Many unusual craft have passed through New York’s several natural and man-made waterway systems through the years. A remarkable vessel that was certainly one of the most unique to travel the waters of the Empire State was the German submarine U-505, captured by the Unites States Navy during the Second World War. [Read more…] about The Submarine U-505: Predator, Prey, and Memorial
World War Two
The Rome Historical Society is looking for community members willing to share their memories of Griffiss Air Force Base in a video interview.
Constructed in 1941-42 under the supervision of future Manhattan Project engineer Kenneth Nichols. It was finally named in 1948 to honor Buffalo native and 1922 West Point graduate Lt. Col. Townsend Griffiss (1900–1942). Griffiss was the first U.S. airman killed on duty in Europe during the Second World War. His B-24 Liberator bomber was shot down by friendly fire over the English Channel. [Read more…] about Got A Story From Griffiss Air Force Base? History Project Seeks Participants
Few industrialists in the history of the United States have been so widely involved in multiple production operations as Henry Ford. His business philosophy was to operate and control all phases of his manufacture, which included transportation between production facilities.
Certain operations of his automobile empire involved the transportation of raw materials, and completed sub-assemblies between the main plants in the Detroit area, and satellite plants on the eastern seaboard.
Ford, a trenchant industrialist, realized that the New York State Barge Canal offered business a tremendous economic corridor between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. [Read more…] about Henry Ford’s Barge Canal Fleet: A Short History
Just before dawn on July 7th, 1944, several thousand Japanese soldiers, sailors and civilians swarmed from their positions along the northwestern corner of the Pacific island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas. The target of what would be the largest attack of the Second World War was the U.S. Army’s 27th Infantry Division, specifically the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment.
By the end of the day, more than 900 out of the approximately 1,100 soldiers in those two battalions would be casualties. Many of them were from the Albany-Saratoga region. Nearly all the approximately 30,000 Japanese attackers were killed in what was the last major enemy assault on Saipan during 25 days of fighting that left about 15,000 Americans killed, wounded or missing in action. Another 20,000 Japanese civilians were killed or committed suicide out of fear of American troops. [Read more…] about Capital District Soldiers at the Battle of Saipan
The site of the present Sampson State Park in Romulus, Seneca County, NY was formerly the site of the Sampson Navy Base. As the United States found itself at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the U.S. Navy had an immediate need for sailors. Basic training bases, or boot camps, were constructed across the country to meet this emergency requirement. [Read more…] about Sampson State Park’s Remarkable Military, Education & Public Health History
Elizabeth “Lee” Miller started her career in the fashion industry. Having been model and assistant to surrealist artist and photographer Emmanuel Radnitzky, better known as Man Ray, she had the drive and talent to pursue her own professional ambition. During the Second World War, she was one of five accredited female photo-journalists accompanying American troops.
In a turbulent life traumatic events in her youth and maturity took their toll and may have hampered the appreciation of her contribution. Full recognition of the artistic value of her work is long overdue. [Read more…] about Modernist Misogyny & Lady Penrose of Poughkeepsie
This week on The Historians Podcast, Mark Sullivan discusses his historical novel The Last Green Valley (Lake Union, 2021) that chronicles how members of a German farming family living in Ukraine were able to escape clashing armies in the World War II and find a new life in America. [Read more…] about Escaping Clashing Armies During The Second World War
On April 30th, 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt opened New York’s World’s Fair with an address in which he praised the commercial festival as a “symbol of peace.” An idea dreamed up at the height of the depression, the theme of the Fair was “The World of Tomorrow.” Its opening slogan was an inspiring “Dawn of New Day.” [Read more…] about Arthur Szyk: The Artist As Soldier
In Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World (Simon & Schuster, 2020), a crisply-written, well-researched book, Lesley Blume, a journalist and biographer, tells the fascinating story of the background to John Hersey’s path-breaking article “Hiroshima” and of its extraordinary impact upon the world.
In 1945, although only 30 years of age, Hersey was a very prominent war correspondent for Time magazine — a key part of publisher Henry Luce’s magazine empire — and living in the fast lane. That year, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, A Bell for Adano, which had already been adapted into a movie and a Broadway play. Born the son of missionaries in China, Hersey had been educated at upper class, elite institutions, including the Hotchkiss School, Yale, and Cambridge. During the war, Hersey’s wife, Frances Ann, a former lover of young Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, arranged for the three of them to get together over dinner. Kennedy impressed Hersey with the story of how he saved his surviving crew members after a Japanese destroyer rammed his boat, PT-109. This led to a dramatic article by Hersey on the subject — one rejected by the Luce publications but published by the New Yorker. The article launched Kennedy on his political career and, as it turned out, provided Hersey with the bridge to a new employer – the one that sent him on his historic mission to Japan. [Read more…] about John Hersey and the Hiroshima Cover-up
My father was employed as an administrator at the Mount McGregor Veterans Rest Camp, Saratoga County, upon his discharge from the Army. Mom was a Registered Nurse at the Camp Infirmary. I lived on Mount McGregor from April 1946, the day I arrived in my mother’s arms, until I left for Boy Scout Camp Saratoga in July 1960. Five boys and one girl within two years of my age lived on Mount McGregor during that time. We were a loosely knit mostly outdoor group. [Read more…] about Memories of a Childhood at Mount McGregor