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Heinz History Center, Fayette County Historical Society highlight WW II efforts

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 8:21 a.m.
In partnership with the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Fayette County Historical Society is showcasing a World War II hometown heroes exhibit through May 20.
Submitted
In partnership with the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Fayette County Historical Society is showcasing a World War II hometown heroes exhibit through May 20.
Shown are some of the artifacts visitors can view as the Fayette County Historical Society and the Senator John Heinz History Center collaborate on a World War II  hometown heroes exhibit.
Submitted
Shown are some of the artifacts visitors can view as the Fayette County Historical Society and the Senator John Heinz History Center collaborate on a World War II hometown heroes exhibit.
A salute to the military, including a traveling World War II exhibit from the Senator John Heinz History Center, is part of a hometown heroes exhibit through May 20 at the Fayette County Historical Society.
Submitted
A salute to the military, including a traveling World War II exhibit from the Senator John Heinz History Center, is part of a hometown heroes exhibit through May 20 at the Fayette County Historical Society.

The Fayette County Historical Society is one of 18 regional institutions hosting the Senator John Heinz History Center's "We Can Do It: WWII" traveling display, and partnering with other county organizations to celebrate local heroes.

"World War II Hometown Heroes: Fayette County's Homefront Effort to Win the War," is currently on display at the historical society's Abel Colley Tavern and Museum.

According to the history center's website, the traveling exhibit explores Western Pennsylvania's impact on the home, industrial, and battle fronts during World War II.

Visitors will learn about the development of the jeep, a uniquely American invention produced by the American Bantam Car Co. in Butler, and hear the stories behind Rosie the Riveter and the local Tuskegee Airmen whose contributions helped to turn the tide of the war, the website notes.

Participating organizations are encouraged to display their own collections of WW II-related items.

According to a news release, the historical society's first floor will feature the traveling exhibit.

The second floor will feature Fayette County stories and artifacts of local military heroes and heroines, including Medal of Honor winner Alfred Wilson and Jewish refugee Lisa Lott Pollak Burger.

Historical society secretary Jo Lofstead notes that both exhibits contain numerous photos, personal artifacts, uniforms, videos and letters.

"The world war was an event of epic, epic proportions and effects. It changed and controlled the destiny of the world, so we really want people to come out and learn about how Fayette County was enormously, definitely and totally involved and about the people that lived here before them - how they contributed, how talented they were and what a significant role they played," Lofstead says in the release.

Fayette County's story is told in three parts, the historical society's website notes: The home front, focusing on programs and projects, including victory gardens and war bonds; local industries' contributions, including the militarization of mining, agricultural, glass and manufacturing plants; and the war front, with photos, artifacts and other items on loan from the historical society and county residents showing how Fayette County helped to win the war.

Additional collaborating war effort exhibit partnerships include the Fayette County Cultural Trust's Connellsville Canteen, the Melega Art Museum in Brownsville, Smock Historical Society, Uniontown Art Club, Uniontown Public Library, and the East End Community Center, according to the release.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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