Photo winner and History Center Giveaway! chose comment #17, belonging to reader Julie who wrote:

I had HUGE glasses in elementary school (we’ll pretend they were in style) and the glasses took up more than half of my third grade face. Combine that with a bowl haircut….I was a sight for sore eyes.

I have had some experience with huge eyeglasses. SO HARD to pull off that look.

Julie has been contacted.

If you didn’t win, you can order your own prints from the shop and you can also enter this giveaway for tickets to the Heinz History Center!

(Rare fifth edition sheet music of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.”)

What: Four passes to the John Heinz History Center and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

A perfect way to spend a Saturday on the Strip is to visit the History Center and then hit the shops for food, gear, and Burgh tchotchkes.

This giveaway is timely because the History Center is about to unfurl, if you will, their new exhibit, Stars and Stripes: An American Story.


Next weekend, the Senator John Heinz History Center will open a major exhibition, Stars & Stripes: An American Story, sponsored by BNY Mellon, which details the stories of the people behind the more than 200 year history of our nation’s most enduring symbol.

The 7,000 square foot exhibit, which was developed by History Center museum staff in conjunction with Dr. Peter Keim and historians including Marc Leepson, will open with a special ceremony on Sat., Sept. 10, at 9:00 a.m. which will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Stars & Stripes: An American Story will include objects, images, and archival materials from the History Center’s collections, as well as items on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, The Warhol Museum, The National Gallery of Art, and private collectors.

I gotta tell you, I love history. I love old stuff. I love putting my hands on old stuff. Two things: 1. Don’t make that dirty. 2. It’s a good thing museums put old stuff behind glass because I would put my hands on the old stuff.

One thing I remember about my last visit to the History Center was that they had on exhibit some handwritten notes from soldiers from some bygone time. Probably the Revolution or Civil War, and the handwriting of these soldiers?! LIKE ANGELS WROTE IT! The most beautiful script you have ever seen outside of a True Type font. It was art. I wanted to hold it. Caress the paper. Smell it. Admire it.

Now our handwriting looks something like an EKG test readout. Hawt.

Okay, where did I digress to?! Look, a wallaby!

When: You chose the date you wish to go! This particular exhibit runs until June 17, 2012. Check out the site for more info!

To Enter: Leave a comment! You have until next Wednesday, September 7 at noon to enter. Any comment will do, but so you have something to say, tell me, if you could time travel to any point in the past to experience first-hand a particularly iconic moment in time, which moment would you choose?

Me? Man, I would love to have been there to see Maz’s World Series game 7 walk-off homer. Then I would have charged the field celebration and jumped on Roberto’s back and never let go until they arrested me. Hey, one of you time travel back to that moment and bail me out.

Good luck!

P.S. As with all of my giveaways, these are not paid ads.


  1. David
    September 2, 2011 3:34 pm

    Definitely the 20s. It is a tough time for America but so many good deeds occured and people truly looked out for one another.

  2. Nate
    September 2, 2011 3:38 pm

    Wait, am I allowed to change the way things happened? Or would Doc Brown scold me for it?

    I’d go to the invention of the telephone, to hear the first transmission.

  3. Suz
    September 2, 2011 3:41 pm

    I wouldn’t go that far back: just to the mid to late 60’s. I was born at the tail end of the baby boom and think that I probably would have been at Woodstock — if I hadn’t been seven years old at the time.

  4. Baba Wawa
    September 2, 2011 3:54 pm

    not sure what year, or even century, but i’d love to see how those pyramids were built

  5. Burghthing
    September 2, 2011 3:59 pm

    Wow, so much to choose from, but if I had to narrow it down, it would be to the time of Jesus, just to see him walking around and interacting with people.

  6. Nancy
    September 2, 2011 4:00 pm

    How cool would it be to watch the Founding Fathers sign the Declaration of Independence? I think that’s what I’d pick. :)

  7. Katie
    September 2, 2011 4:05 pm

    The 60s for sure!

