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HURSTORIES

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HURSTORIES

HURSTORIES

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Podcast written, edited, and produced by the students of Mercyhurst University's Digital History: Storytelling class.

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Battle of Lake Erie

By Sydney Hitchcock Transcript: Sydney: Not many people when asked about the War of 1812 could tell you why the war was fought, who was involved, or about any of the key battles. Some may recall that the White House was burned and that at some point in our country’s history the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner must have been written, but few could tell you that both of these events occurred during this War. The War of 1812 was the United States of America’s first chance to flex its newly independent muscles. Tired of being pushed around by the British in the Atlantic and to the North, the United States wanted to make it clear - the British were no longer welcome on their soil. It is no surprise that most people who are not historians have never learned about the Battle of Lake Erie, which is known as the turning point of the War of 1812. Fought between the British and the U.S. over control of Lake Erie, this battle was the first major naval victory the U.S. had ever won against the Royal Navy. Control of Lake Erie meant the U.S. no longer had to fear invasion by British forces from the North and could prevent the British from penetrating the ever-expanding middle of the country. This gave the U.S. more control over communication and trade during the remainder of the war, which allowed an eventual victory. Take that King George, this will teach you not to mess with an independent country – you power hungry tyrant! My name is Sydney Hitchcock and I will be your host for today’s Hurstories podcast on the Battle of Lake Erie. Sydney: The Battle of Lake Erie began at daybreak the morning of September 10th, 1813. The battle took place between the United States Navy, under the command of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry and the British Royal Navy, under the command of Captain Robert H. Barclay. The two fleets met in Put-In-Bay Ohio, where the battle was fought. Sydney: That morning, the American fleet which consisted of nine vessels in total and 416 crew members fit for duty set sail towards the approaching six British vessels. Perry commanded a squadron that consisted of three Brigs, the Lawrence, the Niagara, and the Caledonia, five schooners the Ariel, Scorpion, Somers, Porcupine, and Tigress, and one sloop called the Trippe. The British squadron was made up of six vessels, two ships the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, one brig the Hunter, two schooners the Lady Prevost and Chippeway, and one sloop the Little Belt.[1] Despite the United States having more ships, the British had the advantage of having more experienced commanders.[2] Barclay who was commander of the Detroit had the best guns, which were more accurate when hitting their target.[3] During this period the strength of the Royal Navy was known throughout the world. Their experience having been perfected over centuries spent colonizing foreign lands and controlling overseas trade routes. Sydney: Before the battle began Perry’s, strategy was to pair each of his vessels to a British ship; for example, the brig Niagara was supposed to mainly fight against Britain’s Queen Charlotte. Depending on Barclay’s tactical formation, Perry would change the American battle line so his ships would stay with the ships he had assigned them to fight against.[4] Man voice: “At daylight discovered the Enemy’s fleet in the NW. Made the signal immediately to the Squadron to get underway-“[5]. Sydney: As the fleets sailed towards each other the Detroit was the first to fire, shooting a long 24 which missed Perry’s advancing ships. Their second fire was more successful than the first, hitting its mark which was Perry’s brig, the Lawrence. The Lawrence in response fired her long 12’s and carronades at the British fleet but was unsuccessful in hitting her intended targets. [6] Naval vessels during this period were outfitted with different types of cannons, which were mounted on their decks and poked out of windows that looked like eyes on the sides of the ship so that they could fire cannon b

9 MINAPR 15
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Battle of Lake Erie

Perceptions of Women who Commit Neonaticide

By Rebekah Prather Sources Lisa Thompson, “Rhodes Granted Parole in Infant Death Case.” GoErie.com, October 1, 2015. https://www.goerie.com/article/20151001/NEWS/610151934. Superior Court of Pennsylvania. COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee v. Teri RHODES, Appellant. No. 143 WDA 2009., December 31, 2009. Nancy Grace, “Nancy Grace”, CNN, Aired September 20, 2007. Beyer, Kristen, Shannon McAuliffe Mack, and Joy Lynn Shelton. “Investigative Analysis of Neonaticide: An Exploratory Study.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 35, no. 4 (April 2008): 522–35. Raymond Pierotti, "Infanticide Versus Adoption: An Intergenerational Conflict." The American Naturalist 138, no. 5 (1991): 140-158. Accessed January 29, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/2462512.

15 MINAPR 14
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Perceptions of Women who Commit Neonaticide

Pizza Bomber

EBy Kayla Rieck Transcript: [Woman 1]: 911, what’s your emergency? [Woman 2]: We’ve been robbed. [Woman 1]: Okay, stay on the line. [Woman 2]: Okay. [Woman 1]: Is anyone hurt? [Woman 2]: No. [Police Siren droning on] You’re listening to Hurstories. A podcast about Western Pennsylvanian history. Created by the digital history students at Mercyhurst University. Hello everyone, my name is Kayla Rieck and you are listening an episode of Hurstories – a podcast created by Mercyhurst students – and today you will be listening to one of the weirdest things to happen to Erie. This is the story of Brian Wells, more famously known as the Pizza Bomber. August 28th, 2003 – Brian Wells is killed. Part one: The phone call. At roughly 1:30pm, Mamma Mia’s receives a phone call. The owner, Mr. Tony Ditomo, first picked up the call, but couldn’t understand who was talking, so he handed the phone to Brian Well who proceeded to write his own directions. Two sausage and pepperoni pizzas were to be delivered to 8631 Peach Street, the location of a WSEE-TV transmitting tower as the end of a long, dirt road. Upon arriving to the address, there was a struggle, and by the time Wells left the premises he had a live bomb collared around his neck. Wells received 9 pages of hand-written, rambling instructions and a cane adapted to be a loaded shotgun (instructions included of course). While Wells claimed it was a group of black men that jumped him and forced him to complete these tasks, interviews by law enforcement had Floyd Stockton sweating, claiming to be the one who strapped the bomb to Wells. To this day, these details are still very muddy, and no one really knows who put this collar on Wells. Part two: The Scavenger hunt. “Bomb Hostage, you are to go to PNC bank at Summit Town Centre on Peach St. Quietly give the following demand notes to a receptionist or bank manager. Do not cause alarm. Get retired money and deliver to a specified location by following notes that you will collect as you race against time. Each note leads to the next note and key until finished. You will collect several keys and a combination to remove bomb. After, police won’t charge you because you were a hostage.”[1] This is the beginning paragraph of the crudely written instructions Wells was given by a group calling themselves The Troubleshooters commanding him to rob a bank, the PNC bank on Peach street to be specific. They were mapped out in a scavenger hunt style, listing strictly timed tasks that would help him collect keys that would delay the bomb’s detonation until he found the final key which would defuse the bomb. He was told he only had 55 minutes until detonation. With 25 minutes travel time, he had a safety margin of less than 10 minutes, the remaining time, 20 minutes, were to be used to “retrieve and obey their instructions.” Additional time could be gained by finding keys, but he isn’t told how much. To ensure Wells was following their instructions the writer made him aware that they would be following his moves in 3 cars to make sure he obeyed their requests. They would be scanning police radio frequencies, calls, and driving around to make sure they stayed away. If Wells alerted the police to what happened, they told him plain and simple: “you will be destroyed”. “You must deliver money alone. You must return all weapons/notes to us. Turn yourself in to bank and police after we release you to safety,” and in all capital letters at the end of the first page, “ACT NOW, THINK LATER OR YOU WILL DIE!” Part 3: PROCEED NOW. With notes to give to the receptionist, bank manager, and the police in hand as well as instructions for each stop of this gross goose chase, Wells enters the bank. His first instructions read as follows: “1) take the following demands to PNC bank and get $250,00.00. Instruct bank managers to help or else everyone will be killed. Enforce demands with your weapon and bomb. 2) Put $250,00.00 in black garbage bag. Leave your driver’s license

10 MINAPR 13
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Pizza Bomber

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Hits Erie!

