Joe Jacobs was born in 1896 to Hungarian Jewish immigrants. He grew up in the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown Manhattan, then a bastion of poor Irish Americans, where his father ran a tailor shop.
For many young males living in that tough setting, boxing was both a badge of identity and a means of survival. Every immigrant neighborhood had its own champions and heroes. Boxing was a flag of ethnic pride, attracting a large and loyal local following. [Read more…] about The Odd Couple: Yussel the Muscle & Maximilian Schmeling
The book Marty Glickman: The Life of an American Jewish Sports Legend (NYU Press, 2023) by Jeffrey S. Gurock takes a look at Marty Glickman, who for close to half a century after World War II, was the voice of New York sports. [Read more…] about Marty Glickman: American Jewish Sports Legend
At the Mt. Van Hoevenberg complex, the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) currently manages around 1,220 acres of Forest Preserve classified as Intensive Use by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). Abutting these lands is 319 acres of land owned by the Town of North Elba.
Together this complex houses the Olympic bobsled and luge track, cross-country skiing and biathlon trails, and associated facilities, with most of the intensive buildings and facilities located on the town lands. These facilities have seen massive upgrades and state spending in preparation for hosting the World University Games in 2023. [Read more…] about A Constitutional Amendment Proposed for Mt. Van Hoevenberg
New York State’s connection to Olympic wrestling goes all the way back to 1904, the very first year freestyle wrestling was included in the summer games, when Isidor “Jack” Niflot, then of New York City, but later a longtime Sullivan County resident, won a gold medal in the bantamweight division. [Read more…] about Jack Niflot: Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler
On this episode of Empire State Engagements, Dr. Clarence Jefferson Hall, Jr., talks about his book A Prison in the Woods: Environment and Incarceration in New York’s North Country (UMass Press, 2020). [Read more…] about Empire State Engagements: North Country Prisons
The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has announced that after a 10-month construction project, the 400-meter James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval at the Olympic Center has reopened to the public.
The Speed Skating Oval was dedicated to James C. “Bunnie” Sheffield by the Olympic Organizing Committee in 1978. Sheffield was inducted into the National Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 1971, and his inspiration contributed to the organization and promotion of winter sports, including the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. [Read more…] about Lake Placid Speed Skating Oval Renovations Complete; Free Skating Jan 6th
The 1932 and 1980 Olympic bobsled track, located on Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y., is on The National Register of Historic Places.
Clearing for the original one and a half, 26-curve course began in August 1930 and the track, specifically built for the 1932 winter games, was open to the public just 148 days later on Christmas Day 1930. [Read more…] about New York’s Olympic Bobsled Track: Some History
This is the second article in a 5-part series that looks at amendments to Article 14, Section 1, the famed forever wild provision, of the State Constitution. This article looks the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Winter Sports Complex in the Adirondack Park, managed by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. The first piece looked at the recent history of Article 14 amendments. [Read more…] about The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Facility and Forever Wild
This episode of A New York Minute in History recalls the “Miracle on Ice,” when the U.S. Men’s Hockey team upset the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. [Read more…] about 40 Years After An Olympic Miracle