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Approved Markers

The following is a list of the approved state historical markers with the name of the marker, location and a brief description.


collapse Year Approved : 2019 ‎(18)
Alien Gun Law of 1909HillsvilleLawrence
Following the 1906 murder of Deputy Game Protector L. Seeley Houk, allegedly by members of the Italian Black Hand organization, legislation was passed to disarm noncitizen immigrants in the commonwealth. The Pinkerton Detective Agency conducted the investigation. Although the law was challenged, it was upheld in the Supreme Court and remained in effect until 1967.
Anna T. Jeanes (1822–1907)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A Quaker abolitionist and activist, Jeanes made plans for her substantial fortune to further several causes upon her death. Most notably, her contributions enabled the establishment of Jeanes Hospital, dedicated to cancer research, and the Jeanes Supervisors program, the precursor to the Negro Rural School Fund, which educated many African American teachers and students across the southern states.
Bethel Burying GroundPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
This early African American cemetery was established in 1810 by Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church after the burial ground at the church had been filled. The ground was purchased by church members and may be the first independent cemetery for the interment of the African American community. After the land had been sold several times, the Weccacoe Playground was built over the burials rather than having them relocated.
Charles Freemont West (1899–1979)Washington Washington
An African American athlete who won the National Collegiate Pentathlon Championship at the Penn Relays, West was named to the 1924 Olympic track team. While a student and football player at Washington & Jefferson College, he became the first African American quarterback in the Rose Bowl. When Washington & Lee College demanded that W&J bench West for the 1923 game because he was African American, West refused to sit out and was backed by coach John Heisman and the college administration.
Cynthia Catlin MillerSugar GroveWarren
An active organizer of the abolitionist movement in Warren County, Miller harbored many freedom seekers in her home. She founded the Female Assisting Society and the Ladies' Fugitive Aid Society. One of the leading planners of the 1854 Sugar Grove Convention, she hosted speaker Frederick Douglass in her home.
Dorothy Mae RichardsonPittsburghPittsburgh
Richardson was an activist from Pittsburgh's Central North side who in 1968 launched Neighborhood Housing Services, a progressive resident-led model of community development to combat poor and unsafe living conditions by changing financial lending practices in urban neighborhoods. Her program drew the attention of federal officials and led to its replication in 1978 with the founding of NeighborWorks America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit that supports community development.
Dr. Thomas E. Starzl (1926–2017)PittsburghPittsburgh
Starzl performed the first successful liver and kidney transplants and became the foremost authority on transplantation. He launched the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's (UPMC) transplant unit, which became the largest and busiest in the world. At UPMC, he developed the immunosuppressant drug that is used worldwide to prevent organ rejection.
FBI Office BurglaryMediaDelaware
The documents obtained during this 1971 operation by the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI exposed the FBI's civilian surveillance program, COINTELPRO. The program was created to investigate and disrupt dissident political groups in the US. Following the Washington Post's publication of some of this material, the FBI's questionable methods were uncovered and COINTELPRO was shut down.
Fruit Research & Extension CenterButler TownshipAdams
Established in 1918, the Fruit Research & Extension Center (FREC) conducted extensive research into diseases and pests attacking Pennsylvania fruit trees and developed treatments for them. FREC is credited with eradicating plum pox, substantially reducing losses due to pests, and increasing yields for more than a decade. It has affected fruit growers, distributors and consumers nationwide.
James Joseph "Jim" Croce (1943–1973)LyndellChester 
Successful singer/songwriter Croce's work rose to the top of national and international pop music charts for singles and albums in the 1970s. His songs have been covered by hundreds of performers. He is known as a folk storyteller, with such iconic hits as Time in a Bottle, Operator, I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song, and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. He was killed in a tragic plane crash at age 30.
John Updike (1932–2009)ShillingtonBerks 
One of the most influential American writers of the 20th century, Updike was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He was inspired by his mother, who was an aspiring writer, and his home and hometown were included in many of his writings, most notably his Rabbit novels. He was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal.
Marianna Mine ExplosionMariannaWashington
This tragic incident occurred in 1908 and is one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history. It gained national attention, catalyzed public awareness, and along with other accidents in the early 20th century led to the establishment of the United States Bureau of Mines (USBM). Before it was dissolved in 1996, the USBM conducted research and disseminated information on the extraction, processing, use and conservation of mineral resources.
