Long before the fictional and shocking “Peyton Place” of TV and film fame came along in the late 1950s, and early 1960s there was an actual suburban community where its residents were roiled by rampant scandal, moral and religious hypocrisy and a sensational a murder in their midst. [Read more…] about The Prophet Matthias and Elijah the Tishbite
Halloween is a time when representations of witches make their frequent appearance. The United States has a complicated history with witchcraft and the occult, due in part to its puritanical past and influx of diverse cultures.
Most Americans are familiar with the Salem Witch Trials (1692-1693) in Massachusetts, but trials for witchcraft have probably occurred as long as trials have existed, and still do in places where belief in magic is strong. In Europe people were tried for witchcraft throughout the 1700s. [Read more…] about Westchester County’s Katharine Harrison, Accused Witch
General George Washington, Governor George Clinton and Lord Stirling all knew about Anthony’s Nose. Not because it was part of someone’s anatomy, but because it was a prominent feature along the Hudson River, the highest place in Westchester County. Anthony’s Nose resembles a person’s nose when viewed in profile from the Hudson River, and so was a well known landmark.
Anthony’s Nose was also strategically important. [Read more…] about Hudson River Chain, Anthony’s Nose, and the American Revolution
“Dwellings of the Enslaved and Freed in the City and Town of Rye,” will be the topic of a program at the Jay Heritage Center this Sunday, June 9th, beginning at 2 pm.
Participants can learn more about the places where enslaved men, women and children lived, worked, and died in the City and Town of Rye before and after Emancipation. There will be a focus on the original Jay Estate on the Post Road in Rye, and the recent archaeological discovery of a Dutch brick building on the property by Prof. Eugene Boesch and a group of volunteers.
Ogden Rogers “Brownie” Reid, the six-term former congressman, ambassador, and New York Herald Tribune editor who died recently, was a link to a bygone era.
Reid led an eventful and historic life. He grew up in a McKim, Mead & White-designed stone castle in Purchase, New York, built by his grandfather – himself a Republican powerbroker, ambassador, and 1892 vice presidential nominee. After service in the Army during the Second World War, at the age of 30 in 1955, Brownie assumed leadership of the “family” newspaper, the voice of moderate, internationalist Eastern wing of the GOP. And, like fellow New Yorkers Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, and John Lindsay, Reid was forced to uncomfortably straddle a Republican party morphing rightward; like Lindsay, he eventually switched parties. [Read more…] about Ogden Reid: A Link to Another Era in New York Politics
The true and tragic story of an American Navy pilot who survived battles of World War II only to meet his fate just after the war ended in a plane crash on Mount Beacon in Dutchess County, will be the topic of a talk on Saturday, January 19th, at 2 pm, at the Little Red Schoolhouse, 297 Locust Avenue, in Cortlandt Manor, NY.
This event is open free to the public. [Read more…] about The Indestructible Man Book Talk Set
The Westchester Historical Society is set to recognize historians and preservationists with the Sy Schulman History Award on Saturday, June 16th at 2 pm at the John Jay Homestead, 400 Jay St, Katonah. NY.
Winners of the award have demonstrated a strong commitment to historical research, historic preservation, and/or the teaching of local history, and have, as a result, elevated the public’s appreciation of the history of Westchester County. [Read more…] about Westchester Historical Recognizing Historians, Preservationists Saturday
In commemoration of the Centennial of the birth of President John F. Kennedy and his early life in Westchester County, a lecture and picture program Growing Up Kennedy in Westchester: The Bronxville Years (1929-1941) will be presented by author/historian Anthony Czarnecki on Saturday, May 13th, at 2 pm, at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor.
Open free to the public, the program is jointly sponsored by the Van Cortlandtville Historical Society, Croton Friends of History, and Yorktown Historical Society. [Read more…] about JFK in Westchester: Bronxville Years (1929-1941)
In celebration of Black History Month, Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino was joined on February 13th, 2017 by Barbara Edwards, Esq., Chair of the Westchester County African American Advisory Board, at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, to unveil the new Westchester County Guide to African American History and Heritage and to announce this year’s Trailblazer Award winners. [Read more…] about New African American Heritage Trail Moves Forward
In mid-October, I marked my first anniversary as the “local history librarian” at the White Plains Public Library. Four years earlier, I was a library clerk at an urban public library trying to figure out how to make a job out of my seemingly varied interests. I liked direct service, helping people, but I also valued more solitary, research driven work. I knew Intellectual freedom and a progressive, supportive community were a necessary part of any job I might hold, but I did not want to obtain a PhD or set out on my own for the wilds of self-employment. I knew I loved education, but I didn’t want to be a teacher. So the world has another librarian.
Through a friend, I began working at Albany Public Library as a Library Clerk and found the public library united my passions for working with people and knowledge in a democratic, autonomous space. Librarians can be educators without being constricted by the bureaucracy that comes with teaching. Librarians can also be historians, but don’t have to work within the traditional academic or museum systems, where publishing requirements or institutional obligations can take up lots of time. Attracted as I am to intellectual autonomy and the propagation of alternative historical voices, working as a local history librarian looked like a perfect opportunity to see if I could manifest some of these values. [Read more…] about My First Year As A Local History Librarian