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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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Podcasts 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 […]

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Revolutionary History

Richmond Hill: West Village’s former Vice Presidential mansion and the lonely refuge of Aaron Burr

Richmond Hill, the spacious mansion and 26-acre estate on the outskirts of town that had once been George Washington‘s headquarters and later the home of John Adams, was also home to another vice president — Aaron Burr.  This was the place he lived on that fateful day, July 11, 1804, when he entered into a […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Revolutionary History

25 Great Books About the Founding Fathers (and Mothers)

Independence Day may be over, but our celebration of the Founding Fathers continues all this week, culminating in a brand new podcast this Friday! I thought I’d share some of my favorite books on the subject of America building, great reads on the personalities of the men and women who helped form America.  Included here […]

Categories
Pop Culture Revolutionary History

A primer before this Sunday’s Revolutionary War series Turn

Courtesy AMC This Sunday (9pm EST) marks the debut of AMC’s new Revolutionary War drama Turn, documenting the beginnings of George Washington’s mysterious spy circuit The Culper Ring and starring Jamie Bell as Washington’s spy leader Abraham Woodhull. Follow along with me on Twitter this Sunday as I throw in a few historical details related […]

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Revolutionary History

Aaron Burr’s cousin built the first bridge over the Hudson River – in the same year Burr shot Alexander Hamilton

Above: A wooden bridge in Kentucky using the Burr truss, invented by Theodore Burr and first used over the Hudson River’s first bridge span. (Courtesy LOC) People has schemed to put a bridge over the Hudson River for over two hundred years.  That task would prove most difficult to those in Manhattan, given the distance […]

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Revolutionary History

‘My American Revolution’: Imagining 1776 surrounding us

BOWERY BOYS BOOK OF THE MONTH Each month I’ll pick a book — either brand new or old, fiction or non-fiction — that offers an intriguing take on New York City history, something that uses history in a way that’s uniquely unconventional or exposes a previously unseen corner of our city’s complicated past.  Then over […]

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Revolutionary History

From prison to post office: The odd fate of a Dutch church

 One need only walk past the old Limelight in the neighborhood of Chelsea to understand the strange flexibility of church architecture. This former Richard Upjohn-designed Episcopal church at West 20th Street and Sixth Avenue was transformed into a rehab center in the 1970s, then a notorious nightclub in the ’80s, then an upscale mall. And […]

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Revolutionary History Staten Island History

Aaron Burr, Staten Island, and the tale of his death mask

Yes, Hamilton fans, we are a proud people, judging from the many notes and supportive comments yesterday left on the Facebook page on the birthday of Alexander Hamilton, tinged with strong anti-Aaron Burr sentiment. But, from our comfortable vantage of the future, have we been too harsh on the killer Vice President? Sure, he absolutely […]

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Revolutionary History

To Mr. Alexander Hamilton, on his birthday

“A garden, you know, is a very usual refuge of a disappointed politician. Accordingly, I have purchased a few acres about nine miles from town, have built a house, and am cultivating a garden.” Alexander Hamilton, in a letter to South Carolina statesman Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, regarding Hamilton Grange Today’s the birthday of Alexander Hamilton, New […]

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Podcasts Revolutionary History

PODCAST: The British Invasion: New York 1776

It’s 1776 and revolution is in the air. Join the Bowery Boys as we tackle the British invasion and takeover of New York City. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE Worked-up New Yorkers, rushing down to Bowling Green to rip down […]

Categories
Revolutionary History

What’s your favorite Nathan Hale death spot?

Nathan Hale was a 21 year old Connecticut native who volunteered for George Washington’s Continental Army and stayed behind in New York after the Army’s retreat in September 1776 in order to gain intelligence from the British. Hale was unfortunately caught — in Flushing Bay, Queens — brought to Manhattan and hanged, though not before […]

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Revolutionary History

Revolutionary Anger in Bowling Green

Bowling Green is now a small, pleasant fountained park at the foot of the Alexander Hamilton Custom House (now the National Museum of the American Indian). Its blooming flowers and quiet charm completely mask its significance to American history. For in the Colonial era, this area, once the site of the public well, was the meeting […]