December 31, 2001 |
John Quincy Adams, upon retirement from the White House, ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Ulysses S. Grant traveled extensively, dabbled unsuccessfully in the stock market and then sat down to write his memoirs because he needed the money. Until now, however, only one president has set out on a methodical campaign to redeem his presidency in the eyes of historians. That was Andrew Johnson, who announced on his return home to Tennessee after a calamitous administration that culminated in his impeachment, "I intend to appropriate the remainder of my life, short as it may be, in the vindication of my character.
June 10, 1993 |
The protracted three decade-plus battle over whether the Blue Route should be built produced a stream of documents that probably exceed the road's 21.5 miles through the western suburbs. Now, a key part of that documentation soon will be available to the public at the Radnor Memorial Library. The Committee for the Blue Route, a citizens' group that supported the building of Interstate 476, is donating about three file drawers of impact studies, court cases and material related to the Radnor Citizen's Referendum that helped clear opposition to construction of the highway.
December 5, 1987 |
When the play was over, the actors came front and center to answer questions from the audience. One concerned educational backgrounds, and actor Daniel Doyle was the first to answer. "Columbia University, major in history," he said. "To tell you the truth, though, where I've really learned history is right here in this show. " Daniel Doyle is in U.S. 1787-1987, a play in one fast act and several hundred mini-scenes, produced by the Philadelphia Actors' Theater. Wednesday, in performances before two assembly audiences at Martin Luther King High School, Stenton Avenue and Haines Street, he and his fellow actors - Bonnie Cavanaugh, Joseph Pokorny and Kristin Norton - demonstrated that history can be fun. Working with a minimum of props, they covered 200 years of American history, from the signing of the Constitution to the recent report of the Iran-contra investigating committees.
January 27, 1986 |
Long before Philadelphia had the Eagles, Frankford had the Yellow Jackets, titans of the National Football League back in its busted-nose and leather- helmet days. The old manufacturing neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia fairly swelled with civic pride, too. "People all over the country have come to learn that the Yellow Jackets are from Frankford and not merely from Philadelphia," reporter Milton Jacobs wrote in 1925 for the National News Service. "The Yellow Jackets play right in Frankford, and therefore thousands of visitors enter Frankford weekly by train, foot, auto, bus, trolley and elevated to see that team play," Jacobs wrote.
January 11, 1987 |
Robert Valyo, who retired Jan. 1 as the Willistown police chief, plans to use the skills he learned in 32 years on the force to sniff out the history of the township. For the last three years, Valyo has spent an increasing amount of time digging into the history of the 300-year-old Chester County community that he grew to know while on patrol. "I'm really going to do it now. I really love historical research," said Valyo, 59, who retired after handing over the reins a day earlier to Lt. Charles O. Bennett, 51, who was sworn in as chief Monday night.
September 5, 1991 |
Almost hidden among Mount Holly's montage of municipal parking lots and sidewalks is a tiny bit of its history. The rough-hewn logs and the glistening oyster-shell mortar on the Shinn- Curtis log house built in 1712 help to tell its story in a very quiet way. Without words or sounds, the log cabin - one of Mount Holly's first buildings - tells visitors a tale of a once-tiny town on the banks of the meandering Rancocas Creek. At the same time, it serves the residents as a thift shop whose profits of more than $5,000 a year benefit the Mount Holly Historical Society.
January 22, 1990 |
For the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, history beckons Sunday amid the incandescence of the Louisiana Superdome. For the 49ers, history holds the promise of a lasting legacy of triumph. For the Broncos, it offers an indelible stigma of failure. With a victory in Super Bowl XXIV, the 49ers would take their place beside the Pittsburgh Steelers, the standard of football excellence in the 1970s. Only the Steelers have won four Super Bowls. San Francisco, widely acknowledged as the team of the '80s, has three titles.
February 28, 1990 |
The seniors in Jerry Newman's social studies class at Lincoln High School don't just read history books. They're writing one. Since September, 16 students - 17- and 18-year-olds - have gotten a crash course in the past of the Tacony, Mayfair and Holmesburg neighborhoods surrounding the school at Rowland and Ryan Avenues. The project is subsidized by a three-year, $16,000 grant from the Penn Serve education fund, started by Gov. Casey in 1987. "We want to introduce students to their history," said Lincoln's principal Harry Silcox, who is a historian, a Tacony native and the intellectual patron of the project.
December 10, 1990 |
A good friend has gotten into the habit before every Cardinal Dougherty basketball game of asking Shawn Newman, "How many points are you going to score today?" Yesterday, before a non-league affair at West Catholic, Newman answered good-naturedly, "I don't know . . . About 30. " Thirty? Try almost double that. Though Dougherty lost to the Burrs by the astronomical score of 118-108, Newman, a 5-11 senior wing guard, blazed his way to 58 points, more than any Catholic League player in history.
June 23, 2005 |
As I celebrate the 25th anniversary of writing this column, I am painfully reminded that although there have been some significant and positive changes in the culture and behavior of individuals and institutions in this city and this nation, some things remain the same. Some habits of mind, for example. Like that of State House Speaker John Perzel in opposing the Philadelphia School District's African American history mandate. And there are many who do. In an interview and in a letter sent to school officials, Perzel questioned whether black students were sufficiently interested in African American history to justify the mandate.