Heinz History Center

Heinz History Center
3:28 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Heinz History Center Celebrates National Pickle Day with Free Days

Visitors to the History Center can celebrate National Pickle Day on Saturday, Nov. 15, and see the perfectly-preserved, 160-year-old pickles – still green in their original glass jar – on display in the History Center’s Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia exhibit.
Credit Heinz History Center / Heinz History Center

Lost treasures, war artifacts, and pickles…yes pickles are just a few of the attractions the Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum are offering during their free admissions weekend, celebrating National Pickle Day from Nov. 15-16.  

Both the Heinz Center and the Fort Pitt Museum will open their doors to all visitors including adults, children, and seniors, courtesy of a grant from the Jack Buncher Foundation.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:12 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Pittsburgh's Lost Steamboat Serves as an Accidental Time Capsule

An artist recreation of the Arabia, the Pittsburgh steamboat found in a cornfield in Kansas.
Artist Gary Lucy

How did a 19th century steamboat made in Pittsburgh wind up perfectly preserved in a Kansas cornfield? This is just one of many questions that emerges from the story told by Leslie Przybylek, lead curator for the Treasures of the Arabia Exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. The Arabia is known as Pittsburgh’s lost steamboat and serves as an accidental time capsule. In its hull, were dozens of hats, shoes, pants, even edible food stuffs, all more than 150 years old.

In bringing the exhibit to Pittsburgh, Przbylek has been working with the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, where the excavated items are normally on display. She explained how the boat ended up in that cornfield.

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Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Ship Sinks In A River, But It's Found In A Cornfield

The excavation site of the Arabia
Credit Senator John Heinz History Center

Ships sink.

They crash or capsize, and are usually never seen again, but that’s not the case with the Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River in the latter half of the 19th century—found 130 years later in a corn field.

Starting Saturday, visitors to the Senator John Heinz History Center will be able to see nearly 2,000 artifacts recovered from the once lost steamboat that was built in Pittsburgh in 1853.

History center President Andy Masich said the boat gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like in the 1800’s.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Pirates Baseball: Looking at Winning Seasons Past and Hopes for the Present

The exhibit at the Heinz History Center that commemorates the year the Pirates won with a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series over the New York Yankees.
Credit Heinz History Center

The 1960 World Series Champions Commemorated at the Heinz History Center

The 2014 baseball season opens Monday. Coming off their first winning season in years, hopes are high for the Pirates.

An exhibit of one of the greatest moments in the team’s history just opened at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

On display are artifacts from Bill Mazeroski’s ninth inning home run, which led to the defeat of the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:51 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

A History of America in 101 Objects and Pittsburgh's Contributions

Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Space Suit
Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution has been referred to as "America's attic." It is home to many iconic objects that have shaped the history of our nation, from industry to culture. In his book, History of America in 101 Objects, author and Smithsonian curator Dr. Richard Kurin chronicles and pinpoints these national treasures by focusing on key objects in the vast collection. 

Here are some of Kurin’s favorite objects related to the Pittsburgh region:

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Community
7:31 am
Mon February 3, 2014

New Home for the Wholey's Smiling Fish Still Up in the Air

The 100-foot-long Wholey’s fish is one step closer to getting a new home.

Jim Wholey, president of Wholey’s, held a press conference with Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald over the weekend to announce the top five choices for a new location.

In December, Wholey had asked the community to help decide where the fish should go. Wholey said a few thousand fans of the fish voted via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and in person.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:31 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

How a Local Poet Laureate Got His Start

This month, the Heinz History Center’s Italian American Collection will host Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Joseph Bathanti, as its first Scholar-in-Residence.
Credit Heinz History Center

This month the Heinz History Center’s Italian American Collection is hosting its inaugural Scholar-In-Residence program.

Receiving the honor is Pittsburgh native Joseph Bathanti. He is also the Poet Laureate of North Carolina and has written eight books of poetry and the award-winning novel East Liberty.

All of his works began with an unexpected move by the young University of Pittsburgh Alum. When he was 23 years old, Bathanti volunteered for the  Volunteers in Service to America program (VISTA) and the experience changed the course of his life.

Bathanti was sent to the North Carolina department of corrections to do his service.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:18 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Lincoln Highway: The Nation's First Coast to Coast Highway Turns 100

One of the original concrete bridges on the "Lincoln Highway" in Tama, IA
Credit Carl Wycoff / Flickr

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States is recognized in currency with statues, a monument in DC and many other areas along the way.

One commemoration includes the Lincoln Highway. Brian Butko is director of publications for the Heinz History Center and an expert on the highway's history, which celebrates its centennial this year.

Butko's knowledge of the Lincoln Highway begins even before the highway was started.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

The "Grandson of Pop Art” Returns Home

Burton Morris designed the logo for Pittsburgh's One World Summit
Credit Burton Morris

Burton Morris has seen his art displayed in the United Nations, Time Magazine, USA Today, the hit TV show Friends, the Paris World Cup, and the 2006 Major League Baseball All Star Game.

He says of all the ways his graphic and colorful art has been presented, he's most impressed with the Heinz History Center's current exhibit. The Pittsburgh native is given a full retrospective, from his earliest art at age 3 to his evolution into the international spotlight.

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Arts & Culture
11:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Hidden Treasures Event Returns to Pittsburgh

Treasures aren’t always strings of pearls or gold doubloons — sometimes, they’re toilets.

1,500 people are expected to attend the sixth annual “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” event at the Heinz History Center Sunday.