PandenariumSpringfield TownshipMercer
Now a historic archaeological site, Pandenarium was a community of free manumitted slaves from the 1850s through the 1930s. Established as part of a small movement intended to afford economic independence through agricultural enterprise, this site offers a rare opportunity to study this type of community and adds to our understanding of the African American experience in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Memorial HomeBrookvilleJefferson 
Established in 1890, the Pennsylvania Memorial Home was open to Civil War veterans and their families, widows and orphans. It was the first veterans' home in Pennsylvania and one of the first nationwide that was so inclusive, serving as a model to others across the country. Local Women's Relief Corps member Kate Scott worked with social reformer Annie Wittenmyer to establish this facility and to urge Pennsylvania legislators to provide funding.
Thomas J. Gola (1933–2014)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of the mid-20th century, Gola received numerous individual achievement awards, leading the LaSalle College team to victories in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and the NCAA Championship. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA and is one of only two players to have won the NIT, as well as NCAA and NBA championships. He represented the U.S. in the 1964 "Behind the Iron Curtain" tour and was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976.
Thomas Wistar Jr. (1798–1876)Abington TownshipMontgomery
Wister was a Philadelphia Quaker who served for nearly 40 years as a recurrent Indian commissioner during the administrations of seven presidents, from Zachary Taylor to Ulysses S. Grant. Wistar made more than 20 trips to western states to act as a negotiator. In the mid-19th century, the U.S. government considered two means of dealing with Native American populations: extermination or civilization. Wistar developed Grant's Peace Policy, based on empathy toward native tribes and "gradual civilization," which left a mixed legacy.
William J. Murtagh (1923–2018)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the nation's leading preservationists, Murtagh was instrumental in the enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and is considered a founding father in the field of historic preservation. He was also a leader at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. He received numerous preservation awards and served on the boards of national and international preservation organizations.
Women's Pa. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
This early animal welfare organization established the first animal shelter in the nation and became an inspiration and model for similar groups. Founded in 1869, principally by social reformer Caroline Earle White, the organization pioneered humane standards in animal capture and transport, housing and sanitation, employee training, and euthanasia. It also initiated educational programs and organized the nation's first junior humane societies.
collapse Year Approved : 2018 ‎(17)
Barney Ewell (1918-1996)LancasterLancaster
African American sprinter who won a gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Olympics. Although the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled because of WWII while Ewell was in his prime, he was able to maintain the highest level of performance at an international level to qualify for and medal at the 1948 Olympics. Member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Benjamin Lay (1682-1759)AbingtonMontgomery
An early Quaker abolitionist, Lay wrote anti-slavery literature, boycotted products that used slave labor, demonstrated in the streets, and was vocal at Quaker meetings encouraging the immediate abolition of slavery. Due to his activism, the Quakers became the first religious group to outlaw slaveholding by their members. He also influenced the broader abolitionist movement in the US and Great Britain.
D.T.Watson Home for Crippled ChildrenLeet TownshipAllegheny
Facility at which patients were first to receive the Salk polio vaccine. By the 1950s it was among the nation’s preeminent facilities that treated children with polio and provided physical rehabilitation. Medical Director Dr. Jessie Wright worked closely with Jonas Salk to develop a safe and effective polio vaccine.
Dewey's Sit-InPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the earliest LGBT rights protests in the build-up to the Stonewall Riots four years later.  Its success served to encourage the LGBT rights activism that followed.  The sit-in was also notable for its defense of the early transgender community.  It was an important episode in the history of U.S. democracy, political activism and civil rights.  
Eddystone Rifle PlantEddystoneDelaware
This 34-acre facility supplied nearly half of all infantry weapons issued to US forces during WWI, as well as over 600,000 rifles for the British army. It was the largest munitions plant in the US during WWI, employing 15,000 workers, 20 percent of them women.
Ham FisherWilkes-BarreLuzerne
Creator of the Joe Palooka comic strip that was syndicated nationwide for more than 50 years. Palooka was a prize fighting, clean living hero. The comic strip gained popularity during WWII, as the Palooka character enlisted in the Army. The strip served to encourage recruitment and to boost morale among American troops. It also served as a tool to sell war bonds and encouraged support of the war effort.
