If news media are the first draft of history, then the
fourth-floor lobby of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences building provides a crash course in twentieth-century
current events written on its walls.
The events are recorded on the front pages of newspapers
and magazines datelined Pittsburgh; Morgantown, West Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and Cairo,
Egypt. The pages report the end of World War II (1945), the assassinations of
JFK (1963) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1968), the first man on the moon (1969), the resignation
of President Richard Nixon (1974), the collapse of the Soviet Union (1990), and
Arab Spring uprisings (2011 and 2012). Life magazine covers are included in the
The Political Science and Journalism and Public Relations departments shared the cost of
contributing, matting, framing, and wall-mounting the newspapers.
Several newspapers in the collection were donated by
former IUP development officer Patti Klausing Simmons on behalf of her
parents, Joanne and Chuck Klausing, a former IUP head football coach. On August
14, 2017, Simmons visited the display, which prompted tears, she said.
Journalism Department interim chair David Loomis thanked
Simmons for her family’s donation.
“These news pages reflect the importance of these
historic events in our politics, and they represent the nobility of the news
profession that wrote this political history on the run,” said Loomis. “The devotion to preservation of Patti Simmons
and her parents is testimony to that.”
For events that are more current, a widescreen
television tuned to live cable news is mounted on a wall facing the
archival newspaper display.
Photo by Dave Loomis