Past Events

Below is a listing of some of our past events.

YEAR 2014

October 14, 2014 (Tuesday)

"August Wilson, A Pittsburgh Life"

Senior Theater Critic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Chris Rawson

August Wilson was a prolific playwright who eloquently chronicled African American life. A Pittsburgh native, his most celebrated achievement is a 10-play cycle often referred to as the Pittsburgh Cycle, where each play is set in a different decade of the 20th century. All but one of the plays is set in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood, where Wilson was raised. Each play depicts the love, lives, comedies, triumphs and tragedies of the African American experience.

Wilson was the first African American to have two plays running simultaneously on Broadway and is one of seven American playwrights to win two Pulitzer Prizes.

Book: "August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays" by Laurence A. Glaswco and Christopher Rawson
A guide to historic sites and places that figure in the life and plays of August Wilson. Most of these are set in the Hill District, where Wilson was born and grew up. The book includes photographs of the sites as well as fold-out maps for self-conducted walking tours.

About Chris Rawson:
Rawson's main discipline is as a theater critic. From 1983 to 2009, he was full-time theater critic and theater editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, covering theater not just in Pittsburgh but also as much as possible in New York, London and the Canadian theater festivals. In 1984, he started the annual Post-Gazette Performer of the Year Award, now (2013) in its 30th year. In 2009, he semi-retired, continuing as that paper's part-time senior theater critic. He also appears as the weekly critic for KDKA-TV.

September 9, 2014 (Tuesday)

"Some Observations on 20th Century Architecture in Pittsburgh"

Speaker: AL TANNLER,
Pgh. History & Landmarks, Historical Collections Director

Al Tannler

Mr. Tannler will explore interesting discoveries made about Pittsburgh's buildings, architects, craftsman, and clients, as well as some historical, economic, and environmental factors that influenced and shaped building and design in the twentieth century.

Albert M. Tannler, historical collections director, joined PHLF on January 2, 1991. He researches and writes architectural history and oversees the James D. Van Trump Library and the Frank B. Fairbanks Rail Transportation Archive. Prior to joining PHLF, Al worked as an archivist and editor in Chicago. He began researching and writing about architecture in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Chicago Library.

August -- No Meeting Scheduled

July 8, 2014(Tuesday)

"In Search of Pittsburgh's Mr. Selfridge:
Unknown Stories from Pittsburgh's Department Stores

Reference and Access Archivist,
University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

David Grinnell

David Grinnell last spoke to the Sq.Hill Historical Society in October 2011 on "The Thaws of Pittsburgh" This meeting he will provide us with the look at the long history of retail in Pittsburgh.

June 10, 2014(Tuesday)

"The Civil War in Pennsylvania: Stories Through Photographs"

Curator of Collections at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Curator Michael Kraus

Michael Kraus, Curator of Collections at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum and author of "The Civil War in Pennsylvania:A Photographic History", will present a moving portrayal of the personal side of the Civil War by telling the stories of the soldiers’ experiences through photographs taken during the conflict.

Info on Michael G. Kraus from:"National Civil War Museum" website

Michael Kraus’s interest with history began when he was ten with the discovery of a 3000 year old Native-American stone ax which he found in the dirt while playing behind his parent’s home in Western Pennsylvania. From that moment the question of who was here before us and what happened to them awakened Michael to a lifelong affinity for historical artifacts and the background stories they hold.

Kraus’s interest expanded over the years to focus on military history particularly the American Civil War. In a recent Pittsburgh newspaper interview, a reporter referred to him as the “go to” person for all things Civil War as Michael is recognized in the field not only as an authority on historical artifacts, but also as a long time re-enactor, who attended his first re-enactment event in 1966. He continues to enjoy re-enacting holding the rank of captain of the 116th Pa. Volunteer Infantry, Company “I” Irish Brigade. Capitalizing on is living history expertise Kraus was tapped by several film companies as an on location historical consultant. Michael has worked on, and appeared in, “Gettysburg” in 1993 and “Cold Mountain” in 2003. Other media credits include being the co-writer of a nationally distributed documentary DVD series titled: “Civil War Minutes” (recently broadcast on PBS) and as military antiques appraiser for “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” an antique road show type program on KDKA Television.

Michael Kraus graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Fine Art and in 2009 was recognized by the university as a distinguished alumnus. For nearly 20 years Michael has worked as a sculptor combining artistic talent with a passion for history. Kraus has been commissioned to create at least six large public bronze monuments with historical themes.

Currently, Mr. Kraus is the Curator of Collections at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial and Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Info on Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial from "National Military Museum" website

Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial is a National Register of Historic Places landmark in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the largest memorial in the United States dedicated solely to honoring all branches of military veterans and service personnel. It was conceived by the Grand Army of the Republic in the 1890s as a way for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to honor the dwindling ranks of its American Civil War veterans. The Memorial today represents all branches of the service and honors both career and citizen soldiers who have served the United States throughout its history.

Architect Henry Hornbostel designed the memorial in 1907. Dedicated in 1910, the building is in the Beaux-Arts style and is heroic in scale. It is located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh and adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh campus and its Cathedral of Learning.

The Memorial houses rare and one-of-a-kind exhibits that span the eras from the Civil War to the present day conflicts. Since 1963, it has operated the “Hall of Valor” to honor individual veterans from the region who went above and beyond the call of duty. Today the hall has over 600 honorees, and among them are the Medal of Honor, The Kearny Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross winners.

For more information, visit website Soldiers & Sailors Memorial

June 7, 2014 (Saturday)

Fabulous Success !!

Date: Saturday, June 7, 2014

Time: 10:00 am to Noon

Starting Location:
Offices inside Homewood Cemetery Gates
at 1599 South Dallas Ave.
(cross streets: Aylesboro Ave. and Dalzell Pl.)

