Stephanie Hoover

History-Tainment Monthly, April 2017

News from Hoover's History-Tainment Network

Stephanie HooverHere in Pennsylvania, spring has taken firm root. The cherry blossoms that appeared like tiny pink and white fairies in March are now yielding to April's breezes and rain. Tree leaves are bursting from buds, and perennials are popping their heads above ground to see what all the fuss is about. Squirrels chase one another, while birds work ceaselessly at nest-building or food-finding. It is, in short, a beautiful time of year in the Keystone State.

If you're planning a trip to Pennsylvania, I've included in this newsletter a tip about a hidden gem of a research facility (and this will be a regular feature.)

I've also provided a link to some interesting historical true crime reading. Did you know that the infamous Mollie Maguires were headquartered - and, in at least 20 cases, hanged - in Pennsylvania's anthracite coal region? It's a fascinating story - even if the myth about the eternal "bloody hand-print" doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny.

Those with a general passion for history will appreciate the History Happening Now section of this newsletter. It offers a run-down of movies, books, or events with some basis in historical reality.

Happy reading, and here's hoping your April showers do indeed bring May flowers!

Author, Journalist, Researcher
Member: The Authors Guild ~ Sisters in Crime ~ American Crime Writers League

And the Winner Is...

Cover of Killing of John SharplessIt's hard for even me to believe, but April 9, 2017 marked the fourth anniversary of the publication of my first book, The Killing of John Sharpless: The Pursuit of Justice in Delaware County [Publisher: History Press].

To celebrate this milestone, I ran a contest offering a free, signed copy of the book. Congrats to my winner, Diane Nielson - and many thanks to all who entered!

Note... I run regular contests on my website so if you're interested in entering, visit my contests page.

Historical True Crime

Alexander CampbellLegend has it that there is a permanent hand-print on the wall of cell 17 of The Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Many believe it was left there by convicted murderer and Mollie Maguire member Alexander Campbell. He and ten other Mollies were executed on June 21, 1877 - a date known as "the day of the rope." Though science suggests this is nothing more than discounted folklore, thousands of visitors still fascinated by this violent chapter in Pennsylvania history visit the jail each year.

Over the past 140 years, the fairness of the Mollie Maguire trials - indeed, even the actual activities of the Mollies - has been questioned. Were they lawless killers? The subjects of ethnic and religious prejudice? Or, did the mine and railroad owners - who had no interest in "organized labor" - simply paint them as such? Read the whole story here on Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ - Where History and Hauntings Meet (part of the Hoover's History-Tainment Network.)

History Happening Now

Two upcoming movies based on true historical events look quite promising.

In The Battle of the Sexes, Emma Stone and Steve Carell re-enact the famous televised tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. It is releasing on September 22, 2017 - almost 44 years to the day after the original event. Set against the backdrop of American women's efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (which was first introduced in 1923), King believed if she lost, women's achievements would be "set back 50 years."

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon plays George Westinghouse in the film The Current War. Set for December 2017 release, the movie relives the colossal competition between these powerful giants of electricity.

Featured Pennsylvania Repository:
Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia

The GAHSP is considered a "small" archival repository, and as such, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative is seeking to spotlight this research gem.

The society's collections can be searched as part of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries finding site. Of course, you can also visit in person. The address is: 256 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

RESEARCH TIP: Looking for Pennsylvania genealogical and historical societies? I offer the largest, most accurate, free directory of Pennsylvania societies on the web. You can find it on this page of

Join the Community

Are you a social media user? If so, one of my Pennsylvania Genealogy & History groups might be right down your digital alley:

Facebook - currently 340+ members

LinkedIn - currently 740+ members

Google+ - currently 1,030+ members

Enjoy the Whole History-Tainment Network

Looking for something entertaining and historical to read? Give the whole Hoover's History-Tainment Network a try! It includes:

• Prose ‘n Cons™ Mystery & True Crime News
• Hauntingly USA - Legends, Folklore & True Crime from around the United States
• Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ - Where History & Hauntings Meet
• Mysteries at Sea - Sea Legends, Ghost Stories & Mythical Monsters

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