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.
It’s that time of the year again. It is time to start preparing your proposals for the 2018 version of Hunger Games, the Regional Economic Development Councils.
This time however, I suggest the history community try something different. Continue reading
New Ulster County Historian Geoff Miller spent his first year getting the lay of the land, and getting to know his fellow local historians.
As a follow-up, he helped convene a team of municipal historians and county historical society members to organize an Ulster County history conference.
The theme was resources (not local history stories) and addressed the resources available to the history community of Ulster County at the state, regional, and county level. Continue reading
Once upon a time in the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan called Little Syria. The area was defined as west of Broadway to the Hudson River and from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan north to Liberty Street.
Beginning in the 1880s, a variety of people from the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East began settling there. By the 1920s the population consisted of about 8,000 people, including 27 ethnicities. Their tenements were located near the docks where the residents worked. Continue reading
On April 5, while doing research, I took a lunch-break and picked up a copy of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia University undergraduate newspaper. In reading the paper, I came across several articles directly related to history and the current culture wars.
Since I have a sample of only one newspaper, I can’t determine if the contents were typical of the campus news coverage, if it was just a chance day, or some combination of both. In any event, my lunch time reading turned into a fascinating glimpse into the front-lines of the culture war. Read about it here: History at Columbia University: Report from a Battle Front in the Culture Wars
I recently reported on a petition initiated by the New York Academy of History in support of local and state history.
Much of the details of the letter were against recent actions of the New York State Historical Association (NYSHA), an organization that has undergone some changes in 2017 as reported in New York History Blog by editor John Warren and columnist/advocate Bruce Dearstyne.
My post led to a response by Paul S. D’Ambrosio, President & CEO, Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers’ Museum aka NYSHA. He sent me an email asking if I would publish it. I agreed to do so and he then sent a second draft which is published below. Continue reading
Who advocates for New York State history? I have frequently bemoaned the absence of a history agenda, an organized history community, and history advocacy day here. Last year, Ken Jackson, Columbia University and plenary speaker at the kickoff of the Path through History program, ridiculed that very program in his plenary address to the Great Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN). That plea was followed up by a letter to the Governor through the auspices of the New York Academy of History. Naturally, there was no response, not even a form letter. Continue reading