Cost: $ 3 for members
$5 for non-members
(maximum group 25 people)

Tour requires significant walking on and off road and is NOT handicap accessible.

from Homewood cemetery website:
"Almost 135 years ago, part of the same virgin forest that is now Frick Park was purchased for an equally special purpose: as The Homewood Cemetery..... The Cemetery Association purchased 178 acres of land with the intent of implementing a Lawn Park style Cemetery. At the time of the Cemetery's foundation, the East End was already home to some of Pittsburgh's most wealthy and influential families--as well as the many people who worked for these families. .... The Homewood Cemetery is currently undertaking a major restoration effort to maintain the Lawn Park intention of the cemetery's design."

May 13, 2014(Tuesday)

"History of Randall's Toyes and Giftes"

Speaker: JACK COHEN, owner of Randall's Toyes and Giftes


S.W. Randall Toyes and Giftes is Pittsburgh's largest specialty toy and gift store. They are a family run chain and are currently celebrating their 43rd year in business. Their headquarters is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.

Jack Cohen says he opened the store in Squirrel Hill 25 years ago and it has remained at this same location. With three Pittsburgh locations and an online store, you are sure to find the perfect toy for any age at SW Randall. KDKA staffers say SW Randall is “what an old-fashioned toy store should be.”

The stores website says they are Pittsburgh’s largest specialty toy and gift store with over 20,000 items in stock. From dinosaurs to dolls, there seems to be something for everyone. “You’ll find a UNIQUE selection of toys – things you’d never find anywhere else,” said another staff member. SW Randall also says they chose their products for their safety, quality, and play value, so items purchased here are sure to bring years of enjoyment.

April 8, 2014(Tuesday)

History of the Nationality Rooms of the University of Pittsburgh

Nationality Rooms Tour Coordinator

Michael Walter

From the Website: Nationality Rooms

The rooms were designed to represent the culture of various ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County and are supported by these cultural groups and governments..... A steady stream of people -- often families of three generations -- come to see the world-famous rooms, which evoke pride in their own heritage and warm appreciation of other cultures.

The Nationality Rooms are a collection of 29 classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning depicting and donated by the ethnic groups that helped build the city of Pittsburgh. The rooms are designated as a Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation historical landmark and are located on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Cathedral of Learning, itself a national historic landmark, on the University of Pittsburgh's main campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although of museum caliber, twenty-seven of the 29 rooms are in almost constant use as functional classrooms and utilized daily by University of Pittsburgh faculty and students, while the other two (the Early American and Syrian-Lebanon) are display rooms which can be explored only via guided tour.

The Nationality Rooms also serve in a vigorous program of intercultural involvement and exchange in which the original organizing committees for the individual rooms remain as participants and includes a program of annual student scholarship to facilitate study abroad. In addition, the Nationality Rooms inspire lectures, seminars, concerts exhibitions, and social events which focus on the various heritages and traditions of the nations represented.

March 11, 2014(Tuesday)

"The History of Tree of Life* Or L'Simcha Congregation"


Information from Heinz History Center:

In 1864, Pittsburgh’s earliest Jewish congregation, Rodef Shalom, formally adopted the reformed American minhag (custom) for its religious services. That same year, several members of the congregation, who were opposed to the reformed services left Rodef Shalom and formed the Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life) Congregation. Chartered in 1865, the small, Orthodox congregation met for several years in temporary spaces, including the home of Gustavus Grafner, the congregation’s first president. A small piece of land in Sharpsburg, Pa., to be used as a cemetery, was acquired by the congregation during its first year. In 1882, the congregation purchased a former Lutheran Church on Fourth and Ross Streets, in Pittsburgh’s downtown, for use as a synagogue. The congregation began to use the English name, Tree of Life.

In 1886, the Tree of Life Congregation joined the Jewish Theological Seminary Association, aligning itself with the Conservative Jewish movement. In 1906, the growing congregation laid the cornerstone for a new, larger synagogue on Craft Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. The new synagogue opened in 1907 with seating for 750.

Members of the Tree of Life Congregation were active volunteers and supported many Jewish social service efforts. Alexander Fink (1818-1892), president of Tree of Life from 1873 to 1892, founded the Hebrew Benevolent Society and later served as president of the United Hebrew Relief Association. The Tree of Life Sisterhood, founded in 1906, began an volunteer sewing group, donating linens and clothing to local organizations including Montefiore Hospital, where the sewing group was headquartered in later years. Beginning in 1910, the synagogue hosted the meetings and activities of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, until the group moved to a rented space in the Dispatch Building, downtown, in 1912.

At the end of World War II, Pittsburgh’s Jewish community was largely centered in the city’s East End neighborhoods. The congregation began construction for a new synagogue on the corner of Shady and Wilkins Avenues in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood where many of its members were now living. In 1946, Charles J. Rosenbloom, president of Tree of Life, donated the land for the synagogue and supplied the cornerstone, made of limestone from Palestine, for the new building. The congregation’s former synagogue on Craft Avenue was purchased by the Pittsburgh Playhouse theater company and renovated into a live theater auditorium, which continues today as the performing arts center of Point Park University.

In more recent years, membership to the Tree of Life Congregation has declined due to aging members and growing Jewish suburban communities. Or L’Simcha, a small Conservative congregation, organized about 2007 by a group of people who had previously belonged to Beth Shalom Congregation, began holding religious services in a room in the synagogue. The two congregations merged in 2010 and are now known as the Tree of Life-Or L’Simcha Congregation. The congregation continues to rent unused space in the large synagogue. Currently, Dor Hadash Congregation, a Reconstructionist congregation, holds its religious services and activities there.

February 11, 2014(Tuesday)

"History of Coffee Tree Roasters and Commentary on Coffee"

Speaker: BILL SWOOPE, JR.,
Co-founder and Co-Owner of "Coffee Tree Roasters"
Bill Swoope, Jr.

