Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

#TBT: How Pittsburgh Got It’s “H” Back

DHREA 19/07/2018

PittsburghHistoricalMarker

 

Thanks to the United States Board on Geographic Names, big cities and little towns alike lost a lot of character in the late 1800s. In 1891, with President Benjamin Harrison’s stamp of approval, the board decided to change a few things about how towns and cities should be named. One of the newly adopted rules impacted Pittsburgh, and in typical Pittsburgher fashion, we demanded we get “our” Pittsburgh back. Let’s all be honest with ourselves…Pittsburg, PA, just doesn’t seem right, does it?

One of the newly adopted rules read as such: “IN NAMES ENDING IN ‘BURGH,’ THE FINAL ‘H’ SHOULD BE DROPPED.”

The city was happily using that “h” for more than a century! We had  newspapers, baseball teams, and buildings already bearing the consonant. “Too bad”, said the committe. Thus, Pittsburgh became “Pittsburg”.

Never going quietly into the night, the city said, “Not so fast, my friend.” While most cities weren’t bothered enough to fight for their heritage, Pittsburgh wouldn’t make the change to “Pittsburg” quietly. The city was originally named to honor William Pitt the Elder, but it was General John Forbes who did the naming. His Scottish background is the reason for that extra “h” (think Edinburgh). To edit the spelling to the German “burg” was akin to editing the city’s founding.

After 20 years of complaints, the Board finally overturned their previous decision on Pittsburg(h)’s controversial consonant on July 19, 1911. Town representatives even got a little sassy when they announced victory, claiming they were from “Pittsburgh, a city in Pennsylvania (not Pittsburg)”.

Never change, Pittsburg. We mean…PITTSBURGH!!!

 

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#TBT: The Glory Days of The Green Weenie!

DHREA 05/07/2018

GreenWeenie

 

One thing about Pittsburgh will forever be true…we love superstitions. Especially when it comes to our sports teams. The Pirates have never strayed from embracing superstitions, and might lay claim to some of the most fun and interactive superstitions in Pittsburgh sports history. “We Are Family”, anyone? Most recently, fans have grabbed onto the “Power of the Zoltan” and used wrestler Daniel Bryan’s “Yes” chants to whip the crowd into a frenzy. The Buccos and their fans have always latched onto unique ideas, but let’s take a look at one of the most bizarre superstitious talisman the city has ever seen. Today, let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Green Weenie.

Back in 1966, legendary Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince and trainer Danny Whelan indirectly co-created the gimmick after Prince observed Whelan doing something very peculiar…yelling at Houston Astros pitcher Dave Giusti while pointing and waiving a green, rubber hot dog at the right handed pitcher. During the next broadcast, Prince asked Whelan what he was doing, and the gimmick was born. Within weeks, Tri-State Plastics started manufacturing the idea, and “Green Weenies” were seen all over Forbes Field.

If you’ve never seen an original Green Weenie, imagine a hot dog shaped maraca you would waive at an opposing team to place a “hex” on them. Conversely, if you waived said hot dog shaped maraca towards a Pirates player, he would be graced with great success. You can’t make these things up.

Sounds totally insane, right? Here’s some “food” for thought. Even though the Pirates failed to win the pennant in 1966, Roberto Clemente won the National League MVP Award, Matty Alou won the National League batting title, Bill Mazeroski led the league in double plays, and Willie Stargell had his personal best year in batting. Well, hot dog! Maybe there was something to it after all!

In later years, attempts were made to bring back the Pirates’ bizarre good luck charm. However, the gimmick never showed lasting power, which might be for the better. We’re the greatest city in the United States. We’re Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! Give us Pittsburghers a Pierogi Race over a Green Weenie any day! 😉

 

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Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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#TBT: Remembering G.C. Murphy’s!

DHREA 07/06/2018

Today’s generation will remember Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Walgreen’s, etc. Most likely, those memories will pale in comparison to the tales told of the days when G.C. Murphy’s was all the rage. Except back then, we probably called the department store giant “swell” or “groovy”.

Letters_1964_HistSociety

To millennials, G.C. Murphy’s is nothing more a topic brought up at holidays while families reminisce of the “old days”. To many Pittsburghers, G.C. Murphy’s was a way of life. The retail giant, whose first store was opened in McKeesport in 1906, had more than seventy Pittsburgh-area stores before being bought out in the 1980s. In fact, the influence the retail icon was the focus of a 2008 book by Jason Togyer entitled For the Love of Murphy’s: The Behind-the-Counter Story of a Great American Retailer (Penn State University Press).

A fantastic article, written in 2009 by Jessica Dailey for the Pittsburgh City Paper, detailing some historical facts about Murphy’s and reviewing Togyer’s book can be found HERE!

 

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Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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#TBT: The History of the Pittsburgh Marathon

DHREA 03/05/2018

 

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, commonly referred to as the Pittsburgh Marathon, is an annual marathon race held on the first Sunday in May. In other words…happy race weekend!

The Marathon was first announced on October 3, 1984 with U.S. Steel and PNC Bank as sponsors, and the following spring on May 5th, 1985, the first race was held. From 1985 to 2003, the race was held annually and named the UPMC/City of Pittsburgh Marathon, although serious financial difficulty within the City of Pittsburgh municipal budget and UPMC’s withdraw from title sponsor led to suspension of the race from 2004 to 2008. In 2009, the event was revived with a new title sponsor, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and renewed interest in the race, arguably creating a bigger feeling event from year to year.

Random historical fact: The 1988 and 2000 races were USA Olympic Trials for women and men, and were held separately from the regular event although both were held over the same course.

Historically, the course has wound through the unique and hilly topography of the city. Crossing five different bridges, the course traverses all three rivers of Pittsburgh’s at least once. The start and finish lines have changed many times, but have always been in either Downtown or North Shore. Previous finish lines have included Point State Park, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and the 50 yard-line of Heinz Field. The current finish line is on the Boulevard of the Allies near Point State Park. Numerous other historic and well-known Pittsburgh neighborhoods are along the route, including the South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, East Liberty, Highland Park, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, and the Strip District.

Throughout the course, thousands of neighborhood residents show their support by lining the streets of the course and volunteering at aid stations. Neighborhood organizations are awarded financial grants for community-engaging celebrations along the route. Sixty bands, almost all of which are from the Greater Pittsburgh area, line the streets throughout the course, spanning a range of musical genres.

So while you’re out this weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo (all weekend long…I see you, Pittsburgh 🙂 ), make sure you find a spot on the marathon route to cheer these exceptional men and women along this Sunday!!!

 

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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