Ambassador Outreach Programs

The Heinz History Center, through its Ambassador Outreach Program, delivers history lectures and presentations offsite on a variety of topics related to Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. The programs are designed to provide regional history as it relates to current museum exhibits and events.

Program Topics

“Bleeding Kansas and its Local Bloodlines”
Western Pennsylvanians’ role in the turmoil of 1850s Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War.

“Canals, Railroads, and Repudiation in Pennsylvania”
The government went deeply into debt to fund transportation before the Civil War.

 “The Class Struggle Comes to Western Pennsylvania”
The railroad riots of 1877, the Homestead strike of 1892, and their legacy.

“Destination Moon: The Pittsburgh Story”
Learn how people and companies from Western Pennsylvania helped make the dream of space travel a reality.

“Fascinating McKeesport Women”
Businesswomen, philanthropists, journalists, scholars, spies, reformers, bullfighters, and ladies of the night – McKeesport was home to them all!

“The Fate of Four of Pennsylvania’s Founding Fathers”
Four signers of the Declaration faced severe financial struggles after the Revolution.

“First Ladies of Western Pennsylvania”
Biographical sketches of fifteen women who were first in their respective fields.

“From the Everyday to the Exceptional: Pittsburgh Glass 1797 – Present”
A look at the complex history of Western Pennsylvania’s first industry and how Pittsburgh became a world leader in the production, design, and marketing of glass.

“From Gateway to the West to Arsenal of Democracy: The Evolution of Pittsburgh”
Using the History Center’s painting and print collection, this illustrated lecture examines how the city of Pittsburgh grew and evolved from 1820 – 1940.

“From Pittsburgh to the Moon”
This talk highlights the important contributions that Western Pennsylvania made to the success of the space program and the Apollo 11 mission.

“Growing Up with Baseball in Pittsburgh”
A look at baseball history from the city that created the first World Series.

“Helen Ritchie, Aviator”
One of the first female pilots and a peer of Amelia Earhart, Helen was a history maker, flying competitively breaking records, and serving with the Women’s Air Service Pilots.

“The History of Radio in Pittsburgh”
Pittsburgh has a rich history of innovation, including with radio. Hear about many of the radio firsts that happened here.

“History on the Plate”
Take an offbeat look at Pittsburgh history through an exploration of five foods that Pittsburghers clamored for or against in the 19th and 20th centuries. From free lunch saloons and civic soup lines to a crusading journalist during World War II.

H. J. Heinz: A Recipe for Success”
A history of the founding of the H.J. Heinz Company.

“Immigrating to Work: Industrial Immigration to Pennsylvania, 1877-1914”
Southern and Eastern Europeans immigrated to tough jobs in the state’s mines and mills.

“It’s A Hockey Night in Pittsburgh!: 1893 to Today”
Tracing Pittsburgh’s hockey history from its beginnings in Oakland to the Consol Energy Center.

“The Legacy of Jazz in Western Pennsylvania”
Audio visual biographical sketches of important contributors to JAZZ with western PA roots including greats such as Billy Eckstine, Johnny Costa, Mary Lou Williams, Henry Mancini, Ray Brown, Errol Garner, Billy Strayhorn, and Maxine Sullivan.

More than 57 Reasons to Visit & Volunteer at the Heinz History Center”
An overview of local history featuring History Center Exhibitions.

“Notable Women of the Keystone State”
Hear the story of Pennsylvania women who have impacted or changed the course of history in the past 200 years.

“Not Charity but a Chance: Sophie Loeb, Poet, Writer, Social Reformer”
A remarkable woman who grew up locally, Sophie fought for the rights of widows, children, and immigrants in the early 20th century.

“Pioneers of Public History”
The origins of local history study and societies in the early decades of the 1800s.

“Pittsburgh’s Betty Ford: Model, Actress and Bullfighter”
Despite overwhelming obstacles, this woman achieved her goals and led a fascinating life.

“The Pittsburgh Department Store: Everything Under the Sun”
Take your pick: Hornes or Kaufmanns.

“The Pittsburgh Homefront during the Civil War”
The War brought many challenges home to Pittsburgh, from the dangers of making ammunition and weapons to the struggles of caring for soldiers and their families along with paying the bills.

“Pittsburgh’s Impact on the World”
A look at innovations that have touched the world that sprouted from the curious minds of Pittsburghers.

“Pittsburgh on the Eve of Civil War”
Advertisements and articles from the newspapers offer a glimpse of everyday life.

“Pittsburgh’s Strip District: It’s Not What You Think”
A review of Strip District History.

“The Power of Steam: Pittsburgh’s Role in the Birth of the Western Riverboat Trade”
The birth of an American icon, the Western River steamboat, and why it all started here.

“Prominent Postwar Pennsylvanians and the Legacy of Civil War”
A noteworthy record in battle was almost essential for political success after the war.

“The Steel City in WWII”
Western Pennsylvania industries contributed to the war effort in an impressive variety of ways, on land, air, and sea.

“Suffrage: The Road to the Vote for American Women”
A history of Woman’s Suffrage in the United States and the women who organized and promoted the suffrage movement in Pittsburgh.

“Western PA Sports Museum: What a Story We Have to Tell”
Featuring highlight artifacts from the Sports Museum, this talk demonstrates that no other US city of our size has achieved the level of success that Pittsburgh has in such a wide variety of sports.

“Why Pittsburgh?: A Story of Innovation”
From the Ferris wheel to heart valves, the air brake to zombies, this illustrated talk unveils how innovations from this region have changed or impacted the world.

“WWII: Objects of Victory”
Trace Pittsburgh’s contributions to victory in World War II through the stories of five key artifacts.

“WWII: Women’s Air Service Pilots (WASPs)”
The women who put their lives in jeopardy to serve our country ferrying planes and supplies during WWII and who continue their fight for recognition.

“Uncovering Pittsburgh Stories”
Look at a collection of work that creatively interprets our region’s unique history through illustrations.

“The Vietnam War and the Western Pennsylvanians Who Served”
Examine the Vietnam War from its beginnings at the end of World War II through the final days, spanning the thirty-year period from 1945 to 1975. View the conflict through the eyes of the Western Pennsylvanians who served through images and stories.

Programs are available as both on-site and virtual events. For more information or to book a program, please contact us at or 412-454-6304.

Program Cost

Cost: $175.00 for a 45-minute lecture with a 15-minute Q&A

For on-site programs, the client provides all required visual aid equipment including computer and/or DVD player, projector and screen, and a microphone for groups of 30 or more people. For virtual programs, the client provides the link/invitation to the event.

When booking, please provide the following information:

  • Name of group
  • Desired date and time of presentation
  • If on-site: Site’s full address and phone number
  • If virtual: Preferred online platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
  • Desired topic
  • Audience type (i.e., seniors, students, historical society members)
  • Number of anticipated attendants
  • Group representative contact information: Name, phone number, and email address