Info from Post-Gazette Article February 21, 2013
By Teresa F. Lindeman / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A few months ago, a contingent of Japanese coffee professionals looking for insights into the specialty coffee business ended up in the South Hills Industrial Park in West Mifflin, a gritty site near the Allegheny County Airport.

There, inside a renovated industrial building, burlap bags packed with green coffee beans from countries around the world are piled up, ready for roasting so they can be sold either in one of the region's Coffee Tree Roasters shops or to wholesale customers of Iron Star Roasting Co., both co-founded and co-owned by Bill Swoope Jr. In Japan, it's been a challenge to convince customers that some coffees are worth more than others, with a slowing economy hitting the industry hard. "It's all price-based competition," said Mr. Swoope.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., specialty coffees rose from about 37 percent of coffee cups in 2011 to 46 percent in 2012, according to the National Coffee Association, based in New York. Many Americans cut back on their gourmet coffee fix during the economic downturn, but others aren't willing to give up the small luxury, according to a recent survey by BIGinsight for Stores magazine.

Proof that there's continuing demand for better coffee, fast-food operator Burger King last week announced it had overhauled its coffee offerings, with the new brews blended by Seattle's Best Coffee. In general, customers in the U.S. know more about coffee than they did 20 years ago, Mr. Swoope said. "They're the most educated in coffee than they've ever been in their lives."

So is he, considering all he's learned since that first time a friend took him to a coffee shop in Portland, Maine. He says he called his father, also named Bill, and said, "This place is great. We can do this in Pittsburgh." The family-run enterprise started with one coffee shop in Squirrel Hill in 1993 and has grown to include five shops with another set to open in Pleasant Hills next month. The shops plus the wholesale operation and a service company called Espresso Solutions now employ between 80 and 100 people, a mix of part-time and full-time.

The staff roasts about 500,000 pounds of coffee beans every year, or about 4,000 of those 132-pound burlap bags, rather more than the 10 bags ordered to supply that first store in 1993. Deliveries of the roasted beans are made as far away as State College, Erie and Washington, Pa. Growth of specialty coffee in the U.S. hasn't just happened naturally. Mr. Swoope credits industry powerhouse Starbucks with helping show Americans the differences in coffee made from freshly roasted beans rather than from mass-packaged grounds sold in jars and cans. Pittsburgh also has an active community of homegrown specialty coffee shops -- some of which Mr. Swoope's business works with -- that are invested in educating customers.

Consumers who know about the differences in coffee from, say, Rwanda and Costa Rica, and think about how those beans should be roasted might be willing to walk a little further -- and pay a little more -- to get their daily fix.

"Coffee is a convenience product," said Mr. Swoope, who heard somewhere that the optimum distance for shops drawing customers is about 150 yards. It's why there are so many Starbucks so close together.

His hope is that at this point enough customers have become enamored of better quality coffees that they'll seek them out. His business was up 10 percent last year, an encouraging sign.

The Japanese visitors are looking to achieve solid results as well. Hidetaka Hayashi, president of Hayashi Coffee Institute in Tokyo, was quoted in the Specialty Coffee Association of America's news outlet in January as saying one of the goals of the trip was to "study why U.S. specialty coffee roasters can expand their sales and enjoy reasonable profit" in the recent economic climate.

Mr. Hayashi is a board member for the Cup of Excellence international competitive program run by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence in Missoula, Mont., and Mr. Swoope is on the alliance's advisory panel. Other stops on the recent tour of Japanese professionals included Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in Vermont and Counter Culture Coffee in North Carolina. The Specialty Coffee Association, in Long Beach, Calif., helped organize the trip.

Coffee has long been a commodity product. The base price is now in the $1.40-a-pound range. That can shift wildly, depending on crops in various parts of the world, demand from coffee-drinking countries and on how much speculators are willing to pay. At the moment, there's concern about a fungus that could threaten next year's crop in Central America.

These days, the demand for certain varieties has pushed up prices to levels that wouldn't have been seen years ago. Coffee Tree Roasters had Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee at $42.99 a pound in mid-February, a price supported by the fact that there's limited production, Mr. Swoope said. Hawaiian coffee, prized because it's the only coffee produced in the U.S., was going for $29.99 a pound.

Being able to offer something different helps separate specialty coffees from mass market versions. Mr. Swoope thinks a sun-dried variety from the Costa Rican estate La Minita that he carries is only sold by four roasters in the world. He buys half of the supply.

On a recent day, he was awaiting information on a coffee from El Salvador that another buyer had come across and hoped to split. "It's more volume than he can take," said Mr. Swoope.

Soil, weather and other factors all affect the flavors of beans. Mr. Swoope has traveled to countries such as Costa Rica, Indonesia and Rwanda to find good varieties. Next year he hopes to go to Papua New Guinea.

Every step along the line from the farm to the customer can affect the taste of the coffee. Beans can be "washed" or "semi-washed" or "dry processed," all of which has to do with how they are separated from their fruit and sorted. In the Coffee Tree Roasters warehouse, roasting machines raise the temperature of the beans, while workers check color and listen for the series of cracks that come as moisture escapes.

At different points, beans are put through cuppings, the name for an analysis process. The elaborate system, which resembles a wine tasting, involves checking the aromas of roasted beans that are ground. Hot water is added. After a set period of time, taste testings begin.

Probably the best place to drink a cup of coffee is on the farm where the beans were grown. "That coffee's never going to taste any better than what it is on the tree," said Mr. Swoope.

Teresa F. Lindeman: or at 412-263-2018. First Published February 21, 2013 12:00 am

January 14, 2014 (Tuesday)

speaker canceled due to illness
"Squirrel Hill's Mansions"
Writer, Researcher, Historian
this talk will be scheduled later in the year.

