TUNKHANNOCK — Pennsylvanians already know about the legacies of William Penn and Benjamin Franklin. Now they can learn about the significance of two other early pioneers in our state: Augustine Gallitzin and Jane Grey Swisshelm.
Dr. Sheldon Spear will share his research about the lives and work of these two people who helped to change history at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Dietrich Theater.
The lecture, titled “Introducing Two Pennsylvania Pioneers,” is free and open to the public.
Gallitzin made history by attracting a steady influx of Catholics to the area, despite the prevailing American Protestant clergy. He was called the Apostle of the Alleghenies and is being considered for canonization. Swisshelm, against many obstacles, managed to become one of America’s first female journalists, known for embracing women’s rights and the abolition of slavery.
Spear taught at Luzerne County Community College for many years, and had a spot on local radio, relaying tidbits of local history. He was one of the first speakers at the re-opened Dietrich Theater and is invited each year to share his latest research. His engaging tidbits bring people back year after year.
He is the author of many books., his most recent being “Daniel J. Flood: A Biography - The Congressional Career of an Economic Savior and Cold War Nationalist,” published in 2009 and “The Jews of Wilkes-Barre: 150 Years 1845-1995 in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania,” published in 1998.
For information about the presentation or to reserve free tickets, call the Dietrich Theater at 570-996-1500. Tickets will also be available at the door.