From battles over children’s books to debates over the Confederate flag, the public is questioning what counts as part of our national historical narrative. Registration is now open for the second annual Telling Untold Histories, New Jersey’s unconference on public history, museums, cultural heritage and education to be held at Rutgers University-Newark on May 13, 2016. Untold Histories reflects the belief that every place, every person, and every object has a history, albeit a hidden one.
By Curtis Miner, Senior History Curator at State Museum of Pennsylvania
When the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in October 1940 as the first limited access “super highway” in the country, there was the sense that history was unfolding, even if its implications for how Americans might travel in the future could only be glimpsed faintly, if at all.
The press corps of the day declared it to be a “dream highway“ and America’s answer to the German Autobahn. The thousands of motorists who descended on it during its first weekend of operation, many having waited in line for hours for a chance to ride the “magic carpet” across the Alleghenies, seemed to agree. Though there were other long distance roadways then in existence, including national routes such as the Lincoln Highway, none offered the speed, convenience and safety of the new 160-mile stretch that crossed the Allegheny Mountains connecting Harrisburg to Pittsburgh.
Volunteering and interning can teach you everything from why dress codes are important to why it’s important to show up on time each day. The types of responsibilities you receive are usually a little different and can be tailored around what your strengths and weaknesses are.