Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Will Commemorate 1619

PA Slave Trade

The PHMC will commemorate 400 years of African-American history through a social media campaign.  Here is a taste of J.D. Prose’s article at The Beaver County (PA) Times:

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission announced a six-month long social media campaign to commemorate 400 years of black history in America.

In conjunction with the federal 400 Years of African-American History Commission and other cultural and historical organizations, the PHMC will, according to a statement, “share highlights from the hundreds of Pennsylvania Historical Markers dedicated to African Americans and their contributions to Pennsylvania’s rich and diverse heritage” through February, which is recognized as Black History Month.

Various commemorations and programs are occurring this month because it was in August 1619 that the first enslaved Africans were brought to the colonies at Point Comfort, Va.

Using its Facebook (“Pennsylvania Trails of History”), Twitter (@PHMC), Instagram (patrailsofhistory) and LinkedIn(“Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission”) accounts, the PHMC said it will feature stories of the black experience in Pennsylvania, including “both well-known and lesser-known people, places and themes.”

The PHMC said it will encourage followers to share the posts using #400yearsPA.

Read the rest here.

New Pennsylvania Historical Markers

By Megan Piette

New state historical markers have recently been approved by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. These markers, listed below, will join the close to 2,300 markers scattered throughout Pennsylvania.  I am sure you have seen these markers.  They represent events, places, and people that have shaped Pennsylvania history. Here is the list of the newly approved markers:

1. Bryden Horse Shoe Works, Catasauqua, Lehigh County
2. Byberry Hall, Philadelphia
3. Commercial Radium Production, Pittsburgh
4. Eddie Gottlieb, Philadelphia
5. Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia
6. Enos Benner, Marlborough Township, Montgomery County
7. Frank Cooper Craighead, South Middleton Township, Cumberland County
8. Fred McFeely Rogers, Latrobe, Westmoreland County
9. George W. Crawford, Emienton, Verango County
10. Humphrey Marshall, West Bradford Township, Chester County
11. John Barry, Philadelphia
12. John J. McDermott, Philadelphia
13. Leopold Stokowski, Philadelphia
14. Muhammed’s Temple of Islam #12, Philadelphia
15. Ross Leffler School of Conservation, Brockway, Jefferson County
16. Sheppton Mine Disaster and Rescue, Sheppton, Schuykill County
17. St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Croation Church, Pittsburgh
18. Stuart Tank, Berwick, Columbia County
19. Thomas A. Edison High School Honorable 64, Philadelphia
20. Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church, Philadelphia

Attention Pennsylvania Historical Societies and Museums!!

By Megan Piette

The 2013-2014 state budget reserved $2 million for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission museum grant program. This is almost double the funding it received from the 2012-2013 budget.  Said grants can range from $3,000 to $65,000 and applications are required by March 14. Members of the commission, including Senate President Joe Scarnati, Speaker of the House Sam Smith, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman, and several others stress how important museums are for educating the public. Here is a taste of what they had to say:

“Our Commonwealth is fortunate to have outstanding museums and historic sites across all of Pennsylvania,” Senator Scarnati said. “I am pleased that again this year, the historical support grants will help to preserve our history by offering many museums and historical societies assistance they need to continue providing excellent educational opportunities, while also raising the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents.”

“Museums inspire curiosity and allow people to interpret works of art, history and culture,” Representative Smith stated. “For the public good, they collect, safeguard and hold in trust valuable artifacts.”

“Pennsylvania’s museums connect us to our state’s rich history and teach us important lessons from the past to help us be a better state today,” Senator Pileggi said. “I’m pleased to support this important grant program.”

“A museum preserves archives and displays important historical collections,” Representative Turzai said. “We ask museums to apply for General Operating Support for grants to maintain these valuable treasures of our Commonwealth, and to ensure future generations can learn from them.”

Tomorrow: Auction of Items from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

If I wasn’t in Easton, PA this weekend for a volleyball tournament I would try to get to this auction. Some very cool stuff.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is inviting the public to an auction of items removed from its collection on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014.  The auction will start at 10 a.m. at 1500 Paxton St. in Harrisburg. Public inspection of the items begins at 9 a.m. 
The pieces being sold have no special significance to the history of the Commonwealth or duplicate what is already in the state’s collection.
The auction is being conducted by Cordier Auctions & Appraisal, Harrisburg under contract with the Commonwealth’s Department of General Services.
Prior to being consigned for sale, the objects were offered to other PHMC properties as well as other historic museums state and nationwide. Money raised from the auction can only be used to buy or conserve artifacts that enhance the PHMC’s mission of preserving the Commonwealth’s natural and cultural heritage as steward, teacher and advocate for the people of Pennsylvania.
The auction will feature a diverse array of items including books, furnishing, agriculture tools and equipment, prints, engravings, a Conestoga wagon, and an assortment of 19th and 20th century household and merchandising objects.
The items were formerly held at the Anthracite Heritage Museum, Brandywine Battlefield, Bushy Run Battlefield, Conrad Weiser Homestead, Daniel Boone Homestead, Drake Well Museum, Ephrata Cloister, Eckley Miners’ Village, Fort Pitt Museum, Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, Pennsbury Manor, Joseph Priestley House, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Somerset Historical Center, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania. 
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the commonwealth’s official history agency. Visit PHMC online at 
Media contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639