  8. hello haha narf
    September 2, 2011 4:09 pm

    oh man, there are so many things i would like to witness firsthand…jesus turning water into wine is high on the list, as is the first caveman to discover fire. then of course there would be the immaculate reception since i was born in 1971 and obviously don’t remember it.
    wow, quite a variety there, eh?
    anyhow, i need to win…have friends coming in from out of town and need to show off the burgh!

  9. Z
    September 2, 2011 4:17 pm

    I’d love to go back to be at my parents wedding. That’s not icononic for most people but I’d like to see them young and full of hope.

  10. Bob Mainhart
    September 2, 2011 4:19 pm

    1968 (can I stay until the end of July 1969?)
    An incredibly important period in US history. Plenty of bad things and much that was good (hearing a reading from Genesis live from Moon orbit in December 1968, then watching “one giant leap for mankind” seven months later. The only time of my life that I would consider a do-over, if only to take better advantage of some awesome opportunities I took too lightly.

  11. Bram R
    September 2, 2011 4:25 pm

    I’d go back and watch Xenu dump his thetans in Earth’s volcanoes from his spacecraft and explode them with hydrogen bombs.

  12. Pittsburgh Tom
    September 2, 2011 4:28 pm

    Although I’m tempted to say the immaculate reception or woodstock, I’d go with the Kennedy assassination so I see what really happened and, one way or another, shut people up about it.

  13. Sarah
    September 2, 2011 4:28 pm

    I would want to be there the moment people in the US learned WWII was over!

  14. spoon
    September 2, 2011 4:33 pm

    I’d go back to when my dad shnookered my mom in 75 so I could hi5 him for making an awesome kid.

  15. Ginny
    September 2, 2011 4:37 pm

    Was there once many years ago. Would like to see it again.

  16. JenEngland
    September 2, 2011 4:47 pm

    I was a historian in my former life, so what I’d really want is to just experience daily life as it was. I’d love to check out Victorian London, or Turn of the Century Pittsburgh (just for a day, both places were actually quite icky.) Oh, or a early fall day in Colonial New England. I loved the book Good Wives in a way no one should ever love a non fiction history book. Probably explains my current obsession with pickling.

  17. Leenyburgh
    September 2, 2011 5:04 pm

    Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection so I can know if all the hype is true.

  18. Rich D
    September 2, 2011 5:44 pm

    I’d like to visit the first congressional congress – to witness a nation being born.

  19. Lee
    September 2, 2011 6:06 pm

    I would LOVE to have been a member of Henry VIII’s court. A very unnoticed member of the court so I didn’t get whacked, but a fly on the wall role would have been incredibly fascinating.

    In a ‘touching history’ overshare moment, I once visited a museum that had on display the ornamental carpet from Louis the 14th’s dining room on display complete with ‘don’t touch’ signs. I had to. I pretended to fix my shoe and ran my finger along the bottom of the carpet. I had to. Imagine the people who would have ate at the table on that carpet! Imagine the conversations that would have gone on, the food they’d have eaten, just amazing.

  20. Janelle
    September 2, 2011 7:04 pm

    I’d want to see The Beatles or Queen. Anywhere.

    That’s about as historical as my brain gets.

  21. Sherry
    September 2, 2011 8:31 pm

    I would have liked to have seen “Ayiti” (Haiti) before the European exploreres arrived — when it was a lush tropical paradise inhabited by the native Arawak/Taino peoples — before the cruel institution of slavery had touched that land.

  22. Noelle
    September 2, 2011 10:18 pm

    As a former museum professional, I will tell you that even though the urge to touch the stuff is overwhelming (and I totally understand why) the oil in your skin is transferred to the object and then corrodes it over time as the oil degrades. A million touches, a million micro-corrosions, a destroyed object.

    I always thought that it was a major missed opportunity for museums not to post this on signs all over the damn place, because once you know, you understand why, and therefore the desire to touch is replaced with the desire to preserve. Instead of the natural urge to do what you’re told NOT to do without knowing the reason why.

  23. Ali
    September 2, 2011 10:48 pm

    These 2 differ greatly, but I’d either like to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence… or go back to the 60’s. I’ve always felt I should have grown up in that era.