Written and researched by Adam Macrino [Evening News Inspired Music Intro written and recorded by Adam Macrino] Newscaster Voice: Hello everyone, and welcome to Hurststories. My name is Nathan de Panda. On this edition of Hurststories we bring you a story out of the town of Erie, Pennsylvania. On the night of Saturday, July 9th, 1898, the sleepy town was brought to life with the whoops and hollers of Cowboys and Natives as Buffalo Bill Cody and his Congress of Rough Riders paraded into town. The members of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show were greeted by the citizens of Erie, who lined the streets, as the long caravan of performers made their way into the town. This was one of 7 times that Buffalo Bill and his Rough Riders brought their skill to showcase to the town of Erie. Here to bring you more details is Hurststories correspondent, Brian Pedactor.[1] Narrator Voice: Thank you, Nathan. To understand what a spectacle this would have been for the citizens of the day, we at Hurststories want to familiarize the audience with the man called Buffalo Bill. Before obtaining the infamous nickname, William Frederick Cody, was born in Scott County, Iowa, in 1846. He migrated west with his father, where the young Cody was witness to an awful altercation between his father and a mob of pro-slavery sympathizers. An argument escalated out of control, resulting in the mortal wounding of Cody’s father. The London Times reported in William Cody’s obituary that when this occurred, “Young Cody turned to the assailant saying, ‘You have killed my father. When I’m a man I’ll Kill You.’”[2] [Announcement Chime] Public Service Announcement: Hurststories would like to take this opportunity to condemn revenge killing. We are a Catholic University and would not support revenge killing even to avenge our own father. [Ending Announcement Chime] Narrator: Cody relocated during the gold rush of the 1860’s but did not strike it rich. Instead he obtained a job as a package runner for the Pony Express. This was an extremely dangerous occupation due to the lawlessness of the West. Bandits would ambush package carriers during their trek, stealing the valuable parcels that they were carrying. It was this job that taught William Cody what it took to live out on the trails of the Wild West. Eventually, Cody would take on a job as a scout for a trapping expedition. It was during this expedition that William Cody was credited with killing his first bear. It is also during this expedition that Cody had an encounter with a Native that ended with violence. The Native was killed, and Cody was adorned with the name “Boy Indian Slayer.” [3] [Announcement Chime] Public Service Announcement: Hurststories would like to take another moment to acknowledge the awful treatment that the Native Americans received, and if there was a way to go back and time and prevent that from happening, we at Hurstories would certainly do so. This has been another Hurststories Condemnation Moment. [End Announcement Chime] Narrator: During the Civil War, Cody joined up with the US Army. His reputation as a skilled horseman was confirmed as Cody ascended thru the ranks of the 5th Cavalry, achieving the rank of Chief Scout. Cody continued serving in the US Army after the War, earning the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars. The rapid expansion of the railroad systems created a great demand for food supplies to feed the giant workforce that a project of that magnitude required. Contracts were offered from these railroad companies to anyone who could provide enough food to meet the demand.[4] Narrator: This will be how William Frederick Cody obtains his nom de guerre, Buff- Newscaster: Eh, Adam, what is that, nom de gur? Narrator: yes, it means a nickname. Newscaster: no no no, none of that Narrator: Ok, okay, this will be how William Frederick Cody gets his sobriquet, Buffalo Bil Newscaster: What! Now what is that? Narrator: Sobriquet, it’s synonymous with nick-name Newscaster: Listen budd

9 MINMAR 18
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Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Hits Erie!

Elizabeth H. Carter Vincent (A Woman of the War)

Written and researched by Ashley Carr Transcript: If you’re a young woman from a working class family from New Jersey in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War, chances are, you would feel that growing tension, feel it about to burst, and want to do something about it. But for a woman, who has been told she has no use on the battlefield, and no voice in politics, options are limited. You could be a nurse, but, if you don’t have the stomach for gore, like Elizabeth Carter didn’t, you take up work on the home front.[1] Elizabeth moved to Erie, Pennsylvania to be a school teacher, working hard so she could send money back to her family in New Jersey, who depended on her. Amid the terror and freedom of being a young woman on her own in the world for the first time, she met the man who would become her husband, and a Brigadier General of the Union Army: Strong Vincent.[2] A while into their budding relationship, Elizabeth and Strong were walking the streets of Erie together when man cat-called Elizabeth. We don’t know what was said, but we do know that Strong Vincent, her knight in shining wool uniform, punched him. Right in the face.[3] The name “Strong” was a family surname before it was given to him.[4] But never was there a man more fit for it than Strong Vincent. [patriotic, uplifting music] Perhaps because of a powerful sense of patriotism, or perhaps because he was sick of sitting behind a desk at a law firm, Vincent enlisted into the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army.[5] He and Elizabeth Carter married that same day, he packed his bag, and was gone.[6] Sending off your brand new husband into what would become the bloodiest war in American history sounds debilitating, life altering, tragic. But, if you come from a working class family, and the men are off at war, you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. You keep going. And so life went on in Erie without Strong Vincent, and the other men of the Pennsylvania 83rd. Elizabeth, now Mrs. Vincent, continued teaching. News of the war and of the daily life of battle trickled in. Essentially alone once more, Elizabeth again experienced an exhilarating sense of freedom, this time underlined with the kind of dread that only work could distract from. So, she and the other women of Erie worked, volunteering to put together food, supplies, and clothing for the soldiers.[7] There was no reward for this, no glory, no recognition for the sacrifice of daily stability and what little money she and the other women had. But, they did it anyway. Not long into their marriage, and, into the war, Elizabeth realized she was pregnant. She gave birth, alone, to a daughter, Blanche Strong Vincent, whose names, all three, were of her husband’s family, not her own. And she buried that child after less than a year of life, alone. Of course, she did have the family of her new husband to keep her company, and the women of her community, but, when the people you most want near you are away, your husband, your own family, the presence of others can do very little. [transition music] We don’t have many letters written by Elizabeth or Vincent, but we do have records of what other soldiers wrote home. Some detailed the mundane and trivial of daily life; I got a tear in my uniform, or the sunset was beautiful today. Others were heavier; my friend just died, or I’ve been wounded, or tell the children I love them, though they may never see me again. [sad music] Two years into the war, Strong Vincent had been in and out of battle, and moved up the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel.[8] The infamous battle of Gettysburg loomed around the corner. At 26, Vincent had none of the youthful misconceptions of immortality left in him. In one letter to Elizabeth, just before Gettysburg, he wrote, “If I fall, remember you have given your husband to the most righteous cause that ever widowed a woman.”[9] [“oh shit this is getting real” music] What can you do when your husban

