Tag Archives: Rochester

Photography’s History and Future Conference Planned


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A three-day conference, “PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture,” will explore the scholarship, practice, profession, preservation, and access to photography’s – including motion pictures’ – history, present day expression, and projected opportunities and challenges. The conference takes place April 20 to 22, 2018 in Rochester.

PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture is sponsored and organized by RIT Press, the scholarly book publishing enterprise at Rochester Institute of Technology. The call for scholarly papers to be presented at the conference invites proposals on the widest and deepest range of topics on photography’s history and future from an equally broad range of scholars, professionals, and practitioners. Continue reading

Ulster County Civil War Soldier Survives Andersonville Prison


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There is an interesting headstone in the Pine Bush Cemetery in Rochester, Ulster County, NY on Route 209. If you are not looking for it, you will definitely miss it. It is unassuming, and partially overshadowed by the gas station next door. A closer look  reveals a remarkable story and the Civil War solider who lived it.

His name was David L. Wells, the son of a carpenter named Charles Wells. He was 18 when he enlisted in Company C of the 120th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Ulster Regiment, as well as Washington’s Guard. It was under the command of  Colonel George H. Sharpe. Wells enlisted in Rochester in Ulster County April 12, 1862. Continue reading

All for Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony’s Kin


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susan b anthonyOne hundred years ago, New York State women won the right to vote, three years before the federal amendment. To celebrate that milestone, many local organizations have lined up to host presentations by Susan B. Anthony expert Jeanne Gehret. The 11 talks, which cover two distinct topics, will present Anthony family members in Rochester who were at the center of universal suffrage — for both women and African-Americans — for sixty years.

Penfield Public Library will host Jeanne Gehret, who will give a presentation “All for Suffrage: Susan B. Anthony’s Kin” on April 27, 2017. Her other presentation, titled “Failure is Impossible,” features a costumed presentation of Miss Anthony “in person” and will be featured twice at Votetilla, the upstate celebration of New York State Woman Suffrage to be held this July. A current list of Gehret’s talks is available here. Continue reading

A New Biography of Basketball Legend Bob Davies


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bob davies a basketball legendOne of the most influential basketball players is remembered in Barry S. Martin’s new book, Bob Davies: A Basketball Legend (RIT Press, 2016). Davies’s contributions to modern basketball include the introduction of the behind the-back dribble, the penetration and transition styles of play, and several innovative passes.

The book recounts Davies’ time with the Rochester Royals, today’s NBA Sacramento Kings. Sports Illustrated named Davies as one of the eight most infuential players in the frst century of college basketball. The NBA selected him as one of the ten best players in its first quarter century. Author and Rochester native Barry Martin narrates the Davies story and the athlete’s impact on the sport from experience watching Davies play. Continue reading

Digging For Our Dutch Roots Event In Rochester, June 24-25


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digging for our dutch rootsThe New Netherland Institute will be hosting the Digging for our Dutch Roots event in Rochester on June 24-25.

The event hopes to answer questions such as, “what were the Dutch doing in America in the seventeenth century, and why didn’t we learn this piece of our history in school?” The New Netherland Institute will offer a fact-filled program for teachers, students, genealogists, academics and the general public. Continue reading

Billie Jean King Will Be Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon Speaker


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BJK headshot 2013_2_ Andrew Coppa Photography (3)(1)The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House has announced that the keynote speaker for the 2016 Susan B. Anthony Birthday Luncheon will be Billie Jean King, sports icon, humanitarian, and champion of equal rights. The annual luncheon will be held Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

A native of Southern California, Billie Jean King has won thirty-nine Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles during her tennis career. She famously defeated Bobby Riggs in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match. King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which seeks to address inclusion and diversity issues in the workplace, and the Women’s Sports Foundation. In 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, and, in 2010, was appointed to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Continue reading

New York History’s Most Famous Nurse?


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Portrait_of_Lillian_WaldThere are several claimants to the title of New York’s most famous nurse. That distinction probably can be laid at the feet of Long Island native Walt Whitman, though it was not his nursing skills during the Civil War that garnered him his fame. Some might argue it is the still not positively identified nurse who was photographed in Times Square celebrating the surrender of Japan in 1945 through a passionate kiss from a sailor. Again, though, it was not her skills as a nurse that earned her recognition. Another contender was Mary Breckinridge, whose Frontier Nursing Service brought healthcare to poor rural America. While her fame came about as a result of her nursing, she was born in Tennessee and gained her fame in Kentucky, only acquiring her nursing education in New York.

I happen to believe the title of New York’s most famous nurse belongs to Lillian Wald. Though born in Cincinnati, her family brought her to New York as a girl. She would spend the rest of her life there, gaining fame for her work in bringing healthcare to the poorest of New York’s immigrant population. Even after her death in 1940 her impact on New York continued to be felt, and her legacy lives on to this day. Continue reading

Special Delivery: Traveling the Underground Railroad


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Special Delivery Front CoverSpecial Delivery: From One Stop to Another on the Underground Railroad (North Country Books, 2014), is Rose O’Keefe’s latest effort to show what daily life was like in the 1850s, and what life was like in Rochester for families active on the Underground Railroad.

This historical fiction is a companion book to O’Keefe’s recent book Frederick and Anna Douglass in Rochester NY: Their Home Was Open to All (History Press, 2013). O’Keefe’s newest book is the story of eleven-year-old Lewis Douglass, who gives a very personal take on the Douglass family’s move from one house to another in Rochester in 1852. Continue reading