Isaac and Dinah Mendenhall (1806-1882), (1807-1889)Chadds FordChester
Quaker abolitionists who were active with the Underground Railroad, collaborating with Thomas Garrett and Harriet Tubman. The Mendenhalls were charter members of the Longwood Progressive Meeting, which broke from the more traditional Old Kennett Meeting in 1853 due to their anti-slavery activism. The meeting hosted national abolitionist speakers such as Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison. Dinah was part of a delegation that met with President Lincoln to advocate for the abolition of slavery just six months before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
John Philip Boehm (1683-1749)Blue BellMontgomery
Founder of the German Reformed Church in America, which developed into the modern day United Church of Christ. One of the most important aspects of his work was establishing governance for churches. He developed a church constitution 60 years prior to the US Constitution. He founded twelve churches and served at another eight as pastor.
Lois Weber (1879-1939)PittsburghAllegheny
The first American woman film director and a pioneer in early film making. In the era of silent films, she mastered superimposition, double exposures, and split screens to convey thoughts and ideas rather than words on title cards. She also used the nude female figure in the 1915 film Hypocrites and took on progressive and provocative topics, inciting both censorship and artistic praise.
McAllister Family of OpticiansPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Beginning in 1799, John McAllister began selling spectacles at his shop in Philadelphia. He became a skilled optician and clients included presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson, as well as other prominent individuals locally and throughout the country. John, Jr. was instrumental in advances in photography. John, Jr., and William McAllister worked and taught at the pioneering Wills Eye Institute. Five generations maintained this distinguished legacy through the mid-20th century.
Oliver Pollock (1737-183)MechanicsburgCumberland
A successful merchant and major financier of the American Revolution, Pollock endured bankruptcy and imprisonment. He became agent of the Continental Congress in the Spanish territory of New Orleans and became a friend of Governor Bernardo Galvez, who sent supplies to the Continental Army. Pollock accompanied Galvez in raids against the British on the eastern border. He is credited with financing the 1778 Illinois expedition of George Rogers Clark as well as that of James Willing against Loyalists on the lower Mississippi.
Philadelphia Flower ShowPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The largest and longest running horticultural event in the nation, the Philadelphia Flower Show features displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Throughout its history this event has introduced many little-known species. At the inaugural show in 1829, the poinsettia was introduced to the American public. It has been honored multiple times as best in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association.
Richard Moore (1793-1875)QuakertownBucks
A Quaker abolitionist, active with the Underground Railroad. Moore’s home was a major station on the network. Moore claimed to have assisted more than 600 fugitive slaves in their escape, including William Parker who was involved in the Christiana Riot. Moore also helped a number of fugitives to find jobs and set up residence in Quakertown.
Ruth Plumly Thompson (1891-1976)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Author of 19 Wizard of Oz books, following the death of creator L. Frank Baum. Having earned a reputation as a talented author of children’s literature, Baum’s publisher solicited her to continue the official Oz series. She wrote one Oz book per year from 1921 through 1939, maintaining the series’ popularity through the release of the classic film.
Slinky ToyClifton HeightsPhiladelphia
Ubiquitous American toy invented by mechanical engineer Richard James in 1943. Following Mr. James’ religious conversion and nearly bankrupting the company in the early 1960s, his wife divorced him. He relocated to Bolivia and Betty James took over the business and turned it into a multi-million-dollar company with international distribution. She was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Slinky was listed on the Toy Industry Association’s “Century of Toys” for the 20th century.
Sunset ParkPenn Township Chester
Country and Bluegrass music venue that operated for over 50 years. Some of the biggest names in the business played here and it became one of the premier venues outside of Nashville. This venue helped to spread the popularity of this type of music nationwide. By the 1980s the mailing list included individuals in 48 states. Bluegrass icon Ola Belle Reed played here for over 20 years with the Sunset Park house band.
William J. McKnight, M.D.BrookvilleJefferson
Doctor, legislator and historian, McKnight introduced an Act in 1883 while senator that legalized human dissection, provided for unclaimed bodies to be distributed to medical schools for anatomical study, and made grave robbery illegal. The act served to advance the field of medicine and by extension, physical anthropology and forensic science. McKnight also authored several county histories and the History of Northwestern PA.
collapse Year Approved : 2017 ‎(18)
Dr. James Curtis Hepburn (1815-1911)MiltonNorthumberland
Medical doctor and missionary to Japan. Hepburn introduced western medicine to Japan and opened an academy that continues as a major university. He published an English/Japanese dictionary and developed a system of transcribing Japanese characters into the Latin alphabet called "Hepburn Romanization" still in use today.
