Material Culture: Reading Historical Sources


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ben_franklins_worldWhat do historians do with historical sources when they find them?

How do they read them for information about the past?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Zara Anishanslin, an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY’s College of Staten Island, leads us on an exploration of how historians read historical sources by taking us through the documents and objects left behind by four everyday people. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/084

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Results Of Recent National Park Service Tourism Studies


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National Park Service NPS

A recent National Park Service (NPS) report shows that visitors have spent $16.9 billion at NPS lands in 2015.

The report shows the $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent). This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion. Continue reading

24th Peterboro Civil War Weekend Set For June 11-12


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petersboro civil war weekendThe Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend committee is completing plans for Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, 2016.

The 12th US Co A Infantry will once again host the event under the military reenacting leadership of Lt. Neil MacMillan (Syracuse, NY) with Lee Houser (Clifton Springs, NY) of the Civil War Heritage Foundation.

The ongoing encampment demonstrates military and civilian life in the mid-1800s. Visitors walk among the campsites talking with soldiers and their families as they go about their day. The reenactors also provide scheduled programs such as the skirmish each day at 2 pm, a children’s drill, and a Sunday morning sermon. Period games for children will be on the green all weekend. Continue reading

Olympic Museum Speed Skating Exhibit Opens


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Visitors to the Quest for Speed exhibit try the Skate to the Beat activityA new permanent exhibit has sped into the Lake Placid Olympic Museum that celebrates one of the original Lake Placid winter sports—speed skating. “Quest for Speed” features various displays explaining the history of the sport and its origins and impact in Lake Placid.

Skaters profiled included local Olympic stars Charles Jewtraw and Jack Shea, and of course Wisconsin-native Eric Heiden, who won an unparalleled five gold medals at the 1980 Olympic Games. Museum director Alison Haas interviewed several champions in the sport to research the exhibit, including traveling to Salt Lake City to interview Eric Heiden. Continue reading

PR Museum Launches ‘Public Relations Through the Ages’


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museum of public relationsThe Museum of Public Relations, the only PR museum in the world, recently launched a historical timeline documenting the history of public relations.

The timeline, “Public Relations Through the Ages,” illustrates the evolution of the PR profession and its relationship to the development of human communication. Presented jointly by the museum and Hofstra University, this timeline highlights the significant people, events and inventions which have connected messages and messengers through the ages. The timeline divides history into five ages, beginning with the earliest forms of communication and ending with the most recent developments of digital media. Each section contains images and condenses years of history into concise descriptions, providing links to additional resources for in-depth research. This tool can be accessed digitally on the museum’s website. Continue reading

In The Catskills: Headwaters History Days This Weekend


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headwaters history daysThe 2016 Headwaters History Days will take place from this weekend, June 3 – 5, and feature programs, exhibits, concerts, open houses, tours and workshops along the newly designated Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway (NYS Route 28).

Fifteen historic sites and organizations will celebrate the history, culture, folklife and landscape of the Central Catskills in this third annual event. Continue reading

Slavery in Colonial Boston


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ben_franklins_worldColonial Bostonians practiced slavery. But slavery in Boston looked very different than slavery in the American south or in the Caribbean.

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Jared Hardesty, an Assistant Professor of History at Western Washington University and author of Unfreedom: Slavery and Dependence in Eighteenth-Century Boston (NYU Press, 2016), takes us on a tour of slavery, and the lives enslaved people lived, in colonial Boston. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/083

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2016 Adirondack Coast Museum Days This Weekend


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adk coast arts and history passportThe Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA) again celebrates Museum Days throughout the Adirondack Coast from June 4-5, 2016, inviting visitors and residents to explore the area’s wealth of museums, galleries, and cultural organizations.

For these two days, participating locations will offer free admission, including demonstrations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and more. As the backdrop for many historical events and happenings, lakeside villages, charming hamlets and the historic city of Plattsburgh, the Adirondack Coast offers visitors the opportunity to relive some of the most pivotal moments in our country’s history. Continue reading

Caesar of Albany County: New York’s Last Living Slave


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caesar of albany countyIn the spring of 1811, the Albany Common Council banned Pinkster Day celebrations because of “rioting and drunkenness.” Two centuries later, in an effort to revive a tradition from Albany’s past, members of the University Club petitioned the Common Council to repeal the prohibition. The Pinkster ban was lifted on May 16, 2011.

On Friday, June 3, the Club will welcome award-winning author Scott Christianson to its 6th Annual Pinkster Celebration at the National Register-listed University Club of Albany. Scott Christianson, Ph.D. is an award-winning author of several distinguished non-fiction books, as well as a journalist, criminologist, historian, filmmaker, teacher and human rights activist. Continue reading