Honoring History

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If you’re planning ahead this month, you can check the December program page to see the whole month or revisit last week’s post, which covers events through Dec. 13.

Two 14-inch guns from USS Pennsylvania on grounds of PA Military Museum
Two of USS Pennsylvania’s 14-inch guns were moved from Dahlgren, Virginia, to the grounds of the PA Military Museum in 2009 (photo PA Military Museum)

77 years ago, the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Hawaii was attacked by aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy. As has become the custom, the Pennsylvania Military Museum will hold a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Tribute starting at 12:45 pm today. The event will begin outdoors at the display of the USS Pennsy guns, which were on the ship at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Indoors, attendees may view a screening of the film “World War II: Crusade in the Pacific” and enjoy light refreshments.

An iconic piece of American travel and commuter history is slated for a big change in the coming year. The Solari board at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station (see YouTube video) is being retired in favor of new technology. The flipping numbers and letters have become outdated, although judging by the reactions in this article on BillyPenn.com, they are still treasured by people who pass through the station. The good news is that the board is destined for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where it will become part of the new exhibits in Rolling Stock Hall. As mentioned in the article, museum staff are working on the best ways to display the board and preserve or recreate its signature sound experience. We’ll keep you apprised.

Interns stand on Shay Locomotive at PA Lumber Museum
Keystone Interns Derrick Atkins and Andrew Moyer with the PA Lumber Museum‘s Shay locomotive, summer 2018 (photo Lumber Museum)

College students (undergrad or grad) interested in exploring careers in public history should consider applying for the 2019 Keystone Internship program. Depending on applicant interest and staff capacity, internships are available in many areas of PHMC, including historic preservation, archives, collections management, and historic site/museum operations and programs. Internships run from May to August and are unpaid; most students work with their college or university to receive academic credit. Schedules are somewhat flexible and subject to negotiation between interns and their mentors. The application process involves an information form where students indicate their interests, an essay, a transcript from their home institution (unofficial is fine), and a letter of recommendation. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 8, 2019. Check out the PHMC website for details.

Preserving Pennsylvania’s history and sharing it with the public doesn’t just happen, as regular readers of Trailheads are well aware. It takes people and it takes money. If you have a favorite Trails of History site and are not already a member, consider giving yourself a gift this year while supporting that site’s activities. Membership is a great way to support sites, as is volunteering. And membership benefits can really pay off if you’re a frequent visitor and like to shop in the museum store. Just sayin’.

If you don’t have a favorite site, you can support the PHMC’s sites and other activities through a membership in the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation (PHF). Through December 31, if you renew, rejoin, or join PHF, you can gift a free membership of equal or lesser value to a friend, family member, or co-worker. Memberships included in this offer are Heritage, Individual, and Family (visit PHF website for details or to purchase online). All categories of membership include free regular admission to sites on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. (Please note, the gift membership must be for individuals or families who have never held a membership with PHF or The State Museum previously.) You can also donate to PHF online if that’s more your style. We thank you for your support.

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