Category Archives: History

New York History

John Brown Lives! To Recognize Danny Glover, Alice Green, Brother Yu


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John Brown Day 2016 PosterActor and activist Danny Glover, Albany civil rights leader Alice Green and youth advocate Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi Burgess will be the first recipients of the Spirit of John Brown Freedom Award, to be awarded at the John Brown Day 2016 celebration on Saturday, May 7th, at 1 pm.

The annual event, which is organized by Westport-based human rights and freedom education project John Brown Lives!, will be held at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid. The public is welcome. Continue reading

The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers


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the heroic age of diving book coverIn The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie (SUNY Press Excelsior Editions, 2016),  Jerry Kuntz shares the fascinating stories of the pioneers of underwater invention and the brave divers who employed the new technologies as they raced with – and against – marine engineers to salvage the tragic wrecks of Lake Erie.

Beginning in 1837, some of the most brilliant engineers of America’s Industrial Revolution turned their attention to undersea technology. Inventors developed practical hard-helmet diving suits, as well as new designs of submarines, diving bells, floating cranes, and undersea explosives. These innovations were used to clear shipping lanes, harvest pearls, mine gold, and wage war. Continue reading

The Enlightenment of Cadwallader Colden


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the enlightenment of cadawaller coldenWas there a conservative Enlightenment? Could a self-proclaimed man of learning and progressive science also have been an agent of monarchy and reaction?

Cadwallader Colden (1688–1776), an educated Scottish emigrant and powerful colonial politician, was at the forefront of American intellectual culture in the mid-eighteenth century.

While living in rural New York, he recruited family, friends, servants, and slaves into multiple scientific ventures and built a transatlantic network of contacts and correspondents that included Benjamin Franklin and Carl Linnaeus. Over several decades, Colden pioneered colonial botany, produced new theories of animal and human physiology, authored an influential history of the Iroquois, and developed bold new principles of physics and an engaging explanation of the cause of gravity. Continue reading

Collections Care Workshop In Ticonderoga May 9


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collections care 101A workshop entitled “Collections Care 101” will be held at the Ticonderoga Historical Society on Monday, May 9, 2016 from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.

This day-long workshop covers the basics of collections care and is presented by Stacy Pomeroy Draper, Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) Curator; and Kathryn Sheehan, RCHS Registrar and Rensselaer County and City of Troy Historian.  John Diefenderfer, Archivist with the New York State Archives, will address the care of historical records. Registration begins at 9 am and a tour of the museum follows. Continue reading

Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War


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Can history help us solve the present-day political and cultural crisis in the United States?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we investigate whether the past might help us with the present with Rachel Shelden, author of Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War (UNCPress, 2013).  You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/078

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Saratoga Automobile Museum Appoints New Director


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jim lettsAfter a nationwide search, the board of trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum has appointed a new Executive Director.

“It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Jim Letts as our new Executive Director,” Anthony Ianniello, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saratoga Automobile Museum said in a statement issued to the press. “While serving as the CEO of the Saratoga Regional YMCA for the past 12 years, Jim has had amazing success, growing the Y’s membership from 6900 to 26,900 while raising many millions of dollars through capital campaigns to support and expand the Y’s facilities and activities. We think he is a perfect fit for our extremely active, rapidly growing museum and are thrilled to have him on board for our busy summer season!” Continue reading

Janny Venema On New Netherland Praatjes Podcast


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new netherlands praatjesIn this episode of the New Netherland Praatjes Podcast Janny Venema chats with Russell Shorto about her more than thirty years of experience working with the documents of New Netherland.

Venema also discusses her life growing up in the Netherlands, her discovery of the early Dutch history of New York, and her books on early Albany and Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the founder of the patroonship of Rensselaerswijck.

To listen to the podcast, click here. Continue reading

MANY Launches Artifact Based Social Media Campaign


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MANY LogoThe Museum Association of New York (MANY) in Troy, New York’s only statewide membership association representing museums, historical societies, zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums, has announced a partnership with “Mysteries at the Museum” host Don Wildman on a social media campaign to promote unique and interesting objects in New York museums’ permanent collections.

Artifact NY is a campaign of regularly posted photographic images of fascinating artifacts from New York museums accompanied by short blurbs about the artifacts as well as links to museum websites and announcements of upcoming exhibitions. The project is created by Don Wildman’s Archivist Media in NYC and sponsored by MANY. Continue reading