Category Archives: History

New York History

The Historians Podcast Explores 1932


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The Historians LogoThis week “The Historians” podcast features David Pietrusza of Glenville, N.Y. who has written numerous books, including a trilogy of volumes (1920, 1960, and 1948) on American Presidential electoral history. Pietrusza’s newest book is 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR – Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal and Unlikely Destiny (Lyons Press, 2015). You can Listen to the podcast here. Continue reading

NY State History Month: Another View


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New York State History MonthNovember is New York State History Month. The goal of this initiative certainly is a worthy one. Naturally as historians, a primary source document such as a press release invites a close reading of the text. That’s what historians do and government publications are not exempt from such scrutiny. The exercise is quite productive and one can learn a lot from doing it.
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John Jay, Forgotten Founder


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ben_franklins_worldJohn Jay played important and prominent roles during the founding of the United States and yet, his name isn’t one that many would list if asked to name founding fathers.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore John Jay and his contributions to the founding of the United States with Robb Haberman, associate editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay documentary editing project. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/055

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New York City’s ‘Evacuation Day’ Planned


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Evacuation_of_New_York_by_the_BritishOn November 25, 1783 George Washington’s Continental army marched into New York City officially ending the Revolutionary War. Like much else about the war, the ceremonies that day were marked by controversy, but also triumph.

More than two and a half years after the joint French/American victory at Yorktown in 1781, after much wrangling over issues such as the status of New York’s numerous Tories and runaway slaves fighting for the British, Washington and British Governor Guy Carleton had agreed on arrangements for the British to turn over New York City, their last enclave in North America to the Continental army. By prearrangement, on the morning of November 25, 1783, Washington was to march down Broadway and take control of the City, just after the British and their supporters completed their withdrawal. Continue reading

Corset Portraits of the Loves of Aaron Burr


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Madame+Jume_RGB.BillOrcuttArtist Camilla Huey has a close to the skin interpretation of founding father Aaron Burr. While we know about his schemes to gain and keep political power, Huey tempts us to think about Burr’s gender politics. Was the former Vice-President who shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel, a full-fledged Lothario, or might there be another story?

The film “The Loves of Aaron Burr: Portraits in Binding and Corsetry”  premiering at Symphony Space at 95th St. and Broadway in Manhattan on Saturday, November 14 at noon offers a much more complicated and nuanced view of the man and his significant female others.  As Thomas Paine wrote in that revolutionary era “If we take a survey of the countries and the ages… we will find the women adored and oppressed. Man who has never neglected an opportunity of exerting his power,  in paying homage to their beauty has always availed himself of their weakness… at once their tyrant and their slave.” Continue reading

American Exceptionalism: The History of an Idea


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ben_franklins_worldWhat is the underlying ideological current that links Americans together regardless of their ancestral or regional diversity?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore “American Exceptionalism” and the ideas it embodies with John D. Wilsey, author of American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea (IVP Academic, 2015)You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/054

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New ‘Path Through History’ Website Launched


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Andrew Cuomo Path Through historyA announcement sent to the media says that Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced a new Path Through History website in celebration of New York State History Month.

“The new website features streamlined visuals and user-friendly navigation to help travelers map visits to sites across the state using 13 unique themes that explore New York’s rich cultural and natural history,” the announcement said. Continue reading

November Is New York State History Month


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NYS History Month logo_colorIn 1997, the New York State Legislature established November as New York State History Month “to celebrate the history of New York state and recognize the contributions of the state and local historians.” The celebration has been mostly ignored since 2002.

In 2014, the New York State Museum launched a New York State History Month page on its website, which included links to state-wide and regional history resources and a listing of museum events. This year, there is a more comprehensive History Events web calendar. Continue reading

Pioneer Broadcaster A History Activist


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The Historians LogoThis week “The Historians” podcast features Bob Cudmore and Dave Greene discussing two history topics. Pioneer New York City broadcaster Edythe Meserand moved upstate and became the driving force in restoration of an eighteenth century church in the Montgomery County town of Charleston. And there once was a superhighway idea, proposed unsuccessfully in the 1960s and 1970s, to build a high speed road linking upstate New York and northern New England. You can listen here Continue reading

Event: 19th Century Political Culture


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A_Lincoln_BaltimoreLong before radio, television, the Internet and Super PACs, when voter turnout could be as much as 81%(!), political rhetoric found its voice largely in print.  Political cartoons not only weighed in on public figures’ qualifications and actions but also reflected assumptions about gender-appropriate behavior and the social norms of the day. The public figures we revere today were often viewed quite differently by their contemporaries.

Union College history professor and author, Andrea R. Foroughi, will expand on this fascinating topic in a presentation on November 20th, 7:00 pm at the S. S. Seward Institute in the Village of Florida. Continue reading

Harlem: Life in Pictures


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Malcolm X- Rally for Birmingham, 1963. by Larry Fink. All images courtesy of Ilon Art Gallery

Malcolm X- Rally for Birmingham, 1963. by Larry Fink. Images Courtesy of Ilon Art Gallery

“If new thought can enter the mind, even for a moment, then change has a chance,” writes JT Liss. His photographs search for those figures and visions that allow us to see new ways and think new thoughts.

Ilon Gallery’s show Harlem: Life in Pictures on view in a classic 1890s brownstone, demonstrates how historic images of figures that have become iconic can acquire new resonance when displayed along fresh takes on a neighborhood that has been a cradle of creativity for well over 100 years. Continue reading

Upstate Revitalization: Limited Inspiration from the Past


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Upstate NY Economic DevlopmentA few years ago, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a statewide “Revitalization Initiative” to help revitalize and expand the state’s economy. Job creation is the primary goal. Major state funding has been allocated and directed to a variety of projects. Last spring, the Governor changed the program to focus on the “Upstate Revitalization Initiative.” The overall goal is “systematically revitalizing the economy of Upstate New York,” in the words of the official guidelines. Continue reading

Peter Feinman on The Historians Podcast


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The Historians LogoThis week “The Historians” podcast features Peter Feinman, a frequent contributor to the New York History Blog. Feinman is founder and president of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, which provides enrichment programs for schools, professional development program for teachers and public programs to historic sites in the state. He takes a critical look at the New York State Path through History program. You can listen online here. Continue reading

Suffrage Centennial: Historians, NYS Tourism Officials Clash


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Suffrage CentennialIn early October, the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network under the leadership of Spike Herzig, a member of the Tourism Advisory Council, hosted a meeting in Seneca Falls for the Women’s Suffrage Centennial.

There were about 85 attendees, mainly from the central New York region. The purpose was to meet, learn, and plan for the upcoming centennials of women gaining the right to vote in New York State (2017) and the United States (2020). The event’s agenda was abandoned as members of the history community began to air their frustrations over Empire State Development’s role in heritage tourism. Continue reading

Early United States-Haitian Diplomacy


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ben_franklins_worldMuch like the United States, the colonists of Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti) sought their independence from France by fighting a war and waging a revolution. However, unlike the Americans, the San Dominguans who fought the war and waged the revolution were predominantly African and Caribbean-born slaves.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the Haitian Revolution and the quest of both the United States and Saint Domingue to establish diplomatic and trade relations with each other. Our guide for this exploration is Ronald A. Johnson, a history professor at Texas State University and author of Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (University of Georgia Press, 2014). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/052

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