My Family and the Mob: An Evening with Russell Shorto

Add to Calendar06/09/2022 7:00 PM06/09/2022 08:30 PMAmerica/New_YorkMy Family and the Mob: An Evening with Russell ShortoJoin New York Times best-selling author Russell Shorto for an evening of revelations drawn from his recently published book, Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob.Heinz History CenterHeinz History CenterfalseMM/DD/YYYY

Join New York Times best-selling author Russell Shorto for an in-person event of revelations drawn from his recently published book, Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob. Shorto sensitively tackles a subject normally taboo in families, piecing together the story of his grandfather’s history as a mob boss in Johnstown, Pa., and the impact his illicit business had on his immediate and extended family. Shorto’s brings together the insights of a trained historian, the dogged research skills of a genealogist, and the talent of a master storyteller, giving attendees a rare opportunity to learn new ways of illuminating murky corners of the past. Using his grandfather’s mob career as a starting point, Shorto will share the history of small-town organized crime in Western Pennsylvania. 

Beyond its fascinating subject, the talk promises to be revelatory and inspiring for anyone who is interested in sharing family history in an engaging way. Shorto offers an online course on the topic. He will share behind-the-scenes reflections about the creation of his book and offer tips and techniques for busting through research roadblocks and enlivening any family history.  

Shorto will participate in a book signing directly following the event. 

REGISTRATION & ADMISSION 

This is a hybrid program. Attendees can participate either online or in-person at the Heinz History Center. Please register online.

Accessibility: Open Captioning Live captioning will be provided at this program.

For more information or to request additional accommodations, please contact Sierra Green at sgreen@heinzhistorycenter.org.  

Register now

About Russell Shorto 

Russell Shorto is the author, most recently, of Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob, and of six earlier books, including Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City and the national bestseller The Island at the Center of the World. He is the Executive Director of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Institute at the New-York Historical Society, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and Senior Scholar at the New Netherland Institute in Albany, New York. From 2007 to 2013 he was Director of the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam. In 2009 he was awarded a knighthood from the Dutch government for his work in increasing historical understanding between the Netherlands and the United States. In 2018 he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. He was born and raised in Johnstown, Pa. 

Front page of Johnstown’s Tribune Democrat reporting on the discovery of Joseph “Pippy” diFalco’s body on May 27, 1960 over three months after he was murdered. Image from Tribune Democrat, courtesy of Russell Shorto.
Russell Shorto’s grandparents, Russ and Mary Shorto, at Club Harlem in Atlantic City, mid-1950s. Courtesy of Russell Shorto.

For more information, please contact Sierra Green at sgreen@heinzhistorycenter.org.  

Treasures in the Archives

Add to Calendar01/20/2022 07:00 PM01/20/2022 08:30 PMAmerica/New_YorkTreasures in the ArchivesOur annual Treasures in the Archives is an opportunity to see highlights from one of the largest collections of historic materials in Western Pennsylvania. Virtual – ZoomDetre Library & Archives at the History CenterfalseMM/DD/YYYY

Our annual Treasures in the Archives is an opportunity to see highlights from one of the largest collections of historic materials in Western Pennsylvania.

The archivists who work with these items every day will share the rarely heard stories behind some of their favorite collections. Collections featured in past Treasures in the Archives have included building movers, boxers, butchers, old saloons, famous families, overlooked community stories, and the lost history of a notorious home for ex-offenders.

This year, we’ll explore:

  • A first look into the fascinating and voluminous records of renowned Pittsburgh forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht
  • The history of Shadyside Hospital, from its unique origins and current status to the hospital’s response to World War I and the 1918 Flu pandemic
  • The life of Gus Miller, a well-known figure in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood who ran a beloved newsstand and served as a chief usher at Forbes Field
  • How artist Aaronel deRoy Gruber transformed from a Pittsburgh housewife to an internationally-recognized artist with a career that spanned six decades

This signature event on the Detre Library & Archives calendar is a chance to learn about the lives of Western Pennsylvanians through one-of-a-kind photographs and documents.

Admission

This program is free, but donations are appreciated. Please register online.

This program will be presented virtually.

Live captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

Register now

For more information, please contact Sierra Green at sgreen@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Accessibility: Open Captioning   Open captioning will be provided at this program

Accessibility: Sign Language   American sign language will be provided at this program