Dr. Leon H. Sullivan (1922-2001)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
African American Civil Rights leader, Sullivan promoted anti-discrimination and advocated many charitable and self-improvement programs for blacks in this country. He advised a number of US presidents. He also was involved in the movement to end Apartheid in South Africa.  
Fairview ParkDelmontWestmoreland
Property purchased in 1945 which became the first amusement park in PA owned and operated by African Americans. The park offered African Americans recreational opportunities denied them at amusement parks from which they were excluded.
Hester Vaughn Trial, ThePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
In 1868 a poor woman was accused of killing her infant, and was convicted at trial and sentenced to be hanged. The fledgling Women's Rights Movement led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took up her cause and launched a media campaign claiming Vaughn had been denied a fair trial by a jury of her peers. Gov. John Geary pardoned Vaughn the following year.
Huber Coal BreakerAshleyLuzerne
Constructed in the 1930s by Glen Alden Coal Company, this breaker processed nearly 7000 tons of coal daily through the 1970s. To distinguish its product, the company sprayed color on its anthracite, creating "blue coal." It was one of the first to utilize Menzies cones to separate coal and was first to use aerial disposal of waste by-products.
Inez Mecusker (1855-1941)CorryErie
Noted soprano in the late 19th and early 20th century. Billed as the American Cantatrice, she appeared in Vaudeville, Broadway, and operas, and she toured with nationally-known bands, most notably, John Philip Sousa's.
James Bell's Tavern / Anti-Federalist MovementCarlisleCumberland
Colonial tavern that served as a meeting place for Anti-federalists during the development of the US Constitution. At the time, Cumberland County was the frontier of Pennsylvania.  Local residents believed in limited government and secure civil rights, and protested against eastern commercial, conservative domination. This can be seen as the birthplace of the Bill of Rights and the Democratic Party.
Jefferson Street BallparksPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Baseball fields where both the first National League game and the first inter-racial game were played. They operated from 1864 to 1891 during the time when baseball evolved from an amateur leisure event to a competitive professional sport and "America's pastime."
Jewish Hospital, ThePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The Jewish population in Philadelphia expanded sharply in the mid-19th century. Jews that became sick or injured had to go to hospitals that did not accommodate their religious traditions. This hospital was opened 1866, the 3rd Jewish hospital in the nation. Although open to all, it provided kosher food and access to rabbis for the dying, and respected death and burial traditions of the Jewish faith.
John S. Trower (1849-1911)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
African American businessman who became one of the wealthiest blacks in the US by the time of his death in 1911. Primarily a caterer and restauranteur, Trower invested his profits in real estate, established a trade school for African Americans, and donated generously to religious and charitable causes. Noted in Booker T. Washington's The Negro Business (1907).
Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia

One of the 20th century's most influential American composers and lyricists. Blitzstein was a contemporary of Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson and a mentor to Leonard Bernstein. His controversial 1937 musical The Cradle Will Rock made musical history when it was shut down by the government due to its pro-union themes. His translation of Threepenny Opera has been performed worldwide.

Mary Engle Pennington (1872-1952)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
She received her PhD in chemistry in 1895 and went on to become a leader in research and implementation of food preservation measures. She investigated and improved commercial refrigeration and transportation of perishable food, very important during WWI for providing food to soldiers. She is credited with inventing the egg carton to safeguard eggs from breakage.
MOVE Bombing, The (Jubilee School)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The black liberation group MOVE, founded in 1972 by John Africa, engaged in a conflict with law enforcement in 1978. A firefight erupted killing a police officer and injuring several on both sides. In 1985, when police tried to evict group members from a subsequent house they occupied, tragedy occurred. The City of Philadelphia, aided by the state police and the FBI, raided and bombed the residence when the group refused to vacate. These extreme measures resulted in an out-of-control fire that destroyed 61 homes and left about 250 homeless.  Ultimately, 6 adults and 5 children were killed.
