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American History

Queen Elizabeth visits New York City

What do you buy a queen on her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years on the British throne? Well, most royal figures are quite difficult to buy for, but luckily, Queen Elizabeth has already revealed her preference in local department stores. For back in 1976, the woman who never goes shopping found herself one late afternoon […]

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American History

Doctor Alice, the Saks heiress, and the accidental nanny: Fascinating New York women who survived the TItanic

The Waiting Game: Down at the White Star Line’s Broadway offices near Bowling Green, anxious New Yorkers line the streets waiting for news about the sunken vessel. 1912 Over fifteen hundred people died the night the Titanic sank, April 14-15, 1912. The early reports from the New York newspapers, of course, spent their time mourning […]

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American History

Fiasco! New York’s first Republican presidential primary

One hundred years ago yesterday, New York hosted its first-ever Republican presidential primary. Not only was it an organizational failure of epic proportions, but the results handed a stunning and rare defeat to one of New York’s most iconic politicians. Making the 1912 primary a unique contest was that it was between two presidents — the […]

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American History

As Garfield fights for life, Arthur lays low in Murray Hill

There are several enemies in Candice Millard‘s ‘Destiny of the Republic‘, the terrific narrative history of the assassination of President James Garfield during the summer of 1881. The most obvious foe is the delusional Charles Guiteau, who believed himself the nation’s savior when he shot President Garfield twice at a Washington DC train station on […]

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American History

Where they lived: Victims of the Triangle Factory Fire, the homes they left behind, a hundred years later

Lonely tenement on Avenue C and 13th Street, near many homes of the Triangle Fire victims. photo by Percy Loomis Sperr [NYPL] From cable television to museums and campuses all over the city, you’ve been able to find a host of remembrances of the tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory one hundred years ago. […]

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American History

Where were you when John Lennon was killed?

Originally posted 2010 — Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Although he was murdered by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, it occurred at 10:50pm EST, and thus most heard about it the following day. On the evening of December 9th, thousands of people turned out for memorials throughout the […]

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American History

Barack Obama’s New York City

Since Barack Obama is the reason we don’t have a podcast this week, I thought I might as well spend a few moments looking into Obama’s short stay here in New York City, as a Columbia University college student from August 1981 to 1983, and as a community organizer until 1985. Grandpa and Grammy Dunham […]