Fondly, Pennsylvania

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Fondly, Pennsylvania

Fondly, Pennsylvania is a joint blog of HSP's archives, conservation, and digitization departments.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well as how we care for, describe, and preserve our collections.  Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!

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1/17/17
Author: Vincent Fraley

In a recent entry of the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, historian Daniel Thomas Fleming argues that "Philadelphia has had a greater influence on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday traditions than any city other than King's birthplace, Atlanta."

As Philadelphians prepare to celebrate this year's holiday Monday, consider the region's influence upon King himself through Delaware County's Crozer Theological Seminary.

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1/9/17
Author: Vincent Fraley

Perhaps best known today as Broadway's answer to "How can history be made relevant," to contemporaries Alexander Hamilton was notorious for his support of central banking. In the 19th century, however, it was another banker that stole the spotlight: Philadelphian Nicholas Biddle.

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12/25/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

As thousands gather on the Delaware's banks to celebrate via historical reenactment George Washington's surprise Christmas Day crossing in 1776, consider how very nearly it wasn't pulled off.

Walloped on the battlefield and with morale sinking in tandem with the temperature, Washington was in a bad way heading into that first Revolutionary Christmas.

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12/18/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

On Dec. 17, 113 years ago, two bicycle manufacturers from Dayton, Ohio, solved that which had beguiled humanity's greatest minds for millenia: "The Flying Problem."

Orville and Wilbur Wright's 12-second flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., ushered in a mania for all things airborne. Six years later, Arthur Atherhol assembled a squadron of 14 amateur aviators to form the Aero Club of Pennsylvania, one of the oldest continually operating groups of its kind in the country.

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12/15/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

Philadelphians looking to bejewel their Christmas sweethearts at the turn of the 20th century did not go to Jared; they went to Samuel Kind.

A Bohemian immigrant, twenty-year-old Kind reached Philadelphia at the height of the Civil War, perfecting his English while working for an importer of laces and other “white goods.”

In 1872, with a young family to support, Kind set out on his own as a wholesaler of plated and gilt jewelry under the name S. Kind & Co., occupying a small room on 3rd Street above Callowhill.

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12/5/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

For many Americans - young and old - the Second World War occupies a privileged place in popular memory: It was the "Good War" fought by the "Greatest Generation" armed with the "Arsenal of Democracy."

All wars, however, are complex. The wartime paranoia unleashed by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor suspended rights and freedoms for many Americans, upending the very notion of citizenship.

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11/28/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

This week in 1894, Philadelphians gathered in Center City to see a gargantuan figure spill into their skyline.

No, it was not the Thanksgiving Day Parade and its bluster of balloonery - inaugurated in 1920 - but instead a bronze behemoth. On Nov. 28 of that year, the 14th and final piece of the nearly four-story-tall statue of William Penn was installed atop City Hall.

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11/18/16
Author: Lee Arnold

Amid holiday tumult, Lee Arnold, HSP's Senior Director of the Library & Collections and Chief Operating Officer, takes a humorous look at hidden Thanksgiving "history."

Topics : Native American
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11/18/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

As Philadelphians explore ways to mobilize politically in the wake of the presidential election, consider the story of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League (the League), the black-led organization undaunted by intimidation and violence in its fight for African American rights.

Despite emancipation and the conspicuous bravery of nearly 180,000 African American soldiers in the Union Army, Philadelphia’s black communities continued to be rankled after the Civil War by systematic segregation.

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11/18/16
Author: Vincent Fraley

HSP’s collections document more than 300 years of immigrant and ethnic experiences. On November 30, HSP investigates the historical context of American citizenship and immigration with the FREE program, A "Melting Pot" or Kaleidoscope? Immigration and Discrimination.

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