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Public History News
The last photo found by the Pennsylvania research team made of individuals, organizations, and the Stevenson University history program: MSGT Matthew N. Harris, Jr (USAF) of Philadelphia. Died May 28, 1965. While SU history majors did not find this last photo, they found 116 others in four months' work.
In early-December the State of Pennsylvania announced that it had located photos of all 3,150 Pennsylvanians killed in Vietnam. Posted to the online Vietnam Wall of Faces, people can now see a photo of each Pennsylvanian killed during that war. In its media release commemorating that accomplishment, the State specifically recognized and thanked the Stevenson History Program for helping locate many of the missing photos.
Headstone of Master Sergeant Matthew N. Harris, Jr. (USAF)
“It is incredibly gratifying to know that all 3,150 Pennsylvanians who died in Vietnam are now represented on the virtual Wall Of Faces where they can be honored by anyone, from anywhere around the world,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs who led this effort, along with everyone they partnered with over the past four years, for tenaciously searching until the last photo was found. Completing this project demonstrates just how much pride Pennsylvania has in all of those who have served our great nation, and that no one will ever be forgotten.”
A photo collage of US casualties during the Vietnam War. All of these photos are at the VVMF's Vietnam "Wall of Faces" online.
For the past four years the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has partnered with the VVMF in Washington, D.C., to find a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall – commonly referred to as The Wall. The VVMF has been posting the photos on a virtual Wall of Faces in order to put a face and a story to every name to help preserve their legacies.
“This was a great and incredibly important project that helps show the families and friends of the Pennsylvanians lost in Vietnam that their loved ones will not be forgotten,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli. “We owe a huge thanks to all of the volunteers from around the country who have been instrumental in locating these photos and spreading the word about the Wall of Faces effort.
“I’d also like to give a few deserved shout-outs to the Pennsylvania media outlets who featured this program, the Public History Program students at Stevenson University in Maryland, members of the Pennsylvania Civil Air Patrol, and Vietnam veteran John Thomstatter and his team of researchers, who helped get us to the finish line.”
Sixty four of the photos of Maryland Vietnam casualties located by Stevenson history students in 2016.
The Stevenson History Program began helping the State of Pennsylvania find photos of its Vietnam casualties after its history students helped the State of Maryland find its last remaining photos in 2016. An ongoing volunteer project within the program, Stevenson's history majors have located over 160 pictures of Vietnam casualties from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Maine, Virginia, and West Virginia. It takes, on average, about eight hours to locate a missing photo.
The book's cover.
Get ready to have fun reading this spring---Dr Jamie Goodall is releasing her latest book, Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay, in late February. Covering the period that runs from the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars, Dr. Goodall applies her knowledge of illicit trade in the Atlantic region to our home waters. Published by the History Press, the paperback book runs 128 pages.
Maryland's armed steam schooner, probably the Governor R. M. McLane, exchanges cannon fire with armed oyster pirates. (Harper's Weekly, Jan 1886)
Per Amazon.com's description of her book, the story of Chesapeake pirates and patriots begins with a land dispute and ends with the untimely death of an oyster dredger at the hands of the Maryland Oyster Navy--forerunner to today's Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) police. From the golden age of piracy to Confederate privateers and oyster pirates, the maritime communities of the Chesapeake Bay were intimately tied to a fascinating history of intrigue, plunder and illicit commerce raiding. Dr. Goodall introduces infamous men like Edward "Blackbeard" Teach and "Black Sam" Bellamy, as well as lesser-known local figures like Gus Price and Berkeley Muse, whose tales of piracy are legendary from the harbor of Baltimore to the shores of Cape Charles.
The author, Dr. Jamie Goodall.
Dr Goodall serves as an Assistant Professor of History in the History department at Stevenson University in Baltimore, MD. She has a PhD in History from The Ohio State University with specializations in Atlantic World, Early American, and Military histories. She is also a first-generation college student. Her publications include a journal article, “Tippling Houses, Rum Shops, & Taverns: How Alcohol Fueled Informal Commercial Networks and Knowledge Exchange in the West Indies” in the Journal of Maritime History and various historical chapters for Gale Researcher Online.
Copies of Dr, Goodall's book can be pre-ordered online through Amazon.com.
Stevenson University's History Program recently made an overnight trip to Virginia. Covering roughly 750 miles in two days, majors visited the Frontier Culture Museum (Staunton), Appomattox Court House (Appomattox), Jefferson's Poplar Forest (Lynchburg), and Monticello (Charlottesville).