Visitors can bring up to two items and to be examined by a team of more than 40 appraisers, including experts from Christie’s, the world’s largest fine art auction house. The appraisers will evaluate the historical importance and possible monetary worth of the items.

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Arts & Culture
5:12 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Exhibit Highlights the Role of Food in American Slavery

Two Pittsburgh institutions are teaming up to show the importance of food in African American slavery.

The Heinz History Center, along with Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, is hosting “Beyond the Big House Kitchen: A Culinary History of American Slavery,” a demonstration showcasing how African American slaves were able to cook and eat on the run.

Sarah Rooney, community programs manager for the Heinz History Center, said the exhibit will show the everyday struggles of freedom seekers.

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New to the 'Burgh
12:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Glass City: Pittsburgh's History as the Center of the U.S. Glass Business

The Heinz History Center exhibition, "Glass: Shattering Notions," features one of the best regional collections of glass made in western Pennsylvania. These flasks are one of the common items that would have been made in Pittsburgh in the 1800s.
Haldan Kirsch 90.5 WESA

The identity of Pittsburgh is synonymous with the steel industry. The city’s largest skyscraper is the U.S. Steel Tower. Its football team is the Steelers, and to the nation, it's the Steel City.

But what about the city’s other industries? Before the rise of steel businesses in the region, western Pennsylvania was the center of glass sales in the United States.

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Community
3:00 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Pittsburgh Bridge to be Named for David McCullough

The man who wrote probably the definitive book on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge will have a bridge named for him in his native Pittsburgh.

The 90-year-old Sixteenth Street Bridge, which links the Strip District and the North Side, will be rededicated Sunday as the David McCullough Bridge in honor of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian.

McCullough will be joined Sunday — his 80th birthday — by family members, friends, fans and local officials for the unveiling of the plaque formally renaming the bridge.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:29 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Unsung Heroes of Western Pennsylvania During Civil War

Pittsburgh's Martin Robison Delany became highest ranking African American officer of a field regiment during war in U.S. history
Credit Wikimedia Commons / National Portait Gallery Washington

While Pittsburgh was never a battleground during the Civil War, there are many little known “unsung heroes” from the Pittsburgh area that made a significant impact in the 1860’s. Heinz History Center's "Pennsylvania's Civil War" lead curator and historian, Leslie Przybylek, shares the stories of three Pittsburghers that you may not have read about in your history books.

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History
3:30 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Re-enactments to Bring Gettysburg to Life for 150th Anniversary

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought 150 years ago, and thousands of people will mark the occasion through re-enactments, workshops, performances and more.
Credit J. Todd Poling / Flickr

It was 150 years ago that the battle considered to be the turning point of the Civil War took place in a field in Pennsylvania.

Each year, thousands of people re-enact the Battle of Gettysburg, and thousands turn out to watch. This year, for the 150th anniversary, the events will be even larger than normal.

“There’ll be two major re-enactments probably attracting 12,000 to 15,000 re-enactors each, and then hundreds of thousands of spectators,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center.  

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:08 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Remaking a Marvel of Pittsburgh Industry

An artist rendering of the 20-inch Rodman gun at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia
Credit Project Gutenberg

The Heinz History Center unveiled its newest exhibition last Saturday, Pennsylvania's Civil War. Among the exhibits is a replica of the most impressive cannon of its era: the 57 ton Rodman Columbiad, forged in Pittsburgh. The cannon was a technological breakthrough in its time, and the recreation of the enormous cannon — all the way down to the initials scrawled into the barrel — is a testament to how modern technology can improve the museum experience.

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Community
3:38 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Bike to Feed Families Ride Travels Same Trail as Lost Cyclist

On May 15, 1892, bookkeeper, amateur photographer and bicycle enthusiast Frank Lenz set off on his bike along rail lines in Pittsburgh. He was headed east to New York City on the first leg of his journey to cycle around the world.

More than a century later, cyclists in Pittsburgh will gather Saturday morning at the Pump House in Homestead. They are not headed for New York but rather Duquesne. And the supplies they will be carrying are food donations destined for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  

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Education & Learning
4:05 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Bon Appetito: Heinz History Center Launches Healthy Heritage Cooking Series

As part of the Heinz History Center's Healthy Heritage Cooking Series, Viviana Altieri demonstrates to Pittsburgh Public School students how to make fried risotto balls called supplì.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Heinz History Center on Tuesday kicked off the Healthy Heritage Cooking Series, a three-month pilot program designed to introduce students to Italian, Syrian and Bulgarian cooking and connect health to history.

Viviana Altieri, who directed an Italian cooking demonstration, is the executive director of Mondo Italiano, a local meet-up organization that promotes Italian language and culture. She said food traditions have always been important to mankind and that the Healthy Heritage series will broaden students’ cultural horizons.

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Women's Rights
2:06 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Women's Rights Movement in Pittsburgh: 1967 to Today

The Women's Rights Movement is a feature of the 1968: The Year that Rocked America exhibit. Freedom Trash Cans were used during the 1968 Miss America Pageant protest as a way to discard things such as bras, Playboy magazines, girdles and other items in symbolic gesture.
Credit Heinz History Center

1968 was a notable year in American history, the Vietnam War was raging, Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated, and the Women’s movement was gaining national attention.

Pittsburgh was among the hotbeds of change with civil unrest in the hill district, war protests on campuses and through all of that, the women’s rights movement was charging forward.

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