H. J. Heinz: “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”

H. J. Heinz: "To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success."

All-American favorites such as french fries, hamburgers and hot dogs just wouldn’t be enjoyed in quite the same way had Henry John Heinz not come along.  He is responsible for that wonderful condiment known throughout the world called Heinz Ketchup.  He didn’t invent ketchup, he just perfected it!  The road to the creation of Heinz ketchup started when Henry John Heinz was born on October

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David McCullogh: America’s History Teacher

David McCullogh: America's History Teacher

On July 7, 2013, David McCullough was honored on his 80th birthday when the 16th Street Bridge was renamed the David McCullough Bridge.  It is fitting that a renamed bridge was chosen to honor McCullough rather than a building or some other structure, as the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner’s body of work has been a bridge to the past for the nation: he’s an American

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Jackie Evancho: No Longer the Runner-Up

Jackie Evancho: No Longer the Runner-Up

In 2008, while working for another media outlet, I was asked to fill in for my publisher at an event that our publication had sponsored–the Kean Idol contest at St. Barnabas Health System in Gibsonia. I was to be there when the awards were given to the winners of this talent competition. During the evening, I watched talented competitor after talented competitor take the stage

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Johnny Angel

Johnny Angel

If Los Angeles is known as the “City of Angels,” then Pittsburgh could be known as the “City of the Angel”. Johnny Angel, to be exact. Johnny Angel and his bandmates, the Halos, have been ruling the Pittsburgh music realm since 1972. “I think we are the longest surviving group in the area,” said Jack Hunt, who is more prominently known by his stage name,

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Johnny Appleseed and His Pittsburgh Roots

Johnny Appleseed and His Pittsburgh Roots

Like St. Nicholas, whose life morphed into the legendary figure of Santa Claus, or Phoebe Moses, who became Annie Oakley, John Chapman’s real life was so unusual that it inspired a legend: Johnny Appleseed. While legends are often dressed up in the fairy tale garb of whimsy, fantasy, and out-sized virtue, the real stories of the people behind the legends are often more interesting and

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Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk

Humanity is truly fortunate that Jonas Salk, a son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, choose medicine over his original goal of becoming an attorney.  Or perhaps we should thank his mother, who never thought he would be a good lawyer!  Whatever the final motivation, love of medicine or a mother’s desire for her son to be a doctor, Jonas Salk started down a path that would save

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Mary E. Schenley: The Pittsburgh Enchantress Who Shocked the World

Mary E. Schenley: The Pittsburgh Enchantress Who Shocked the World

The name Schenley has been immortalized all over Pittsburgh, but if Mary Elizabeth Croghan Schenley were alive today, no doubt her name would be in the headlines for every celebrity gossip site. A descendant of one of Pittsburgh’s most illustrious families, Mary Elizabeth Croghan was born in April 27, 1826, in Louisville, Kentucky, to William Croghan, Jr., and Mary O’Hara. Mary O’Hara was the daughter

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Mr. Rogers: Pittsburgh’s Beloved Neighbor

Mr. Rogers: Pittsburgh’s Beloved Neighbor

The year was 1968.  Martin Luther King was assassinated.  Robert Kennedy was assassinated.  Students occupied ColumbiaUniversity as Vietnam War protests broke out all over the country. Riots erupted at the Democratic National Convention.  American Olympic medalists gave the Black Power salute during the medals ceremony.  And Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood went national. If ever a man was not of his time, it was Fred Rogers.  Kind,

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Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

The woman who would become famous as Nellie Bly was born Elizabeth Jane Cochran on May 5, 1864. She was the child of a prominent judge and a loving mother in Cochran’s Mills, PA, just forty miles east of Pittsburgh. Before becoming known as Nellie, Jane acquired the nickname of “Pink” when her mother christened her in a bright pink gown. Perhaps it was an

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Pittsburgh Notables

Pittsburgh Notables

Pittsburgh, like the best metropolitan cities, has been a melting pot whose famous notables rose above humble beginnings to contribute to our national identity.  From sports icons to little known inventors, Pittsburghers have touched the world! Sports Legends Kurt Angle Kurt Angle, world champion wrestler, graduated from Clarion University and won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1996. Dan Marino One of the most famous quarterbacks

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