The new book Ladies Day at the Capitol: New York’s Women Legislators 1919-1992 (SUNY press, 2022) by Lauren Kozakiewicz integrates for the first time the history of New York’s women lawmakers with the larger story of New York State politics. [Read more…] about New Book On New York’s Women Legislators 1919-1992
“Racing On The Hudson,” Cortland Standard, September 25, 1909: “When steamboating was successfully established on the Hudson River it was natural that the owners and skippers of the various crafts that plied between New York and Albany should turn their attention to speed. Racing between boats of rival lines soon became a matter of almost daily occurrence. [Read more…] about Racing Steamboats On The Hudson River
In 2023, the United States Military Academy will remove 13 Confederate symbols on its West Point campus. They include a portrait of Robert E. Lee dressed in a Confederate uniform, a stone bust of Lee, who was superintendent of West Point before the Civil War, and a bronze plaque with an image of a hooded figure and the words “Ku Klux Klan.”
Art displayed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC, still includes images of 141 enslavers and 13 Confederates who went to war against the country. A study by the Washington Post found that more than one-third of the statues and portraits in the Capitol building honor enslavers or Confederates and at least six more honor possible enslavers where evidence is disputed. [Read more…] about US, NYS Continues To Honor Slavers, Racists, Traitors and Scoundrels
In 1774, Daniel and his family immigrated to the colony of New York and settled with four or five other Scottish families in what is now Broadalbin in Fulton County, NY. [Read more…] about Archibald McIntyre’s Life In Lotteries, Politics & Adirondack Mines
The Capital District’s Dudley Observatory is considered “the oldest non-academic institution of astronomical research in America.” Originally, it was located north-east of downtown Albany, NY.
Construction there began in 1852 and the facility was dedicated in 1857. Albany’s Congressman Erastus Corning, the founder and first president of the New York Central Railroad, was instrumental in donating a high quality telescope and time-keeping system at the new Dudley Observatory in Albany. [Read more…] about The Albany Origins of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
The tale of St. Nicholas is an old fable from mid-Europe that was popular in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of children, merchants and sailors and the patron saint of Amsterdam and was brought by the Dutch to the new world, which for the Dutch was Nieuw Nederlandt (New Netherland).
Many of the American traditions on Santa Claus originated in the Dutch settlement of New Netherland along the Hudson River between New Amsterdam (New York City) and Oranje (Beverwyck-Albany). The other colonies were English. [Read more…] about A Short History of Christmas for New Yorkers
Before F. W. Woolworths’, Whitney’s, or even Myer’s department store, there was Pease’s Great Variety Store, located in the Temple of Fancy at 516 and 518 Broadway in Albany, NY.
As with other fancy goods stores, Pease’s catered to the middle and upper middle class selling highly decorated goods like ceramics, prints, furniture and other decorative household items that progressively thinking people might have wanted to purchase. [Read more…] about America’s First Christmas Card & An Early Albany Department Store
James Hall was born on September 12, 1811, to James and Susanna Hall of Hingham, Massachusetts. His father was a weaver trained in England who was making a comfortable living. One day he opened his newspaper and noticed a “help wanted” ad posted by a textile mill in Massachusetts. The salary was far better than James Hall, Sr. could earn in England.
After some inquiry, Hall heard that land in America was more cheap and plentiful than land in England, which was, in most cases, held by the same families for generations. He also heard that food was plentiful and less expensive than England. Like so many other Europeans looking to improve their lives, Hall packed up his family and they departed for the United States.
In 1826, when son James Jr. was 15, he learned of a new school, the Rensselaer School (later Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or RPI) just started at Troy, New York by the Patroon of Manor of Rensselaerswyck, Stephen Van Rensselaer III, and under the academic direction of Amos Eaton. This new school was a departure from conventional classical schools that Eaton called “a kind of literary bondage.” Eaton’s new plan was for a scientific school centered on the “useful arts” and “adapted to the native curiosity and ardor of youth.” [Read more…] about James Hall: New York’s First State Geologist & Paleontologist
“Dr. Cooke, No. 3 Norton Street, Albany, NY — In every age of the world, men of superior genius have lived: Homer, Voltaire, Euripides and Virgil. It has, however, remained for the 19th century to produce a man whose attainments, both in letters and science, which justly entitles him to equal rank with the illustrious mentioned above. That man is the world-renowned surgeon and physician, Gen. George Cooke whose fame and knowledge of the healing art have reached every clime. [Read more…] about George Cooke: Albany Snake Oil Salesman
The Hudson River in New York’s Capital Region has always been a vital transportation link, and it also provides a conduit to undertakings of the past. The area presently occupied by Interstate-787 and its connectors to NY-378 were constructed on what had been a cluster of islands in the Hudson River, near Menands, between Albany and Watervliet.
Even in the 1820s, the road here became noted for unofficial, and illegal, horse racing. [Read more…] about The Capitol Region’s Race Course: Island Park