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Monumental Questions

People across the nation are raising questions of who should be commemorated with monuments and the meanings of these monuments to different groups of people and at different times in history.  Here in Philadelphia, the Rizzo statue has been at the nexus of discussion and protest, but there are many conversations to have about appropriateness - from William Penn and George Washington to Columbus and Octavius Catto. 

Octavius V. Catto: A Legacy for the 21st Century

History Making Productions presentation of Octavius V. Catto.  On September 26, 2017, the statue honoring Octavius Catto was unveiled at Philadelphia’s City Hall. This is the first public monument honoring a specific African American in Philadelphia! 

Make History Yours at HSP

Everything, and everyone has a story. From buildings to neighborhoods to people - each individual story matters. Do you know yours? Find it at HSP.

This video was created by Gina Reitenauer, Digital Video intern.

Music: Green Leaves by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Artist:

National History Day Resources for the Theme - 2018

Come visit the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to learn more about our resources for National History Day.

Stories from the Archive - A Duel Began in Pennsylvania

The sport of dueling is usually thought of as a throwback to a bygone era - two duelists (typically men) participating to defend their honor.  Usually the fight was over a woman, finances, or principles.  In this case, it centered over something much more obscure - a fashion statement.  

Americans All! Foreign Born Soldiers in the First World War
This April marks the centennial of American involvement in the First World War, a global conflagration that upended the established world order.
During the conflict, foreign-born soldiers represented nearly 1 out of 5 servicemen in the U.S. Army. This surge of Old World soldiers – from 46 different nations – challenged the culture of the American military, its linguistic and religious traditions, and required top brass to reconsider training methods.
Join HSP on May 24 as Dr. Nancy Gentile-Ford examines how the U.S.