11 MINMAR 17
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Elizabeth H. Carter Vincent (A Woman of the War)

The Unsolved Murder of Frank "Bolo" Dovishaw and Mafia in Erie

Written and researched by Abby Saunders Transcript: Hurstories Script ABBY: I’m your host, Abby Saunders, ready to tell you all about Frank “Bolo” Dovishaw, his undercover gambling ring, and his unfortunate demise. First thing’s first – have you heard of the mafia? I think that a lot of people stereotype the mafia into a general group… criminals. The mafia is more like a family, though! No, literally. Mafias from around the world are most often run by groups of families, kind of like a ‘family business.’ Just like fathers in the farming industry pass down farming traditions to their sons, fathers in the mafia pass down mafia traditions to their sons. Boys are taught skills specific to running the business, and girls are taught how to be inconspicuous and lay low. Mafia members become like family members. It is not unusual to find men from different families acting brotherly to their business partners. Also, it is not uncommon to kill family members that act up in the Mafia. This idea will pop up later on, so, stay tuned. Just like in other bureaucratic business, there are leaders and followers. Mafias are typically hierarchal, with a general, boss-like position at the top of the chain, and then a bunch of levels below him. Mafias, in some way or another, exist all over the world. The most popular mafias originated in Italy… and more specifically… Sicily. One popular mafia that originated in Sicily and then migrated to the United States is the Cosa Nostra group. This group settled in New York, but then spread to surrounding cities along the Eastern coast of the country. Some major cities in the north east region of the United States where the mafia operates are Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Interestingly enough, though, the city directly in the middle of all of these 3 cities, Erie Pennsylvania, had no major mafia activity until the 1950s. Even when the mob came to Erie, though, it was slight and almost insignificant compared to the major criminals and con men of the time[1]. Now, since mafias were on the rise in the United States, the federal law enforcement agencies were busy chasing and arresting various leaders from all over the East coast. This happened especially in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. When a mafia leader is taken out, their section, well, family, may or may not fall. It is very difficult to count how many mafia groups there are in the United States for this reason[2]. Our story starts and ends in Erie, with Frank “Bolo” Dovishaw: one of the most recognized organized crime leaders in Erie, Pennsylvania. Now, you might be wondering why the hell I just explained what mafias are for 2 minutes, even though our main character today was not a member. Here is why: Dovishaw acted as if he were a member of the mafia. But in order for you to see this, you must know what he did to deserve the title: an Erie Goodfella. Picture Erie in the 1950s and 60s. It is a smaller city in the North West corner of Pennsylvania, right next to Lake Erie. There were neighborhoods full of immigrants and past-generation Americans alike, but one neighborhood that stood out was Little Italy. It is located between 12th street and 24th street, with an eastern boundary at Sassafras Street and a western boundary around Cranberry Street. Little Italy is like its own little self-contained town. There were barber shops, stores, churches, schools, and even funeral homes. With all of these good businesses, though, come some pretty illegal ones. There were many criminals in Erie in the 1900s; heck, there still are[3]! Our story starts in 1960 when Frank Dovishaw worked at Dee Cigar Store. On December 10th, 1960, Dovishaw was arrested for burglarizing the store. According to a newspaper article, around $7,000 worth of checks and cash were stolen. Dovishaw had worked at the cigar store for about a year and a half, and he was the main suspect. Although he tried to implicate a couple other individuals, Dovishaw was inevitably found to be the prim

11 MINMAR 14
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The Unsolved Murder of Frank "Bolo" Dovishaw and Mafia in Erie

Fort LaBoeuf and Colonial Western PA

Written and researched by Rachael Wilson Transcript: The landscape of rural northwestern Pennsylvania is quite the beautiful place. There are rolling hills, stretching fields full of crops and wildflowers, and the historic French Creek rolls throughout Mercer, Erie and Crawford counties of Pennsylvania. For almost two thousand years, the Iroquois people lived in western New York and Pennsylvania, as well as southern Ontario and Quebec. They stayed within the areas of the Great Lakes, specifically lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie and lived utilizing the land.[1] Those who lived in what is what is modernly known as Waterford, Pennsylvania – about twenty minutes south of Erie – relied on the resources in and around the French Creek watershed, including the nearby Lake LeBoeuf. The Iroquois knew how to take advantage of the landscape that they had been given. The Pennsylvania woods were too thick to hunt and grow food, so they were able to create spanning meadows to grow food and hunt the game of the area.[2] In the mid-1700s, settlers from England began to come to the New World and settle in the area. The French followed right behind. Both British and French forces began to build forts like Fort Duquesne, Presque Isle, and Venango. Tensions began to build between the two nations in their colonies. Fort de la Rivière au Bœuf, Fort LeBoeuf as it is commonly referred to as now, was second out of four forts that was operated by the French forces who had come to Western Pennsylvania. The fort sat on the bank of LeBoeuf Creek, after which the fort was named. Along with Forts Presque Isle, Machault, and Duquesne, these forts built the line of French bases across western Pennsylvania. Presque Isle was built along the banks of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, Machault in modern day Franklin, Pennsylvania, and Fort Duquesne in what is now Pittsburgh. These forts, LeBoeuf in particular, was used to trade throughout French territory from Fort Presque Isle and Canada and to protect Presque Isle from any sort of raid.[3] Great Britain did not that all too much. As a result, in 1753, Governor Robert Dinwiddie assigned 21-year old major George Washington – yes, that George Washington – on a mission up to the forts to demand that the French leave the territory ASAP because the British had claimed it. As marked by the journal that Washington had written throughout his trek up north, the journey took him about ten weeks and one thousand miles “by horse, foot, canoe, and raft.”[4] Young Major Washington left Williamsburg on October 31st of 1753 and was accompanied by a team made up of a surveyor, a French translator, four traders, and eventually met up with various members of native tribes, including a man referred to as the “Half-King.” George’s journal details every single thing he did and saw on his journey. His training as a surveyor came quite in handy when it came to writing his observations down. Once they reached Logtown, a town in what is currently Beaver County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh, they were directed towards Fort LeBoeuf, about 110 miles north. With Washington was a letter a for Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, a French military commander who was the man in charge at Fort LeBoeuf.[5] The letter was the ultimatum posed towards the French from the British. While Washington was generally received pretty well by those who were in Waterford, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre was not a big fan of the message that George brought him. The French king thought that the letter from Dinwiddie and England was ridiculous and his claim to the area was “incontestable.”[6] At the same time as Washington’s trek to the French forts, the French and the natives begin to engage in trade in an unprecedented change in way of life for the natives. Their survival began to depend on it. Frenchmen learned to fight the “Indian Way,” engaging in guerilla warfare, “which was by stealth, surprise, ambush, and frightening terror.”[7] This greatly helped the

