Conemaugh Dam (via) 
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: September 18, 1943
Two thousand Pittsburghers and state officials traveled to Saltsburg by special train and auto to participate in the dedication of the Conemaugh Dam.
Hi everyone, sorry for the absence this past week and clogging up your dashboard below. I was at the beach for vacation and have finally made up all the work I missed. Hello, fall!  

Conemaugh Dam (via

On This Day in Pittsburgh History: September 18, 1943

Two thousand Pittsburghers and state officials traveled to Saltsburg by special train and auto to participate in the dedication of the Conemaugh Dam.

Hi everyone, sorry for the absence this past week and clogging up your dashboard below. I was at the beach for vacation and have finally made up all the work I missed. Hello, fall!  

thepittsburghhistoryjournal
pgdigs:

Nov. 15, 1948:   The Post-Gazette’s reporter Ray Sprigle disguised as a black man.
Ray Sprigle was a top-notch investigative journalist. “He posed as a black-market meat operator to expose graft and corruption in the war-rationing system; he got himself committed to a mental institution to prove inhumane conditions; he disguised himself as a black man traveling through the South to produce a groundbreaking 21-part series in 1948” (Post-Gazette, Sept. 16, 1986).
In 1937, Sprigle won the newspaper’s first Pulitzer Prize for a story proving that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, who was then newly appointed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Roosevelt, had been once a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Sprigle’s report was accompanied by transcripts, names, signed affidavits, Black’s application for membership in the Klan from Sept. 11, 1923, his membership dues and Black’s handwritten resignation from July 9, 1925.
This photograph captures Ray Sprigle posing as a black man for the 1948 series titled “‘I was a Negro in the South for 30 Days.” In this disguise and using the name James R. Crawford, Sprigle traveled through the South and experienced firsthand what life was like for 10 million people living under Jim Crow’s system of legal segregation.  To “pass” as an African American, as Springle writes in one of his dispatches, he “had shaved head, practically down to the skull, had my glasses reset in enormous black rims, and acquired a cap that drooped like a Tam o’Shanter.” Only twice in his month-long travels was his status as a black man “even remotely questioned.” 
(Photo credit: Unknown)
— Mila Sanina

pgdigs:

Nov. 15, 1948:   The Post-Gazette’s reporter Ray Sprigle disguised as a black man.

Ray Sprigle was a top-notch investigative journalist. “He posed as a black-market meat operator to expose graft and corruption in the war-rationing system; he got himself committed to a mental institution to prove inhumane conditions; he disguised himself as a black man traveling through the South to produce a groundbreaking 21-part series in 1948” (Post-Gazette, Sept. 16, 1986).

In 1937, Sprigle won the newspaper’s first Pulitzer Prize for a story proving that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, who was then newly appointed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court by President Roosevelt, had been once a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Sprigle’s report was accompanied by transcripts, names, signed affidavits, Black’s application for membership in the Klan from Sept. 11, 1923, his membership dues and Black’s handwritten resignation from July 9, 1925.

This photograph captures Ray Sprigle posing as a black man for the 1948 series titled “‘I was a Negro in the South for 30 Days.” In this disguise and using the name James R. Crawford, Sprigle traveled through the South and experienced firsthand what life was like for 10 million people living under Jim Crow’s system of legal segregation.  To “pass” as an African American, as Springle writes in one of his dispatches, he “had shaved head, practically down to the skull, had my glasses reset in enormous black rims, and acquired a cap that drooped like a Tam o’Shanter.” Only twice in his month-long travels was his status as a black man “even remotely questioned.” 

(Photo credit: Unknown)

— Mila Sanina

savage-america
savage-america:


These single-panel cartoons are part of Jackie Ormes’ long-running Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger series, in which outspoken little sister Patty-Jo speaks truth to her always-silent (and always fashionable) older sister, Ginger. Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger ran in the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper that enjoyed a circulation far beyond Pittsburgh, reaching 358,000 households nationwide at its peak. Patty-Jo appeared weekly for 11 years straight, from 1945 to 1956. Ormes, recognized as the first female African-American cartoonist, drew Ginger as a beautiful, fashion-forward pin-up girl and Patty-Jo as a savvy child. This was imagery explicitly designed to counteract racist visions of black women and girls as uneducated, subservient mammies and pickaninnies. (A Patty-Jo doll, manufactured between 1947 and 1949, was one of the first “positive” African-American dolls produced in the U.S.) A spiritual ancestor of the radical Huey Freeman of the comic strip The Boondocks, Patty-Jo always got straight to the politics of the situation. Through Patty-Jo, Ormes addressed many of the major social problems of the postwar U.S.—the nuclear arms race, civil rights, poverty, McCarthyism—with surprising candor. The cartoonist was, herself, investigated by the FBI, as she belonged to many progressive movements. However, as historian Nancy Goldstein writes in her comprehensive book on Ormes, the FBI appears not to have looked at her cartoons: No reference to them appears in her file.

Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger: The ground-breaking African-American cartoon of the 1940s

savage-america:

These single-panel cartoons are part of Jackie Ormes’ long-running Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger series, in which outspoken little sister Patty-Jo speaks truth to her always-silent (and always fashionable) older sister, Ginger. Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger ran in the Pittsburgh Courier, an African-American newspaper that enjoyed a circulation far beyond Pittsburgh, reaching 358,000 households nationwide at its peak. Patty-Jo appeared weekly for 11 years straight, from 1945 to 1956. Ormes, recognized as the first female African-American cartoonist, drew Ginger as a beautiful, fashion-forward pin-up girl and Patty-Jo as a savvy child. This was imagery explicitly designed to counteract racist visions of black women and girls as uneducated, subservient mammies and pickaninnies. (A Patty-Jo doll, manufactured between 1947 and 1949, was one of the first “positive” African-American dolls produced in the U.S.) A spiritual ancestor of the radical Huey Freeman of the comic strip The Boondocks, Patty-Jo always got straight to the politics of the situation. Through Patty-Jo, Ormes addressed many of the major social problems of the postwar U.S.—the nuclear arms race, civil rights, poverty, McCarthyism—with surprising candor. The cartoonist was, herself, investigated by the FBI, as she belonged to many progressive movements. However, as historian Nancy Goldstein writes in her comprehensive book on Ormes, the FBI appears not to have looked at her cartoons: No reference to them appears in her file.

Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger: The ground-breaking African-American cartoon of the 1940s

Earl Hines with eye patch, Erroll Garner, Billy Eckstine, Maxine Sullivan, and Mary Lou Williams at the piano, Pittsburgh. Teenie Harris. (via) 
On This Day in Pittsburgh History: August 7, 1946
A “Night of Stars,” presented by the Pittsburgh Courier at the Syria Mosque, featured Maxine Sullivan, Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown and more. 

Earl Hines with eye patch, Erroll Garner, Billy Eckstine, Maxine Sullivan, and Mary Lou Williams at the piano, Pittsburgh. Teenie Harris. (via

On This Day in Pittsburgh History: August 7, 1946

A “Night of Stars,” presented by the Pittsburgh Courier at the Syria Mosque, featured Maxine Sullivan, Earl Hines, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown and more.