CAPTION: Stevenson History majors pose beside our valiant 15 passenger van that carried us 750 miles from Maryland to Virginia and back. (Photo: GT Johnston)
Each semester the history department tries to take an overnight trip to a different part of the Eastern Seaboard that is historically significant, has lots of things to do, and sounds like fun. In the past, the history program has gone to Williamsburg, St Michaels, Charlottesville, Brandywine, Scranton, and the Hudson Valley.
CAPTION: Jefferson's summer home at Poplar Forest near Lynchburg. It was also his primary tobacco plantation. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
Taking a trip during which you see Jefferson's summer home at Poplar Forest in the morning, and his more formal home at Monticello in the afternoon provides opportunities for comparison and contrast. The two are owned and operated by different private organizations, so our students can compare different approaches to public history as well.
CAPTION: With a slight misspelling, the Timberlake Hotel welcomed us for a great night's rest. Not a whole lot of frills, but great beds, warm rooms, hot water, clean linens, and a good breakfast. Ya gotta luv it!!! (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
Most of the majors loved their time at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton. In 1975, the idea arose for an expansive outdoor museum that would interpret the contributions made by settlers from England, Germany, Ireland, and West Africa on the Mid-Atlantic frontier in the 1700s. Today, the Museum operates as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
CAPTION: Two living historians interpret to visitors life on the frontier in the 1740s. He is using a drawknife to shape a pestle for his wife. The pestle is held by a shave horse. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
The trip also provided opportunities for our majors to learn more about 18th century agronomy, especially with respect to tobacco. Maryland and Virginia had tobacco as their primary cash crop during that era, so, if you are going to do history about those two colonies you had better know about tobacco.
CAPTION: Tobacco growing at Monticello with buds and flowers at the top of the plant. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
CAPTION: These are what tobacco flowers look like at the top of the tobacco plant. While pretty, these flowers would have been removed in a process called "topping." Similarly, as new leaves began to grow on the stalks later in the season, they would be removed as well in a process called "suckering." It was thought that by removing the plant's flowers and additional leaves it would center all of the plant's energy on developing its large original leaves. These large leaves were prized, harvested, dried, packed in large barrels called hogsheads, and shipped to England (for Virginia tobacco) and Scotland (for Maryland tobacco) in order to to be sold. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
CAPTION: Tobacco plants grown at the Frontier Culture Museum are grown each on their own mound as they would have been grown in the 18th century. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
Why is the Stevenson University History Program so unique? Because we do these kinds of trips at no additional cost to the students. Because we spend lots of time together having fun, talking about history, and helping each other. Because we get to know each other really well, not just as professor and student, but as individuals as well. Because history must be experienced-- seen, tasted, smelled, and felt. Because history just can't be learned in a classroom.
CAPTION: Nine of the twelve history majors that made the trip stand atop the mount upon which Monticello was built. Great students, great scenery, and a great trip. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
The Stevenson University History Program recently visited with the the National Park Service Historic Trades Preservation Center to learn about their apprenticeship program in the traditional trades.
Caption: Rodney Flora practices traditional masdonry as part of the NPS Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP). (Photo by NPS)
The Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program (TTAP) came about through the realization that the National Park Service needs workers with specialized skills to preserve and maintain the buildings and structures in our national parks and historic communities. To help meet this need, TTAP (pronounced "tee-tap") was created.
CAPTION: NPS historic preservation team helps shore up the walls of a historic building by using exterior supports. Part of the Traditional Trades Apprenticeship Program training. (Photo by NPS)
Located in in Frederick, Maryland, about an hour away from Stevenson University, TTAP is unique within the nation. It provides hands-on training in historic preservation skills to people interested in pursuing a career in preservation with the federal government. During an intensive six-month apprenticeship experience, TTAP passes onto the next generation the skills that will allow the important work of preserving our cultural heritage to be continued. During a time when many of these skills and trades are becoming obsolete, TTAP teaches the traditional trades in their modern form, trades that require much of the same materials, tools, ingenuity, skills, and hard work that have been required for generations and can never be replaced.
CAPTION: Stevenson History majors receive an orientation talk from Historic Preservation Training Center Senior Historical Architect, Tom Vitanza. (Photo by G.T. Johnston)
Trips like these are what the Stevenson University history program is all about. Yes, we do all of the standard classroom work in US history, but that is simply the work necessary to placing hands on experiences in the field within context. It is our program's job to introduce you to these experiences. It is your job to determine whether you would like to take advantage of those opportunities.