PA Canal (Western Division)LeechburgArmstrong
Part of the PA Mainline Canal from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh which reduced the travel time between the two cities from 3 weeks to 4 1/2 days. Dam #1 at Leechburg supplied the remaining 37 miles to Pittsburgh with water and provided slack water for 7 miles above the dam. There are many PHMC markers for Pennsylvania canal systems, but few that recognize the western division of the Main Line canal.
Repasz BandWilliamsportLycoming
Founded in 1831, it is one of the oldest continuously operating community band in the US. The band played at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox and for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It was also present at two inaugurations for Presidents T. Roosevelt and Taft. The Repasz Band March, composed in 1897, has been performed nationwide.
Samuel V. Merrick (1801-1870)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Prominent 19th century manufacturer and businessman. He established Southwark Iron Foundry which became one of the largest and most advanced of its time. It built engines for important Civil War naval vessels. Merrick co-founded the Franklin Institute and was first president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Simon Girty (1741-1818)PittsburghAllegheny
Frontiersman captured by the Indians as a youth in 1756, Girty lived among his Native American captors for several years, learning their language and culture. Following his release in 1764, he became an Indian interpreter for the British. During the American Revolution, he became the chief military representative of the British among the Native tribes in PA, OH, KY, WV, IN, and MI. A controversial figure, he fought against the US in the War of 1812.
Smith Memorial Playground and PlayhousePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Claimed to be one of the first dedicated play spaces for children in the US, established in 1899. Richard and Sarah Smith were influenced by the American Playground Movement which began in the mid-1880s. The site is unique in that it has always operated as a private institution on public land, and has been racially and economically integrated - free and open to all.
collapse Year Approved : 2016 ‎(23)
Barbara GittingsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Early LGBT leader who was instrumental in having homosexuality removed from its classification as a mental illness and promoting the inclusion of gay publications in libraries across the nation.
Baruch S. BlumbergPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Nobel Prize recipient in 1976 for identifying the hepatitis B virus and developing its diagnostic test and vaccine.
Century Farm ProgramTowandaBradford
Statewide program administered by the Dept. of Agriculture to recognize Pennsylvania farmers whose property has been in the same family for 100 years or more. Started in PA by the Bradford County Historical Soc. in 1949, it was adopted statewide in 1976.
Chief CornplanterOil CityVenango
Native American leader in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Cornplanter was a key negotiator with the PA government and was granted several tracts of land for Seneca settlement in northwestern PA.
Davies and Thomas CompanyCatasauquaLehigh
Originally organized as an iron foundry, the company began manufacturing iron plates for lining tunnels in the early 1900s.  It achieved widespread success providing the durable lining for famous NY City tunnels: Holland, Lincoln, Queens Midtown, and for other major tunnel lining projects. A segment of a Davies & Thomas PA Railroad tunnel was on display at the St. Louis Worlds' Fair.
Dr. Alice C. EvansLeRaysvilleBradford
Bacteriologist that discovered the correlation between the consumption of raw milk and brucellosis or "undulant" fever and published her report in 1918. She worked for the USDA promoting the pasteurization of milk to prevent the disease and instrumental in the development of pasteurization laws passed in the 1920s.
Dr. Anna Elizabeth BroomallChesterDelaware
Early woman OB/GYN. Her achievements include the expansion and improvement of nurse training, organizing one of the nation's first prenatal clinics and perfecting and promoting numerous birth-related procedures including episiotomies and Caesarian sections that led to a reduction in mortality and serious injuries.
Father John Christian Frederick HeyerFriedensSomerset
Heyer was a Lutheran pastor and first American Lutheran missionary to India. Heyer was instrumental in the founding of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the first of its kind in the US, and established several Lutheran parishes in western PA.
First Puddling Ironmaking Furnace in AmericaMenallen Twp.Fayette
The process pioneered in the US at this furnace in 1817 revolutionized the iron industry and greatly advanced the industrial revolution. The process also led to the formation of the nation's first workers' union in the metals industry, the Sons of Vulcan, the precursor of the United Steelworkers.
Fleetwood Metal Body CompanyFleetwoodBerks
One of the foremost custom car body manufacturers in the nation, Fleetwood started in PA in 1909 and remained here for 20 years before becoming a subsidiary of General Motors. The chassis produced by the company were installed on many of the finest American cars, including the self-named Cadillac Fleetwood.
