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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

March 23, 2017

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Philadelphia’s importance as a center of African American history rests in part on its role as the birthplace of the nation’s first black churches. It was the churches which gave shape and protection to the emerging African American community in the urban North—educating their young, disciplining their members, and providing young and old with material support, moral guidance, and spiritual hope. Philadelphia saw both the...

February 22, 2017

--by Kelly Kean

I share a love of history with my mother. As a dedicated family historian she has been researching our genealogy since the age of seventeen, developing a particularly keen interest in the branch of our family that settled in western South Carolina in the decades before the Revolutionary War. Equally captivated by the complex history of the region, I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history, writing a “farm-to-fork” history of provisioning urban Charleston in the antebellum era.

While catching up on episodes of PBS’s...

February 15, 2017

--by William R. Laws III

This February, Northern Californians are remembering the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the forcible relocation of 120,000 Japanese Americans to prison camps throughout the American West. In 1942, 80 percent of the nation’s Japanese Americans lived in California.

Because of fears connected to World War II, families were yanked from their homes. Imprisoned in remote places such as...

February 9, 2017

--by Richard Reifsnyder

Among the pleasant surprises of my 45th reunion at Yale Divinity School was the discovery that the seminary had given long overdue recognition to James W.C. Pennington, the first African American to attend Yale. A room and scholarship were dedicated in his honor and a portrait hung in the common room with other theological luminaries.[1] In a time...

October 18, 2016

--by Kenneth J. Ross

On March 7, 1516, Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1469–1536)—Renaissance humanist, Catholic reformer, and Dutch educator—wrote to a friend with great relief from Basel, Switzerland, that the printing of his Greek New Testament was at last complete. It was, he later admitted, “more thrown together than edited,” but even so he had a right to be pleased. A decade of research and nearly a year of hard labor had produced the first printed edition of the New Testament in its original language. The foundational document of the Christian Church at...

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