In place of the our speaker,SHHS board members, Mike Ehrmann and Helen Wilson, held a meeting on "Sq.Hill Memories" which included a lot of audience participation. Seems there are a lot of places and memories in the hearts of our "Squirrel Hillians". Great Meeting !!

YEAR 2013

December 10, 2013 (Tuesday)

Squirrel Hill by the Numbers, Growth and Change of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood !

University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research

The presentation will compile current and historical data on the Squirrel Hill neighborhood focusing on demographic and economic change in the context of a changing Pittsburgh.

Chris Briem

Christopher Briem is a regional economist with the Program in Urban and Regional Analysis at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR). His work focuses on regional economic and demographic forecasting and simulation, industry analysis and competitiveness research.

UCSUR was established in 1972 to serve as a resource for researchers and educators interested in the basic and applied social and behavioral sciences. As a hub for interdisciplinary research and collaboration, UCSUR promotes a research agenda focused on the social, economic, and health issues most relevant to our society. UCSUR’s program in Urban and Regional Analysis promotes scholarly analysis of urban and regional issues through multidisciplinary research in local, national, and international issues. Furthers our understanding of the causes and consequences of regional economic development and social change, enhances the analytic basis for public policy decisions, and aids in the evaluation of policy alternatives. UCSUR has built the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (PNCIS) to provide timely and valuable property and neighborhood information to individuals and organizations working to improve communities in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

For more information visit: UCSUR website

November 12, 2013 (Tuesday)

(Change of speaker --
Coffee Tree Roasters History will be given in February 2014)

"The Development of Squirrel Hill -- A Journey Through Time and Art"

Vice President of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society
Helen Wilson

Helen Wilson, vice-president of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society and long-term resident of Squirrel Hill, is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools art teacher, writer and graphic designer who has been studying the history of Squirrel Hill for around eight years.

Her presentation will explain how Squirrel Hill developed from primeval wilderness to the thriving urban community it is today, taking into account its geography, history, political development and immigration patterns.

October 8, 2013 (Tuesday)

Getting to Know our Neighbors --
"Tales From Our Towns-People, Places & Events Forgotten By the History Books"

President of the Oakmont Historical Society

From Gary Rogers: My program will include stories from my book Tales From Our Towns-People, Places & Events Forgotten By the History Books. The book is a collection of true stories from the past that have been lost to time. The stories all took place in Allegheny County. My specialty is uncovering those events that most people do not know about.

Read July,2010 Post-Gazette Article

September 10, 2013 (Tuesday)

"Remembering Walter Forward"
(of Forward Avenue and Forward Townships in Washington and Butler Counties)

Speaker: DR. MILES S. RICHARDS, Historian

Walter Forward was born in East Granby, Connecticut, he attended the common schools. After moving with his father to Aurora, Ohio, he settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1803. There he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1806. He practiced in Pittsburgh and also served for several years as editor of the Tree of Liberty. He also served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

In 1822, he was elected to the 17th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Henry Baldwin, and was reelected to the 18th Congress.

Read more at Wikipedia

Walter Forward died in Pittsburgh and is interred in Allegheny Cemetery.

No Meeting in August

July 9, 2013 (Tuesday)


Speaker: TOM WHITE, University Archivist

from Duquesne University website

Duquesne University was founded in 1878 by a group of Catholic missionaries also known as the Spiritans. From humble beginnings as a school for the children of Pittsburgh's poor immigrants, Duquesne today is an educational and economic powerhouse comprising ten schools of study that serve more than 10,000 students.

About our speaker (from The History Press) --
Tom White

Thomas White is the university archivist and curator of special collections in the Gumberg Library at Duquesne University. He is also an adjunct lecturer in Duquesne's History Department and an adjunct professor of history at La Roche College. White received a master's degree in public history from Duquesne University. Besides the folklore and history of Pennsylvania, his areas of interest include public history and American cultural history. He is the author of Legends and Lore of Western Pennsylvania, Forgotten Tales of Pennsylvania, Ghosts of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Forgotten Tales of Pittsburgh and Forgotten Tales of Philadelphia (coauthored with Edward White), all published by The History Press.

June 11, 2013 (Tuesday)

"The Formation of Temple Sinai"

Speaker: Jackie Braslawsce
Director of Informal Education at Temple Sinai
Jackie Braslawsce

Information from Temple Sinai Website

Temple Sinai comes from humble beginnings: a tiny room at Forbes and Murray housed our offices; two neighboring churches opened their hearts and their doors to us for our worship and Religious School. Dr. Burton E. Levinson, our first rabbi, accepted the challenge of molding a new congregation in Liberal Judaism from a small group of unaffiliated families who knew neither each other nor what Reform Judaism had to offer them.

Temple Sinai’s growth was phenomenal. In August 1947 we purchased the Worthington Mansion and converted it into a magnificent house of worship and learning, creating the Barnett Chapel from what was originally the dining room. Within a few short years, we had grown so large in number that High Holiday services were held at the YM&WHA building in Oakland. Outgrowing that, in 1949, services were moved to Carnegie Music Hall, where they remained for a number of years. Then in 1955 came the campaign to buy the property next door and build a sanctuary that could hold everyone who wanted to belong.

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you are interested in doing something it is only when convenient, when you are committed, accept no excuses – ONLY RESULTS!” ~Ken Blanchard

JUNE 1, 2013 - Saturday
"WALKING TOUR of Chatham University"

This tour was held in 2009 and 2010 and was quite successful.

Chatham University Website

Chatham University dates its beginnings back to 1869 where it was first housed in the Berry Mansion on Woodland Road. Today’s campus consists of buildings and grounds from former Mansions of such Pittsburgh notables as Andrew Mellon, Edward Stanton Fickes, George M Laughlin Jr. and James Rea.