Harvey PollackPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Basketball statistician for the NBA, Pollack developed a system of record-keeping adopted across the league. He coined the terms "slam-dunk," "rebound," "blocked-shots" and others that are now household words. Pollack revolutionized the way players were assessed that impacted recruiting, coaching, trading, and strategic play.
Hotel Brotherhood USAPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
One of the earliest African American labor unions, hotel workers established it in 1883 in Philadelphia. The organization began protesting pay inequities as compared to white workers. It also set up a benevolent aid fund for members. It spawned chapters in many major US cities.
Insurance Company of North America (INA)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The first incorporated stock insurance company in the nation, INA was established in 1792 as a marine insurer. In 1794 it became the first company to insure the contents of a building from fire. The company pioneered the Homeowners Insurance Policy in 1950, one of the most successful and imitated of all insurance products.
Jackie OrmesNew EagleWashington
The first African American woman cartoonist, Ormes produced a nationally syndicated column in the 1930s for the Pittsburgh Courier, featuring her Torchy Brown character. Although black, the character possessed a sophistication rarely seen in depictions of African Americans at the time. She went on to create similar comic strips that went against stereotype.
John S. FineWilkes-BarreLuzerne
Governor of PA from 1951 to 1955. His administration instituted the first permanent sales tax in PA, ended segregation of the National Guard, and opened the State Police to African Americans.
Jonathan LettermanCanonsburgWashington
Civil War doctor considered the Father of Battlefield Medicine.  Letterman designed a prototype medical supply wagon, devised a system of triage stations and mobile field hospitals, and instituted an efficient management system for supply distribution and patient evacuation. Many of his principles are still used in modern warfare.
Penn's Landing: Arrival Point of First AfricansPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The first slave ship arrived at the Philadelphia port in 1684, carrying African slaves to William Penn's newly established colony. In the early years of PA, the Quakers in power did little to discourage slavery. Many owned their own slaves and did not prevent the importation of slaves to the colony. Although PA is considered a leader in the abolitionist movement, slavery was an accepted institution in the state's early history.
Pepper Hill Fire of 1938SinnemahoningCameron
An untrained Civilian Conservation Corps unit was sent to fight a forest fire that turned to tragedy. The unit was comprised of boys in their late teens; seven of them and a supervisor were killed by the fire. This incident is used as a case study in training today and principles of wild land firefighting were developed as a result.
Philadelphia Ronald McDonald HousePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Established in 1974, the institution houses the families of hospitalized children for free. In a cooperative effort between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Eagles and McDonalds, a nationwide campaign was launched to raise money for and build the first Ronald McDonald House. There are now over 350 houses at most major hospitals throughout the US and in 38 countries.
Ruth McGinnisHonesdaleWayne
Billiards phenom who was the Women's Pocket Billiard Champion of the World from 1932-1940. McGinnis toured the US with Willie Mosconi and defeated some of the best pool players in the nation, mostly men. In a widely publicized exhibition match she soundly defeated the great woman athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
Stephanie Louise KwolekSouthwestern PATBD
A polymer scientist who invented Kevlar. Kwolek worked as a chemist for Dupont for 40 years. In 1975 Dupont made Kevlar bullet-proof vests available to law enforcement agencies. This protective gear has become critical to the safety of law enforcement personnel world-wide.
The Dixie HummingbirdsPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Nationally recognized soul gospel music group, they were on the cutting edge of the genre for 30 years. Their cover of Paul Simon's hit Loves Me Like a Rock, the original of which they recorded with him, won a Grammy Award in 1973. The band was featured in the NY Times and TIME magazine and they have influenced artists such as: the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. The band was a recipient of a PA Governor's Award for the Arts in 2006.
William W. ScrantonScrantonLackawanna
Governor of PA from 1963 to 1967. He focused on public works, the Peace Corps and other economic aid, and fiscal responsibility. He went on to be an advisor to presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Ford, an ambassador, and a UN representative.
collapse Year Approved : 2015 ‎(25)
Albert M. Greenfield (1887-1967)PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Greenfield was a successful businessman involved in real estate, banking, retail, hotels, newspapers, and transportation. He was involved in local, state, and national politics. He supported both Jewish and Catholic charities and organizations and promoted religious and racial diversity. In his role as chair of the Philadelphia Planning Commission, he helped guide the revitalization of Society Hill.
