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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… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Revolutionary History

‘Rebels at Sea’: How Privateers Helped Win American Independence

Privateers have been much maligned in history, so much so that perhaps you didn’t realize their important role in gaining America its independence from Great Britain. If your first image of a privateer is a sinister, blood-thirsty madman with a knife in his teeth and a skull on his sails, you’re probably thinking of a… Read More

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Revolutionary History

Theodore Burr built the first Hudson River bridge – in the same year his cousin shot Alexander Hamilton

People have schemed to put a bridge over the Hudson River for well over two hundred years.  That task would prove most difficult to those in Manhattan, given the distance between its shores and those of New Jersey. After several failed proposals, the two were linked with the Pennsylvania Railroad tunnels (1910), the Holland Tunnel… Read More

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Revolutionary History The First

The Unbelievable Life of Benjamin Franklin: A Podcast in Three Parts

Benjamin Franklin helped to create the modern world. His legacy is all around you — from the electricity which powers and illuminates our homes to the ideas that form our system of government. For the past three episodes of The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences (the Bowery Boys spin-off podcast from 2016-2018), Greg… Read More

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

A Perilous Night in New York: The Great Fire of 1776

PODCAST We revisit the story of the Great Fire of 1776, the drumbeat of war leading up to the disaster, and the tragic story of the American patriot Nathan Hale. On the occasion of the 245th anniversary of the Revolutionary War in New York City, we’re presenting a reedited, remastered version of an episode that… Read More

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Know Your Mayors Revolutionary History

Meet Mayor Marinus Willett, New York’s Warrior Mayor

With a new mayoral race on the horizon in New York City 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… Read More

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Know Your Mayors Revolutionary History

Meet James Duane, New York’s first mayor after the American Revolution

With a new mayoral race on the horizon in New York City we think its 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… Read More

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

Fraunces Tavern: Raise your glass to the Revolution!

PODCAST Fraunces Tavern is one of America’s most important historical sites of the Revolutionary War and a reminder of the great importance of taverns on the New York way of life during the Colonial era. This revered building at the corner of Pearl and Broad Street was the location of George Washington‘s farewell address to… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More

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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… Read More