Alicia Parks

Historical Society of PA

Alicia began as an Education Intern in January 2014. She received a Bachelor of Science in Education from UNC Greensboro in 2011 and recently completed a Master of Arts in History from Villanova University. She aims to create interdisciplinary lesson plans which allow teachers to incorporate history into their daily curriculum.

This Author's Posts

Do you believe that handwriting is a lost art? With today’s communication, it seems that handwriting is becoming less of a necessity. In our next workshop, on January 21st, HSP is proud to host Dr. Robert J. Mahar for a discussion on the history and present status of handwriting.  How necessary is it that children learn cursive and print?


This week, History Making Productions unveiled its new poster “Deep Roots, Continuing Legacy: Philadelphia in the Struggle for Civil Rights” that seeks to inspire and encourage people to be proud of Philadelphia’s history.


Here at HSP, our archives are filled with histories of ethnic traditions, and the holiday season is a great opportunity to discuss culture and tradition with students.  Italian-Americans are among the many ethnic groups of Pennsylvania with their own holiday traditions and teaching students about these different traditions is an excellent way to expand their knowledge of other cultures.


This fall HSP has been working to create more political cartoon lesson plans on topics such as Civil War, Economics, Big Business, World War I, and Immigration. We already have two unit plans available showcasing a very small group of cartoons for elementary and middle grades, and these new lesson plans will help expand our resources to the high school level with a series of topics and options for student use.


Immigrants, including millions from Ireland, have flocked to the shores of the United States since before its founding. The Irish Potato Famine, that began in 1845, killed over a million people and resulted in the largest surge of Irish immigration with two million coming to the United States between 1845 and 1850. Come  learn how to use this experience as a gateway to teaching immigrant history at a HSP teacher workshop on Wednesday, November 19.


October is Family History Month, which means it is a great time for students to begin thinking about their own family history and nationality as well as how their neighborhood has changed and progressed. A good place to begin with family history is to ask students to talk to family members about where they are from. Often students will realize things, even from their parents, they did not know previously.

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On October 22, HSP is partnering with Moonstone Arts Center to feature a panel discussion on the Pennsylvania Vigilance Committee and its Chairman William Still. Still is known as the Father of the Underground Railroad and his book, The Underground Railroad Records, documents the lives of over six hundred slaves who escaped to freedom. The story of William Still and the Pennsylvania Vigilance Committee is especially helpful for teachers looking to discuss abolition and the history of the Underground Railroad.


With today’s technology, most students have probably heard about the outbreak of Ebola in Africa and the subsequent quarantine. Yet, many might not realize that Philadelphia had its own deadly outbreak in the form of Yellow Fever. In 1793 this disease killed roughly 5,000 people, or ten percent of the population, and it is estimated that about 17,000 fled the city.


Have you ever seen a student left out or teased by their peers for being different? As a teacher it is important to include lessons on tolerance in your classroom, especially with the emphasis to eradicate bullying from our school districts. On October 2nd, in conjunction with the Library Company of Philadelphia, The Historical Society is proud to host Dr. Marc Stein whose work focuses on the LGBT Community in Philadelphia, particularly the Homophile Movement of the 1960s and 1970s.


Answer: William Rawle

William Rawle (1759-1836) was involved in the creation of many of the United States’ new institutions. He was the first president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, a member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in its infancy, and the founder of Rawle and Henderson Law firm, now recognized as the oldest law firm in the nation. Unexpectedly, he grew up in a wealthy Loyalist Quaker household that made his story of discovering a deep love for America an interesting journey.