8 MINMAR 13
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Fort LaBoeuf and Colonial Western PA

The 1952 GE Strike in Erie PA

Written and researched by Deana Hale Narrator: Hello and welcome to this episode ofHurstories. My name is (name First and last) and I will be your host for this episode. Let us begin. Narrator: Now, I want you to imagine yourself as a person trying to get a job to support your growing family. You find a job in the newspaper at the local GE plant, this means that you can potentially get a job. Once you get hired for the job you were taken to an orientation, where they proceed to tell you about the amazing wages and good benefits you were about to receive. Narrator: But that was a complete and utter lie, it was like those seen on TV items that you pick up in a supermarket. They have these flashy and sugar coated words slapped onto the packaging, but in the packaging it was a big fat lie and it would fall apart in less than a few months. [sigh] I am getting off topic, we are not here to talk about my hatred for those infernal items and get back to our topic. Narrator: In this episode we are going to be discussing the strike that happened at the GE plant. I will be talking about how it started, during the event, and the aftermath of the event. Narrator: Back to the GE, the employees now have it much better than the ones in the past, it was because of this strike that the conditions of the facilities as well as the wages and benefits increased for the workers. But it was 70 years of struggling for it to come to that. Narrator: Now the reason why this started could be from multiple factors from wages, working conditions, to the management or owners of the facility running it like total garbage. While strikes in general have a dual nature usually consisting of the employers and their employees, usually they try to reach a middle ground or have the errors be righted in some way in a civil matter before having it come to a strike. Narrator: This is not the case in the matter of GE, because on December 6 of 1918 there was a letter sent to the Department of Labor about a potential strike happening at GE’s Erie Plant, but they dismissed and rejected the claim. This in turn infuriating the workers and in turn had the gears turning for the strike to occur even without their consent of the Department of Labor. Narrator: Though this was because their wages were not adequate and the workers knew that they were entitled to it. John Nelson, the head of the United Electrical Union for the General Electric Employees, told the workers that the board denied them from initiating an organized strike, but he claimed to them that if they were not going to get a raise, then by all means they were going to get a raise. Narrator: Though GE knew about the strike and that it would happen eventually, they took no action in preventing or solving this issue before it got to that point. Their reaction was before the strike took place was to have examiners go into the plants and decide which employees stayed and which had to be cut loose. Narrator: Though this was able to prevent the strike that started in 1946, major corporations like GE had made record profits from the World Wars. While making major profits, all of their employees' wages were let’s say frozen for the entire duration of the war. Not to mention the fact that the workers suffered from the massive increase to the cost of living during the wars. It came down to the employees of not only GE, but also the Auto Workers and Steel Workers, they started to combine their abilities to create a bargaining contract. Narrator: In November of 1946 will always be remembered by the Union members, around 500,000autworks struck General Motors, though in GE, they only realized it after the union gave its notice. GE offered to raise their wages by 10 cents, but it still was falling short of the demanded wage the the workers asked for. In total there were around 200,000 UE members in both GE and Westinghouse who went on Strike from New England to California. Narrator: Though within 1946 is when the Cold War

9 MINMAR 11
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The 1952 GE Strike in Erie PA

Koehler Beer and Prohibition

Written and researched by Steven Mooradian Koehler Beer and the Prohibition Era Steven Mooradian Hello! Welcome to this episode oftheHurstories, a history podcast presented by Mercyhurst students.My name is Steven Mooradian and I will be your host for this episode. Any goodErieitewill tell you, there’sa church on every street, and a bar on every corner. Erie’s long history with beer extends to the first largewaves of immigration, bringing their brewing practices with them, nonemore locally famous than the Koehler family. Their persistence through 13 years of prohibition propelled them into local legend,and theKohelername remains a stapleinnorthwestern Pennsylvania. Erie, Pennsylvania has been aMecca for immigrantsfor over a century and a half.Groups of Italian, Polish, German, Irish, Russian, Greek, and other European immigrants have historically found a small slice of Erie to call home. Even more recently,large contingencies of Nepalese, Bhutanese, Syrian, Central African,and Latin American groups havefound theirsanctuaryand safety in some of the same areas.Though Erie’s population has decreased significantly since the mid 20thcentury, these groups are almost single-handedly keeping those numbers steady. There is truly a connection between the success ofimmigrants and the success of Erie. Eriehas a small, urban center. It iscentrally locatedbetween three major cities: Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.And itwas a center of commerce and industry for a better part of the 19thand 20thcenturies, perfect for establishing economic success in anything from paper to beer.When immigrantsarrivethey bring their interests and talents, making Erie one of the most diverse cities in America for well over a century. Charles Koehler, a Dutch immigrantwho arrived inErie in the mid 1800’s,knew Erie held for himsome of these opportunities.He worked forFrederick Dietz, who owned a brewery at 17thand Parade Street. Dietz died in 1858 and Charles took it over, though he left only a few years later in 1862 to begin a new brewery with his sons at 26thand Holland. Charles son Fred inherited thebusiness,but it washis other sonJackson Koehler, who would take the family name and make it a brand.1 Thefirst brewerybuilt at the site of 21stand State Streets in Erie in 1855wasby George Frey and PeterSchaaf.Frey was himself an immigrant, from Germany, and is credited with introducing the lager style of beer to the Greater Erie-Buffalo region.2 Schaafwould goon to find a new partner several years later, aman by the name of HenryKavelage, who in 1863 became the sole owner of theoperation andnamedit Eagle Brewery. Twenty yearsafter, in 1883, Jackson Koehler purchased the brewery,calling it theJackson-Eagle Koehler Brewery. Erie in the 1880’s had multiple brewing operations,consisting of four lager plants, one ale, and one porter breweries. They all shared the market,but it didn’t take long for Jackson Koehler to surge to the top of the game.In 1890, Jackson commissioned LouisLehle, a Chicagoarchitectto design the new brewery. On April 1, 1899, several of those other breweries, theFred Koehler and Co. (Jackson’s brother), Cascade Brewery, National Brewery, and Eagle Brewerymerged under the command of Koehlernow going by the name Erie Brewing Company. The Koehler namebecamesynonymous with beer in the Erie region. The brewery ran with few flawsfor years, until the bombshell hit. Prohibition became the law of the land, cemented as the 18thamendment to the US Constitution in 1920. Prohibition was particularly tricky in PA.Lots ofworking-classpeople, meant both strongadherenceand strongresistance.Labor Unions were some of thefiercestopponentsof the eighteenth amendment.However, other unions wereavidproponentsof prohibition, because labor leaders felt that with their workers boozed up, gave them a disadvantage on negotiations. Gifford Pinchot,a successful conservationistrunning for governorduring the lead up to prohibition ranunder the pretense that he would

9 MINMAR 10
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Koehler Beer and Prohibition

BSU & the Black Power Movement at Mercyhurst

In today’s ‘Hurstories’ episode, we’re going to be talking about Mercyhurst’s strong Black Student Union in the 1970s. While discussing Mercyhurst’s BSU from that time period, we are also going to look at the greater context of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements on college campuses across the country. Get the transcript and Show Notes at hurststories.wordpress.com

