Finished Your Taxes?

If you haven’t finished your taxes, quit reading this and get to work (I’ll have no part in your procrastination ritual)! Otherwise, enjoy an assortment of items selected especially for you (according to the post count on Blogger, this is the 100th post on Trailheads—we’ll be breaking out the streamers and party hats shortly).

As you know from last week’s post Pennsylvania’s (and most of the country’s) commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War took place this Tuesday. Governor Tom Corbett (see his remarks here) and legislative leaders spoke at a kickoff event in the Capitol Rotunda and were joined by historical interpreters from a variety of groups. PA Civil War 150 reported live on their Facebook page and Twitter, so I’ll let you check that out for yourself.

John F. Hartranft

Keeping with the Civil War theme, the Pennsylvania State Archives will host an open house on Monday, April 18, from 10 am to 3 pm. They’ll be showing off their newly renovated Search Room and highlighting interesting documents from the vast archival collections of the Commonwealth. Among the featured items is the 1865 letter book of Gen. John F. Hartranft, who oversaw the imprisonment and treatment of the accused conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. In “The Conspirator,” which opens today in theaters, Hartranft is played by Jim True-Frost. (Never heard of him? IMDb says he’s been in some movies, mostly tv series—maybe this will be his breakout role). General Hartranft also went on to serve as Governor of Pennsylvania (1872-79) and is a subject of the recent PHMC publication, From Soldiers to Governors.

PHMC/Railroad Museum of PA

Tomorrow, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania opens a new temporary exhibit, “Rail Traffic Control: Managing the Crossroads of Commerce.” The exhibit explores railroad signaling and communications through artifacts, photographs, and videos, as well as an opportunity for visitors to run a simulated rail traffic operation (hands-on isn’t just for kids, after all). The exhibit is in the 2nd floor gallery and will run through December.

PHMC/Railroad Museum of PA

Charlie Fox, director of the Railroad Museum (and, in the spirit of blogger transparency, my husband), recently received an alumni award from the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University. Fox was honored by the Art History Department (he holds bachelor’s degrees in Art History and History) for his professional achievements and for his service to the College (he just finished a third term on the board of the alumni association). During the awards festivities, he had several opportunities to talk candidly with undergrad and graduate students about his experiences at Penn State and his subsequent career in museums.


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