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Donora, Pennsylvania currently has two blue roadside plaques with yellow lettering commemorating the “1948 Smog” and “Cement City.” The “1948 Smog” plaque stands in front of the Donora Public Library on Meldon Avenue and the “Cement City” plaque stands to the left of Chestnut Street and the Donora Veterans Memorial off of Route 837 close to the Stan Musial Bridge. These plaques were cast and erected years ago by the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) to recognize two things that give Donora incredible historic depth, but as we all know, Donora’s historic depth is deeper than just these two subjects.

 

stan-musial
Contributions Needed for Plaque and Community Reception

The exploits of Donora and St. Louis baseball great Stan “The Man” Musial need no explanation, as they speak for themselves. To recognize an individual for a PHMC roadside plaque, that person would not just need exemplary qualifications, but be deceased for at least five years. When Stan Musial died in 2013, the requirement at that time was that a person need be deceased for ten years. In 2020, the Donora Historical Society learned that requirement had changed to just five years, so we decided to submit an application to nominate him for a PHMC plaque. This application process is extremely comprehensive and resulted in us submitting 20 copies of a 20 page application documenting why Stan Musial is worthy of his own PHMC roadside plaque among the 2,300 others that already exist throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In March of this year, we learned that out of the 39 applications submitted to the PHMC in 2020, our application was accepted among a group of 22 others that included people like Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol.

While the PHMC reviews and approves the applications and casts the plaque, they do not pay for it. So, our second order of business will be raising the necessary money needed to have the plaque created, in this case $2,150.

Our goal is to not only raise the necessary money for the plaque, but also host a nice reception for those attending the plaque unveiling. Any monies in excess of $2,150 for the plaque will go towards refreshments and food for the reception. Any additional monies above that will be used to print a postcard to commemorate the day and to give donations to Donora organizations that Stan would have supported like he did in the past. While ambitious, we hope we can honor Musial and give those in attendance a nice experience in Donora.

On a Saturday in the Summer of 2022 that has yet to be determined, we expect to have the following events to remember and honor Donora’s Stan “The Man” Musial:

  • Stan "The Man" Musial historical presentation by the Donora Historical Society.
  • For those at the historical presentation, the opportunity to share their Stan Musial stories and memories.
  • Various book authors that have written about Stan Musial, the Musial family or history of Donora.
  • PHMC “Stan ‘The Man’ Musial” plaque unveiling and dedication at a site that has yet to be determined.
  • Musial plaque dedication reception.
  • Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum open house to show our Stan Musial memorabilia and other collections.
  • If time permits, the possible hosting of driving tours of Stan Musial sites around Donora for a fee on Friday and/or Sunday of that weekend.
  • Possibly on Friday and/or Saturday evening of that weekend, someone in town may host a Stan Musial reception of sorts at a local social club(s).

If you’re interested in attending the historical presentation, plaque unveiling ceremony and reception, please RSVP by sending us your name, number in your party, email address and phone number to be added to a list so that we can start to get a head count. The indoor events may have an attendance limit.

If you’re interested in helping with a donation toward the plaque and dedication festivities, please send a check made to the “Donora Historical Society” with a note saying the donation is for the “Stan Musial plaque” to:

Donora Historical Society

P.O. Box 522

Donora, PA 15033

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at donorahistoricalsociety@gmail.com or by phone/voicemail at 724-823-0364.

You can also find the schedule of events on our website’s “Stan ‘The Man’ Musial” page as it continues to evolve - https://www.sites.google.com/site/donorahistoricalsociety/stan-musial.

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