What can we learn from the controversy over the naming of the Tappan Zee Bridge? What lessons can be drawn by looking at the larger picture? I recently examined the issue by starting with the above-the-fold headline in my local paper on August 31, 2018:
Cuomo or Tappan Zee: Names Feed Identity Crisis by Frank Esposito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News Continue reading
America has always been a diverse country. America has always been a country of multiple ethnicities, multiple races, and multiple religions. The individual peoples have changed over time. Generally the number increases, but we have always been a country of numerous different peoples. Yet we also are the country of We the People, the opening words on the document that constitutes us a nation. How can we be both? Continue reading
On August 28, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the Path through History program.
The plenary address was given by Kenneth Jackson of Columbia University. In his address, Jackson spoke of the ways in which New York had been a national leader over the centuries. He recounted various events, named various people and places, and highlighted the prominence of the Empire State. He also noted how much better other states like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were at touting their history. You would never know that George Washington spent more time here than in any other state during the American Revolution.
How have things gone in the last six years? What should we advocate for during this gubernatorial election year? To read more go to Make New York State History Great Again.
How should we advocate on behalf of state and local history? Perhaps instead of focusing at the state level, we should think more locally.
I recently wrote about the Long Island history community and the recently held Long Island Historian Summit. You can read about it here: Advocating for State and Local History: A Regional Case Study
We are a storytelling species. Recently, I shared an example of the potential for storytelling in our communities using primary source documents.
In subsequent posts, I intended to share examples from different formats and venues that show how some historians are reaching audiences in ways that go beyond the standard tour. Continue reading
I have heard the ads, haven’t you? Yes, it’s time to start the back-to-school shopping. At least so
so say the marketeers.
That also means it’s time to start thinking about school field trips. One of the issues with field trips is even if the school permits them there is the cost of the bus. Here we have a clear cut example of an advocacy “ask.” The history community can ask the legislature for money for a specific action – to defray the costs of busing students on field trips to historic sites. Read more at Funding Field Trips: An Advocacy Item.
On June 4, 2018, I attended the annual Massachusetts History Conference. For the second year in row, the event was hosted by the Massachusetts History Alliance. This new and still-forming group drew my attention because of its mission: to advocate on behalf of state and local history.
To read about the efforts of this group go to Who Advocates for State and Local History?: The Massachusetts History Alliance Experience.
In the school district of the Village of Port Chester, where I live, a teacher offered an extra-credit option to create a fugitive slave advertisement. It created quite a stir, so I wrote about the reaction here.
Illustration: An American fugitive slave advertisement.
On May 5, 2018, the Stockbridge Mohican History Seminar was held at the Town Hall in Stockbridge, MA.
The previous night I had attended the annual meeting of New Netherland Institute in Albany so it made for a colonial weekend.
You can read my thoughts about it by clicking here.
Witches are in the news and three New Yorkers have tales to tell.
From Queens to Ithaca to Chittenango, New Yorkers figure prominently in the witch stories in American history. And there is Broadway too.
This week I examined the status of witches through the lens of the New York experience here.