12 MINFEB 23
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BSU & the Black Power Movement at Mercyhurst

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Battle of Lake Erie

By Sydney Hitchcock Transcript: Sydney: Not many people when asked about the War of 1812 could tell you why the war was fought, who was involved, or about any of the key battles. Some may recall that the White House was burned and that at some point in our country’s history the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner must have been written, but few could tell you that both of these events occurred during this War. The War of 1812 was the United States of America’s first chance to flex its newly independent muscles. Tired of being pushed around by the British in the Atlantic and to the North, the United States wanted to make it clear - the British were no longer welcome on their soil. It is no surprise that most people who are not historians have never learned about the Battle of Lake Erie, which is known as the turning point of the War of 1812. Fought between the British and the U.S. over control of Lake Erie, this battle was the first major naval victory the U.S. had ever won against the Royal Navy. Control of Lake Erie meant the U.S. no longer had to fear invasion by British forces from the North and could prevent the British from penetrating the ever-expanding middle of the country. This gave the U.S. more control over communication and trade during the remainder of the war, which allowed an eventual victory. Take that King George, this will teach you not to mess with an independent country – you power hungry tyrant! My name is Sydney Hitchcock and I will be your host for today’s Hurstories podcast on the Battle of Lake Erie. Sydney: The Battle of Lake Erie began at daybreak the morning of September 10th, 1813. The battle took place between the United States Navy, under the command of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry and the British Royal Navy, under the command of Captain Robert H. Barclay. The two fleets met in Put-In-Bay Ohio, where the battle was fought. Sydney: That morning, the American fleet which consisted of nine vessels in total and 416 crew members fit for duty set sail towards the approaching six British vessels. Perry commanded a squadron that consisted of three Brigs, the Lawrence, the Niagara, and the Caledonia, five schooners the Ariel, Scorpion, Somers, Porcupine, and Tigress, and one sloop called the Trippe. The British squadron was made up of six vessels, two ships the Detroit and Queen Charlotte, one brig the Hunter, two schooners the Lady Prevost and Chippeway, and one sloop the Little Belt.[1] Despite the United States having more ships, the British had the advantage of having more experienced commanders.[2] Barclay who was commander of the Detroit had the best guns, which were more accurate when hitting their target.[3] During this period the strength of the Royal Navy was known throughout the world. Their experience having been perfected over centuries spent colonizing foreign lands and controlling overseas trade routes. Sydney: Before the battle began Perry’s, strategy was to pair each of his vessels to a British ship; for example, the brig Niagara was supposed to mainly fight against Britain’s Queen Charlotte. Depending on Barclay’s tactical formation, Perry would change the American battle line so his ships would stay with the ships he had assigned them to fight against.[4] Man voice: “At daylight discovered the Enemy’s fleet in the NW. Made the signal immediately to the Squadron to get underway-“[5]. Sydney: As the fleets sailed towards each other the Detroit was the first to fire, shooting a long 24 which missed Perry’s advancing ships. Their second fire was more successful than the first, hitting its mark which was Perry’s brig, the Lawrence. The Lawrence in response fired her long 12’s and carronades at the British fleet but was unsuccessful in hitting her intended targets. [6] Naval vessels during this period were outfitted with different types of cannons, which were mounted on their decks and poked out of windows that looked like eyes on the sides of the ship so that they could fire cannon b

9 MINAPR 15
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Battle of Lake Erie

Perceptions of Women who Commit Neonaticide

By Rebekah Prather Sources Lisa Thompson, “Rhodes Granted Parole in Infant Death Case.” GoErie.com, October 1, 2015. https://www.goerie.com/article/20151001/NEWS/610151934. Superior Court of Pennsylvania. COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellee v. Teri RHODES, Appellant. No. 143 WDA 2009., December 31, 2009. Nancy Grace, “Nancy Grace”, CNN, Aired September 20, 2007. Beyer, Kristen, Shannon McAuliffe Mack, and Joy Lynn Shelton. “Investigative Analysis of Neonaticide: An Exploratory Study.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 35, no. 4 (April 2008): 522–35. Raymond Pierotti, "Infanticide Versus Adoption: An Intergenerational Conflict." The American Naturalist 138, no. 5 (1991): 140-158. Accessed January 29, 2020. www.jstor.org/stable/2462512.

15 MINAPR 14
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Perceptions of Women who Commit Neonaticide

Pizza Bomber

EBy Kayla Rieck Transcript: [Woman 1]: 911, what’s your emergency? [Woman 2]: We’ve been robbed. [Woman 1]: Okay, stay on the line. [Woman 2]: Okay. [Woman 1]: Is anyone hurt? [Woman 2]: No. [Police Siren droning on] You’re listening to Hurstories. A podcast about Western Pennsylvanian history. Created by the digital history students at Mercyhurst University. Hello everyone, my name is Kayla Rieck and you are listening an episode of Hurstories – a podcast created by Mercyhurst students – and today you will be listening to one of the weirdest things to happen to Erie. This is the story of Brian Wells, more famously known as the Pizza Bomber. August 28th, 2003 – Brian Wells is killed. Part one: The phone call. At roughly 1:30pm, Mamma Mia’s receives a phone call. The owner, Mr. Tony Ditomo, first picked up the call, but couldn’t understand who was talking, so he handed the phone to Brian Well who proceeded to write his own directions. Two sausage and pepperoni pizzas were to be delivered to 8631 Peach Street, the location of a WSEE-TV transmitting tower as the end of a long, dirt road. Upon arriving to the address, there was a struggle, and by the time Wells left the premises he had a live bomb collared around his neck. Wells received 9 pages of hand-written, rambling instructions and a cane adapted to be a loaded shotgun (instructions included of course). While Wells claimed it was a group of black men that jumped him and forced him to complete these tasks, interviews by law enforcement had Floyd Stockton sweating, claiming to be the one who strapped the bomb to Wells. To this day, these details are still very muddy, and no one really knows who put this collar on Wells. Part two: The Scavenger hunt. “Bomb Hostage, you are to go to PNC bank at Summit Town Centre on Peach St. Quietly give the following demand notes to a receptionist or bank manager. Do not cause alarm. Get retired money and deliver to a specified location by following notes that you will collect as you race against time. Each note leads to the next note and key until finished. You will collect several keys and a combination to remove bomb. After, police won’t charge you because you were a hostage.”[1] This is the beginning paragraph of the crudely written instructions Wells was given by a group calling themselves The Troubleshooters commanding him to rob a bank, the PNC bank on Peach street to be specific. They were mapped out in a scavenger hunt style, listing strictly timed tasks that would help him collect keys that would delay the bomb’s detonation until he found the final key which would defuse the bomb. He was told he only had 55 minutes until detonation. With 25 minutes travel time, he had a safety margin of less than 10 minutes, the remaining time, 20 minutes, were to be used to “retrieve and obey their instructions.” Additional time could be gained by finding keys, but he isn’t told how much. To ensure Wells was following their instructions the writer made him aware that they would be following his moves in 3 cars to make sure he obeyed their requests. They would be scanning police radio frequencies, calls, and driving around to make sure they stayed away. If Wells alerted the police to what happened, they told him plain and simple: “you will be destroyed”. “You must deliver money alone. You must return all weapons/notes to us. Turn yourself in to bank and police after we release you to safety,” and in all capital letters at the end of the first page, “ACT NOW, THINK LATER OR YOU WILL DIE!” Part 3: PROCEED NOW. With notes to give to the receptionist, bank manager, and the police in hand as well as instructions for each stop of this gross goose chase, Wells enters the bank. His first instructions read as follows: “1) take the following demands to PNC bank and get $250,00.00. Instruct bank managers to help or else everyone will be killed. Enforce demands with your weapon and bomb. 2) Put $250,00.00 in black garbage bag. Leave your driver’s license

10 MINAPR 13
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Pizza Bomber

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Hits Erie!

