Stephanie Hoover

July 2017
History-Tainment Monthly

© Stephanie Hoover

A lot of people associate "history" with "really OLD history." The truth is, though, that some of the most interesting chapters in our national story were written in the previous century.

Johnny Mathis at the Copacabana
The best example of fascinating recent history might be the Copacabana nightclub in New York. It had it all: stars, glamorous crowds, and - of course - the mob. If all you know about the Copa is the steadicam scene from Goodfellas, you're missing out on a truly captivating tale. Find a little taste below.

Also included in this newsletter: where to find historical newspapers free of charge, a new book about Ulysses S. Grant, and a "bet you didn't know" article on the connection between the notorious H. H. Holmes, Jack the Ripper and the Keystone State.

As always, thanks for reading. Remember: your feedback is welcome. Submit it here.

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

Johnny Mathis, the Mob, and the Copacabana: A Fascinating, Exclusive Sneak Peek

original Copacabana canopy /
Today, when we think of the Copacabana nightclub in New York, only glamour and style come to mind. But the reality is a little different, as evidenced by exclusive interviews with performers like the legendary Johnny Mathis who tells a darker tale.

This feature article offers a special look inside Stephanie Hoover's upcoming book, Monte Proser's Copacabana: The Inside Story of New York's Iconic Gangster Run, Star-Studded Nightclub.

Opened in 1940, the club's unique decor was part of its success. But battles between Proser and the mob - and the mob and law enforcement - took their toll.

The finest acts of the 20th century performed at the Copa including Frank Sinatra, Lewis and Martin, and Xavier Cugat. Some of them, like Mathis, were unfortunately introduced to the notorious Max "Dr. Feelgood" Jacobson who promised to help them survive their five-show-a-night performance schedule. But even Jacobson's secret amphetamine concoction couldn't stop the club's eventual decline.

Pour yourself a martini, crank up your crooner albums, and take a trip back in time to the tropical mirage that was the Copacabana...

The Connection Between H. H. Holmes, Jack the Ripper - and Pennsylvania

H. H. Holmes and Jack the Ripper /

Last week, the History Channel debuted its latest in a line of reality shows involving famous crimes and mysteries. This one, called American Ripper, follows the great-great-grandson of serial killer H. H. Holmes as he tries to prove that Holmes is also Jack the Ripper.

While Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ has never researched the story from this angle, it has published a feature on the surprising connection between these killers and the state of Pennsylvania.

Who knows...? Maybe the History Channel will do a special on that. After all, the producers don't seem to be that particular, do they...?

History Happening Now

The much anticipated Dunkirk arrives in theaters on July 21, 2017. It tells the story of the Belgian, British, Canadian and French soldiers who found themselves surrounded by the German army in World War II.

Goodbye Christopher Robin offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creator of the much loved Winnie the Pooh children's books. It's scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 13, 2017.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Chernow's latest book, Grant, offers a sweeping biographical history of this Civil War hero and eighteenth president. It is set for release by Penguin Press on October 10, 2017. If it's as successful as his previous book, Hamilton, we may be seeing a Broadway adaptation in a year or so.

Featured Pennsylvania Repository:
Christ Church Archives

Philadelphia's Christ Church is the oldest Episcopal congregation in the nation. It was established in 1695 when King Charles II included a mandate for the church's creation in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.

Christ Church played a notable role in the Revolutionary War. The Continental Congress assembled and worshipped there in 1775 and 1776. Notables who regularly attended the church include Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross.

In the early 1700s, the church grew substantially as new immigrants - many already members of the Church of England - arrived in the Commonwealth. In 1950, Christ Church became a national historic site. The church is still active today.

The archival collection spans 200 linear feet. Records include photos, minutes and documents from affiliated churches and institutions.
RESEARCH TIP: Looking for other Pennsylvania genealogical and historical societies? The largest, most accurate, free directory of Pennsylvania societies on the web can be found on this page of

Old Newspapers Alive and Well

Today's print newspapers may be struggling to find readers, but historical newspapers have never been more popular. The Library of Congress offers - completely free of charge - digitized copies of more than 2,200 titles. Dates range from 1789 to 1924. Check out the full list here.

Want to Research Your Pennsylvania Ancestors Like a Pro?

Cover of Your Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy Research
Stephanie Hoover is sharing her nearly 30 years of professional Pennsylvania research experience in her latest book Your Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy Research (tentatively scheduled for Summer 2017 release.) To receive publication updates, use this easy form. Your email address will never be shared or sold.

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 350+ members

LinkedIn - currently 750+ members

Google+ - currently 1,050+ members

Haunted History

Do you enjoy combining history with something a little supernatural? Give this a try:

Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ - Where History & Hauntings Meet

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