American Institute of Mining EngineersWilkes-BarreLuzerne
Founded in 1871 in Wilkes-Barre, this organization of mining professionals was formed to attain a more economical production of useful minerals and metal, and to improve the safety and welfare of those involved in the mining industry. It was one of the earliest associations of engineering professionals in the nation and known as an Engineering Founder Society.
Anthony BenezetPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A Quaker abolitionist who was a pioneer in the education of females and blacks. In the 1750s he established schools for both, some of the first in Pennsylvania. He was tireless and unwavering in his opposition to slavery, writing numerous pamphlets and correspondence on the subject. He is credited with convincing many, including Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush, to promote abolition.
Devon Horse ShowDevonChester
Begun in 1896 and designated a Heritage Competition by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF), the Devon Horse show is the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the nation. It was a founding member of the American Horse Show Association, which became the USEF.
Don't Give Up the Ship Battle FlagErieErie
In the summer of 1813, seven Erie women created a battle flag for Oliver Hazard Perry to fly on his ship, the Lawrence, in the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry used these inspiring last words of recently deceased Captain James Lawrence to rally his crew to victory, one of the first for the nation's fledgling navy. The words have become the unofficial motto of the US Navy, and the flag a national icon now on display at the US Naval Academy.
Dr. Constantine HeringPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A pioneer in the field of homeopathic medicine, Hering's research and educational methods were ground breaking. He developed numerous medicines, established the first school of homeopathy in the US, and published books and journals still influential today. He was a founder of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1844, the first national medical society in the US.
Dr. Edward H. McCleery (1867-1972)KanesholmMcKean
McCleery is credited with saving the Great Plains Wolf (or Lobo Wolf) from extinction. He established a wolf park in Pennsylvania in the 1920s. The US government had instituted a campaign to exterminate wolves because the danger they posed to people and livestock. McCleery petitioned the US Biological Survey to allow him to pay for the wolves they captured to be sent to him rather than killed. He instituted a breeding program within his pack to retain the pure bloodline. The wolves were moved to the western US following McCleery's death and a park was established in Montana in 1980 where it continues today.
Eddie AdamsNew KensingtonWestmoreland
A Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist, whose iconic photo Saigon Execution brought to light the brutality of the Vietnam War and swayed public opinion about the war. Adams got his start as a photographer in his PA home town, shooting photographs for his high school yearbook and as a staff photographer for the local newspaper. After a career of national and international acclaim, Adams was buried in New Kensington.
Ethel WatersChesterDelaware
A renowned singer and actress, Ethel Waters was born into poverty in Chester, PA. Having an unstable family life, she was forced into marriage to an abusive husband at the age of thirteen. Originally working as a maid, she began singing at nightclubs in Philadelphia, and eventually made her way to Broadway. Her blues style reflected her difficult early life. She became a Grammy winner and Academy and Emmy Award nominee.
First Pennsylvania Troopers Killed in the Line of DutyMcCalmont Twp.Jefferson
Two troopers, members of the fledgling PA State Police force, were killed in Jefferson County in 1905. Pursuing several fugitives of the infamous Black Hand Society, Privates Henry and Zehrlinger were killed in a shoot-out by the outlaws who had taken over a local residence.
Maxfield ParrishPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A nationally recognized artist and illustrator, Parrish was born, raised, and educated in Philadelphia. He is known for painting in vibrant shades of blue and capturing the spontaneity of movement. He was in the forefront of commercial art, realizing that presenting appealing artwork on advertisements boosted sales. His works have garnered widespread popularity and can be found in museums worldwide.
Medical Library AssociationPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
The oldest medical library association in the world, it was founded in 1898 to improve the condition of medical libraries and thus facilitate the availability of medical literature to medical practitioners, researchers, educators and students. This increased accessibility of records led to critical advances in the medical professions.
Mildred Scott OlmsteadRose ValleyDelaware
A tireless worker for peace and relief movements beginning in WWI, Olmstead was a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and eventually the executive director of the national organization for 20 years. She traveled the world speaking on behalf of WILPF and its causes, and she was an advocate for women's rights. She received many awards for her efforts.