Written and researched by Adam Macrino [Evening News Inspired Music Intro written and recorded by Adam Macrino] Newscaster Voice: Hello everyone, and welcome to Hurststories. My name is Nathan de Panda. On this edition of Hurststories we bring you a story out of the town of Erie, Pennsylvania. On the night of Saturday, July 9th, 1898, the sleepy town was brought to life with the whoops and hollers of Cowboys and Natives as Buffalo Bill Cody and his Congress of Rough Riders paraded into town. The members of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show were greeted by the citizens of Erie, who lined the streets, as the long caravan of performers made their way into the town. This was one of 7 times that Buffalo Bill and his Rough Riders brought their skill to showcase to the town of Erie. Here to bring you more details is Hurststories correspondent, Brian Pedactor.[1] Narrator Voice: Thank you, Nathan. To understand what a spectacle this would have been for the citizens of the day, we at Hurststories want to familiarize the audience with the man called Buffalo Bill. Before obtaining the infamous nickname, William Frederick Cody, was born in Scott County, Iowa, in 1846. He migrated west with his father, where the young Cody was witness to an awful altercation between his father and a mob of pro-slavery sympathizers. An argument escalated out of control, resulting in the mortal wounding of Cody’s father. The London Times reported in William Cody’s obituary that when this occurred, “Young Cody turned to the assailant saying, ‘You have killed my father. When I’m a man I’ll Kill You.’”[2] [Announcement Chime] Public Service Announcement: Hurststories would like to take this opportunity to condemn revenge killing. We are a Catholic University and would not support revenge killing even to avenge our own father. [Ending Announcement Chime] Narrator: Cody relocated during the gold rush of the 1860’s but did not strike it rich. Instead he obtained a job as a package runner for the Pony Express. This was an extremely dangerous occupation due to the lawlessness of the West. Bandits would ambush package carriers during their trek, stealing the valuable parcels that they were carrying. It was this job that taught William Cody what it took to live out on the trails of the Wild West. Eventually, Cody would take on a job as a scout for a trapping expedition. It was during this expedition that William Cody was credited with killing his first bear. It is also during this expedition that Cody had an encounter with a Native that ended with violence. The Native was killed, and Cody was adorned with the name “Boy Indian Slayer.” [3] [Announcement Chime] Public Service Announcement: Hurststories would like to take another moment to acknowledge the awful treatment that the Native Americans received, and if there was a way to go back and time and prevent that from happening, we at Hurstories would certainly do so. This has been another Hurststories Condemnation Moment. [End Announcement Chime] Narrator: During the Civil War, Cody joined up with the US Army. His reputation as a skilled horseman was confirmed as Cody ascended thru the ranks of the 5th Cavalry, achieving the rank of Chief Scout. Cody continued serving in the US Army after the War, earning the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars. The rapid expansion of the railroad systems created a great demand for food supplies to feed the giant workforce that a project of that magnitude required. Contracts were offered from these railroad companies to anyone who could provide enough food to meet the demand.[4] Narrator: This will be how William Frederick Cody obtains his nom de guerre, Buff- Newscaster: Eh, Adam, what is that, nom de gur? Narrator: yes, it means a nickname. Newscaster: no no no, none of that Narrator: Ok, okay, this will be how William Frederick Cody gets his sobriquet, Buffalo Bil Newscaster: What! Now what is that? Narrator: Sobriquet, it’s synonymous with nick-name Newscaster: Listen budd

9 MINMAR 18
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Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show Hits Erie!

Elizabeth H. Carter Vincent (A Woman of the War)

Written and researched by Ashley Carr Transcript: If you’re a young woman from a working class family from New Jersey in the years leading up to the outbreak of the Civil War, chances are, you would feel that growing tension, feel it about to burst, and want to do something about it. But for a woman, who has been told she has no use on the battlefield, and no voice in politics, options are limited. You could be a nurse, but, if you don’t have the stomach for gore, like Elizabeth Carter didn’t, you take up work on the home front.[1] Elizabeth moved to Erie, Pennsylvania to be a school teacher, working hard so she could send money back to her family in New Jersey, who depended on her. Amid the terror and freedom of being a young woman on her own in the world for the first time, she met the man who would become her husband, and a Brigadier General of the Union Army: Strong Vincent.[2] A while into their budding relationship, Elizabeth and Strong were walking the streets of Erie together when man cat-called Elizabeth. We don’t know what was said, but we do know that Strong Vincent, her knight in shining wool uniform, punched him. Right in the face.[3] The name “Strong” was a family surname before it was given to him.[4] But never was there a man more fit for it than Strong Vincent. [patriotic, uplifting music] Perhaps because of a powerful sense of patriotism, or perhaps because he was sick of sitting behind a desk at a law firm, Vincent enlisted into the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army.[5] He and Elizabeth Carter married that same day, he packed his bag, and was gone.[6] Sending off your brand new husband into what would become the bloodiest war in American history sounds debilitating, life altering, tragic. But, if you come from a working class family, and the men are off at war, you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself. You keep going. And so life went on in Erie without Strong Vincent, and the other men of the Pennsylvania 83rd. Elizabeth, now Mrs. Vincent, continued teaching. News of the war and of the daily life of battle trickled in. Essentially alone once more, Elizabeth again experienced an exhilarating sense of freedom, this time underlined with the kind of dread that only work could distract from. So, she and the other women of Erie worked, volunteering to put together food, supplies, and clothing for the soldiers.[7] There was no reward for this, no glory, no recognition for the sacrifice of daily stability and what little money she and the other women had. But, they did it anyway. Not long into their marriage, and, into the war, Elizabeth realized she was pregnant. She gave birth, alone, to a daughter, Blanche Strong Vincent, whose names, all three, were of her husband’s family, not her own. And she buried that child after less than a year of life, alone. Of course, she did have the family of her new husband to keep her company, and the women of her community, but, when the people you most want near you are away, your husband, your own family, the presence of others can do very little. [transition music] We don’t have many letters written by Elizabeth or Vincent, but we do have records of what other soldiers wrote home. Some detailed the mundane and trivial of daily life; I got a tear in my uniform, or the sunset was beautiful today. Others were heavier; my friend just died, or I’ve been wounded, or tell the children I love them, though they may never see me again. [sad music] Two years into the war, Strong Vincent had been in and out of battle, and moved up the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel.[8] The infamous battle of Gettysburg loomed around the corner. At 26, Vincent had none of the youthful misconceptions of immortality left in him. In one letter to Elizabeth, just before Gettysburg, he wrote, “If I fall, remember you have given your husband to the most righteous cause that ever widowed a woman.”[9] [“oh shit this is getting real” music] What can you do when your husban

