As the ravages of the First World War and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic receded into the past, a new spirit gripped New York City. Energy seemed to infuse every aspect of city life, from business to leisure and everything in between. For a decade, New Yorkers by and large lived, worked and partied with abandon. [Read more…] about New York City In the Roaring 20s: A Primer
New York City
New York State 250th Commemoration Field Guide Released
2026 will mark the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the foundational document of the revolution that occurred between 1774 and 1783 and resulted in the creation of the United States of America. What is now the State of New York played an immense and vital role in both the Revolutionary Era and the subsequent 250 years of American history. [Read more…] about New York State 250th Commemoration Field Guide Released
How Harlem Developed as an African American Community
This week on The Historians Podcast, New York City attorney and regular New York Almanack contributor Jim Kaplan explains how Harlem was economically developed in the early 1900s. Jewish financiers joined with Black realtor Phillip Payton to develop Harlem and in the process improved race relations in New York City. [Read more…] about How Harlem Developed as an African American Community
Zita Johann: Rockland County’s Classic Movie Star
Zita Johann (1904–1993), best known for her role in The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, lived for many years in Rockland County. The latest episode of Crossroads of Rockland History explores a new book on the actor by local author Tom Stratford, Along Came Zita (BookBaby, 2023). [Read more…] about Zita Johann: Rockland County’s Classic Movie Star
Raines Law, Loopholes and Prohibition
A loophole is an ambiguity or inadequacy in a legal text or a set of rules that people identify and use to avoid adhering to it. Exploiting loopholes in tax legislation by big corporations or wealthy individuals is a preoccupation of our time. The authorities fight a losing battle trying to plug them as lawyers specialize in finding new and profitable flaws. [Read more…] about Raines Law, Loopholes and Prohibition
Did George Washington Burn New York City?
August 27, 1776, British troops under General William Howe attacked American forces commanded by George Washington in the Battle of Brooklyn. Assailed from three sides, Washington and the main body of the Americans escaped across the East River to Manhattan and then fled north, ultimately crossing the Hudson River, then known as the North River, to New Jersey.
If Washington and his troops had been captured either in Brooklyn or Manhattan, the American Revolution would likely have ended soon after it began. [Read more…] about Did George Washington Burn New York City?
Unfriendly to Liberty: NYC Loyalist Networks Before the Revolution
The book Unfriendly to Liberty: NYC Loyalist Networks Before the Revolution (Cornell University Press, 2023) by Christopher F. Minty explores the origins of loyalism in the city of New York between 1768 and 1776, and revises the understanding of the coming of the American Revolution. [Read more…] about Unfriendly to Liberty: NYC Loyalist Networks Before the Revolution
State Museum Showing Seized Elephant Ivory from Illegal Trade
Elephant ivory seized during a massive New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) led crackdown on the illegal ivory trade is now on display at the New York State Museum. The display is a reminder of the rampant and continued slaughter of the African elephant, rhinoceros, and other iconic endangered species that fuel the transnational illegal trade in wildlife. [Read more…] about State Museum Showing Seized Elephant Ivory from Illegal Trade
Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution
We’re returning to Revolutionary War era Long Island on this episode of The Long Island History Project podcast. And while the Culper Spy Ring does play a part, we are turning the focus to a woman whose story and connections to the Ring were ignored and misrepresented until reconstructed by Claire Bellerjeau. Her book with Tiffany Yecke Brooks, Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution (Lyons Press, 2021), brought to life the meticulous research Bellerjeau conducted over years to illustrate Liss (Elizabeth), a woman surviving through tumultuous times. [Read more…] about Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution
Pinkster Festival in Yonkers May 20th
In the New Netherland Colony, Pinkster was a unique Afro-Dutch celebration – a week of temporary freedom for enslaved people. Able to travel, earn money, and gather in groups, Pinkster allowed enslaved people to take a break from their endless work, see separated family members, preserve and pass on culture to the next generation, and resist enslavement. [Read more…] about Pinkster Festival in Yonkers May 20th