Tag results for: history


Betsy Ross: The Making of the Myth

Category: Season 1

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Charles Hardy, Ph.D.

West Chester University

The story of Betsy Ross and the founding fathers entered the public record 100 years after it supposedly happened, and has since become an iconic part of the popular understanding of U.S. history. However the legendary role of Ross in the creation of our nation’s flag is based largely on stories passed down through generations of members of Ross’ own family – not on well-documented historical fact.

Dr. Hardy is Professor of History at West Chester University and has worked as a documentary producer and historical consultant on a broad range of projects.

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Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure: The Greatest Survival Story of All Time

Category: Season 1

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Lou Thieblemont

It’s 1914. Determined to become the first people to walk across the South Pole, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men embark on their daring Antarctic expedition by sea. When their ship, the Endurance, is trapped and destroyed by ice, the British explorer and his group struggle to survive in the harsh, frigid environment, defying the odds as they cheat death largely through sheer perseverance.

Lou Thieblemont is a professional speaker, amateur historian and former may of Camp Hill, PA

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Pennsylvania Politics

Famous Pennsylvania Politicians of the 20th Century

Category: Season 1

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Kenneth C. Wolensky, Ph.D.

Historian, Author and Biographer

In the 20th century, many Pennsylvania politicians gained national recognition. Gifford Pinchot was the first Chief of the United States Forest Service and his wife Cornelia was a three-time candidate for U.S. Congress; Governor Bill Scranton served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and his mother, Marion Margery Scranton played key roles in national Republican Party politics; Governor Robert P. Casey became nationally known for his pro-life view, and; Governor Tom Ridge became the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security. Dr. Wolensky will explore the biographies of these and other well-known 20th century Pennsylvania politicians.

Dr. Ken Wolensky is a published writer and historian. He is President of The Pennsylvania Historical Association.

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The Great War and the 21st Century

Category: Season 1

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Carl Strikwerda, Ph.D.

Elizabethtown College

This lecture discusses how the First World War shaped the 20th century and how its influence still pertains to our lives in the 21st century. Evaluating 2012 and 1912, Dr. Strikwerda compares the events of these two eras and offers an analysis of the ways in which our world has been shaped by the past

Dr. Strikwerda is a 20th century historian and is President of Elizabethtown College. He is the author or editor of three books on European and global history, and has written numerous articles and book reviews for scholarly journals.

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Pottsville Maroons

Category: Season 3

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Steve Sassaman

The Pottsville Maroons were an American football team based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1920, they played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1925 to 1928. In 1929 they relocated to Boston, where they played one season as the Boston Bulldogs.

Originally known as the Pottsville Eleven, the team was initially an independent team playing in the local eastern Pennsylvania circuit. Home games were played at Minersville Park, a high school stadium in nearby Minersville. They joined the local Anthracite League in 1924, the same year they adopted the “Maroons” nickname, and clinched the league title. The next season they joined the NFL under owner John G. Streigel. Though dominant on the field, a controversial suspension cost them the 1925 NFL Championship. They were reinstated the following year, but after two successive losing seasons in 1927 and 1928, Streigel sold the Maroons to a group in Boston, where they played one season before folding.

1925 was their best season. The 1928 roster included three future Pro Football Hall of Fame members – Johnny “Blood” McNally, Walt Kiesling, and coach Wilbur “Pete” Henry – but posted the worst record in franchise history. Writer John O’Hara, who would go on to become a world-famous novelist with Appointment in Samarra, covered the team for the local newspaper.

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Child Survivors and Writers of the Holocaust: The Aim of Memory

Category: Season 3

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L. Scott Lerner

When France was occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, thousands of Jews were rounded up by the French police and sent to the death camps. Others, more fortunate, went into hiding and managed to survive, but only at tremendous psychological cost. A very small number of these survivors became writers, even great writers. This presentation focuses on three extraordinary memoirs of French victim-survivors of the Holocaust. Two are by child survivors, who eluded capture but also lost their parents and a great part of their identity. A third writer was born later than the others—during the Occupation, in fact—and has devoted his entire literary career to the search for the murky past of Nazi occupied Paris. His name is Patrick Modiano and in 2014 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In this lecture, Professor Lerner will guide viewers through their fascinating, novel-like memoirs. Along the way, he will provide an answer to the question: What is the aim of memory in these texts?