11 MINMAR 17
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Elizabeth H. Carter Vincent (A Woman of the War)

The Unsolved Murder of Frank "Bolo" Dovishaw and Mafia in Erie

Written and researched by Abby Saunders Transcript: Hurstories Script ABBY: I’m your host, Abby Saunders, ready to tell you all about Frank “Bolo” Dovishaw, his undercover gambling ring, and his unfortunate demise. First thing’s first – have you heard of the mafia? I think that a lot of people stereotype the mafia into a general group… criminals. The mafia is more like a family, though! No, literally. Mafias from around the world are most often run by groups of families, kind of like a ‘family business.’ Just like fathers in the farming industry pass down farming traditions to their sons, fathers in the mafia pass down mafia traditions to their sons. Boys are taught skills specific to running the business, and girls are taught how to be inconspicuous and lay low. Mafia members become like family members. It is not unusual to find men from different families acting brotherly to their business partners. Also, it is not uncommon to kill family members that act up in the Mafia. This idea will pop up later on, so, stay tuned. Just like in other bureaucratic business, there are leaders and followers. Mafias are typically hierarchal, with a general, boss-like position at the top of the chain, and then a bunch of levels below him. Mafias, in some way or another, exist all over the world. The most popular mafias originated in Italy… and more specifically… Sicily. One popular mafia that originated in Sicily and then migrated to the United States is the Cosa Nostra group. This group settled in New York, but then spread to surrounding cities along the Eastern coast of the country. Some major cities in the north east region of the United States where the mafia operates are Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Interestingly enough, though, the city directly in the middle of all of these 3 cities, Erie Pennsylvania, had no major mafia activity until the 1950s. Even when the mob came to Erie, though, it was slight and almost insignificant compared to the major criminals and con men of the time[1]. Now, since mafias were on the rise in the United States, the federal law enforcement agencies were busy chasing and arresting various leaders from all over the East coast. This happened especially in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. When a mafia leader is taken out, their section, well, family, may or may not fall. It is very difficult to count how many mafia groups there are in the United States for this reason[2]. Our story starts and ends in Erie, with Frank “Bolo” Dovishaw: one of the most recognized organized crime leaders in Erie, Pennsylvania. Now, you might be wondering why the hell I just explained what mafias are for 2 minutes, even though our main character today was not a member. Here is why: Dovishaw acted as if he were a member of the mafia. But in order for you to see this, you must know what he did to deserve the title: an Erie Goodfella. Picture Erie in the 1950s and 60s. It is a smaller city in the North West corner of Pennsylvania, right next to Lake Erie. There were neighborhoods full of immigrants and past-generation Americans alike, but one neighborhood that stood out was Little Italy. It is located between 12th street and 24th street, with an eastern boundary at Sassafras Street and a western boundary around Cranberry Street. Little Italy is like its own little self-contained town. There were barber shops, stores, churches, schools, and even funeral homes. With all of these good businesses, though, come some pretty illegal ones. There were many criminals in Erie in the 1900s; heck, there still are[3]! Our story starts in 1960 when Frank Dovishaw worked at Dee Cigar Store. On December 10th, 1960, Dovishaw was arrested for burglarizing the store. According to a newspaper article, around $7,000 worth of checks and cash were stolen. Dovishaw had worked at the cigar store for about a year and a half, and he was the main suspect. Although he tried to implicate a couple other individuals, Dovishaw was inevitably found to be the prim

11 MINMAR 14
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The Unsolved Murder of Frank "Bolo" Dovishaw and Mafia in Erie

Fort LaBoeuf and Colonial Western PA

Written and researched by Rachael Wilson Transcript: The landscape of rural northwestern Pennsylvania is quite the beautiful place. There are rolling hills, stretching fields full of crops and wildflowers, and the historic French Creek rolls throughout Mercer, Erie and Crawford counties of Pennsylvania. For almost two thousand years, the Iroquois people lived in western New York and Pennsylvania, as well as southern Ontario and Quebec. They stayed within the areas of the Great Lakes, specifically lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie and lived utilizing the land.[1] Those who lived in what is what is modernly known as Waterford, Pennsylvania – about twenty minutes south of Erie – relied on the resources in and around the French Creek watershed, including the nearby Lake LeBoeuf. The Iroquois knew how to take advantage of the landscape that they had been given. The Pennsylvania woods were too thick to hunt and grow food, so they were able to create spanning meadows to grow food and hunt the game of the area.[2] In the mid-1700s, settlers from England began to come to the New World and settle in the area. The French followed right behind. Both British and French forces began to build forts like Fort Duquesne, Presque Isle, and Venango. Tensions began to build between the two nations in their colonies. Fort de la Rivière au Bœuf, Fort LeBoeuf as it is commonly referred to as now, was second out of four forts that was operated by the French forces who had come to Western Pennsylvania. The fort sat on the bank of LeBoeuf Creek, after which the fort was named. Along with Forts Presque Isle, Machault, and Duquesne, these forts built the line of French bases across western Pennsylvania. Presque Isle was built along the banks of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, Machault in modern day Franklin, Pennsylvania, and Fort Duquesne in what is now Pittsburgh. These forts, LeBoeuf in particular, was used to trade throughout French territory from Fort Presque Isle and Canada and to protect Presque Isle from any sort of raid.[3] Great Britain did not that all too much. As a result, in 1753, Governor Robert Dinwiddie assigned 21-year old major George Washington – yes, that George Washington – on a mission up to the forts to demand that the French leave the territory ASAP because the British had claimed it. As marked by the journal that Washington had written throughout his trek up north, the journey took him about ten weeks and one thousand miles “by horse, foot, canoe, and raft.”[4] Young Major Washington left Williamsburg on October 31st of 1753 and was accompanied by a team made up of a surveyor, a French translator, four traders, and eventually met up with various members of native tribes, including a man referred to as the “Half-King.” George’s journal details every single thing he did and saw on his journey. His training as a surveyor came quite in handy when it came to writing his observations down. Once they reached Logtown, a town in what is currently Beaver County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh, they were directed towards Fort LeBoeuf, about 110 miles north. With Washington was a letter a for Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, a French military commander who was the man in charge at Fort LeBoeuf.[5] The letter was the ultimatum posed towards the French from the British. While Washington was generally received pretty well by those who were in Waterford, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre was not a big fan of the message that George brought him. The French king thought that the letter from Dinwiddie and England was ridiculous and his claim to the area was “incontestable.”[6] At the same time as Washington’s trek to the French forts, the French and the natives begin to engage in trade in an unprecedented change in way of life for the natives. Their survival began to depend on it. Frenchmen learned to fight the “Indian Way,” engaging in guerilla warfare, “which was by stealth, surprise, ambush, and frightening terror.”[7] This greatly helped the