Elements designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers for the original Andrew Mellon estates are included in the present campus. Chatham’s campus was designated an Arboretum by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.

TOUR TIME: 10 am to Noon

Starting Location: Chatham University Mellon Center on Woodland Road

Cost: $5 ($3 Members) Maximum group size 25

May 14, 2013 (Tuesday)

"Steel City Cemeteries: From Graveyards to Gardens"

Speaker: Dr. Elisabeth Roark,
Associate Professor of Art, Chatham University

Website: Chatham University History

Dr. Roark

Dr. Roark's interest in cemeteries led to a talk June 2005 on "The Evolution of Pittsburgh Cemeteries: Trinity, Allegheny & Homewood". September 2004, she presented a fascinating talk on ""A Hidden Treasure: Tiffany's Alumnae Memorial Window at Chatham College". So we look forward to another wonderful evening experience.

April 9, 2013 (Tuesday)

"A History of Ten Thousand Villages: The Role of the Presbyterian Church"

Speakers: KAREN HORST,
Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach Manager,
Original Founding Member of the Pittsburgh "Ten Thousand Villages"

from the website:

Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh is celebrating 15 years! We are staffed by over 60 dedicated volunteers and offer a wide range of outreach programming that connects local organizations to artisans around the world.

Ten Thousand Villages in Pittsburgh, PA, is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 130 artisan groups in some 38 countries, we are part of a network of over 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products.

As one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, Ten Thousand Villages has spent more than 60 years cultivating trading relationships in which artisans receive a fair price for their work and consumers have access to distinctive handcrafted items. We seek to establish long-term buying relationships in places where skilled artisans are under- or unemployed, and in which they lack other opportunities for income. A founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Ten Thousand Villages sees fair trade as an alternative approach to conventional international trade.

March 12, 2013 (Tuesday)

"The YWCA in Pittsburgh since 1869"

Speaker: Magdeline E. Jensen,
Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

Information from YWCA Website

Since its proud beginnings in 1869, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has championed social progress for women and children. YW women have advocated for fair and equitable conditions, challenged social and racial injustice, and empowered women and their families. Created by women -- for every woman -- the YW has forged a trail of leadership, advocacy, and action wherever it has recognized a community need.

Today, we strengthen our community by creating and advancing opportunities for all women to seek equality and self-sufficiency. Building on programs with roots in nineteenth century social reform, we promote housing, employment, education, and civil rights for people of color, women, and children.

Maggie Jensen

Magdeline E. Jensen, CEO Biography

Magdeline (Maggie) Jensen has served as Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh since November 2007. Her selection by the YWCA’s Board of Directors to take on the YW’s CEO responsibilities is a tale of transferable management and leadership skills.

Prior to joining the YWCA, Ms. Jensen performed as Chief Federal Probation Officer in Arizona – and was the first woman selected to hold that position. As Chief Federal Probation Officer, Ms. Jensen managed a $15 million operation of the U.S. Probation Office for nine years across the state. Ms. Jensen worked in Washington, DC as an administrator for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the headquarters of the Federal Courts, helped develop national sentencing policy and functioned as liaison to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. While in Washington, she was an instructor at the Federal Judicial Center and a Professorial Instructor at American University in the Department of Justice, Law and Society, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall Child Development Center. She has hands-on experience connecting people in need to community resources from her experiences as a U.S. probation officer in San Diego and as a deputy probation officer in Contra Costa County, CA. She was also a Lecturer at California State University, Hayward in the Department of Criminal Justice for five years.

Ms. Jensen holds a Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and a Master of Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley, CA. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University, the “Kitchen Cabinet” of the Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management’s 74% Study “Exploring the Lives of Women in Nonprofits”, the Civic Advisory Committee of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, and a member of the Board for The Program for Offenders, Inc. She is also on the Advisory Committees for the professional journals Federal Probation and the Federal Sentencing Reporter.

February 12, 2013 (Tuesday)

"The Fall and Rise of Pittsburgh Labor:
From the "Stogie Strike" to the Congress
of Industrial Organizations"


Author of "The Point of Pittsburgh" and director of the Pa. Center for the Study of Labor Relations, and professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of PA.

McCollester has written a new and different history of Pittsburgh --"The Point of Pittsburgh" -- and by doing so has assembled in a remarkable way a history of this country. --from:William Serrin, former labor and workplace correspondent for The New York Times

Charles McCollester is the director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations and a professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Louvain in Belgium. He was a machinist and the Chief Steward of UE 610 at the Union Switch and Signal in Swissvale Pennsylvania. He edited Fighter With a Heart: Writings of Charles Owen Rice, Pittsburgh Labor Priest (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996).

The "1913 Stogie Strike" -- The most successful strike in Pittsburgh during this period was the IWW led strike of the stogie workers in the Hill District, in 1913. Led largely by Jewish immigrants and socialists, the stogie workers had been denied membership in the AFL in 1912. They joined the IWW the following year and went on strike for eighteen weeks.

January 8, 2013 (Tuesday)

"The Development of the August Wilson Center"

Founder and Interim Co-Director, August Wilson Center

from the August Wilson website:

One of only two major arts institutions in the world named for Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation.

YEAR 2012

December 11, 2012 (Tuesday)

"Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition --
History and Current Projects"

Speaker: WAYNE GERHOLD, Treasurer, Sq.Hill Coalition

from the SHUC website

The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition was founded in 1972. It’s mission, as set forth in the By-Laws is “… to improve the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh through educational and cooperative endeavors of individuals and groups from the area seeking to enhance the physical and social attributes of the community.”

Key milestones in the history of the Coalition cover a range of issues, including but not limited to, Education, Public Safety, Business District Improvements, Land Use, Parks and Recreation, and Long Range Planning.

