On October 21, 1941, 46 days before Pearl Harbor, The National Academy of Sciences Uranium Committee met in the office of Dr. William C. Coolidge, director of the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady. This top-secret meeting was historic for two reasons. [Read more…] about J Robert Oppenheimer in Schenectady
When you discuss Negro Baseball, most people think of names like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell. These were some of the biggest stars in the professional Negro leagues. However, this was not the only place where you could see Negro teams play. Throughout the country there were independent teams, like the Mohawk Colored Giants.
The Giants got their start in 1913 under the organization of Bill Wernecke. Although this was seasonal work for these ball players, they were full time paid players. By offering full time jobs, Wernecke was able to lure players into Schenectady from all over the country. The Giants would play their home games at the nicest ball field in Schenectady, Island Park.
[Read more…] about Schenectady Baseball History: The Mohawk Giants
TORNADO AT SCHENECTADY. On Saturday last [August 28, 1847], about four o’clock in the afternoon, Schenectady was visited by a phenomenon unusual in these high latitudes. Gentlemen who witnessed its inception, relate that a heavy storm seemed gathering over the high grounds which bound the city on the East, when suddenly large clouds were seen to rush towards each other from opposite directions with amazing velocity. [Read more…] about A Tornado in Schenectady, 1847
William Alexander was born on December 25, 1726 in the city of New York to well-known lawyer James Alexander and his wife Mary. Mary and James had emigrated from Scotland in 1716. When they married, Mary was already a widow with six children and she and James had seven more. William was the second son of Mary and James, but when his older brother died in 1731, William became the male heir to the Alexander clan. [Read more…] about Major General William Alexander, Lord Stirling: A Short Biography
Daniel Mazeau and Aaron Gore, archaeologists with Beverwyck Archaeology, recently completed field investigations and research for the Yates house and property in Glenville, Schenectady County, NY, once home to the family of Joseph Yates (1707-1748). Yates was the grandfather of Joseph Christopher Yates (1768-1837), a lawyer, politician, statesman, founding trustee of Union College and longtime Schenectady Mayor who also served as the 7th Governor of New York in 1823-1824. [Read more…] about Recent Archaeology at the Joseph Yates House in Schenectady County
On May 10, 1869 the first United States Transcontinental Railroad was completed when a 17.6-karat gold ceremonial spike was driven into a railroad tie by Leland Stanford.
Begun in 1863, the “Pacific Railroad” or “Overland Route” was a joint, although competitive, endeavor between the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR), moving east from San Francisco to meet the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) which headed west from Council Bluffs, Iowa. The two railroad lines finally met at Promontory Point, Utah, after workers laid 1,912 miles of contiguous track. [Read more…] about The Transcontinental Railroad & The Capital District
This week on The Historians Podcast, When Mommy Was a Commie (Troy Book Makers, 2022) is a comic historical novel set in Schenectady in the early 1950s, inspired by real-life episodes from America’s spy war with Russia. Author Jon Sorensen was a newspaper reporter for The Schenectady Gazette, Buffalo News and New York Daily News. [Read more…] about When Mommy Was a Commie
This week on The Historians Podcast, historian and reporter Bill Buell talk about Schenectady in the 1920s, including Proctor’s Theatre, WGY radio, the Hotel Van Curler, the Western Gateway Bridge and more.
Schenectady was booming in the 1920s with American Locomotive and General Electric both thriving — the city that lighted and hauled the world. GE attracted famed scientists such as Charles Steinmetz. Schenectady even had a socialist mayor for a time. [Read more…] about Schenectady in the Roaring 1920s
The Union Star described Cody as a “remarkable man,” a “hero of thousands of exploits,” and published a photograph of Cody with an extensive survey of his life and career as a guide, trapper, Pony Express rider, stagecoach driver, Civil War veteran, Medal of Honor recipient for gallantry, buffalo hunter (thus the nickname “Buffalo Bill”) and master showman. [Read more…] about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Schenectady
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