A new book about a little-known hero of World War II — and one with strong ties to the New York City area — has just been published by local writer David Rocco. Rocco has recently co-authored the book The Indestructible Man (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017), the story of Navy officer Dixie Kiefer, who was an instrumental player in major battles in World War II. Kiefer was the executive officer on the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown at both the Battle of the Coral Sea and Battle of Midway. He was the last man off Yorktown before she sank at Midway.
Though seriously injured, he swam through shark-infested waters pushing a life raft filled with hurt sailors toward a rescue ship. Later, as captain of the carrier USS Ticonderoga, his ship came under attack by kamikaze aircraft. Though critically wounded by flying shrapnel, he remained on the bridge, overseeing counter-attacks and damage control for twelve hours. Continue reading
This week on “The Historians” podcast, we’ll hear from Roger Seiler of Nyack, NY, who has written a historical novel, Master of Alaska, based on the story of Aleksandr Baranov, a merchant who served as governor of Russian Alaska from 1799 to 1818.
Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading
A recent post on here on The New York History Blog previewed Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton events at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site this month.
A recent article by Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writer’s Institute, in the Albany Times Union noted that Schuyler Mansion is experiencing a spike in attendance due to the “Hamilton effect” – “a mysterious affliction created by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical that altered the lives of countless unsuspecting fans with a powerful history lesson embedded in hypnotic, rhyming lyrics and a hip-hop beat.”
It is notable that Hamilton, Schuyler’s son-in-law, who spent only a few years at Schuyler Mansion, is boosting popular attendance there. Continue reading
On Thursday, July 27 from 8 am to 2 pm, the Myers House in Albany will host an Archaeology Open House.
A six-week archaeological field school is now exploring the backyards of the Myers house, Thomas Elkins residence, and Ten Broeck Mansion in search of clues about the lives of African Americans who helped establish the Arbor Hill community during the early 19th century and the role of prominent community leaders in the struggle for justice and freedom.
Stephen and Harriet Myers were instrumental in the success of the Underground Railroad during the mid-nineteenth century. Today, their former residence is preserved as a significant historic site in Albany and a cornerstone of African American heritage in the Arbor Hill neighborhood. Continue reading
As part of a statewide commemoration of the Erie Canal’s 200th anniversary, the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter and the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse will host a lecture by Dr. Carol Sheriff, author of The Artificial River, Sunday, July 23, at 4 pm inside the newly renovated Visitors Center at 129 Schoharie Street.
Reflections on Erie’s Waters is a collaboration between The Erie Canal Museum and The Canal Society of New York State to commemorate the waterway’s bicentennial and examine its legacy and future through diverse viewpoints. Reflections presents an inclusive view of the Erie Canal, examines its relevance and importance and heightens awareness of its historical impact, current significance and future potential through a series of workshops, lectures and exhibits. Continue reading
Most histories of American abolitionism begin just before the Civil War, during the Antebellum period. But the movement to end chattel slavery in America began long before the United States was a nation.
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Manisha Sinha, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of the award-winning book The Slaves Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2016), takes us through the early American origins of the the abolition movement. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/142
Speaking in Boston in October 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “Knowledge – that is, education in its true sense – is our best protection against unreasoning prejudice and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interests, illiberal minorities or panic-stricken leaders.”
At a time when civil discourse and mutual respect can be hard to come by, FDR’s thinking about education inspired the teachers and other educators who planned this year’s Teaching the Hudson Valley institute.
Building Community with Place-Based Learning will be held July 25th to the 27th at the Henry Wallace Education and Visitor Center on the grounds of the Franklin Roosevelt Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park and sites throughout the Valley. The program includes more than 15 workshops and five all-day field experiences. Continue reading
Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House has announced the first full season of programming since reopening the 1855 building following major restoration. The season runs from July to December and features performances, exhibitions, readings, artist talks and free community workshops.
Hudson Hall’s opening season celebrates the return of New York State’s oldest surviving theater to public use for the first time in over 55 years with exhibitions, workshops, performances and events that highlight Hudson’s vibrant artistic community, including a new staging of Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein’s The Mother of Us All. This rarely performed opera is based on Susan B. Anthony, who spoke twice at the Hudson Opera House. Conceived by the visionary young stage director and Hudson resident, R. B. Schlather, the production stars mezzo soprano Michaela Martens and a vocal and instrumental ensemble of over 30 Hudson Valley residents. Continue reading
The Time and the Valleys Museum has announced that an endowment fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, located in Montgomery. The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan will manage the Terry Forshay Endowment Fund, exposing the fund to a wider audience to encourage and nurture its growth. The fund was established by the Museum to honor Master Gardener Terry Forshay of Willowemoc, NY, who passed away in 2008.
The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan facilitates and managed endowment funds that grow and benefit the community. They currently manage more than 250 permanent charitable funds for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. Continue reading