Documentary Heritage Program Grants Available


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NYS MapNew York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) offers grant funds for both Documentation and Arrangement & Description projects to eligible not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect, and make available New York’s historical records. This grant deadline is January 17th, 2017.

For more information, click here, email archdhp@nysed.gov or call (518) 474-6926.

National Parks Leasing Jacob Riis Beach Facilities


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jacob-riis-park-boardwalk-and-bathhouseNational Parks of New York Harbor’s Gateway National Recreation Area has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to lease Jacob Riis Beach facilities for adaptive reuse.

The facilities include the historic one story Jacob Riis Beach Entry Pavilion, a portion of the Jacob Riis Beach Bathhouse (excluding the area on the first and second floor of the east wing that currently houses NPS lifeguards), a portion of the East Wing Pavilion Building (excluding the northern half of the building, which contains NPS maintained public restrooms) and a portion of the Courtyard (excluding the area set aside for use by the NPS). Continue reading

The Fight To Make Evacuation Day A NYC Holiday


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city-of-new-york-councilmember-margaret-chin-and-lower-manhattan-historical-society-co-founder-james-kaplan-unveiled-an-evacuation-day-plaza-signOn November 25, 1783, George Washington marched down Broadway in New York City retaking the last British stronghold in the United States. By prearrangement, the British and their many Tory supporters were to leave the City by 12 pm. The American flag was to be raised at the flagpole at the north end of what is today Bowling Green park, officially ending the American Revolution. There was, however, one minor snag. When the American advance guard sought to put up the 13-star American flag, they discovered the British had greased the pole, so that the British flag could not be brought down. Washington said he would not enter the lower part of the City until the American flag was flying. A young sailor John Van Arsdale then bought cleats from a local hardware store and shimmied up the flagpole to raise the American flag, and Washington’s triumphant march to Lower Manhattan continued. Continue reading

Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention


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ben_franklins_worldWhen politicians, lawyers, and historians discuss the Constitutional Convention of 1787, they often rely on two sources: The promotional tracts collectively known as the Federalist Papers and James Madison’s Notes of the Constitutional Convention.

But what do we know about Madison’s Notes?

Did Madison draft them to serve as a definitive account of the Constitutional Convention?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention with award-winning legal historian Mary Sarah Bilder, the Founders Professor of Law at Boston College and author of Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention (Harvard University Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/107

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Bruce Dearstyne: The New York Statehood Trail


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1777 New York State ConstitutionAs discussed in a previous post on this New York History Blog, the state’s historical community might want to consider organizing an effort to commemorate New York State’s Birthday.

We could use April 20, the date the first State Constitution was completed in Kingston in 1777, or April 22, the date it was first read and officially proclaimed, bringing the new state into existence. This would give us an opportunity each year not only to review New York State’s historical origins, but also to call public attention to various aspects of the state’s 240+ years of history.

We might want to consider designating a historical driving trail, a good fit for the I Love New York’s heritage tourism “Path Through History” program, perhaps calling it the New York Statehood Trail. “Path Through History” has its own list of Revolutionary War sites. Continue reading

Edmonston House Revolutionary War Program


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Edmonston House The Edmonston House will host “Your Excellency’s Dog kennel at Mount Vernon, is as good a Quarter as that I am now in” on Saturday, November 19 from 5 to 8 pm. Visit this Revolutionary War headquarters and learn about General Horatio Gates and his time at the house.

The home of James Edmonston has stood for over 250 years. Rescued in the 1960’s by the National Temple Hill Association, the house by that point was a junkyard showroom filled with old car parts. Nicely restored, the house serves as the headquarters for this local historic organization. Continue reading

The Path to Statehood Exhibit at State Museum


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Cultural Education Center State Museum ArchivesThe New York State Archives have announced a limited engagement exhibition at the New York State Museum featuring New York State’s founding documents. The Path to Statehood features New York’s first constitution (1777), journal of the Poughkeepsie Convention (1788), New York’s engrossed copy of the U.S. Constitution (1788), and New York’s current constitution (1894). The exhibition is open through November 27th. Continue reading

Council for the Humanities Rebrands as Humanities New York


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humanities-new-yorkTo celebrate their 40th anniversary, the New York Council for the Humanities is updating their brand, look, and name, and are now known as “Humanities New York.”

A new website contains links to programs, grants, and events – which have been changing to keep up with changing communities. The site also features some of the luminaries whose work they have supported through 40 years of leadership in the public humanities. Continue reading

Schenectady Historical Library Celebrating 25 Years


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grems-doolittle-libraryOn November 19, 2016 at 2 pm, celebrate 25 years of the Grems-Doolittle Library and Archives at the Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Avenue.

Former Schenectady County Historical Society trustee Frank Taormina will give a presentation on the history of the library and there will be a selection of library and archival items showcasing 350 years of Schenectady’s history. Refreshments will also be served. Continue reading