Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to place historical marker to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams

March 9, 2015 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Eddie Adams covers action in South Vietnam Eddie Adams covers action in South Vietnam in 1965 for The Associated Press.
Associated Press

Eddie Adams covers action in South Vietnam in 1965
for The Associated Press 

Via The Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Three Western Pennsylvania historical sites were among 22 selected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to receive the familiar blue and gold commemorative roadside markers.

Markers will be placed at or near the site of George Westinghouse's gas wells in Point Breeze, in New Kensington to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Eddie Adams and in Erie to memorialize the iconic "Don't Give Up the Ship" battle flag from the War of 1812.

Dates for installation and precise locations of the markers are not determined until local interests have raised money to pay for the markers, said Howard Pollman, spokesman for the commission. The cost ranges from $1,400 to $1,875.

"They are usually placed as close as possible to the place where the event took place or the person lived," he said.

Mr. Westinghouse began to experiment with natural gas extraction in the 1880s, when he also was pioneering electricity generation. He drilled four wells at the site of his Point Breeze estate.

"At the time the fuel was unsafe and dangerous to use," the commission said. "Over the next few years, Westinghouse patented over 30 inventions for the distribution, safe use and metering of natural gas. His work was instrumental in the expansion and availability of natural gas as an important widespread energy source."

Mr. Adams is best-known for a photograph, taken in 1968 during the Vietnam War, of a Vietnamese police chief firing a bullet into the head of a Viet Cong prisoner from arm's length range on a Saigon street. The image appeared worldwide, including on the front page of The New York Times, and galvanized opposition to the war in the U.S.

The Pulitzer Prize he won for the image was one of about 500 photography awards he received during a career that saw him cover 13 wars.

The commission said Mr. Adams got his start as a photographer in his hometown of New Kensington, shooting photographs for his high school yearbook and as a staff photographer for the local newspaper. He died in 2004 and was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell.

Seven Erie women created a battle flag in the summer of 1813 for Oliver Hazard Perry to fly on his ship, the Lawrence, in the Battle of Lake Erie.

The slogan was from the last words of Capt. James Lawrence and became a rallying cry for the ship's crew, which helped to defeat the British in the pivotal battle.

Replica flags with "Don't Give Up the Ship" are displayed throughout Erie, which held a yearlong celebration of the battle's bicentennial in 2013.

Mr. Pollman said the marker likely will be placed near the Erie Maritime Museum, home to a full-sized replica of the Brig Niagara, which also took part in the battle.

The commission selected the 22 markers from a pool of 50 applications. Currently, nearly 2,300 historical markers are in place throughout the state.

More information on the Historical Marker Program, including application information, is available online at

Monroe Gallery of Photography will host a major exhibition of Eddie Adams' photographs in Spring, 2016, in conjunction with a new book of Adams' Vietnam photographs by the University of Texas Press .

Tags: Vietnam Vietnam war photojournalism Pulitzer Prize photographs Eddie Adams history Street execution of a Viet Cong prisoner Pennsylvania