Newport Citizens Free Captured Fugitive SlavesNewportPerry
This well-documented event related to Underground Railroad activity, brings to light the anti-slavery sentiment in southcentral PA in the mid-18th century. Three fugitive slaves entered Perry County in 1841 pursued by bounty hunters and were captured. Several Newport citizens not only helped them to escape and provided them with food and money, but they were assessed a substantial fine in court due to their humanitarian actions.
Robertson Art Tile CompanyMorrisvilleBucks
A company that was pioneering in the art tile business, Robertson established its own laboratories early to keep improving its products. They produced glazed, embossed wall and fireplace tile and floor tile. In 1893 it joined with other companies to form Associated Tile Manufacturers, a forerunner to modern trade associations. Herman Mueller, well-regarded in the tile industry, worked briefly for Robertson and brought some of his innovations to the company, notably the use of tile to line an indoor swimming pool.
Samuel "Roxy" RothafelForest CitySusquehanna
Best known for establishing the Roxy Theater and opening Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Rothafel got his start in a theater in Pennsylvania. He operated the Family Theater in Forest City for two years, popularizing such innovations as daylight movies and "perfuming" an audience. He combined film and live action to produce a new kind of show. He was progressive in attracting patrons with persuasive advertising.
Sarah Josepha HalePhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A pioneer in women's journalism, Hale was an early American female author and editor. She began editing the first magazine for women in the nation, the Ladies Magazine in 1828. It became Godey's Lady's Book in 1837. For four decades as its editor, Hale substantially increased its readership and made it the leading American women's literary and fashion periodical. She also is credited for advancing the idea of a national day of Thanksgiving for 20 years, and was finally successful with President Lincoln.
Sigma Sound StudiosPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
A leader in the Philadelphia music scene for nearly 50 years, Sigma Studios produced records for many nationally known acts such as, the O'Jays, the Spinners, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, David Bowie and Billy Joel. Sigma was on the cutting edge of the soul music scene. It was one of the first in the nation to introduce 24-track recording and console automation. Many of its innovations are still in use today.
Sullivan Progress PlazaPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Established by Rev. Leon Sullivan in 1968, this shopping center was the first of this type of venture developed, owned, and managed by African Americans. It was funded by investors from Sullivan's congregation at the nearby Zion Baptist Church. Visited by a number of presidents and presidential candidates, this location was prominent on the Philadelphia political scene. It sparked a number of similar projects across the US and it remains a successful enterprise in center city and a symbol of economic empowerment and self-sufficiency.
Tatiana ProskouriakoffLandsdowneDelaware
A groundbreaking archaeologist, Proskouriakoff revolutionized the world's understanding of Mayan hieroglyphics. Trained in architecture, she produced detailed and accurate drawings of Mayan buildings. She received numerous awards for her archaeological research, including the Order of the Quetzal from Guatemala, the country's highest award for a foreigner.
Terminal Commerce BuildingPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Built by Reading Railroad in 1931, it was the largest commercial structure of its kind in the world. Combining a freight terminal, office space, a warehouse, a showroom, and a parking garage, it was created as a multi-tenant mercantile hub on the railroad line and near the heart of center city. The spaces were linked by high-speed passenger and freight elevators. On the National Register of Historic Places, after being sold by the Reading Company in 1954, it went on to house various government agencies and businesses.
The Dennis FarmBrooklyn TownshipSusquehanna
African American Farm that was established c. 1800 and remained in the same family for over 200 years. This property tells the story of free blacks in rural PA. It is believed to have been an Underground Railroad station, due to strong anti-slavery sentiments in the integrated community and evidence that the family was active in abolitionist activities.
Westinghouse Gas WellsPittsburghAllegheny
In 1884, Westinghouse discovered natural gas on his property and drilled several wells for its extraction. At the time the fuel was unsafe and dangerous to use. Over the next few years, Westinghouse patented over 30 inventions for the distribution, safe use, and metering of natural gas. His work was instrumental in the expansion and availability of natural gas as an important widespread energy source.
William Penn Charter SchoolPhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Founded by Quakers in 1689, the school was envisioned and chartered by PA founder William Penn. It is the oldest continually operating Quaker school in the world. Its corporation was a pioneer in education, establishing free tuition for the poor in 1697, financial aid through scholarships in 1701, schools for girls in 1754, and schools to educate all races in 1770.
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