Wynning History’s most-read stories of 2017

What a year!

Thank you for supporting Wynning History in 2017. I’ve been busy this year researching new stories and getting the word out about the blog. In the craziness and chaos of the past 365 days, this blog has been a way to find connections to the past and document stories with relevance in our nation today. I hope that you’ll stick with us and continue reading as we enter the brave new world of 2018. – Jake Wynn

Below are the top five posts from Wynning History in 2017.

1. One Spark: The 1877 Lykens Mine Fire


On a cold and snowy day in 1877, a fire began at the bottom of Short Mountain Colliery in Wiconisco, Pennsylvania. Two communities would be forever altered by its flames. On the 140th anniversary of the fire, we explored the legacy of a forgotten disaster. 

2. Deadly Souvenirs – Unexploded Shells From Antietam Proved To Be Dangerous Keepsakes


Visitors to Antietam battlefield in 1862 took unexploded shells home as souvenirs. The results were disastrous, and often deadly. We explored the deadly legacy of Civil War battlefields and how they continued to kill and maim. 

3. “A town that wouldn’t say die!” – Lykens, Pennsylvania in 1937


A writer from the Harrisburg Telegraph details the desperation of Lykens, Pennsylvania amid the Great Depression. The dying coal town felt the crushing weight of economic desperation following the closing of the town’s chief employer. This post was also the most-read story of 2016. 

4. “The stark truth” – A Pennsylvania soldier witnesses the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945


A letter written by a soldier from Williamstown, PA details what it was like to be in Germany with American soldiers in the spring of 1945. In a year where neo-Nazis emerged publicly and marched in Charlottesville, the words of an American witness to Nazi atrocities in the Second World War need to be revisited.

5. “A Square Meal” – Food, Charity, and the Great Depression in Williamstown, Pennsylvania


The Great Depression sparked a food crisis in the United States. Here’s how one town in Pennsylvania fed hungry schoolchildren. This post was inspired by the wonderful book “A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression” and comments from Mick Mulvaney about school lunch programs in early 2017. 

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in 2018!

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