November 13, 2012 (Tuesday)

"Civil War and Pittsburgh"


About the Speaker:
David Albert , a retired Air Force officer, has been a student of the Civil War for 40 years, taking master's level courses and numerous noncredit courses and tours. He co-taught the Civil War elective at the U.S. Air Force's Air Command and Staff College and was a Civil War docent for 12 years at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. He taught a similar course for Elderhostel and for the College for Seniors at the University of North Carolina Ashville. He is an OLLI member.

He is currently teaching classes on the Civil War for the Osher Program at Pitt and CMU.

WQED -- "SQUIRREL HILL IN A NUTSHELL" Michael Ehrmann, SHHS's Chairman, will be interviewed for this TV program.

Monday, October 22, 2012 from 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Program will be repeated Monday, October 22 at midnight and again on Sunday October 28 at 2:30 pm.

Squirrel Hill is not only Pittsburgh's largest city neighborhood but also one of the most complex. In a time of declining city population, Squirrel Hill has grown. It has become the Pittsburgh's own Ellis Island, a mecca for varied ethnic groups moving to Pittsburgh, and home to the most unusual restaurants and stores in town. It's also becoming a model for city living.

There's so much to see - in only 30 minutes, but you'll enjoy Squirrel Hill in a nutshell.

October 9, 2012 (Tuesday)

"History of Meadowcroft Rockshelter"

Provost, Director, Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute,
Mercyhurst College

From Heinz History Center

Meadowcroft Rockshelter, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, provides a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gathers. This archaeological site has revealed the earliest evidence of people in North America, dating back 16,000 years.

This National Historic Landmark, located in Avella, Washington County, Pa.,( 36 miles west-southwest of Pittsburgh) is a massive rock overhang beneath which the earliest known inhabitants of the Upper Ohio Valley camped 16,000 years ago. Subsequently, the site was revisited by Native Americans and, ultimately, Euro-Americans all the way up to the present. It is currently the longest occupational sequence in North and South America.

The Rockshelter, named a National Historic Landmark in 2005, has provided archaeologists with a rare glimpse into the lives of the first people to arrive in the New World. The first prehistoric artifacts were discovered in a groundhog burrow at the site in 1955 by property owner and museum founder, Albert Miller. In 1973, the first professional excavation of the Rockshelter was conducted by the Cultural Resource Management Program (CRMP) of the University of Pittsburgh and directed by J. M. Adovasio. Subsequent University of Pittsburgh field school excavations took place from 1973-1989. More recent research and excavation has been directed by J. M. Adovasio through the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute (MAI). The excavation protocols used at Meadowcroft are still considered state-of-the-art and the site is widely regarded as one of the most carefully excavated sites in North America.

Dr. Adovasio


About the speaker from Mercyhurst College website:

Adovasio, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona and his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Utah. He served as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and as professor and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Adovasio achieved world acclaim as an archaeologist with his excavation of Meadowcroft Rockshelter, 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pa. Meadowcroft has been widely recognized as the earliest well-dated archaeological site in North America with evidence of human habitation dating to circa 16,000 years ago.

In 1990, Adovasio accepted the positions of chairman of the Department of Anthropology / Archaeology and director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute, which is widely recognized as the preeminent archaeological research program in a small to medium academic setting in North America. Adovasio also served as a commissioner with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (1995-2001) and has published nearly 400 books, monographs, articles, and technical papers.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities at Mercyhurst, Adovasio will continue to teach and do research at the college.

"Since his arrival at Mercyhurst, Dr. Adovasio and his carefully selected faculty of specialists have built an internationally renowned science program, attracting top students from all over the world," Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble noted. "In addition, the depth and breadth of his knowledge of and commitment to Mercyhurst make him the ideal choice for provost."

September 11, 2012 (Tuesday)

"History of Calvary Catholic Cemetery"

Family Service Manager,
The Catholic Cemeteries Association

From Catholic Cemeteries Association

In 1886, the diocese established the Calvary Cemetery Association and Calvary Cemetery, a 200-acre tract of land in the Hazelwood area of Pittsburgh. The first burial took place in June 1888. Calvary Cemetery remains the largest of the diocesan cemeteries. Today it includes a beautiful chapel mausoleum, a large garden crypt development, the exclusive Cardinal Wright Oratory crypts, a large priests’ plot, and Shepherd’s Rest, a mausoleum set aside for the entombment of bishops of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. A total of 152,238 interments and entombments have taken place at Calvary Cemetery as of 2008.

Article from Tribune Review, September 8, 2006:

Calvary Cemetery is the resting place of three Pittsburgh mayors -- David L. Lawrence, Richard Caliguiri and Bob O'Connor.

The 200-acre cemetery in Hazelwood counts several other notables among the 150,000 people interred there.

Harry Stuhldreher, the Notre Dame quarterback who was one of the legendary "Four Horsemen," is buried at Calvary. So is boxer Billy Conn, the "Pittsburgh Kid," who nearly went the distance with Joe Louis in 1941, despite being outweighed by 25 pounds.

A modest stone marks the grave of James "Pud" Galvin. Known as the "Little Steam Engine," the Hall of Fame pitcher was the first man to win 300 games, in a career that began just 10 years after the Civil War ended.

The tombstone of actor Frank Gorshin, best known as The Riddler in the "Batman" TV series, fittingly features a question mark, as his green leotard did. It follows the inscription, "What does it all mean?"

The first U.S. infantryman killed fighting the Germans in the trenches of World War I, Pvt. Thomas Enright, was returned to Calvary for burial.

Two prominent brothers who died within a day of each other this summer are buried there -- Common Pleas Judge Walter Little and Anderson Little, the host of a long-running radio program about Pittsburgh's black community.

Another pair of brothers was buried in an unmarked grave at Calvary for decades.

