Don't Miss Out!

Don't Miss Out!
Woman with brown hair wearing a 1940s style dress with several kids - she is pointing to a plane silhouette as part of a WW II era plane spotting activity in an exhibit booth at the PA Farm Show.
PA Military Museum educator Emily shows some Farm Show visitors how civilians learned to spot enemy planes during World War II (via PMM's Facebook page)

There's still time (but not much) to catch the PA Military Museum's display at the 2023 PA Farm Show. All this week, they've been helping show-goers learn about life in Harrisburg during World War II, highlighting the Farm Show complex's role in wartime aviation and civilian homefront activities. Their Facebook page is a great place to see what they've been up to. You can find them in Booth 2310, which is in the GIANT Expo Hall, near the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs booth. The Farm Show runs through tomorrow (Saturday) at 5 pm. 

World War II photo of 3 women repairing an aircraft engine

One of the civilian homefront activities that took place at the Farm Show complex was aircraft engine repair. According to a PA Farm Show history site created by PHMC in 2012, in 1942 the Main Exhibition Hall was used to train mechanics to repair military planes. "In early 1944, the mechanics' school was phased out and replaced by an Army Air Corps aircraft engine repair shop. When it was fully operational as part of a large aircraft overhaul center at Olmsted Field in nearby Middletown [now the site of Harrisburg International Airport] the shop employed sixteen hundred to twenty-three hundred workers."

This is also the last weekend to see the 2023 Art of the State juried exhibition at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. If you won't be able to visit in person, you can also check out the 360° Virtual Exhibition.

If you know a current undergraduate or graduate student interested in public history and/or historic preservation, there's still a little bit of time to apply for a 2023 Keystone Summer Internship with PHMC. Paid positions are open at numerous Trails of History sites around the state as well as at the State Historic Preservation Office in Harrisburg. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have at least a 2.5 GPA, and meet some other requirements depending on which position they apply for (successful applicants will need to pass a background check). Posting details and all requirements can be found at Pennsylvania's NEOGOV site.

Up Next

Today, January 13

  • Family Gallery Tour: Geology Hall (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about the landforms and waterways found in Pennsylvania’s Physiographic Provinces and get hands-on with the common minerals and rocks found in Pennsylvania. Included in regular admission (Geology Hall tour info).

Saturday, January 14

  • Black Bears (in-person); 10:30-11:30 am; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about the history of black bears in PA and find out about their unique adaptations and what they are doing during the winter. Included in regular admission (Black Bears program info).

Tuesday, January 17

  • Workin' on the Railroad (virtual); 10-10:30 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • This interactive virtual program is geared to grades K-6 and explores a variety of railroad jobs through artifacts, photographs, and activities. Admission is by donation (Workin' on the Railroad info and tickets).

Thursday, January 19

  • Curiosity Kids (in-person); 11:30 am-12:30 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Learn about magnets, explore a series of hands-on experiment stations, and use critical thinking skills to complete various challenges. For grades K-2 and included in regular admission. Space is limited, so please sign up at the Ground Floor Info Desk when you arrive (Curiosity Kids info).

Friday, January 20

  • Learn at Lunchtime (virtual); 12:15-12:45 pm; The State Museum of PA
    • Join us as we talk to Jeff Jumper, Resiliency Program Manager with the Bureau of Recovery at the PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), to discuss some of our weather normal and some of our extremes. From tornadoes to floods, we’ll take a look through the Pennsylvania weather almanac. The program is free, but you must register to receive the link (Learn at Lunchtime registration).

Advance Tickets or Registrations

  • Revolutionary Speaker Series (in-person); Saturday, Jan. 21, Noon-2 pm; Brandywine Battlefield Park
    • Jennifer Janofsky, director and public historian at Red Bank Battlefield, and Wade Catts, principal archaeologist with South River Heritage Consulting, will present a program on recent excavations at Fort Mercer and Red Bank Battlefield Park. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online (Rev Speaker Series tickets).
  • Sensory Hours (in-person); Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9-11 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Light, noise, and crowd levels will be lower, and there will be a few quiet spaces in the galleries if you need a break. Severl historic trains will be open with staff on hand to answer questions. Advance tickets required (Sensory Hours 1/24 tickets).
  • Tour of the GP30 (virtual); Tuesday, Jan. 31, 10-10:30 am; Railroad Museum of PA
    • This interactive virtual program is geared to grades K-6 and will provide a behind-the-scenes view of spaces inside the locomotive. Admission is by donation (GP30 Tour info and tickets).
  • Winter Academy (virtual); Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:30-7:30 pm; Drake Well Museum & Park
    • Photographer and retired biology teacher Jeffrey Hall will present a virtual program, "Birds of Venango County," sharing facts and stories about the birds we all know, highlighting some of the birds that are "specialties" of Venango County, and introducing some of the rare birds that visit the county only occasionally (Winter Academy 2/9 info and registration).
  • Rails & Ales 2023 (in-person); Saturday, April 1, 5:30-9 pm; Railroad Museum of PA
    • Taste craft beers among the museum's world-class collection of historic trains in Rolling Stock Hall. Must be age 21 or older to attend; photo ID required at the door. Advance tickets only; VIP tickets tend to sell out quickly (ticket options, including designated driver tickets).


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