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Faith and Freedom in the Civil War

Category: Season 1 | Season 3

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Barbara Franco

Seminary Ridge Museum

During the 19th century, the slavery debate was influenced significantly by biblical passages to support one side or the other. Both sides came to interpret scripture in ways that would support their views. Ms. Franco will explain how those interpretive principles still have great influence on today’s society.

Ms. Franco is the founding Director of the Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg and also served as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. She is a noted scholar on the history of faith in America.

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Jim Thorpe and His Impact on PA Native Americans

Category: Season 3

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Janeal Jaroh

Owner of Time Traveler Trunks

James Francis Thorpe was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for his home country. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, and played American football (collegiate and professional), professional baseball, and basketball.

Ms. Jaroh is the Owner of Time Traveler Trunks, a program that provides hands-on historical presentations designed to engage, inspire, and enrich understanding of American and World History. Previously the Education Curator for the Cumberland County Historical Society, Ms. Jaroh also has a background in teaching U.S. History at the University of St. Francis.

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Chinese Immigrants to America & Chinatowns

Category: Season 3

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Qunbin Xiong, MD

Main Line Chinese Culture Center

This month we are going to look at Chinese immigrants to America and Chinatowns with some detailed looks at Pennsylvania.

Qunbin Xiong, MD of the Main Line Chinese Culture Center gives a detailed presentation with a wealth of great information on just how Chinese immigration to Pennsylvania has occurred over time.
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The Bishop and the Synagogue of Rome

Category: Season 3

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L. Scott Lerner

Franklin & Marshall College

L. Scott Lerner has been on the faculty of Franklin & Marshall since 1995 and has served as Chair of the Department of French and Italian, the Program in Comparative Literary Studies, and the Program in Judaic Studies. Before coming to Franklin & Marshall, he served as a lecturer at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and taught briefly at the Université de Paris VII and Ministère des Affaires Etrangères in Paris. He also taught in the Literature Concentration, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Core Program at Harvard. At Franklin & Marshall he teaches courses in the Italian, French, Comparative Literature, Judaic Studies, and Connections programs

Despite recent talk about a “Judeo-Christian” tradition, the historical divide between Judaism and Christianity is ancient and deep. Nowhere has this separation been more starkly visible than in Rome, seat of the Catholic Church and home to an even older if far smaller Jewish community.

Lerner guides the audience through the visible signs of a radically evolving relationship between Christians and Jews in the modern era. In particular, he interprets the unprecedented visit in 1986 by a Bishop of Rome—Pope John Paul II—to the Great Synagogue built on the site of the former ghetto. This real and symbolic encounter set in motion a major realignment of two pillars of western civilization, enabling each to remain faithful to itself while making space within itself for the other.

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Who were the Holocaust Rescuers?

Category: Season 3

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Professor Guillaume de Syon

Albright College

Professor Guillaume de Syon hails from France and Switzerland, but has called Lancaster, PA, home since 1994. Specialized in both European history and the history of technology, he teaches Holocaust-related courses at Albright College in Reading, PA.

Many of us have heard of Holocaust rescuers, perhaps through film maker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning  “Schindler’s List”. And the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem lists hundreds of “Righteous Gentiles” who chose to risk everything to help Jews in danger. Yet what makes someone into a rescuer, and why didn’t more people, or even nations try to help during the years of extermination? This presentation will consider the types of rescuers that came about during the tragedy as well as the circumstances they faced in reaching their decision to assist one or thousands of people.

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Milton Hershey and his Enduring Legacy

Category: Season 4

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Pamela Whitenack

Director, Hershey Community Archives

Pamela Whitenack is active professionally in archival and oral history organizations. She is past-president of Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR). and is a frequent presenter at regional and national archival organizations. She is co-author of “Images of America: Hershey”, a pictorial history of the community, and “Images of America: Hersheypark.”

Learn how Milton Hershey overcame an impoverished childhood and built successful businesses, a thriving model industrial town and devoted his wealth to helping underprivileged children. Since his death, his legacy has not only continued but has grown and thrived. Learn more how Milton Hershey‘s values and legacy have shaped the businesses and community he founded.

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The Beginnings of Automobile Culture

Category: Season 4

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Professor Guillaume de Syon

Albright College

Professor Guillaume de Syon hails from France and Switzerland, but has called Lancaster, PA, home since 1994. Specialized in both European history and the history of technology, he teaches courses in almost every historical period at Albright College in Reading, PA.

Nowadays, we could not do without a car, but it was not always so. By examining postcards of the early 1900s, we can document how people really felt about gasoline fumes replacing horse dung, noisy drivers, and all sorts of strange, new road rules.

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