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Brooklyn History Gilded Age New York

The Terrible Brooklyn Theater Fire: The Worst Disaster In Brooklyn History

It is difficult to discuss calmly the frightful disaster which happened in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. No such awful sacrifice of human life has ever been known in this country, shipwreck and the casualties of war alone being excepted. — New York Times editorial, Dec. 7, 1876 This is a black-letter day in Brooklyn. The theatre […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Film History

“Keep ‘Em In The East”: A new book on New York and the movie business

New York City (and the surrounding region) was the capital of movie making at the industry’s inception until the major studios moved out to Hollywood in the mid 1910s. By the late 1960s, a creative revolution of independently made film — a “New Hollywood” movement, inspired by European filmmakers and driven by film students will […]

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Holidays ON TELEVISION Podcasts

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: A History in Branches

PODCAST The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has brought joy and sparkle to Midtown Manhattan since the early 1930s. The annual festivities may seem steady and timeless but this holiday icon actually has a surprisingly dramatic history. Millions tune in each year to watch the tree lighting in a music-filled ceremony on NBC, and tens of […]

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Holidays New Amsterdam

How Dutch New Amsterdam helped create the American Christmas tradition

After reading this article on the origins of Christmas in America, find some information about a virtual Christmas in Old New York tour from Bowery Boys Walks. There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas, a national holiday derived from the union of Christianity and capitalism. How one chooses to mark the occasion is a […]

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Alternate Side History Neighborhoods Podcasts

The Story of Skid Row: The Bowery of the Forgotten Men

PODCAST A history of the Bowery in the 20th century when this street became known as the most notorious place in America. And the stories of the lonely and desperate men whose experiences have been mostly forgotten. From the moment that elevated train went up in 1878, the historic Bowery became a street of deteriorating […]

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Health and Living Holidays

Toxic Turkey Day: New York City’s smoggy holiday crisis

On November 24, 1966, millions of spectators flooded Broadway in New York City to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. The iconic floats – Superman, Popeye, Smokey the Bear – were set against a grey sky that can only be described as noxious. A smog of pollutants was trapped over New York City, […]

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Know Your Mayors Queens History Religious History

Mayor Walter Bowne and his very exceptional family story

New York City has a new mayor — Eric Adams! So we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors, becoming familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This longtime feature of this […]

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Podcasts True Crime

Historic Heist: The Great Bank Robbery of 1878

PODCAST The thrilling tale of a classic heist from the Gilded Age, perpetrated by a host of wicked and colorful characters from New York’s criminal underworld. Jesse James and Butch Cassidy may be more infamous as American bank robbers, but neither could match the skill or the audacity of George Leonidas Leslie, a mastermind known […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The beauty and artistry of early American maps

HOLIDAY HISTORY GIFT GUIDE Each week for the rest of the year, the Bowery Boys will recommend a newly released book that you might like to include on your holiday wish list. For other book suggestions, check out other entries on the Bowery Boys Bookshelf. Pretend GPS was never invented or that man never sent […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Lovely photos of the horrible New York garbage strike of 1911

New York street cleaners and garbage workers (sometimes referred to as ‘ashcart men’) went on strike on November 8, 1911, over 2,000 men walking off their jobs in protest over staffing and work conditions. More importantly, that April, the city relegated garbage pickup to nighttime shifts only, and cleaners often worked solo. This may have […]

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A Most Violent Year Know Your Mayors Politics and Protest

The Riots of 1834: New York City’s first direct election for mayor

We’re getting a new mayor! So we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors. Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This longtime feature of this website is being rebooted with […]

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Events

The Bowery Boys live at Joe’s Pub — Stream it for free this Halloween

Tom Meyers and Greg Young are returning to the stage of Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater this Sunday (October 31) for a special live Halloween edition of The Bowery Boys‘ Ghost Stories of Old New York. The show is sold out — but you can still watch it from home. Tune in on the […]

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Landmarks Mysterious Stories

New York City’s Most Famous Haunted Houses

For fifteen years now, The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast has featured a special Halloween show focusing on some of New York City’s scariest tales. You can find our back catalog of ghost story podcasts here.  Here’s a little tribute to some of our favorite haunted homes — which also just happen to be fascinating historic […]

Categories
American History Landmarks

The Statue of Liberty turns 135 years old: Eleven facts about her 1886 dedication

The Statue of Liberty celebrates her 135th birthday today. Technically, I suppose, it’s the anniversary of her dedication, a star-studded, pomp-laden ceremony that took place on Friday, October 28, 1886. But for many months previous, she was a fierce presence in the harbor, as the copper monument was arduously stitched together from far flung pieces — […]

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Food History Holidays

Loft’s Candies: Vintage Halloween treats from the Jazz Age

The Loft Candy Company exclusively operated several locations throughout the New York area in the 1910s-30s, many of them proper restaurants. For the Jazz Age candy lover, they were heaven on earth. Occasionally you’ll find an old Loft’s neon sign today, peering from a crumbling facade. Loft’s candy factory was over in Long Island City, […]