History

Beechwood School Garden, 1916

Over the past 10 years, school gardens have been cropping up across the Pittsburgh region. Spurred by chef-​activist Alice Waters’ 1995 Edible School Yard, the school garden movement has been praised for yielding both a harvest bounty and hearty educational benefits. In these outdoor classrooms, students learn about everything from…

The Egg Route

My dad likes to reminisce, and after most of our 22 family members had moved to the living room after a holiday dinner to nap or watch sports, I learned how the desire for farm fresh eggs connected my parents to both the city of Pittsburgh and their rural roots…

Sept. 17, 1862 — The Day Pittsburgh Exploded

“Tread softly, this is consecrated dust. Forty five pure patriotic victims lie here, a sacrifice to freedom and civil liberty. A horrid memento of a most wicked rebellion. Patriots! These are patriots’ graves.” –Inscription on the memorial at Allegheny Cemetery

Pittsburgh to Gettysburg

During a muggy June in 1863, Civil War-​weary Pittsburghers panicked at rumors that Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was marching his Army of Northern Virginia toward Pennsylvania.

South Park Cascades, Circa 1931

South Park, a 2,013-acre Allegheny County Park in the South Hills has all the features one might expect: trails, picnic groves, ball fields, and even a golf course. In more recent years, modern updates have included a wave pool, ice skating rink, skate park, nature center and a dek hockey…

Blending Image and Word

Ekphrasis first began as a rhetorical form used by the ancient Greeks. Defined by Webster’s as “a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art,” it remains one of the oldest forms of artistic analysis, dating back to Homer’s description of Achilles’ blacksmith god-​created shield in The…

A Delicious Quandary

by Cody McDevitt
In 1968, Pittsburgh Chef Ferdinand Metz cabled from Frankfurt, Germany, to tell his friends that the U.S. Team won the Grand Gold Award in the International Culinary Competition. He was at the top of the culinary world, with 16 gold medals and the grand award given to him and his…

Christmas in Utopia

It’s early morning on Christmas Eve in the town of Economy, Pennsylvania. The year is 1828. Twenty-​seven-​year-​old Catharina Langenbacher awakens to the five o’clock gong of the grandfather clock in the sitting room downstairs. By the time she clambers down the crude staircase, her widowed mother is preparing breakfast. Catharina’s…

Contemporary Colonialism

“The fundamental decisions affecting the lives of … colonized people are made and implemented by the … rulers in pursuit of interests that are often defined in a distant metropolis. Rejecting cultural compromises with the colonized population, the colonizers are convinced of their own superiority and their ordained mandate to…

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of History, Part V

“The UK is a divided society where the richest receive the lion’s share, leaving crumbs for the rest.” — The Equality Trust

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of History, Part IV

“Brexit changed everything.” – Paul Singer, Elliott Management Corp.

Hidden from History

The life of Esther Phillips (190283) would have languished in obscurity, at most a footnote in history, were it not for the dedication of a few friends and supporters. Her story, which intersects with ideas about women, class and mental health in the 20th century, is all too familiar.…

Once Upon A Tunnel

The calamity began at the stroke of midnight on May 10, 1924, when Pittsburgh Street Railway Company employees walked off the job. The streetcar strike threw commuters into a tizzy, and the following morning South Hills commuters jumped into their cars and headed for the recently opened Liberty Tunnels. Between…

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of History, Part II

The European political elite [has developed] a habit of profound disrespect for public opinion and democratic process – John Plender in the Financial Times
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