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Podcasts Wartime New York

The War on Newspaper Row: Pulitzer, Hearst and the Sinking of the USS Maine

EPISODE 336 The newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst — the New York World and the New York Journal — were locked in a fierce competition for readers in the mid 1890s. New Yorkers loved it. The paper’s frantic, sensational style was so shocking that it became known as ‘yellow journalism’. So what […]

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Wartime New York

New York doughnut history: From Washington Irving’s olykoeks to doughnut huts in Union Square

Today is National Doughnut Day which is not a real holiday although that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in whatever powdered, glazed, creme-filled way you see fit. However you will be surprised to learn that this day traces its roots to the Salvation Army and World War I. To provide for the American troops fighting in France in […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Wartime New York

Nazis in New York Harbor: In ‘The Agitator’, a wayward sailor leads an anti-fascist resistance

Oh what a glamorous party! Those ‘midnight sailing parties’ along the Hudson River piers, partygoers boarding luxury ocean liners as the sun set, drinking and dining with passengers before the ship set sail for destinations abroad. One hot summer evening of 1935, the crew of the SS Bremen welcomed almost 5,000 non-passengers aboard the jewel of the German ocean […]

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Wartime New York

“To the memory of the Brave Soldiers and Sailors Who Saved the Union”

This Monday (May 27, 2019), a Memorial Day observance will be held from 10 a.m to noon at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Riverside Park. In honor of the holiday, we’re rerunning this 2015 article on this oft-forgotten monument. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on the Upper West Side has been the centerpiece for Memorial […]

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Wartime New York

Nazis In New York: Watch the Oscar-nominated documentary short “A Night At The Garden”

Events such as these used to be unthinkable, anomalies of history that once played like speculative fiction. But this really did happen. Eighty years ago this month — on February 20, 1939 — over 20,000 members of the German American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization, gathered at Madison Square Garden (at its Hell’s Kitchen location on Eighth Avenue) to unite the philosophies of […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Wartime New York

‘Shooting Lincoln’: The Complicated Story Behind America’s First Wartime Photographs

Alexander Gardner is a bit of a Nikola Tesla-like figure in American history in that his contributions were largely overlooked in his day, concealed within a partnership with a famous business titan. That titan was Mathew Brady, the most famous photographer of the 19th century, with studios in New York and Washington D.C. that captured […]

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Wartime New York

The marks of World War I, scattered throughout the five boroughs

Echoes of the first World War, one hundred years behind us, can still be found in virtually every neighborhood of New York City. In Kevin C. Fitzpatrick’s revealing and compact guidebook World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War, these memories linger in familiar landmarks and obscure […]

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Neighborhoods Wartime New York

Two strange secrets of DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell’s Kitchen

DeWitt Clinton Park, far west in Hell’s Kitchen between West 52nd and West 54th Streets, has two unusual features that harken to a time one hundred years ago — and millions of years ago! The park’s most striking feature is an unusual rock formation that juts out just west of the sports field. This unique […]

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Wartime New York

OUR ISOLATION IS OVER: In ‘The Great War’, PBS presents a different take on America’s entry into World War I

One hundred years ago this week, the United States of America rose to assist its European allies and officially declared war on Germany. This was an unprecedented moment in this country’s history, a signal of its rising importance on the world stage and a declaration of the United States as the standard bearer of democracy. […]

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Wartime New York

Heroine of the century: A New Jersey woman saves lives during terrible explosion

On the afternoon on January 11, 1917, workers in downtown Manhattan skyscrapers were jolted from their desks by a startling sight in New Jersey — an exploding munitions plant in Kingsland, a small community about nine miles south of New York City. “For four hours Northern New Jersey, New York City, Westchester and the western end […]

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Wartime New York

Governors Island: New York’s newly transformed monument (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information, […]

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Wartime New York

History in the Making 4/14: Debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Edition

— Big Bowery Boys book news! The release date for Adventures In Old New York got pushed back to June a couple weeks but for the best reason ever — the book is enormous, almost 500 pages, and full of spectacular images. It’s really shaping up to become an attractive, entertaining and usable book. We […]

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Podcasts Wartime New York

Danger in the Harbor: World War I and the Black Tom Explosion of 1916

PODCAST The tale of the Black Tom Explosion which sent shrapnel into the Statue of Liberty and rocked the region around New York harbor. On July 30, 1916, at just after 2 in the morning, a massive explosion ripped apart the island of Black Tom on the shoreline near Jersey City, sending a shockwave through […]

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Podcasts Wartime New York

Adventures on Governors Island

PODCAST What can you find on Governors Island? Almost 400 years of action-packed history! This island in New York Harbor has been at the heart of the city’s defense since the days of the Revolutionary War, and its story takes us back to the very beginnings of European occupation in America. Its two fortifications — […]

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Wartime New York

New York: The City of Forts

The vestiges of America’s oldest wars surround us to this day. New York City has had more military fortifications contained within it than perhaps any other major American city. Part of this has to do with its roots in the American Revolution and the subsequent fears of a return invasion in the early 19th century. Today’s existing forts […]