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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.

June 7, 2018

On December 26th 1965, Duke Ellington took the stage at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City for a performance of what he would call the most important work he had ever done. That day he performed one of his three “Sacred Concerts.” These concerts were written in the later stages of his life as he found himself grappling with his own mortality and relationship to God. The Presbyterian Historical Society is fortunate to hold within our collections a program from that historic night....

February 16, 2018

One of the first things you learn when studying the “Civil Rights Movement” is that calling it the “Civil Rights Movement” is a bit of a misnomer. There was not a single movement, just as there was not a single leader. The multiple civil rights movements that evolved independently and yet concurrently during the 1950s and '60s were led by men and women who shared a common belief in equality and social justice.

As historians move beyond the narrative of a single story we begin to encounter new stories and new truths. Reverend Cecil Augustus Ivory is a name...

February 14, 2018

In honor of Valentine’s Day we would like to share with you the story of Minister John H. Grier, “The Marrying Parson.” John Hays Grier was born in 1788 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In 1809, he graduated from Dickinson College and then studied theology under his uncle Reverend Nathan Grier and was licensed to preach in 1813 by the Presbytery of New Castle. He was installed as pastor of the United Churches of Pine Creek and Great Island, Lycoming County, PA, in 1814.

In 1840 the members of...

March 15, 2017

After viewing the groundbreaking movie Hidden Figures, which tells the story of three African American women mathematicians, I found myself searching for any and all information I could locate about the real life women the movie is based on.

I started with a fantastic book written by Margot Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, and was pleasantly...

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