Everyday several thousand cars traveling north and south on Ossining’s Rt. 9 pass a white frame two-story building that is the home of American Legion Post 506 that also bears the name, Edmond C.C. Genet.
It’s a safe bet to say that most of the drivers and even the pedestrians who pass the building ever give a second thought to this modest structure. Even fewer know of the wartime exploits of Edmund Charles Clinton Genet and his ancestors, whose service to the United States goes back for five generations.
Genet was the great great grandson of Edmond-Charles Genet, also known as Citizen Genet, the French Ambassador to the United States shortly before the French Revolution. He is historically remembered for being the cause of an international incident known as the Citizen Genet Affair. Continue reading
This past year marked the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into World War I, on April 6, 1917. What was hoped to be the “war to end all wars” turned out to be nothing of the sort, and stands instead as one of the great disasters of the 20th century, remembered mostly for the senseless and utter wasting of millions of young lives and the high idealism of those so wasted.
Prominent families in the Hudson Valley were not spared. Before the days of college deferments, smoking but not inhaling, and that sanctuary known as the Texas Air National Guard, the sons and daughters of elite families didn’t just talk the talk but actually walked the walk of service to higher ideals by responding to the twin calls of patriotism and the fight against tyranny. Sons drove ambulances, fought with the French, and, when the time came, enlisted in our own armed forces. Daughters went to France to act as nurses or work in relief organizations. Being away from the fighting, the daughters returned. But not all the sons. Continue reading
December 19, 2017 marks the 204th Anniversary of the “Tuscarora Heroes.” Near Niagara Falls, in retaliation for the American forces burning the British held Canadian town of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Fort George ) during the War of 1812, British-Canadian forces and their First Nations allies captured Fort Niagara and attacked the poorly defended Town of Lewiston.
Though a number of civilians were killed during the burning of Lewiston, many more were saved by the actions of warriors from the nearby Tuscarora village who rushed to their aid. Creating a diversion long enough for many civilians to escape, the actions of the “Tuscarora Heroes” has become an important part of Lewiston’s history and shared memory. Continue reading
The reckless threats of nuclear war flung back and forth between the North Korean and U.S. governments remind me of an event in which I participated back in the fall of 1961, when I was a senior at Columbia College.
At the end of August 1961, the Soviet government had announced that it was withdrawing from the U.S.-Soviet-British moratorium on nuclear weapons testing that had halted such tests for the previous three years while the three governments tried to agree on a test ban treaty. The resumption of Soviet government’s nuclear weapons testing that followed was topped off that October by its explosion in the atmosphere of a 50-megaton hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. Meanwhile, the Kennedy administration, determined not to be outdone in a display of national “strength,” quickly resumed U.S. nuclear testing underground and began to discuss the U.S. resumption of nuclear testing in the atmosphere. Continue reading
Who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what was their military experience like?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we explore the development of the Continental Army, partisan militia groups, and Native American scouting parties. Our guides for this exploration are Fred Anderson, Randy Flood, and Brooke Bauer. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/158
This week on The Historians Podcast, Leader Herald newspaper history columnist Peter Betz reports on how American General Nicholas Herkimer died after being wounded in the Battle of Oriskany. Plus a story about a discouraged author and a tale about Sunday baseball.
But who were the men who served in these military ranks? What motivated them to take up arms and join the army? And what was their military experience like?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, we begin a 2-episode exploration of some of the military aspects of the American Revolution by exploring the experiences of the approximately 6,000-7,000 African American men who served in the Continental Army. Our guide for this exploration is Judith Van Buskirk, a professor of history at the State University of New York, Cortland and the author of Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/157
On October 28th, millions around the world will commemorate OXI (pronounced ō-hē) Day, a day honoring Greece’s resistance during World War II.
The day will be remembered at USS SLATER with a brief program beginning at 9 am. Fr. Dennis Nagi of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church will provide an historical account of Oxi Day. USS SLATER volunteers and friends will be joined by special guest Dr. Nicholas Athanassiou.
Dr. Athanassiou is Emeritus Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy at Northeastern University in Boston. His father, VADM Athanassois Athanassiou, was the first Greek commanding officer of USS SLATER when it was transferred to the Hellenic Navy in 1951. Dr. Athanassiou earned a B.S. from the Naval Academy of Greece and trained on AETOS (SLATER) while there. Continue reading
Lawrence E. Cline’s new book Rebels on the Niagara: The Fenian Invasion of Canada, 1866 (SUNY Press, 2017) takes a look at what is now largely considered a footnote in history, the American invasion of Canada along the Niagara Frontier.
The group behind the invasion – the Fenian Brotherhood – was formed in 1858 by Irish nationalists in New York City in order to fight for Irish independence from Britain. Continue reading