171, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. Tempted by the lure of being their own boss, many dream of opening a business. Few will follow through, perhaps…

The Nine Jobs of Barney May

Barney May married Pauline Fleischman in 1872, after his sister introduced them. He was living in Williamsport, Pa. She was living in Pittsburgh, where they eventually settled about 1890. From “The Story of Barney May, Pioneer,” by George M. P. Baird. Baruch May was the son of a Bavarian farmer and cattle dealer. His first…

Pittsburgh’s Fight Against Tuberculosis

Cover of the 1953 Tuberculosis League of Pittsburgh annual report. Breathe Pennsylvania Records, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. As the world grapples with COVID-19, health officials are stressing the need for social distancing, contact tracing, and mass testing to curb the spread of the disease. Archival records from the Tuberculosis League of…

Annie Jacobs Davis: “The Mother of Montefiore Hospital”

Portrait of Annie Jacobs Davis. Gift of Barnett Davis, Incorporated. The name Annie Jacobs Davis is synonymous with Montefiore Hospital. Montefiore was the first Jewish hospital in Western Pennsylvania. It came out of a need for a medical facility that could provide care for Jewish patients and career opportunities for Jewish doctors. Annie was widely…

Experiencing History: Collecting Materials Related to the COVID-19 Response in Western Pennsylvania

The Heinz History Center is collecting objects, archival materials (both digital and physical), and web content that reflect the experiences of Western Pennsylvania citizens, officials, organizations, businesses, and caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish to preserve these stories and materials so they can be shared for future study and research. Here’s how you can help.  “We will get through this Pittsburgh.” Photo by Carly…

Help, Heartbreak, and Hope from a Century Ago

For the past three weeks, the Rauh Jewish Archives has been collecting documentation of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Jewish organizations in the region—emails, press releases, announcements, and stories. Thanks to these efforts, future historians should have a much richer picture of our moment than we have about the community response to a global health crisis from a century ago: the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. …

“Lifting as we climb”: The Aurora Reading Club Records

The Aurora Reading Club celebrating its 90th anniversary in 1984. Aurora Reading Club Records, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. “Lifting as we climb” means to encourage and provide for others while making one’s way in the world It is what Pittsburgh’s Aurora Reading Club did at its founding in 1894 and continues…

Exploring the Kennywood Park Collection

View of the entrance to the Racer, 1919. Kennywood Park Records, Detre Library & Archives at the History Center. History Center Launches NEH-Funded Kennywood Grant The Heinz History Center’s Detre Library & Archives is excited to be working on a grant from the National Endowment of Humanities for the processing and partial digitization of the…