Ed and Jack Biddle, two death row inmates at Allegheny County Jail in 1902, were sprung by the warden's wife but shot by police as they fled in a sleigh for Canada. Mel Gibson and Matthew Modine played them in the 1984 movie "Mrs. Soffel." A headstone was placed on the brothers' common grave afterward.

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh established the cemetery in 1886. About a quarter of the grounds are undeveloped, said Chris Motto, family services manager for the cemetery.

O'Connor's mother, father and other relatives are buried at Calvary. "His family is here, and this has always been his community," Motto said.

August 2012 -- No meeting -- enjoy the summer!

July 10, 2012(Tuesday)


Founder of the Sq.Hill Historical Society --
Preservation Architect and Architectural Historian

"Recent Preservation Projects and Surprising Pennsylvania Connections"

Terry Necciai will speak at the SHHS about several projects he has undertaken since he last lived in Squirrel Hill ten years ago. A preservation architect and architectural historian, he specializes in small community-based projects, museum projects and tax credit certifications. In these projects, he analyzes and documents historic buildings and provides guidance for other architects and owners on how to treat them.

He helped start the Squirrel Hill Historical Society before moving to Maryland in 2002, but now lives in Philadelphia.

The presentation will be illustrated. The projects will include lighthouses, a Civil War Museum, preservation plans for business districts, and a study of farm landscapes. Though scattered around the Mid-Atlantic region, they have surprising connections to Pennsylvania, in most cases specifically to familiar Western Pennsylvania themes.

June 5, 2012(Tuesday)--
Note this is a change in date !!

"History of UPMC's Sports Medicine Clinic and the History of Sports Medicine"

Speaker: DR. FREDDIE FU,
David Silver Professor and Chairman of
the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at UPMC



Freddie H. Fu, M.D., has been the chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) since 1997, where he is the David Silver Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has been the head team physician for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics since 1986.

Dr. Fu is known worldwide for his pioneering surgical techniques to treat sports-related injuries to the knee and shoulder and his extensive scientific and clinical research in the biomechanics of such injuries. Because of his reputation, Dr. Fu attracts both athletic and non-athletic patients from all over the globe.

Because of Dr. Fu's medical achievements and their impact locally as well as world-wide and his many contributions to enrich the Pittsburgh community, at the end of 1999, Pittsburgh Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Pittsburghers of the 20th century. He is consistently listed in the magazine's annual "Best Doctors" issue. Also in 1999, the Allegheny Cycling Association gave Dr. Fu its award for Outstanding Service to the Cycling Community in recognition of Dr. Fu's sponsorship of many local cyclists and his constant support of many local cycling events. In May 2002, the YMCA of Pittsburgh honored Dr. Fu with its 28th Annual Person of the Year award. And, in 2004, Dr. Fu was named Vector’s Pittsburgh Man of the Year for Community Service.

A brief look at Dr. Fu's extensive community involvement includes service as co-chairman of the Pittsburgh Local Organizing Committee of the 2005 Summer National Senior Games - The Senior Olympics; chairman of the board and executive medical director of the City of Pittsburgh Marathon Inc. from 1985 through 2003; company physician and member of the board of trustees for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; and team physician for Mt. Lebanon High School. Dr. Fu is also involved in the WQED Children's Festival Chorus and honorary board member of the Parental Stress Center. He has served as honorary chairman for various functions of the Pittsburgh Employment Alliance and is an active member of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

WALKING TOUR -- Schenley Park
Saturday, June 2

Time: 10 am to Noon

Starting Location: Schenley Park Visitor Center (across from Phipps Conservatory)

Cost: $3 for members -- $5 for non-members -- maximum group size 25

Send check payable to:
c/o Mike Ehrmann
5638 Northumberland Ave.
Pgh., PA. 15217

This tour will be held in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.


"Situated in the heart of Oakland, Schenley Park has come to be Pittsburgh's civic park. Created in 1889 with land donated by Heiress Mary Schenley, the park now contains 456 acres of trails, woods, and attractions."

May 16, 2012 (Wednesday)

Channel 4, on the 6 pm TV News, aired an interview with our chairperson, Michael Ehrmann,talking about the Squirrel Hill Historical Society. This is part of a "Pittsburgh Now and Then" series looking at Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Look at WTAE "Pittsburgh: Then & Now"

May 8, 2012(Tuesday)

"Marcellus Shale -- History, Production Methods
and Current Issues"

Professor of Geology and Planetary Science,
University of Pittsburgh

As Marcellus Shale activity sweeps Western Pennsylvania, a new University of Pittsburgh database reveals that approximately 7 percent of Allegheny County’s land has been leased for drilling and extraction since 2003. In addition, the number of properties in the county leased for oil and gas exploration increased by 322 percent between 2008 and 2009.

Environmental concerns around the drilling and extraction processes have sparked interesting discussion. This meeting will help understand the basics along with issues that may concern all of us.

Read current Post-Gazette article:
"Corbett outlines plans for Marcellus Shale Fee"

About the Speaker (From Pitt Newsletter 2007)
"In January 2007, the Department of Geology and Planetary Science grew in number and in stature with the arrival of Drs. Emily Elliott and Daniel Bain from Menlo Park, California, where both had completed post-doctoral appointments with the U.S. Geological Survey....Dr. Bain, a native of southeastern Ohio, brings a wealth of research experience in geomorphology, geochemistry, and hydrology to the Department."

April 10, 2012(Tuesday)

"Black Baseball in Pittsburgh"

Speaker: ROB RUCK,
Author and Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh had both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. Sports played a major role in shaping Pittsburgh's black community.

About the Author:

Rob Ruck, Senior Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh, The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic, Rooney: A Sporting Life, and the recently released Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game.