8 MINMAR 13
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Fort LaBoeuf and Colonial Western PA

The 1952 GE Strike in Erie PA

Written and researched by Deana Hale Narrator: Hello and welcome to this episode ofHurstories. My name is (name First and last) and I will be your host for this episode. Let us begin. Narrator: Now, I want you to imagine yourself as a person trying to get a job to support your growing family. You find a job in the newspaper at the local GE plant, this means that you can potentially get a job. Once you get hired for the job you were taken to an orientation, where they proceed to tell you about the amazing wages and good benefits you were about to receive. Narrator: But that was a complete and utter lie, it was like those seen on TV items that you pick up in a supermarket. They have these flashy and sugar coated words slapped onto the packaging, but in the packaging it was a big fat lie and it would fall apart in less than a few months. [sigh] I am getting off topic, we are not here to talk about my hatred for those infernal items and get back to our topic. Narrator: In this episode we are going to be discussing the strike that happened at the GE plant. I will be talking about how it started, during the event, and the aftermath of the event. Narrator: Back to the GE, the employees now have it much better than the ones in the past, it was because of this strike that the conditions of the facilities as well as the wages and benefits increased for the workers. But it was 70 years of struggling for it to come to that. Narrator: Now the reason why this started could be from multiple factors from wages, working conditions, to the management or owners of the facility running it like total garbage. While strikes in general have a dual nature usually consisting of the employers and their employees, usually they try to reach a middle ground or have the errors be righted in some way in a civil matter before having it come to a strike. Narrator: This is not the case in the matter of GE, because on December 6 of 1918 there was a letter sent to the Department of Labor about a potential strike happening at GE’s Erie Plant, but they dismissed and rejected the claim. This in turn infuriating the workers and in turn had the gears turning for the strike to occur even without their consent of the Department of Labor. Narrator: Though this was because their wages were not adequate and the workers knew that they were entitled to it. John Nelson, the head of the United Electrical Union for the General Electric Employees, told the workers that the board denied them from initiating an organized strike, but he claimed to them that if they were not going to get a raise, then by all means they were going to get a raise. Narrator: Though GE knew about the strike and that it would happen eventually, they took no action in preventing or solving this issue before it got to that point. Their reaction was before the strike took place was to have examiners go into the plants and decide which employees stayed and which had to be cut loose. Narrator: Though this was able to prevent the strike that started in 1946, major corporations like GE had made record profits from the World Wars. While making major profits, all of their employees' wages were let’s say frozen for the entire duration of the war. Not to mention the fact that the workers suffered from the massive increase to the cost of living during the wars. It came down to the employees of not only GE, but also the Auto Workers and Steel Workers, they started to combine their abilities to create a bargaining contract. Narrator: In November of 1946 will always be remembered by the Union members, around 500,000autworks struck General Motors, though in GE, they only realized it after the union gave its notice. GE offered to raise their wages by 10 cents, but it still was falling short of the demanded wage the the workers asked for. In total there were around 200,000 UE members in both GE and Westinghouse who went on Strike from New England to California. Narrator: Though within 1946 is when the Cold War

9 MINMAR 11
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The 1952 GE Strike in Erie PA

Koehler Beer and Prohibition

Written and researched by Steven Mooradian Koehler Beer and the Prohibition Era Steven Mooradian Hello! Welcome to this episode oftheHurstories, a history podcast presented by Mercyhurst students.My name is Steven Mooradian and I will be your host for this episode. Any goodErieitewill tell you, there’sa church on every street, and a bar on every corner. Erie’s long history with beer extends to the first largewaves of immigration, bringing their brewing practices with them, nonemore locally famous than the Koehler family. Their persistence through 13 years of prohibition propelled them into local legend,and theKohelername remains a stapleinnorthwestern Pennsylvania. Erie, Pennsylvania has been aMecca for immigrantsfor over a century and a half.Groups of Italian, Polish, German, Irish, Russian, Greek, and other European immigrants have historically found a small slice of Erie to call home. Even more recently,large contingencies of Nepalese, Bhutanese, Syrian, Central African,and Latin American groups havefound theirsanctuaryand safety in some of the same areas.Though Erie’s population has decreased significantly since the mid 20thcentury, these groups are almost single-handedly keeping those numbers steady. There is truly a connection between the success ofimmigrants and the success of Erie. Eriehas a small, urban center. It iscentrally locatedbetween three major cities: Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.And itwas a center of commerce and industry for a better part of the 19thand 20thcenturies, perfect for establishing economic success in anything from paper to beer.When immigrantsarrivethey bring their interests and talents, making Erie one of the most diverse cities in America for well over a century. Charles Koehler, a Dutch immigrantwho arrived inErie in the mid 1800’s,knew Erie held for himsome of these opportunities.He worked forFrederick Dietz, who owned a brewery at 17thand Parade Street. Dietz died in 1858 and Charles took it over, though he left only a few years later in 1862 to begin a new brewery with his sons at 26thand Holland. Charles son Fred inherited thebusiness,but it washis other sonJackson Koehler, who would take the family name and make it a brand.1 Thefirst brewerybuilt at the site of 21stand State Streets in Erie in 1855wasby George Frey and PeterSchaaf.Frey was himself an immigrant, from Germany, and is credited with introducing the lager style of beer to the Greater Erie-Buffalo region.2 Schaafwould goon to find a new partner several years later, aman by the name of HenryKavelage, who in 1863 became the sole owner of theoperation andnamedit Eagle Brewery. Twenty yearsafter, in 1883, Jackson Koehler purchased the brewery,calling it theJackson-Eagle Koehler Brewery. Erie in the 1880’s had multiple brewing operations,consisting of four lager plants, one ale, and one porter breweries. They all shared the market,but it didn’t take long for Jackson Koehler to surge to the top of the game.In 1890, Jackson commissioned LouisLehle, a Chicagoarchitectto design the new brewery. On April 1, 1899, several of those other breweries, theFred Koehler and Co. (Jackson’s brother), Cascade Brewery, National Brewery, and Eagle Brewerymerged under the command of Koehlernow going by the name Erie Brewing Company. The Koehler namebecamesynonymous with beer in the Erie region. The brewery ran with few flawsfor years, until the bombshell hit. Prohibition became the law of the land, cemented as the 18thamendment to the US Constitution in 1920. Prohibition was particularly tricky in PA.Lots ofworking-classpeople, meant both strongadherenceand strongresistance.Labor Unions were some of thefiercestopponentsof the eighteenth amendment.However, other unions wereavidproponentsof prohibition, because labor leaders felt that with their workers boozed up, gave them a disadvantage on negotiations. Gifford Pinchot,a successful conservationistrunning for governorduring the lead up to prohibition ranunder the pretense that he would

9 MINMAR 10
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Koehler Beer and Prohibition

BSU & the Black Power Movement at Mercyhurst

In today’s ‘Hurstories’ episode, we’re going to be talking about Mercyhurst’s strong Black Student Union in the 1970s. While discussing Mercyhurst’s BSU from that time period, we are also going to look at the greater context of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements on college campuses across the country. Get the transcript and Show Notes at hurststories.wordpress.com

12 MINFEB 23
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BSU & the Black Power Movement at Mercyhurst
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