  24. Gina
    September 2, 2011 11:26 pm

    I’m a civil war buff, so I’d like to say something from that era, but it wasn’t the most safe time, so I;ll go with Woodstock.

  25. ja
    September 3, 2011 6:08 am

    I want to go back to the Council of Nicea, and see St. Nicholas (you know the “Jolly Old” one) punch Arius in the nose.

  26. Butcher's Dog
    September 3, 2011 7:18 am

    Probably Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for a performance, maybe Hamlet. None of those past times were all that sanitary, though, and the smell would probably take out most of us moderns. Not too sure how the natives would take to someone dressed in modern clothes, either.

    BTW the 60’s were more about pain than anything else, starting with the Kennedy assassination. Just sayin’.

  27. Cathy
    September 3, 2011 9:29 am

    So many options – I would go back to early 1920’s and watch how my family adjusted coming to th US from Italy & their challenges. Love hearing the stories of how they had to buy groceries and built their own house. Everything they did was to have a better life.

  28. bucdaddy
    September 3, 2011 11:08 am

    I keep seeing the ads for the show about the people who get teleported from the future back to dinosaur days and I keep thinking to myself, wait, what diseases were floating around back then that we would have no clue how to deal with, what kind of Jurassic ebola that would leave all those people dead in a month, expect the mutant who was somehow resistant? We’d be like the aliens in “War of the Worlds,” brought down by the common cold of the day.

    Anyhoo, I read that big biography of Alexander Hamilton that came out a few years ago and the one thing that jumped out at me was that even just 250 years ago, most people were sick, ALL THE TIME. And there wasn’t even anything like an aspirin to take for it. They were constantly (the people who could afford to) bolting cities like Philadelphia for the countryside for three months until the cholera epidemic (literally) died down.

    So be careful what you wish for, and don’t stay there too long.

    With all the amazing times and places we could choose, I’ll go with Ginny and play small ball, except … I’d like to see a game between the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays in the time of Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. And I’d like to be able to tell them that one day a black man would play major league baseball (and let Paige know that while he wouldn’t be the first, he’d get there, eventually), and that one day a black man would be president (however much I might disagree with his policies).

    I’m guessing they would both be astounded.

    Barring any feel-good altruistic crap like that, I’d like to empty my bank account and go back to the day Microsoft stock went on sale to the public. From Wiki:

    When Microsoft went public and launched its initial public offering (IPO) in 1986, the opening stock price was $21; after the trading day, the price closed at $27.75. As of July 2010, with the company’s nine stock splits, any IPO shares would be multiplied by 288.

  29. annietiques
    September 3, 2011 12:20 pm

    Without a doubt I would love to have dinner with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello!!!!

  30. dayvoe
    September 4, 2011 12:35 pm

    I find it interesting that the flute part on the bottom of the second page is in D-major while the piece is in C-major.

    That means a flute in B-FLAT. All “modern” orchestral flutes are in concert pitch (ie written in C).

    My guess is that it’s written for a fife – as the fife was (as far as I know) keyed in b-flat.

    Although I could be wrong.

  31. Jamie
    September 4, 2011 5:15 pm

    I’d love to go back to July 3, 1754 when a young and inexperienced George Washington lead colonial militia at Fort Necessity. I think it would be really cool to see something occur in Western PA that started such a huge world-wide war, and to see Washington at age 21 when he was still a Ginger kid ;-)

  32. MattDC
    September 5, 2011 11:43 am

    Some inspired choices here —

    @ Z: We’d all like that, partially to help bury the bittersweet later years we politely never talk about. I recently unearthed a Super 8 film of my parents’ 1950 wedding. Seeing them young, healthy, and hopeful rendered me speechless for days.

    @ Buc Daddy: Definitely Gibson and Paige. Great deeds never reduced to film.

    @ Mainhart: We’d all like a do-over, but I don’t think I’d re-live the 60s for any reason. The memories are much better than the reality.

    I think I’d just ask for 30 minutes to converse with one person who was centuries ahead of their time, like Copernicus, Ben Franklin, Da Vinci. We try to see history as it was. They saw history as it was going to be.

