Alexandra Harris

Alexandra joined the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in September 2013 as an Education Intern. With a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Howard University she aims to apply and cultivate her research and writing skills by joining the staff at HSP.

This Author's Posts

A celebration of social justice and those who stand for it, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on Monday January 20th this year. King’s actual birthday is January 15th, however, in 1983, the year his birthday became a federal holiday, former President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that established the holiday on the third Monday of every year. HSP encourages you and your students to take part in community-oriented projects or service on MLK day and invites you to take advantage of our resources when teaching about the holiday.


Perhaps the classroom's most significant role is equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success. In value systems all around the world success often builds upon economic soundness. Financial education, however, has become scant in primary and secondary schools. For this reason, HSP wants to invite you to participate in Thrift Week! HSP is hosting a public document display and a free teacher workshop as an opportunity for you to learn about the historical significance of thrift and its relevance in the classroom today.


December 14th marks the 214th anniversary of the death of George Washington. We celebrate President's Day on his birthday in February every year; however we'd like to help you teach your students about George Washington this week too!


Here at HSP one of our primary goals is to keep you in the loop of what's going on locally in the educational sphere. National History Day in Philadelphia (NHDPhilly) is a program particularly special to us.  It encourages students to become involved with history by "being historians."


Last Thursday was not only our national Thanksgiving holiday but was also the first full day of Chanukah. The celebration of Chanukah in America goes roughly as far back as the first Thanksgiving.


Historians recognize a 1621 harvest celebration held by Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth, in New England, as the occasion that birthed our American holiday. However, it was not until 1941 that Congress permanently established Thanksgiving in our national calendar.


Come down to the Society anytime between now and the end of this year (see our opening hours) to view our current commemorative document display for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Opening on November 19th, it specifically marks the anniversary of Lincoln’s address at the Gettysburg battlefield in central Pennsylvania.  The same day we are launching a new section to the Educator portal full of resources for teaching about the Civil War.


Veteran’s Day, also known as Armistice Day, has been observed annually on November 11th for almost a century. The first Veteran’s Day in 1919 marked the first anniversary of the 1918 armistice, which ended all hostilities in World War I. Veteran’s Day is a holiday to remember and honor all those who risked and, in many cases, gave their lives to serve their country.


Fall is now in full swing! The visible transformation of our environment is reason to name autumn “the season of change.”  So, in wind of poetic relevance, especially as we enter into Thanksgiving’s month, tis the time to reflect upon one of the largest changes that has defined our American history - the history and fate of Native Americans.


Do you want to know a little known fact about Philadelphia? This nation’s first capital was in the running to become the globe’s first capital too!