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Representatives from 15 historic sites and cultural institutions will engage visitors in fun, educational activities January 16 during Hudson Valley History Day at the New York State Museum. The free event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is the highlight of Family Fun Weekend, January 16-17. The snow date will be Saturday, January 23. Activities will be held throughout the Museum’s first floor.
Participants include the State Museum, New York State Library, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt-Springwood, Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, Olana State Historic Site, Hudson River Heritage Organization/Montgomery Place, Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center and Henry Hudson Planetarium, Thomas Cole National Historic Site/Cedar Grove, Clermont State Historic Site, Shaker Heritage Society, Albany County Historical Society/Ten Broeck Mansion, Albany Institute of History and Art, Historic Cherry Hill and Crailo State Historic Site.
Visitors will be able to play the Hudson River Valley Trading Game on a 32-foot long game board at the Historic Cherry Hill table; sketch, write poetry and add to a community landscape at the Thomas Cole table; try weaving and grinding peppermint at the Shaker Society table; design their own stained glass at the Museum table; meet the life-sized Henry Hudson puppet at the Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center table and see historic documents, photographs and other objects at the other locations.
Jeffrey Urbin from the Roosevelt site will offer a lecture at 1:30 p.m. in the Huxley Theater on “How to Prepare Family Archives and a Time Capsule.” At 11 a.m. and noon, he also will provide tours of the This Great Nation Will Endure, an exhibition designed and curated by staff from the FDR site. The exhibition showcases the works of a legendary group of photographers who documented the lives and struggles of Americans enduring the Great Depression.
Tours will also be offered at 1 and 2:30 p.m. of the 1609 exhibition. Michelle Stefanik, a senior exhibition planner at the State Museum, will share information about Henry Hudson and his crew’s exploration of the Hudson River 400 years ago. She also will discuss the Mohican and Native Peoples who were living along the shores, as well as their relationships with the Dutch settlers.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m., visitors will also be able to touch bear fur, try on a cradleboard and learn more about the Haudenosaunee at the hands-on Native Peoples cart, presented by Nancy Berns, a member of the State Museum’s Visitors Services staff.
On Sunday from 1-4 p.m., as part of Family Fun Weekend, the Museum will offer the same stained glass activity as the one on Saturday.
Family Fun Weekends offer theme-based family activities on the third weekend of the month.
The New York State Museum is a cultural program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Started in 1836, the Museum has the longest continuously operating state natural history research and collection survey in the United States. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at .
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Sandwiched between the placid fifties and the flamboyant seventies, the sixties, a decade of tumultuous change and stunning paradoxes, is often reduced to a series of slogans, symbols, and media images. In America in the Sixties, Greene goes beyond the cliches and synthesizes thirty years of research, writing, and teaching on one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century.
Greene sketches the well-known players of the period—John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Betty Friedan—bringing each to life with subtle detail. He introduces the reader to lesser-known incidents of the decade and offers fresh and persuasive insights on many of its watershed events.
Greene argues that the civil rights movement began in 1955 following the death of Emmett Till; that many accomplishments credited to Kennedy were based upon myth, not historical fact, and that his presidency was far from successful; that each of the movements of the period—civil rights, students, antiwar, ethnic nationalism—were started by young intellectuals and eventually driven to failure by activists who had different goals in mind; and that the “counterculture,” which has been glorified in today’s media as a band of rock-singing hippies, had its roots in some of the most provocative social thinking of the postwar period.
Greene also chronicles the decade in a thematic manner, devoting individual chapters to such subjects as the legacy of the fifties, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the civil rights movements, and the war in Vietnam. Combining an engrossing narrative with intelligent analysis, America in the Sixties enriches our understanding of that pivotal era.
John Robert Greene is the Paul J. Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College. He has written or edited thirteen books including The Limits of Power: The Nixon and Ford Administrations and The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. He is a regular commentator in the national media, having appeared on such forums as MSNBC, National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and the History Channel.
Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.