His documentary work includes Kings on the Hill: Baseball's Forgotten Men, which won an Emmy for Cultural Programming, and The Republic of Baseball: Dominican Giants of the American Game. He was on the committee that elected eighteen players from the Caribbean and the Negro Leagues to the Hall of Fame in 2006 and recently served as an advisor for Viva Beisbol, the permanent exhibit on Latinos at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

An undergraduate at Yale University, who did his doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh, Rob lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Maggie Patterson, his co-author for the Rooney book.

March 13, 2012

"The Whiskey Rebellion and Wigle Whiskey,
Pittsburgh's New Artisan Whiskey Distillery"
What do they have in common? Come and Find Out!!

Speaker: ERIC MEYER,
Co-Proprietor, Wigle Whiskey

WIGLE A Rebellious Whiskey from their website:

Wigle—which is pronounced to rhyme with squiggle—is named for a good-natured man who was sentenced to hang for his unsinkable love of whiskey. In 1794, Phillip Wigle—traditionally pronounced Vigol or Weigel—defended his right to distill in a tussle with a tax collector. He unwittingly helped spark the Whiskey Rebellion, which pitted Pennsylvania distillers against George Washington's troops.

February 14, 2012

"A Sustainable Community Future: What type of projects should Squirrel Hill favor?"

Speaker: ERIC OSTH, Principal at Urban Design Associates

Eric Osth


About the Speaker:
Eric R. Osth, AIA, LEED AP

Professional Responsibilities:
Eric’s interest lies in the relationship of architecture and urban design. As principal and architecture studio director, Eric leads architecture projects within UDA’s master plans and also within rich, unique contexts around the world that require specialized knowledge of the practice of traditional architecture and urban design. His design emphasis focuses on invention and the incorporation of modern requirements within a traditional language of building as they relate to place and context. Eric is also a student of strategies of proportion and patternmaking in contextual research.

Prior to joining UDA, Eric worked for Merrill & Pastor Architects (now Merrill, Pastor & Colgan) in Vero Beach, Florida on architectural commissions in Seaside, Windsor, and along the Atlantic seaboard. He also worked as a Senior Urban Designer at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM) in San Francisco, where he led design teams on projects that included design of a new district center in Shanghai, China.

Education and Professional Affiliations:
Eric earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami with honors. Subsequently, he was awarded a University Fellowship to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a Master of Urban Design degree. He has taught as a Lecturer in Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America in New York City.

Eric is a registered architect in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Utah and served as President of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2011.

January 10,2012

"Member and Friends Appreciation Night" -- Refreshments will be served.

Speaker: MICHAEL EHRMANN, Chairman of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society
TOPIC: "Historic Preservation in U.S."

YEAR 2011

December 13, 2011 (Tuesday)

"History of Jewish Residential Services"

Executive Director

Jewish Residential Services from their website:

Jewish Residential Services provides residential and rehabilitative services to people who need support in their everyday lives because of psychiatric or developmental disabilities. JRS helps people learning to live with long-term disabilities to establish dignified, stable, productive and satisfying lives for themselves as members of the JRS community, their families and of the greater community. JRS offers a culturally rich, Jewish environment which is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and which encourages participants to build upon their strengths and grow to their fullest potential.

November 8, 2011 (Tuesday)

"History of Homewood Cemetery"

Homewood Cemetery Historian

Homewood Cemetery from their website:

The Homewood Cemetery is part of the American Cemetery Movement of the 1800s. The cemetery was founded in 1878...a Lawn Park style. At the time of the Cemetery's foundation, the East End was already home to some of Pittsburgh's most wealthy and influential families.

The Cemetery is currently undertaking a major restoration effort to maintain the Lawn Park intention of the cemetery's design.

Read more that their website.

October 11, 2011 (Tuesday)

"The Thaws of Pittsburgh, Allegheny and the East End"

Chief Archivist at the Heinz History
Vice-President of the Allegheny City Society

One of the most significant families of 19th century Pittsburgh was that of William Thaw. Aside from Thaw himself, his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Dohrman Thaw, his second wife, Mary Copley Thaw, and their son, Harry Thaw made the headlines of the region's newspapers for several decades. This program will tell the story of the Thaw family.

Heinz History Center

Allegheny City Society

Change in Date

September 20, 2011 (Tuesday)

"August Wilson -- A Personal Rememberance"

Speaker: SALA UDIN
Former Pittsburgh City Councilman

Sala Udin

Sala Udin

About the speaker: from wikipedia

Sala Udin, August Wilson, and Rob Penny co-founded the Centre Avenue Poets' Theatre Workshop in the Hill District, Pittsburgh in 1965. Along with this workshop, the three men also co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in 1968. Sala Udin also opened a Black bookstore called New World Books in 1992.

Udin's major theatrical work is that when he starred as Becker in the August Wilson play Jitney in October 1982 at the Allegheny Repertory Theatre.

Sala Udin spent 11 years as a Pittsburgh City Councilman beginning in 1997 when he was elected to finish out the term of late Councilman Christopher Smith who represented District 6. While serving as a City Councilman, Udin was one of the officials involved with a referendum petition to the City Charter which would result in the development of a Citizen Police Review Board.

Sala Udin is currently the president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership's Pittsburgh chapter. Coro is a national, non-profit, non-partisan educational organization supported by foundations, corporations, and individuals.

In addition to his work with Coro, Sala Udin helped to found the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The August Wilson Center "engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating, and shaping the art, culture, and history of African Americans in Western Pennsylvania and people of African American descent throughout the world."

July 12, 2011 (Tuesday)

"The Story of Unitarian Universalism in Western Pennsylvania"

Speaker: Kathleen Parker,
Adjunct lecturer in history at the University of Pittsburgh

From the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh website:

"Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion born of the Jewish and Christian traditions. We keep our minds open to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience, and reason should be the final authorities in religion. In the end religious authority lies not in a book, person, or institution, but in ourselves. We put religious insights to the test of our hearts and minds. We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not as