Past Events

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Past Events

Thursday, 3/9/17
Lecture/Panel Discussion

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Join the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) for a free workshop on March 9, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. exploring a new digital resource available for genealogists researching African American ancestors.

Wednesday, 2/22/17

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, character Christopher Boone is an eccentric and gifted young man who gains a deeper understanding of himself while solving a neighborhood mystery.

Central to the story is Christopher's discovery of a cache of old letters. Whether it’s uncovering family secrets or getting the dirt behind a historical rumor, primary sources often shed light on even the murkiest mysteries.

Saturday, 2/11/17
Teacher Workshop

Join the National Constitution Center and HSP for a workshop devoted to understanding the history behind – and modern implications of – the 14th Amendment. The workshop highlights classroom-ready resources from both organizations and provides scholarly analysis of the 14th Amendment. The workshop will be held in the Bogle Chairman’s Room of the National Constitution Center. 

To register, write to

Thursday, 2/9/17
Special Event

Susan Benjamin, candy historian and author of Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America's Favorite Pleasure (2016) will give a lecture on the history of the sweet stuff through the centuries while guests sample some of these iconic treats. Afterward, please join us for fun, refreshments, and one-night document display featuring love letters, vintage valentines, and more.

Friday, 2/3/17

Here at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), we care for more than 21 million documents. Our collections include books, letters, diaries, business records, photographs, newspapers, and large maps and graphics—like the beautiful illustration of Philadelphia’s eastern waterfront found in our newest diplay, "Make History Yours." This very rare graphic was once tattered, torn, and disintegrating.

Tuesday, 12/13/16

The 1763 Conestoga Massacre was the brutal murder of 21 Susquehannock men, women, and children by a vigilante group of Scotch-Irish frontiersmen from central Pennsylvania known as the Paxton Boys.

These frontiersmen and their families had settled on American Indian lands in violation of established agreements between the Quakers and various tribes. Several tribes raided frontier settlements in response to this encroachment and, in retaliation, the Paxton Boys attacked the Susquehannock, who they claimed had passed “secrets” to hostile groups.

Wednesday, 11/30/16
Special Event

Explore the complex – and changing – notions surrounding the concepts of “citizen,” “immigrant,” and “refugee,” with leaders from various ethnic backgrounds as they discuss ways immigrants maintain cultural identities within a diverse culture. 

Saturday, 11/19/16
Teacher Workshop

Partnering with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), HSP is excited to host a teacher workshop that will focus on the impact of the First World War and the visual culture that the conflict inspired. 

Wednesday, 11/16/16

Delve into the historical background of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and discuss the event’s continuing impact on American public memory with West Chester University's Dr. Robert Kodosky, Ph.D.

Saturday, 11/12/16
Teacher Workshop

The Second World War was about patriotism, community, and sacrifice for both the men and women abroad and those at home. With the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor this December, this workshop will discuss ways to incorporate the stories of Philadelphians during the war into classroom lesson plans.

Thursday, 11/10/16

Join the Young Friends of HSP as they throwback Philadelphia's proud sports history!

A one night pop-up document display will feature images from our historic sports collection including baseball, rowing, bicycling, basketball, football, and track and field.

Show up wearing throwback sports attire OR your favorite jersey for a chance to win a prize!

We're tailgating, so expect fierce competition over cornhole and suds from two of Philly's favorites: Yards Brewing Co. and Philadelphia Brewing Co., and malt beverages from Quaker City Malting Co.

Tuesday, 11/8/16

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, HSP will display a selection of letters, photographs, ephemera, and printed materials documenting Philadelphians’ varied reactions to the event.