Category Archives: History

New York History

Saratoga & The Civil War at Greenridge Cemetery


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Greenridge Cemetery Civil War MonumentThe Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will host a tour of Saratoga & The Civil War at Greenridge on Sunday, August 20th at 10:30 am, led by Gloria May.

Hear the stories of those who answered President Lincoln’s call to save the Union during the Civil War at Greenridge Cemetery. The tour, sponsored by LaBrake Memorials, meets at the Civil War Monument inside of Sackett Gates on Lincoln Avenue. Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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Sullivan County’s Most Notorious Native


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Lt Charles E Becker in his NYPD uniform shortly before his arrest on a murder charge in 1912On August 2, 1915, Charles E. Becker was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, just two days after he had become the first police officer ever executed for murder in this country.

Charles E. Becker may well be the most notorious native of Sullivan County ever. Born on July 26, 1870 in Callicoon Center – he lived and worked on the family farm there until he was 21 – he became known as the most corrupt cop in New York City history, was tried and convicted twice of a high profile murder he quite likely did not commit, and was eventually executed in the Sing Sing electric chair – not without incident – on July 30. 1915.

But there’s a lot more to the Becker saga than that. Continue reading

Battle of Brooklyn Commemoration Planned August 26-27


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The Green-Wood Historic Fund is commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn with a weekend of events on Saturday and Sunday, August 26-27, 2017.

Fought on August 27, 1776 across Brooklyn, including land that is now part of Green-Wood Cemetery, it was the first battle of the American Revolution to be waged after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In terms of the total number of British and American troops poised and ready to fight, this was the largest battle of the Revolution. Continue reading

George Washington’s Revolution


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ben_franklins_worldWhat drove George Washington to become a Patriot during the American Revolution?

How did he overcome the ill-trained and inexperienced troops, inadequate pay, and supply problems that plagued the Continental Army to win the War for American Independence?

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we revisit our conversation with Robert Middlekauff, professor emeritus of colonial and early United States history at the University of California, Berkeley, as we explore details from his book Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader (Vintage, 2015).You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/146.

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Ken Carter’s Plan To Jump A Car Over the St. Lawrence River


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Bizarre. That’s the best description of events forty years ago when the North Country found itself the focus of national attention. I’m accustomed to researching much further back in time to write stories, but this one is a doozy that younger folks probably never heard of and older folks might have forgotten by now. It took place back in the 1970s when daredevils were popular, led by Evel Knievel, who became more famous for his failures — crashes resulting in multiple bone fractures — than his successes, where he landed safely and was unhurt.

Most of us who witnessed Knievel’s career will remember one jump above all others — Idaho’s Snake River Canyon. He performed on motorcycles, so the rocket-shaped vehicle he used in Idaho was named the Skycyle X-2. Canada’s answer to Evel Knievel was Ken Carter, a.k.a. the Mad Canadian, Kamikaze Ken, or Crazy Ken. He performed many times in upstate New York. Continue reading