On Tuesday, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the West Park Presbyterian Church at 165 West 86th Street on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue as an individual New York City landmark. This move to protect this late 19th-century chapel and church came after decades of activism by concerned neighbors. Originally included in the proposal for the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District, the church was left out of the 1990 district designation after opposition from church representatives. Since then, neighbors have had to stave off development proposals and demolition permits, most recently observing workers last year removing pieces of West-Park’s interior (it was reported that church was cleaning up from a burst pipe).
For more information, read Historic District Council’s statement on the building and visit Landmark West’s website.
Throughout January and February, Americans celebrate the history and accomplishments of African-Americans with Martin Luther King’s birthday in January and Black History Month in February. In recognition, BedandBreakfast.com has described Bed & Breakfasts that were once associated with the Underground Railroad, the informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to free states, Canada, Mexico, and other countries with the aid of abolitionists.
Here’s a list of those in New York State:
Escape Guest House, Brooklyn, NY: This B&B is just a short stroll from Plymouth Church, the “Grand Central Depot” of New York’s Underground Railroad. According to church history, slaves traveling to Canada were hidden in the tunnel-like basement beneath the church sanctuary; you can still visit there today. The church’s first pastor, Henry Ward Beecher, was a dedicated abolitionist and younger brother to Harriet Beecher Stowe, famous author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Merritt Hill Manor, Penn Yan, NY: One of the first houses built in Jerusalem Township, the land where this B&B sits now was deeded from the Seneca Indians in the Gorham/Phelps purchase. It was once used as a stop on the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves, heading north to freedom in Canada.
Saratoga Farmstead, Saratoga Springs, NY: Former owners and abolitionists Clarissa and Benjamin Dyer used the farmstead to connect to the Underground Railroad. According to some, a young black boy and his enslaved mother died while hiding in the attic. Legend tells that for many years thereafter, each time someone tried to climb the attic stairs, the boy’s ghost put an arm out, tripping the intruder and protecting his mother. During a session with a visiting expert on the paranormal, these ghosts were released to “the next level,” and visitors can now navigate the stairs safely.
Maybe someone is sending us a message. Just when New York State Governor David Paterson is criticizing his fellow lawmakers over their ethics, the New York State Archives has announced that the archived websites of the defunct organizations designed to investigate political corruption are online. Part of an online collection called Archived State Government Websites, archival copies of the websites of former Governors George Pataki and Eliot Spitzer, along with other former elected officials and those of the defunct bodies such as the Commission of Investigation and the Commission on Lobbying are all available on the New York State Archives’ website.
The collection also includes the State Northeastern Queens Nature and Historical Preserve Commission (SNEQ) which was created in 1973 to regulate publicly owned lands and wetlands in northeastern Queens County (eliminated in the 2009-10 Executive Budget).
The Temporary State Commission of Investigation was created in 1958 and had a broad mandate to investigate “corruption, fraud, organized crime, racketeering, money laundering, the conduct of public officers, public employees, officers and employees of public corporations and authorities, and mismanagement in New York State and local government.”
Temporary State Commission on Lobbying was created in 1977 and “monitored individuals and organizations seeking to influence State legislation, rules, regulations, and rate-making actions or local laws, ordinances, and regulations.” It’s mandate (and staff) was transferred to the new State Commission on Public Integrity in 2007.
There is a FAQ about what material on the sites are actually archived, and each record group has a separate FAQ on background and site-specific access problems.
A recent federal report ranks Vermont the top state in per capita use of Federal Historic Tax Credits to rehabilitate historic buildings and 10th in the nation overall – rising from 12th overall last year. A total of 34 rehabilitation projects with a total construction value of more than $23 million received $4.6 million in federal tax credits in the last fiscal year.
State officials credit the decision several years ago to require those seeking state historic Downtown Tax Credits to first get Federal Historic Tax Credits with putting Vermont to consistently within or just outside the top ten states nationally for use of the credits, despite its small size. [Read more…] about Vermont Ranks 1st In Federal Historic Tax Credits
A notice at the New York State Library’s home page reports that technical issues have crashed the state library’s online catalog. The catalog has been unavailable since yesterday. A simple notice reads: “The Library’s catalog will be unavailable until further notice. We are working with the vendor to resolve the problem and apologize for the inconvenience.” Visitors can still search the Library’s website but catalog access to collections is down.