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Podcasts Revolutionary History

Tearing Down King George: The Monumental Summer of 1776

PODCAST In New York City, during the tumultuous summer of 1776, the King of England lost his head. EPISODE 333 Two hundred and fifty years ago, Colonial New York received a monumental statue of King George III on horseback, an ostentatious and rather awkward display which once sat in Bowling Green park at the tip […]

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Revolutionary History

Fort Tryon Park: The breathtaking park in Manhattan named for an American enemy

Ask any New Yorker at random where the site of Fort Washington once stood, and chances are your query will be met with a furrowed brow, followed by frantic tapping on a smartphone. (ANSWER: It was located on the site of today’s Bennett Park in Washington Heights.) But ask about Fort Tryon, and chances are […]

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Revolutionary History

Love in the Revolutionary War: Washington’s unexpected visitors at the Blue Bell Tavern

Before it closed in 2011, the Coliseum Cinema in Washington Heights proclaimed itself to be the ‘New York City’s oldest operating movie theater’. When it was first constructed in 1920, its stage would have hosted vaudeville acts as well as silent motion pictures. But few films that ever premiered at the Coliseum would depict events […]

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Revolutionary History

George Washington’s copy of the Declaration of Independence

George Washington’s copy of the Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most well-known of the almost 200 copies first made of the document. As a facsimile, it’s certainly not the the most valuable document held by the Library of Congress — after all, they have Thomas Jefferson’s actual rough draft of the Declaration, along with tens of thousands of his other […]

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Queens History Revolutionary History

George Washington’s inauguration and the 1939 World’s Fair

Today (April 30th) is the 230th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, sworn in atFederal Hallas the first President of the United States.  It is also the 80th anniversary of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  That was not an accident. The monumental events of America’s founding would be immortalized by the fair in some rather unusual […]

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

New York City during the Revolutionary War: Besieged and occupied by the British (1776-1783)

PODCAST What was life like in New York City from the summer of 1776 to the fall of 1783 — the years of British occupation during the Revolutionary War? New York plays a very intriguing role in the story of American independence. The city and the surrounding area were successfully taken by the British by […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Revolutionary History

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: Uncovering New York’s darkest secrets of the Revolutionary War

The Brooklyn Navy Yard, no longer a bustling shipyard, lives on as a vibrant commercial compound of movie studios, bourbon distilleries and organic rooftop farms. Its waterfront, facing into Wallabout Bay, is relatively peaceful today. There are no remnants of its genuinely disturbing past. During the Revolutionary War, New York was a British stronghold, and […]

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Revolutionary History

The Martyr and the Traitor: Choosing Sides In The Revolutionary War

You may know Nathan Hale well from history books or from New York’s numerous memorials as a symbol of American patriotism, dying for his country long before anybody actually thought it would ever be a country. The British hanged him in New York as a spy in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1776. He had performed […]

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

New York: The first federal capital and birthplace of the Bill of Rights

PODCAST Part Two of our two-part series on New York City in the years following the Revolutionary War. During a handful of months in 1789 and 1790, representatives of the new nation of the United States came together in New York City to make decisions which would forever affect the lives of Americans. Related: Listen to Part […]

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Revolutionary History

The Old Swamp Church and the story of the first Speaker of the House

Here’s some old fashioned New York City trivia for you — There’s never been a Speaker of the House from the city of New York, although there have been a couple from New York state –  the otherwise unremarkable John W. Taylor, an upstate New Yorker from the Saratoga region, in 1820-21; and a central New York representative, […]

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Revolutionary History

Perilous Night: The Great Fire of 1776

PODCAST The circumstances surrounding the Great Fire of 1776, the events of the Revolutionary War leading up to the disaster, and the tragic tale of the American patriot Nathan Hale. A little after midnight on September 21, 1776, the Fighting Cocks Tavern on Whitehall Street caught on fire. The drunken revelers inside the tavern were unable […]

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Revolutionary History

Ten facts about Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill

Big news in the world of numismatics — the U.S. Treasury Department has announced that Alexander Hamilton, long the solitary face on the $10 bill, will be joined by a woman. But who? His wife Eliza Schuyler? Harriet Tubman? Eleanor Roosevelt? And how will she be featured? Thankfully, he’s not leaving the bill, which he has graced since 1928. Here are a […]

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Revolutionary History

Ten facts about Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill

Big news in the world of numismatics — the U.S. Treasury Department has announced that Alexander Hamilton, long the solitary face on the $10 bill, will be joined by a woman. But who? His wife Eliza Schuyler? Harriet Tubman? Eleanor Roosevelt? And how will she featured? Thankfully he’s not leaving the bill which he has […]

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Preservation Revolutionary History

History in the Making 1/9: Main Squeeze Forever Edition

The Lower East Side lost a great one this week. Walter Kühr, the owner of the Main Squeeze accordion store, died last weekend.  He completely succeeded at his strange but profound mission in life — to keep accordion music alive in the heart of a once-thriving immigrant neighborhood.  He formed the Main Squeeze Orchestra — an […]

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Revolutionary History

Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton: The terrible consequences of an ugly insult

PODCAST Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met at a clearing in Weehawken, NJ, in the early morning on July 11, 1804, to mount the most famous duel in American history. But why did they do it? This is the story of two New York lawyers — two Founding Fathers — that so detested each other […]