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
Office of State History
New York is slowly preparing for the 250th anniversary of both the birth of the United States (July 2, 1776) and the birth of New York State (April 20, 1777, the day the first state constitution was approved). [Read more…] about America & New York’s 250th Birthdays
Bruce W. Dearstyne’s expanded new edition of The Spirit of New York (SUNY Press, 2022; first published 2016) explores nineteen dramatic events from New York State’s history that altered the course of U.S. history.
From the launch of the state government in April 1777 thru the tragedy of September 11th and through the debut of the musical play Hamilton in 2015, Dearstyne’s chapters describe great political changes, historical turning points, and struggles for social, racial, and environmental reform.
[Read more…] about Bruce Dearstyne’s ‘Spirit of New York’ Reissued In Expanded Edition
As per § 57.09 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, all appointed Local Government Historians “shall make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.”
In an attempt to make this process easier, the State Historian has created an online form. [Read more…] about 2021 Municipal Historian Reports Due
Legislation has been introduced which would amend the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law to change New York State History Month from November to October according to an announcement made by the Office of State History.
The move comes on the heels of a revival of sorts for New York’s History Month, which suffered from years of being ignored. November was designed New York State History Month in 1997 by the State Legislature.
§57.09 of the NYS Arts and Cultural Affairs Law requires all appointed Local Government Historians to “make an annual report, in the month of January, to the local appointing officer or officers and to the state historian of the work which has been accomplished during the preceding year.”
New York State Historian Devin Lander and the Office of State History have made online submission of the required report available to allow historians to more easily make their required report via the web.
Is New York’s “historical enterprise” really entering a new phase, as Bruce Dearstyne contends in his recent post? There certainly seems to have been some change going on in the New York State Office of Cultural Education. Perhaps most notably, New York is now employing a full-time State Historian for the first time since 1976 (not 1994, as Bruce suggests).
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it would be naïve to allege that today’s State Historian position holds the same power and responsibility that it once did. [Read more…] about History In New York: Where Are We Headed?