County and Borough Historians’ Institute Planned


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A County and Borough Historians’ Institute will be held August 25th, 2017 from 9 am to 5 pm at the New York State Museum Huxley Theater, located at 222 Madison Avenue, Albany.

The County and Borough Historians’ Institute is a free learning opportunity for County and Borough Historians hosted by the Office of Cultural Education and facilitated by the New York State Historian, the Association of Public Historians of New York State and the Government Appointed Historians of Western New York. Continue reading

Military History Event at Schuyler Flatts This Weekend


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Time Line of World HistoryThe City of Watervliet Historical Society will host a “Time Line of World History” at the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park on Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20, from 10 am to 4 pm Rt.

This family friendly event will have re-enactors of various wars including Union and Confederate Civil War units. There will be strong representation of U.S. Civil War re-enactors, as well as 20th Century German and Italian units, Roman Empire Vikings, and more. There will be displays of military uniforms, customs, drills, and weapons. Continue reading

Bennington Battle Day: Free Admission To VT Historic Sites


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mount independence historic siteAugust 16 is a Vermont State Holiday commemorating Bennington Battle Day and the victory over the British on August 16, 1777.

To celebrate this Revolutionary War victory, admission is free on August 16th to the Bennington Battle Monument, Chimney Point (Addison), Mount Independence (Orwell), President Calvin Coolidge (Plymouth), and Justin Morrill (Strafford) Vermont State Historic Sites.

For further information, visit the Vermont State-owned Historic Sites website.

Photo: Mount Independence Historic Site, courtesy Vermont.gov.

Saratoga Race Course Historian Lecture, Reception


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the spa book coverThe Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will host an event honoring the history and future of the Saratoga Race Course on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, 191 Union Avenue.

Following a reception in the Sculpture Gallery, Paul Roberts, an internationally-renowned expert on race courses, will give a presentation and sign copies of the second edition of The Spa: Saratoga’s Legendary Race Course beginning at 7 pm. The book highlights the history of the oldest sports venue in the United States. Continue reading

A Report From Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Weekend


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Sackets Harbor War of 1812 Weekend reenactmentOn August 5 and 6, Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site in Jefferson County, New York held its annual War of 1812 weekend, complete with military encampment, an English Country Dance, Sea Chanteys, and of course reenactments of the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor.

The Second Battle of Sackets Harbor was fought on May 29, 1813 between British forces under the command of Colonel Edward Baynes and American forces under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Electus Backus of the Regular Army and Brigadier General Jacob Brown of the New York State Militia. Continue reading

Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth Of The NYPD


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law and order book coverIn his new book Law & Disorder: The Chaotic Birth Of The NYPD (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) historian Bruce Chadwick argues that rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City.

Chadwick paints a picture of a bloody and violent city, where race relations and an influx of immigrants boiled over into riots, street gangs roved through town with abandon, and thousands of bars, prostitutes, and gambling emporiums clogged the streets.

Chadwick says that in the 19th century the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The drive to establish law and order involved some of New York’s biggest personalities, including mayor Fernando Wood and journalist Walt Whitman. Continue reading

Erie Canalway Water Trail Website Launched


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Paddler on the Erie Canal Mohawk River near UticaThe Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has announce the launch of a new online NYS Canalway Water Trail map to help paddlers enjoy the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. The interactive map covers 128-miles from Rome to Waterford and includes launch sites, canoe/kayak rental facilities, camp sites, amenities, and attractions. Plans are underway to expand to the entire NYS Canal System within two years.

The website also includes information on paddling safety and how to go through a lock. Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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A Visit To Marilla Civil War Days in Erie County


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Marilla Civil War DaysOn July 29 & 30, Marilla, New York (in Erie County) held its 14th Annual Civil War Days at Marilla Town Park.

The weekend was packed full of activities, including a ladies period tea party, artillery demonstrations, candlelight tours, a period dance and church service, and of course battle reenactments. At Sutlers Row, vendors sold Civil War memorabilia, flags, books, and uniforms.

Each year has something a little different to offer. Previously, the event featured barn burnings, ground charges, and falling trees and buildings. Saturday’s reenactment was more conventional. Continue reading