History Connections to Pennsylvania


(CURRENT) Gilded Age and Progressive Politicians

ellisisland_immigrants.jpeg(From PH, pg. SH32) New waves of immigration came to Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Numerous Swedes were attracted by advertisements for land in European newspapers. A wave of Italian immigrants came between 1880 and World War I, seeking jobs in Pennsylvania's cities. Asian immigrants came, mainly from China, established what has become Philadelphia's thriving Chinatown community.
By the turn of the 20th century, more Pennsylvanians were moving from the countryside into the state's cities, and immigrants, including women and children, increasingly found industrial employment. As you will study, the hopes and dreams that drew immigrants to Pennsylvania-- and the rest of the country--helped to transform the United States from sparsely settled territories into thriving, highly industrialized nation.

Check out more about immigration to Philadelphia HERE

bell-tour.gif(From PH, pg. 96) Central to the women's suffrage strategy was a massive public education campaign. To contribute to this effort, Pennsylvania suffragist Katharine Wentworth Ruschenberger commissioned the Justice Bell, a copy of the Liberty Bell inscribed with the words "Establish Justice". The clapper of the bell was fastened so the bell count be rung.
In 1915, women's rights advocates traveled the state with the bell, giving speeches and handing out literature to support their cause. The arrival of the bell in a town was a major event, and this first tour covered more than 5,000 miles across all of the Pennsylvania counties.
The suffragists attained their goal when Congress approved the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, on August 26, 1920. In a ceremony held in Independence Square in Philadelphia, the clapper of the Justice Bell was unfastened, and the bell was rung for the first time to celebrate this victory.

Challenges and Change- The United States in the Cold War

rachel_carson.png(From PH US History, pg 464 and http://www.rachelcarson.org/ -Linda Lear) Rachel Carson

The 1950s through the 1970s was an era in which idealistic thinkers lead movements to transform American society. During the period Rachel Carson was at the vanguard of the environmental movement. Her book Silent Spring, revealed widespread threats to the environment and to the health and safety of the American people. Rachel Carson, writer, scientist, and ecologist, grew up simply in the rural river town of Springdale, Pennsylvania, just up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh.
She was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts during the Depression and supplemented her income writing feature articles on natural history for the Baltimore Sun. She wrote pamphlets on conservation and natural resources and edited scientific articles, but in her free time turned her government research into lyric prose.
Disturbed by the profligate use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II, Carson reluctantly changed her focus in order to warn the public about the long term effects of misusing pesticides. In Silent Spring (1962) she challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world.
For more on her legacy, click here.

The Great Depression- Marian Andersonexternal image 090413_r18365_p233.jpg

From PH US History, pg. 208- From the optimistic years following World War I, through the uneasy times of the Great Depression, the voice of Marian Anderson offered hope to struggling Americans. With astounding talent and grace, Marian Anderson broke new ground in the United States for African American performers.

Born to a poor South Philadelphia family in 1897, Anderson began performing in her church. She performed in Europe where her fame grew. Returning to the United States, she faced the racism of early 20th Century America. After being refused to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington DC, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, invited Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert attracted 75,000 people and was broadcast to millions of listeners.

For further information on Marian Anderson, check out the link above.


(Coming Soon) World War II- Pittsburgh

From The European Renaissance in America, pg. 130 and PH, pg. 320- The city was in terrible shape when World War II ended. Although its steel mills had contributed much to the victory, Pittsburgh was losing its own war against urban blight. A 1944 Wall Street Journal survey of the postwar prospects of American cities judged it a city with a bleak future. With the loss of population, many of America's cities lost tax revenue and were deteriorating
smokey_pitts.jpg
January 1940. "Long stairway in mill district
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Nevertheless, Pittsburgh would be at the forefront of urban renewal efforts. In 1946, newly elected mayor David Lawrence promised to make the city healthy again through clean air, clean water, and a beautiful downtown. In an alliance with wealthy leader of the Mellon family, Richard King Mellon, they brought Pittsburgh to be the first American city to be run on nuclear power.
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The multi-purpose Three Rivers Stadium was built in 1970 as part of the Renaissance I project. It was imploded in 2001.


Chapter 3 The Development of Industrial America

Child labor contributed to the growth of Pennsylvania's economy during the late 19th Century. By 1800, more than 60,000 children as laborers in the state's mines, mills, factories, and other industries. In 1876, a protest against child labor in Philadelphia increased pressure on the state legislature to enact laws mandating a minimum working age. (More and Source: PH US History, pg. 93)

Ending Child Labor