Saratoga NHP Announces 58% Visitation Increase in 2016


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2016 marked a banner year for visitation at Saratoga National Historical Park. Over 102,000 people visited the park during the 100th anniversary year of the National Park Service.

This was a 58% increase in park visitation from 2015. The park witnessed an increase in visitors attending ranger programs, special events, hiking and cycling, and touring the park’s historic sites, according to the Park Service. Continue reading

Boomtown: Oyster Bay During the TR Era


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roosevelt save your parkThe Thirteenth Annual Dr. John A. Gable Lecture Series, sponsored by the Friends of Sagamore Hill, continues on Thursday, March 30, with “Boomtown: Oyster Bay During the Theodore Roosevelt Era.” In his lecture, Park Ranger Scott Gurney of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site will discuss how technological advances in transportation, communication, and lifestyle at the turn of the 20th century — combined with the popularity of Theodore Roosevelt — transformed Oyster By from a quiet country town into the focus of world attention. Continue reading

Death, Suicide, & Slavery in British North America


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ben_franklins_worldEarly America was a diverse place. It contained many different people who had many different traditions that informed how they lived…and died.

How did early Americans understand death? What did they think about suicide?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Terri Snyder, a Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton and author of The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America (University of Chicago Press, 2015), helps us answer these questions and more as she takes us on an exploration of slavery and suicide in British North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/125

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Celebrating 100 Years with Desi Arnaz


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Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum has announced the 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, which will take place August 3 to 6 in Jamestown, NY.

Visitors will be able to explore the life and career of Desi Arnaz through an exhibit and program that can only be seen during the 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Both the exhibit and program will tell the story of Arnaz’s journey emigrating from Cuba, and how he ultimately became one of the most influential entertainment moguls in our culture’s history. Continue reading

New Approaches for Historical Societies and History Museums


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Many of the posts in this New York History Blog report on new exhibits, public programs, outreach to schools, and other initiatives. This variety of initiatives reflects the fact that here in New York we have some of the most progressive, innovative programs in the nation.

But are there really any new ideas out there – new ways of looking at and carrying out our mission as historical societies, history museums, and other public history programs? Continue reading

New Exhibit: Black Radical Women 1965-85


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Jan van Raay A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum continues with We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85.

Focusing on the work of more than forty black women artists from an under-recognized generation, the exhibition highlights a group of artists who committed themselves to activism during a period of profound social change marked by the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the Women’s Movement, the Anti-War Movement, and the Gay Liberation Movement, among others. Continue reading

Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack On Canajoharie


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joseph brantThe American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host Wayne Lenig, who will give a presentation entitled Joseph Brant’s 1780 Attack on Canajohary.

Original accounts of the August 2nd raid began appearing in major newspapers about two weeks after the attack. A newspaper account dated September 9, 1780 stated the following: “At the fort now called fort Ransalaer (Fort Plain), Sir John Johnson and Captain Brant have burnt 51 houses, 42 barns, 17 killed, and 52 prisoners.”

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Crown Point’s Overlooked Role in Freeing Boston, 1776


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A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.

Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. Continue reading

Walter Smith’s Lifelong Fascination with Railroads


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The Historians LogoThis week on “The Historians” podcast, Reverend Walter Smith of Lisbon in northern New York discusses his lifelong fascination with railroads. Reverend Smith writes the “Reminiscing” column in the Bulletin of the Bridge Line Historical Society, a railroad enthusiast publication that emphasizes the history of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.
Listen to the podcast here.    Continue reading