Tag Archives: Political History

New Book: FDR On His Houseboat


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fdr on his houseboat book coverIn the midst of the Jazz Age, while Americans were making merry, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken by polio and withdrew from public life. From 1924 to 1926, believing that warm water and warm air would help him walk again, he spent the winter months on his new houseboat, the Larooco, sailing the Florida Keys, fishing, swimming, playing Parcheesi, entertaining guests, and tending to engine mishaps.

During his time on the boat, he kept a nautical log describing each day’s events, including rare visits by his wife, Eleanor, who was busy carving out her own place in the world. Missy LeHand, his personal assistant, served as hostess aboard the Larooco. Continue reading

Custom Houses and the Making of the American State


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ben_franklins_worldCould customs collectors, the tax men of early America, be the unsung founders of the early United States?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore the creation of the United States customs service and its contributions to the establishment of the federal government with Gautham Rao, an Assistant Professor of History at American University and author of National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State (University of Chicago Press, 2016). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/098

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‘Votes for Women’ Reading, Discussion Program In Canton


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alice riggs hunt 1915The New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with the St. Lawrence County Historical Association to offer “Votes for Women”, a monthly reading and discussion series that runs from September 10th thru December 17th.

At the St. Lawrence County Historical Association, participants will come together over the course of six sessions to discuss a variety of thematically linked texts with Dr. Melissane Parm Schrems, Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of Native American Studies at St. Lawrence University.

Participants in “Votes for Women” will explore the history of the women’s suffrage movement in our state and nation and discuss women’s – and by extension, our society’s – past, present, and future. The readings in this series include both fiction and non-fiction accounts selected by Dr. Schrems. Continue reading

Ballots, Bloomers, and Marmalade: The Life of Elizabeth Smith Miller


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ballots bloomers and marmalade book coverAcross the street from the home where Elizabeth Smith Miller designed the bloomers – the “most important dress reform of the 19th Century” according the historic marker in the yard, a biography of Miller will be presented.

At 2 pm on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at the Smithfield Community Center (5255 Pleasant Valley Road Peterboro, NY) Norman K. Dann PhD will speak about his research for his latest book on Peterboro history. Author of Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform, Dann has now turned to research on Smith’s daughter with the Log Cabin Books’ publication of Ballots, Bloomers, and Marmalade: The Life of Elizabeth Smith Miller. Continue reading

The Origins of Racial Segregation in the United States


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ben_franklins_worldEver wonder how the United States’ problem with race developed and why early American reformers didn’t find a way to fix it during the earliest days of the republic?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Nicholas Guyatt, author of Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation (Basic Books, 2016), leads us on an exploration of how and why the idea of separate but equal developed in the early United States. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/096

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New York Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference Planned


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Night of Terror ProtesterOn Friday, October 7, the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network will hold a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference at the Holiday Inn in Seneca Falls/Waterloo. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women voting legally in New York.

The Conference will take place from 9 am to 4:30 pm. The Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who is also serving as Chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission, has been invited to make the Keynote presentation. Continue reading

1797 Fort Jay Letter Acquired By Jay Heritage Center


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john adler and his familyAbout seventeen years ago, inspired by the purchase of several volumes of a popular 19th century journal, John Adler had an idea – make the American narrative more accessible to the public. So upon his retirement, the former advertising executive launched a multi-year endeavor to create a database of articles, images and ads scanned from the iconic Harper’s Weekly Magazine.

Harper’s was the premiere chronicle of political events and literary commentary of its day, and Adler’s invention would help readers navigate thousands of stories from 1857 to 1916. One could find everything from headlines about Lincoln’s election to Thomas Nast’s cartoons denouncing slavery. This online trove christened “HarpWeek” was further complemented by academic essays and materials for educators. In 2003, Adler’s searchable scholarship “HarpWeek Presents Lincoln and the War” won recognition from the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute and an E-Lincoln Prize. Continue reading