- Civil War Museum Up For Auction
- Demolition at Admirals’ Row Is Approved
- Henry Hudson Meets Google Maps
- Teach-In Set at Underground Railroad House
- Tax Credit Passes Finance Committee
- Preparing For War of 1812 200th
- Fort Montgomery For Sale on eBay
- Dredging Uncovers Ancient Boat
- Lake Champlain Continues To Reveal Treasures
Dr. Joel W. Grossman, the archaeologist who directed the excavation of the early-17th century shoreline block of the Dutch West India Company at Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, will discuss “Dutch Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants in 17th Century New Amsterdam” on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:00 noon in the Arthur and
Janet Ross Lecture Hall, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.
The dig exposed the deeply-buried remains of the colony’s first warehouse, the artifact-filled cisterns of its earliest inhabitants, and a well-preserved record of changing colonial plants. Grossman’s lavishly illustrated talk will explore the intriguing transatlantic links between the Leiden Hortus, or botanical garden, of the University of Leiden, East and West India Company doctors, institutionalized plant collecting and Native American informants in 17th Century New Amsterdam.
Grossman’s talk is presented as part of the New York Botanical Garden’s Quadricentennial Celebration: The Glory of Dutch Bulbs: A Legacy of 400 Years: May 1-June 7, 2009. Discover indoor and outdoor displays that feature large swaths of bright flowering bulbs and companion plants inspired by the great tulip and lily gardens of Holland. See Nybg.org/dutch_bulbs for other offerings on June 6th, and all the events being offered as part of the Glory of Dutch Bulbs program. For directions please call: (718) 817-8779; for general info: (718) 817-8770.
Witch tales from Otsego County. The famed Binghamton spiedie sandwich. Irish ballads sung in New York City. African-American spoken word genres. North Country quilting. The work rituals of Saratoga racetrack workers. What do all of these have in common? These are a few of the rich and varied traditions of New York State, which the New York Folklore Society has been documenting and helping to preserve since 1944.
To help celebrate sixty-five years of the Society’s work, and to coincide with the release of the latest issue of Voices, the Society’s bi-annual journal, the New York Folklore Society announces “Voices: Roots & Branches of New York Folk Music”, a benefit concert to be held on Friday, May 29, 2009 in Schenectady, New York at 7 p.m.
Featured performers include Joe Bruchac, Abenaki storyteller and flute player and his son Jesse Bruchac; Adirondack singer/songwriter Dan Berggren; multi-instrumentalist John Kirk and Cedar Stanistreet; ballad singer Colleen Cleveland; Sengalese drummer and dancer Fode Sissoko; and performer/interpreters Kim and Reggie Harris. The concert will be held at Proctor’s Theatre, 432 State Street, in Schenectady, NY.
A Reception/Meet the Artists party will precede the concert at 5:30 p.m. in the Robb Alley at Proctors. The concert begins at 7 p.m. (Reception and Concert: $41.50, Concert only: $21.50). All proceeds will benefit the New York Folklore Society, a service organization dedicated to the study, promotion, and continuation of New York’s diverse folklore and folklife. Tickets are available through the New York Folklore Society, at 518-346-7008, or at http://www.proctors.org/events. A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible.
Beginning June 6, historic vessels and modern day boats will travel the Hudson River from New York Harbor to Albany for “River Day” Commemorating the Voyage of Henry Hudson 400 Years Ago. In 1609, Henry Hudson and his ship, the Half Moon, with a crew of Dutch and English sailors, ventured up the Hudson River from New York Harbor to near present day Albany, the first recorded European exploration of the river that now bears his name. In celebration of this historic event, the New York State Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Office will launch a “River Day” celebration, an opportunity for thousands of recreational boaters and history buffs to gather on the water for an eight-day journey up the Hudson River.
Participating boats & ships include:
* The Half Moon, a replica of Hudson’s ship.
* The Onrust, a 17th century replica of the first ship built in New York. River Day marks the Onrust’s maiden voyage.
* Historic Tall Ships including the Sloop Clearwater and Schooner Mystic Whaler plus the Woody Guthrie, a wooden replica of an 18th-19th century Hudson River Ferry Sloop; the 1890’s-style pilot Schooner Adirondack; the Manhattan, an open boat originally built as a life boat to explore the canals of Amsterdam; and the Shearwater, a classic Maine Schooner.
* Other participating boats include: The Circle Line; NYC Water Taxi; SeaTow; Launch 5; Coast Guard, the Discover Boating Cruiser and more.
* Escort from the sky – historic bi-planes will escort the flotilla from the Rhinebeck Aerodrome.
The River Day celebration will launch Saturday, June 6, 9 a.m. at the Statue of Liberty. The flotilla will spend eight days moving north on the Hudson, with stops scheduled at participating yacht clubs & marinas, cities and communities with special events & educational programs planned at each port. The tentative schedule is available at http://www.exploreny400.com/riverday.aspx
A new web site (now in Beta) sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society shows viewers what New York City looked like before it was a city. After nearly a decade of research the The Mannahatta Project uncovers online the original ecology of Manhattan circa 1609. According to the site:
“That’s right, the center of one of the world’s largest and most built-up cities was once a natural landscape of hills, valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, beaches, springs, ponds and streams, supporting a rich and abundant community of wildlife and sustaining people for perhaps 5000 years before Europeans arrived on the scene in 1609. It turns out that the concrete jungle of New York City was once a vast deciduous forest, home to bears, wolves, songbirds, and salamanders, with clear, clean waters jumping with fish. In fact, with over 55 different ecological communities, Mannahatta’s biodiversity per acre rivaled that of national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains!”
