Now is the time to apply for an annual grant from the Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative. The Request for Proposals opened at the beginning of January and land trusts are invited to apply for funds to support projects that improve private and protected lands and help build partnerships for birds and conservation. [Read more…] about Cornell Land Trust Bird Conservation Grants Now Available
Since the 1970s, hitchhiking has been considered increasingly reckless by large proportions of the American public. But, as historian Linda Mahood writes in a recent article for the Journal of Social History focusing on the Canadian experience, attitudes were different in the first half of the twentieth century.
In the 1930s, hitchhiking was viewed as an opportunity for generosity on the part of the driver and a way to practice good manners on the part of the rider. [Read more…] about When Hitchhiking Was Considered Wholesome
Lily van der Stokker’s mural “Thank You Darling” has been installed on a wall adjacent to the High Line at 22nd Street in Manhattan. The Dutch artist’s new work on the High Line offers the public an intimate expression of gratitude in her well-honed visual language at a bold, broad scale. [Read more…] about Lily van der Stokker’s High Line Mural
Traveling from Washington D.C. to Milwaukee, Dutch journalist Bas Blokker makes a stop-over in Hurley, Ulster County, NY, and discovers its Dutch history. His curiosity is piqued and he dives into the past to find the nineteenth-century views of the Dutch colonizers very different from modern ones.
During the last five years, I always crossed the Susquehanna River just north of Baltimore when driving from my house in Washington DC to New York. Once on the bridge the same scene unfolded again and again in my mind’s eye: a sailing ship changing course from the Chesapeake Bay to enter the river’s mouth and drop anchor at what is now Havre de Grace or Garret Island. [Read more…] about Nieuw Dorp, Now & Then: Dutch History in Ulster County
I think we lost the sun, it hasn’t shined in quite some time.
Could it be we went and pushed our luck too far?
While gazing at the sea, it transformed before my eyes.
Could it be the spills have turned it into tar? [Read more…] about Poetry: Could Be
Will McKay was a very lucky young man. Over the course of two years starting in 1885, he had married his sweetheart Anne, been blessed with a healthy newborn son, and with them at his side was about to embark on a trip to Korea paid for by Thomas Edison.
In 1863, 12-year-old Gojong was crowned Monarch of the Korean Empire. As Korea was forced out of isolationism in the 1870s the country began to move towards Western innovation and technology. One of these was the development of electricity, which had been introduced into Korea through Japan and China. [Read more…] about Until His Luck Ran Out: The Story of William McKay
This is a story about one of the important freedoms we as Americans often take for granted, the right to vote. One need only recall “Florida 2000” when that state’s Electoral College vote was destined to decide whether Al Gore or George Bush became president.
The call to recount the vote precipitated a five-week war over election rules, the law and the courts, Judge Rosenberg depicted here examining the punch-card ballots “where the voters’ attempt to make their choice had only succeeded in detaching a portion of the perforated paper (‘hanging chads’).”
NPR’s chief Ron Elving aptly described that crisis as “a nightmare that goes on haunting.” [Read more…] about Election Anxiety Old & New: Troy’s Nineteenth Century Poll-Watchers
The progressive period, ca. 1900-1920, much like our own times, was an era of tension, change, and new policies replacing old ones. Most of historians’ attention has focused on progressivism at the national level.
But in researching for my most recent books — The Crucible of Public Policy: New York Courts in the Progressive Era (2022) and Progressive New York: Change and Reform in the Empire State, 1900-1920 – A Reader (2024) – I was struck by how important the states were in the movement and furthermore how important New York was. [Read more…] about New York’s Leadership in Progressive Reform
Warm and durable, duffel fabric has a remarkable history, reaching back from Europe’s Age of Exploration to the sale of Staten Island (and possibly Manhattan) at the beginnings of America’s modern history. [Read more…] about Duffel Cloth, Beaver Hats and Native Americans
While Long Island developed a reputation for affluence throughout the 20th Century, there has always been a parallel history of the everyday workers and servants who toiled in the shadow of that reputation. The economic boom of the war years and the subsequent population boom in the 1950s did not change that. [Read more…] about In Levittown’s Shadow: Poverty & Housing on Long Island