History + Heritage
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- History Museums
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- African American History Guide
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Go back in time and experience Pittsburgh's earliest history at the Fort Pitt Museum located in Downtown Pittsburgh. Step inside this re-created 18th century structure of the fort that Great Britain built in 1759 after it captured the Point from the French. Inside you'll find exhibits depicting the region's history from the early French expeditions to the beginning of Pittsburgh's industrial age before 1800. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents performing, visual and education programs that celebrate the contributions of African Americans within the region. The Center opened to the public in downtown Pittsburgh in late 2008 and features a 500-seat theater, galleries, bookstore, cafe and space for education and research.
Visit the largest history museum in western Pennsylvania, the Senator John Heinz History Center located in the Strip District. The History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, showcases 250 years of regional history, from the first shots fired during the French and Indian War to Pittsburgh's role in the World War II effort. Sports buffs will love the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, located in the Smithsonian wing of the History Center.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in the Oakland area features five billion years of the Earth's history. The museum is known as the third largest dinosaur repository in the world. The Dinosaurs in Their World exhibit, a dramatic arena that reflects current scientific evidence of dinosaurs and their environments, is a must-see.
Experience Pittsburgh's diverse ethnic culture at the Nationality Rooms across from the Carnegie Museums. The 26 classrooms in the University of Pittsburgh's 42-story Cathedral of Learning depict Pittsburgh's ethnic heritage through authentic examples of architecture and décor. A few blocks away is the Soldiers & Sailors National Military Museum & Memorial honoring all the men and women of Pennsylvania who served in the United States military. Soldiers & Sailors pays tribute to veterans with exhibits from the Civil War to the present.
Shutterbugs will find the perfect picture at Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History on Pittsburgh's North Shore. See history unfold before your eyes at this unique museum dedicated to the history of photography. The Museum offers photographs from 1839 to the present, Pittsburgh then and now images and vintage camera equipment.
Take a jaunt in the countryside surrounding Pittsburgh and you'll find more unique museums that are an hour or two away. Experience what it was like to be a coal miner in the 1850s and today at Tour-Ed Mine & Museum. Your guides are experienced coal miners, who will treat you to an amazing, educational tour 160 feet below the Earth's surface. Tour-Ed features an authentic Pittsburgh & Shawmut Railroad Caboose, an above-ground strip mine, a 1785 log house and lots more!
It's A Wonderful Life for Jimmy Stewart fans at the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Stewart's birthplace of Indiana, PA. The Jimmy Stewart Museum celebrates the life and career of an American icon through galleries, interactive displays and its own movie theater. Park your car and take a ride into the past on a beautifully-restored streetcar at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum featuring scenic trolley rides, a theater, exhibits, guided tours and seasonal events.
The Victorian Vandergrift Museum offers a wealth of information from old photographs, memorabilia and books, to maps, microfiche and documents. Visit the Johnstown Flood Museum and learn about one of the most devastating natural disasters in Pennsylvania history. The Museum contains a variety of exhibits, artifacts and photographs that tell the story of the flood.