Category Archives: History

New York History

New Funding Opportunity Celebrates Erie Canal


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01_LockportLocksDistrictNew York State’s rich cultural heritage and historic waterways will be central to a new, unique grant opportunity available through July 29 in a first-time inter-agency collaboration between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the NYS Canal Corporation.

The Erie Canal Bicentennial Grant Opportunity will award funds to organizations producing, presenting or exhibiting arts and cultural activities as part of the ongoing Erie Canal Bicentennial (ECB) Celebration 2017-2025. The opportunity is available through the NYSCA REDC program, which is dedicated to the promotion of economic development through the arts. Continue reading

Shirley Dunn’s New Book: Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers


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Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers (2)Although it played a highly significant role in the settling and development of the Capital Region, Fort Crailo, the birthplace of “Yankee Doodle” and the manorial seat for generations for one branch of the Van Rensselaer family, remains relatively little known, even within the Capital Region itself.

Shirley W. Dunn’s new book, Fort Crailo and the Van Rensselaers: The Dutch Colonial Origins of Greenbush & the City of Rensselaer (Black Dome Press, 2016) traces the history of Crailo and the Van Rensselaers from the years leading up to the building of Fort Crailo in 1663, through the war years and through the many additions and renovations over the centuries and generations of Van Rensselaers, to the present day in its role as the museum of Dutch history in the Hudson River Valley. Continue reading

Mark Twain and John Hay: The Statesman and the Storyteller


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast Mark Zwonitzer discusses his book The Statesman and the Storyteller: John Hay, Mark Twain, and the Rise of American Imperialism (Algonquin, 2016). Author Mark Twain and Secretary of State John Hay were friends for many years. Hay began his career in public service as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary during the Civil War. You can listen to the podcast here. Continue reading

Remembering The March On Washington 1963


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We March We Demand Courtesy of Library of CongressThe National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum (NAHOF) will present a program at 2 pm Saturday, June 18 about the March on Washington August 28, 1963 to accompany the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963.” NAHOF extends a special invitation to people who have memories of the March to bring those recollections, experiences, souvenirs, etc. to the program to share. Continue reading

Defending NY Harbor Exhibit Opens At Museum Ship Lilac


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Fort Wood and World Trade Center Bedloe Liberty IslandThe first exhibit of Lilac’s 2016 season is Defending New York Harbor, a selection of photographs by Richard Golden. An opening reception will be held on board Lilac on Thursday, June 16 from 5 to 7 pm. The exhibit runs through July 31st.

New York Harbor has been a prize worth attacking since the earliest days of European colonization. In the 1790s, the United States responded to threats by building massive coastal defenses around the Harbor. The Upper Bay, the Narrows, the Lower Bay, Long Island Sound and New York City’s Atlantic shore possess more surviving coastal fortifications built over a longer period of time than anywhere else in the country. The striking photographs in this exhibit show the current condition of these historic structures. Continue reading

American Loyalists in Canada


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ben_franklins_world

The War for Independence was a conflict between Great Britain and her 13 North American colonies. It was also a civil war.

Not only did the war pit Briton against Briton when the conflict began in 1775, but it also pitted American against American.

But what happened to the Americans who lost?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Bonnie Huskins, coordinator of Loyalist Studies at the University of New Brunswick, joins us to explore the experiences of the American Loyalists. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/085

Continue reading

New York State Historian: The Weible Years


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New York State Cultural Education CenterNew York State now has a new historian. In some ways that should seem like a routine announcement since the State is required to fill that position. However as people in the history community well know, the State, like many counties, cities, towns, and villages does not always comply with regulatory requirements. There is no penalty to the State for the failure to comply either and only a trivial unenforced one at the municipal level.

Even when the State and the municipalities do comply with the letter of the law, they don’t necessarily comply with the spirit. The position is often disrespected and/or disregarded excluding some ceremonial occasions and is not taken seriously when the real decisions of government are involved. The diminishment of the State position sets a poor but accurate example to the county executives, mayors, and town supervisors that local and state history really aren’t important regardless of any lip service at the press release level. How often is the voice of the history community actually heard in the REDC funding process (which is now beginning again for the 2016 cycle). How much funding is there for collaboration in the Path through History project regardless of how often the jargon is spoken? Message received. Continue reading

Free Family Saturdays At Hanford Mills Museum


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Hanford Mills in summerHanford Mills Museum will hold the first of four Free Family Saturdays on June 18. The event offers hands-on activities for families as well as tours and demonstrations of the Mill’s historic water-powered sawmill, gristmill and woodworking shop.

The event is part of the statewide Path Through History, which showcases New York’s rich heritage. Hanford Mills Museum is on the Path Through History’s Innovation and Commerce track, because it highlights the how the Mill used a variety of power sources, including waterwheels, water turbines, steam power and gas engines, over its 121-year history as a business. Continue reading

Harriet Tubman: The Long Road To The $20 Bill


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harriet tubman on the 20In April, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that Harriet Tubman will be featured on the front of new $20 bills. Tubman is the first woman to appear on modern U.S. currency. She displaces former president Andrew Jackson, whose image will move to the back of the bill.

Lew’s decision came after a year’s discussion, including soliciting public input, on images for redesigned currency. Continue reading