One of the top-grossing American films of 1940 was the western Santa Fe Trail, the seventh Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland collaboration. The story concerns John Brown’s campaign against slavery just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Starting out on an acting career, young Ronald Reagan appeared in the story line as George Armstrong Custer. [Read more…] about Wilhelm Grosz: The Red Sails of Forced Migration
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
Thomas Jefferson, America’s first Ambassador to France and the nation’s third President, developed a liking for the more genteel aspects of life in Europe. The man who requested that a cellar be constructed at the White House, has been named the first American wine connoisseur. He ordered his supplies directly from the finest French vineyards.
Jefferson also had a passion for music and was a devoted violinist. As part of his early ‘gentlemanly’ education he had been taught to play the instrument. Later in life he compiled a music library at his Monticello estate in Charlottesville that contained works by Vivaldi, Corelli, and Handel, and compositions by contemporaries such as Haydn and others. [Read more…] about The Violin, George Gemünder & The Sound of New York
This week on The Historians Podcast, New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan discusses the life of Marinus Willett. Willett is well known to Upstate New York historians because of the work he did during the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley. [Read more…] about The Downstate-Upstate Life of Marinus Willett
A dedicated turf and steeplechase venue, known as Belmont Park Terminal Course, operated on the Queens/Nassau County boundary from 1907 to 1927. [Read more…] about Belmont’s Terminal Course Survived Dark Days of Horse Racing
The Historic Districts Council of the city of New York and the Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society are hoping to save from demolition an important cultural landmark in Elmhurst, Queens. [Read more…] about Home of ‘First Lady of Polish Americans’ Threatened With Demolition
The history of Bowne House has often been dominated by John Bowne and his struggle for religious freedom. However, Bowne House Historical Society is now showcasing the contributions and activism of the no-less remarkable women affiliated with the Bowne House.
From John’s resolute Quaker wife, Hannah Feake, in the 17th century, to the “Parsons Sisters” who preserved the Bowne House and its legacy in the 20th, these women preachers, world travelers, philanthropists, social reformers, and preservationists made a significant difference outside the spotlight reserved for men. Our research into these and other remarkable Bowne women is ongoing. [Read more…] about Four Centuries of Influential Women at Queens’ Bowne House
In this episode of Someone Lived Here, Kendra Gaylord visits to the Lewis Latimer House in Queens, NY. Lewis Latimer was an inventor and electrical pioneer who shaped the history of objects we still use every day. He was African American, the son of escaped slaves, and also an artist and poet. [Read more…] about Someone Lived Here: Lewis Latimer House in Queens
Fifty years ago this month, John Vliet Lindsay, 103rd mayor of New York and national paragon of urban progressivism, faced ruin in Rego Park.
The worst winter storm in in almost two decades hit on Sunday, February 9, 1969, dumping 15 inches in Central Park and 20 inches out at Kennedy Airport in Queens and resulting in the deaths of 42 people. Seventy-two hours later, much of the city was dug out and businesses and schools were slowly getting back to normal.
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has recently designated two historic buildings in Far Rockaway, Queens as individual landmarks: the Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328/Hook and Ladder 134 at 16-15 Central Avenue, and the 53rd (now 101st) Precinct Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue.
These buildings are outstanding examples of early-20th century civic buildings and represent a period of significant growth in Far Rockaway. [Read more…] about Historic Buildings: Far Rockaway Fire House, Police Station