The fact that New York State has no official celebration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial or the War of 1812 Bicentennial is no secret. The question that isn’t being asked is: Why not?
To say that New York doesn’t have the money misses the point. Every state has financial problems but somehow other states are able to do something officially on the state level on behalf of these historic anniversaries. Why not New York? Hasn’t New York always generously supported historical anniversaries in the past? Continue reading
Another one bites the dust. That was the message of a recent article in the New York Times (Mourning a Cultural Hub Disguised as a Used Bookstore, November 28, 2011) about the closing of a book store in Metuchen, NJ. As one patron of the bookstore noted of the owner, “(H)e turned it into a kind of a clubhouse for the community [where everyone knew your name] and somehow it worked.” Continue reading
That was the headline of a major article in the New York Times on November 25. In case you missed it while shopping on Black Friday, it was a scathing indictment of the State’s commitment to history. The byline for the article was Sackets Harbor, home to a New York State Historic Preservation Site. Continue reading
This is the third in a series of posts on the New York State History infrastructure. The previous ones were on County Historians and Municipal Historians. These posts draw on my experiences in initiating a series of county history conferences in the Hudson Valley this year and on Teacherhostels/Historyhostels I have conducted such as the one to the Mohawk Valley this past summer prior to Irene. Continue reading
This is the second in a series of posts on the New York State History infrastructure. The previous one was on County Historians. These posts draw on my experiences in initiating a series of county history conferences in the Hudson Valley this year and on Teacherhostels / Historyhostels I have conducted such as the one to the Mohawk Valley this summer prior to Tropical Storm Irene. Continue reading
Based on the county history conferences which I initiated in the Hudson Valley this year, I would like to take this opportunity to share my experiences and to offer some suggestions on changes which should occur. I am starting with the County Historian position since that position was my point of contact for proposing each conference. I dealt with 8 counties in the Hudson Valley and while they may not be a fair sample of the 62 counties in the state, they are a reasonable number upon which to base my comments. Also it should be noted that I was the constant, meaning I was the same person who interacted with all 8 counties. Continue reading
When I was growing up in New Rochelle, more years ago than I care to remember, one required trip in the new suburban world which was being created was to Rye Playland. It was a standard family and summer camp trip from a more innocent time. I wasn’t even able to enjoy all the rides since I wasn’t tall enough to reach the red line that marked the difference between childhood and adulthood. Of course, soon after crossing that threshold, the summer camp trip ended and there were other places to go. Continue reading
In 2010, I attended the New York State History Association conference in Ithaca which included such sessions as Doing History in New York State and Historical Societies in the 21st Century among others. In addition there was time to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: teaching local and state history. I spoke with Bruce Dearstyne and Carol Kammen there who now are also contributors to New York State History. We shared an interest in the topic and recognized that the discussion of this topic itself had become an historic item in its own right given how long it has been going on. Continue reading
In response to my recent posts (Parts 1, and 2) on Irene and New York State History which included excerpts from an email from Old Fort Johnson asking for help, I received the following update from Museum Director Alessa Wylie: Continue reading
So where do we go from here? The August issue of The Public Historian devoted to “Strengthening the Management of State History: Issues, Perspectives and Insights from New York” was featured in a recent post by Bruce Dearstyne. In these articles, the need for leadership, direction, and coordination in state history is touted. A stronger role for the State Historian is recommended since the present position has been “emasculated.” Continue reading
This past July, a group of educators toured the historic Mohawk Valley. The group consisted of teachers from the region, particularly the Utica school district, people from historical societies, and cultural heritage tourists. The program was described as an “immersion experience”into the history of the Mohawk Valley. Little did we know that the metaphorical image soon would become a literal one. Continue reading
New York History is pleased to announce it’s first new regular contributor, Peter Feinman, founder and president of the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education (IHARE). IHARE is a non-profit organization which provides enrichment programs for schools, professional development program for teachers, and public programs.
Feinman received his B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.Ed. from New York University, an MBA from New York University, and an Ed. D. from Columbia University. His interests cross disciplinary boundaries from Egyptian and biblical studies, (forthcoming is “The Tempest in the Tempest Stela: A Cosmic Story in History,” for the Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar), to American and New York State history (“Chautauqua America,” in The American Interest).
Feinman recently organized and spoke at a conference on Immigration: The Melting Pot and the American Dream, organized five county history conferences in New York State, and led a group of educators on a week program in the Mohawk Valley before Tropical Storm Irene hit.
His first piece for New York History will run this afternoon on Irene on New York State history.