  33. cmd_45
    September 5, 2011 4:53 pm

    I can think of quite a few moments in time. It is hard to choose just one. I think it would have been cool to meet Achilles and Hector and see the Trojan war (but not actually experience it)!

  34. Matt
    September 5, 2011 6:36 pm

    I’d love to be there on Easter morning with the apostles when they discovered that Jesus was not in the tomb. Imagine the emotions running through everyone!

  35. oh please
    September 5, 2011 7:21 pm

    I would love to have lived one day (only one) on a wagon train going West or in one of the little prairie towns as they were settled.

  36. Robert "Snakeguy"
    September 5, 2011 8:53 pm

    I would like to go back to a time near the end of the steel industry of Pittsburgh. Polluted air and polluted water ways. I’d be armed with photos and maps of our beautiful City of today. Showoff the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and kayaks on the rivers. Kayaks under the Andy Warhol Bridge watching a Sky Blast at PNC Park.

  37. Moxie Bestos
    September 5, 2011 9:10 pm

    June 19, 1908, when my great grandmother arrived at Ellis Island as a late-teenager. It would have been my -64th birthday as well.

  38. Julia
    September 5, 2011 9:13 pm

    I would travel back in time to the height of Greek culture, in Athens. It would be amazing to be around so many visionaries and be part of a culture that pioneered so many different technologies, while wearing a toga all day and lounging around in bath houses. That’s how I imagine it, anyway. :)

  39. arwen
    September 5, 2011 9:54 pm

    I’d go to see MLK, Jr speak!

  40. Lynn
    September 5, 2011 10:58 pm

    I would want to go back to the year 1895, to the 4 different places that my grandparents grew up before they came to Pittsburgh. To see what it was like for them to leave their families and hometowns and countries to come here and start a life in PA.

  41. kxm
    September 5, 2011 11:44 pm

    I would like to see the library at Alexandria. If I could change one moment in history, I’d stop it from being burned (or at least somehow save the books). I would also love to see Stonehenge at its heyday and know for what it was really used.

  42. Ben
    September 6, 2011 9:19 am

    Being alive for the Pearl Harbor attacks would be something I’d like to experience (not there, but in the US to see the reactions and experience the surge in patriotism much like I felt over 9/11)…

  43. iamdanhall
    September 6, 2011 9:40 am

    I would go back to the early 1700’s and sit in on Bach composing

  44. Maggie
    September 6, 2011 10:05 am

    I’d go back to my niece’s birth, so I could be there. Hate that I missed it!

  45. Bulldog
    September 6, 2011 12:03 pm

    I’d go back to the evening of 9/11/2011. Quite possibly the most horrible day I’ve ever experienced, but also one with such emotion-stirring acts of courage, heroism and selflessness.

    I’ll never forget the sight of our congressional leaders gathered on the steps outside the Capitol as they came together to send a message to all of America, the world, and especially the terrorists when they joined arm-in-arm, to sing God Bless America!

    Our nation was every bit as divided then as it is today, but for one brief moment in time everybody came together as Americans. I still get chills remembering it, and I pray that we’ll find that spirit again, without the need for such devastation to serve as the impetus.

    Yeah, I know, I’m naive.

  46. Kino
    September 6, 2011 12:12 pm

    Having a grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, I think it would be cool to go back to the 1930’s and know her before the disease took the best of her…I also think it would be cool to be in Lake Placid on February 22 to witness the ‘Miracle’ in person!

  47. Shelley
    September 6, 2011 12:21 pm

    I’d like to be at Versaille with Louis the 14th. Preferably as a member of the court, and not a servant. : )

  48. ActionMax
    September 6, 2011 12:38 pm

    Any of the Steelers Super Bowl wins in the 70’s!!

  49. don
    September 6, 2011 12:50 pm

    I would like to go back and work with Guttenburg as he invented the press so that I could take part in something that helped educate the world.

  50. Jen
    September 6, 2011 12:51 pm

    Aside from all of the religious historical moments to choose from, which I don’t think I could, I would want to sit in on a meeting between Frank Lloyd Wright and a client. Just to see the wheels turnin’.