The goal of the Mannahatta Project is no less than “to re-start the natural history of New York City.” The site includes a virtual Mannahatta map that allows you to see Mannahatta from any location, block-by-block species information, lessons on the science and technology used to create the site, hundreds of layers of digital data, place-based lesson plans for elementary and high school students that meet New York State standards, an online discussion page, and event listing.
Recent updates to Mannahatta include the ability click on a city block to find out what type of plants and animals called it home, whether the Lenape people lived or worked there, and what kind of landscape features appeared on that block. You can also use the slider bar to fade from Mannahatta to modern day to see how the island has changed in the last 400 years.
Last week a related multimedia exhibit “Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City” also opened at the Museum of the City of New York.
June 28, 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots that occurred in Greenwich Village, New York. Many cite the riots as the birth of the Gay Rights Movement in the United States. From June 1969 until June 1970, gays and lesbians in New York City radicalized in an unprecedented way founding several activist groups that created a new vision for Gay Liberation. The exhibition 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation charts the emergence and evolution of this new vision from the Stonewall Riots to the first LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) pride march on Christopher Street in June 1970.
All of the materials for this exhibition were drawn from the LGBT collection in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of The New York Public Library. 1969: The Year of Gay Liberation will be on display at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street from June 1, 2009 to June 30, 2009. Additionally three related public events will be presented in June. Admission to the exhibition and programs is free.
The exhibition features original photographs, pamphlets, police reports, newspapers, and letters. Included are materials relating to activist groups formed between 1969-1970 such as Gay Liberation Front, the Radicalesbians, Gay Activists Alliance, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries. Other materials that can be found in the exhibition include a letter to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller by Jim Owles, President of the Gay Activists Alliance, asking to meet to discuss Gay rights. Many of the photographs featured were taken by activist Diana Davies who captures events such as a march by the Gay Liberation Front in Times Square and protests by gay NYU students for equal rights. The exhibition shows that while each activist group fought for Gay Rights differently, with some more radical than others, they all shared the unified goal of equal treatment in society.
“This exhibition charts a historic and pivotal moment in history for gays and lesbians that goes beyond New York City,” says Jason Baumann, Curator and Coordinator of Collection Assessment and LGBT Collections at The New York Public Library. “The year 1969 marks the first time homosexuals united, demanded, and were willing to fight for full inclusion within American society. As a result of the actions taken during this time gays and lesbians marked a paradigmatic shift in the ways that not only they saw themselves but also how the world would see them.”
The LGBT collection at The New York Public Library continues to be one of the largest and most thorough in the country. The collections include the archives of pioneering LGBT activists, such as Morty Manford, and Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen; the papers of scholars, such as Martin Duberman, Jonathan Ned Katz, and Karla Jay; organizational archives of pivotal civil rights groups, such as the Mattachine Society of New York and Gay Activist Alliance; and the papers of LGBT writers, such as W.H. Auden, Virginia Woolf, and Joseph Beam. The Library’s collections also include major archives in the history of the AIDS crisis, extensive holdings in the history of LGBT theatre, and the Black Gay and Lesbian archive.
1969: The Year of Gay Liberation will be on view from June 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009 in the Stokes Gallery (third floor) at The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. An accompanying online version of the exhibition will be launching in June and can be viewed at www.nypl.org. There will also be a travelling panel exhibition throughout the branches in June. Exhibition hours are Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 917-ASK-NYPL or visit www.nypl.org
Free Public Events Related to the exhibition, at The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building:
Saturday, June 13, 2009, 2:00 p.m., South Court Classrooms
LGBT Studies Research Class
A workshop on how to do research on LGBT history using the NYPL’s resources.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 6:00 p.m., Berger Forum
David Carter Lecture on the Stonewall Riots
Historian David Carter, author of Stonewall, will discuss myths and facts pertaining to the incident.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 6:00 p.m., South Court Auditorium
Gay Liberation Front Reunion Panel
Surviving members of Gay Liberation Front will reunite to reminisce on their experiences in the movement and its historical purposes.
Photo: Diana Davies. “Ida,” member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Lavender Menace, 1970.
The Library of Congress has launched the beta version of a new online searchable newspaper collection, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/. The site currently contains newspapers from 1880 to 1910 (more are coming) plus a directory for newspapers published in the United States since 1690 (a look there turns up over 11,000 New York newspapers). Results from Essex County include 85 newspapers once published there.
Research Buzz has all the tips on searching, but suffice it to say that along with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle online, and Northern New York Library Network’s vast online collection of Northern New York newspapers, online New York history research just got a whole lot better. The Library of Congress site includes papers that have heretofore been unavailable for free. These include New York City / National papers The Evening World, Horace Greeley’s The New York Tribune, and the The Sun, plus other major dailies from across the nation.
I took a look at some one of my favorite historical topics, the Adirondacks. The collection includes reports from Adirondack travelers, social notes from local resorts, and hundreds of advertisements like the one above by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad from 1908. Genealogists are going to find a lot of great stuff here, as well as political historians, and folks interested in the creation of the Adirondack Park, the 1903 and 1908 fires, and a lot more like a long report on the 1900 New York Sportsman Show, including the Adirondack Guide exhibit photo shown here.
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Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is seeking volunteers to conduct on-site school programs during the 2009-2010 school year. The schedule and time commitment are very flexible although a brief training will be held June 5 and 6, 2009.
School Programs Docents impart meaningful information about the life, relationships and works of the 19th-century artist Thomas Cole through hands-on activities catered to each grade level and subject area. [Read more…] about Thomas Cole National Historic Site Seeks Volunteers