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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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American History

New York’s Poignant Memorial to Lincoln’s Death Is In A Very Odd Place

Abraham Lincoln died 150 years ago today in a Washington DC rowhouse, shot and killed by the actor John Wilkes Booth while the president was attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater the previous evening. The news hit the North as some sort of horrible dream.  Confederate general Robert E Lee had just surrendered […]

An historic New Years Day editorial from 150 years ago, as the Emancipation Proclamation takes effect

In black churches throughout America 150 years ago, gatherers celebrated ‘Watch Night’ on December 21, 1862, counting down to the moment when Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would take effect. The carte-de-visite above celebrates a watch night that took place in Boston. [LOC] The following text is taken from the New York Tribune on January 1, […]

An historic New Years Day editorial from 150 years ago, as the Emancipation Proclamation takes effect

In black churches throughout America 150 years ago, gatherers celebrated ‘Watch Night’ on December 21, 1862, counting down to the moment when Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would take effect. The carte-de-visite above celebrates a watch night that took place in Boston. [LOC] The following text is taken from the New York Tribune on January 1, […]

Fernando Wood: More on Lincoln’s wily scoundrel

While the Confederacy may be the enemy in Stephen Spielberg‘s new film ‘Lincoln‘, it is a defeated and toothless one, tattered and on the cusp of surrender. But as this is a legislative melodrama, not a war film, the real foes are the South-sympathizing, anti-war Democrats, opposed to passing Abraham Lincoln’s signature Thirteenth Amendment, which […]

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Planes Trains and Automobiles Podcasts

The Bowery Boys High Line audio walking tour, featuring tales of the Titanic, the Manhattan Project and 1,000 Stevies

Cookie heaven: Trains pull into a factory owned by the National Biscuit Company, between W. 15th and 16th streets, July 30, 1950. Could those cars be filled with crates of freshly made Oreo cookies? (See comments section below for the anser.) By 1958, the snack company had pulled all production from New York’s west side. […]

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Gangs of New York

Execution in Five Points: Piracy, slave trade and the Tombs

Sometimes you can look back at history and think that nothing ever changes. And sometimes you find something that makes New York seem extraordinary unrecognizable, a city besieged by near barbaric crises. The image above depicts a scene from February 21, 1862, in the courtyard of the famous Tombs prison in the Five Points neighborhood. […]

William Seward: a park in his honor, while sitting in another

Mr. Seward, with the best seat in the park in 1934. He does seem awfully thin though, almost like a certain president. (At least, some people thought so.) This month marks the 135th anniversary of an extraordinary gift endowed to Madison Square Park — the statue of William Seward. the former New York governor and […]

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Podcasts

Welcome to 1864! A 24-karat gold hoax, New York’s first theme restaurant, and a Confederate plot to torch the city

Barnum’s American Museum at left (the building with the flag) and the Astor House at right, from the vantage of City Hall Park, circa 1850. Both buildings were victims of the Confederate plot of 1864 to burn the city. PODCAST We’re officially subtitling this ‘Strange Tales of 1864’, presenting you with a series of odd, fascinating […]

Troubled times: Dr. King and Abe Lincoln visit New York

February 1961: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is presented with an award by the Americans for Democratic Action. On either side of him is former New York governor Herbert H. Lehman and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited New York University and spoke to the campus […]

From Washington To Lincoln, via the streets of New York

It takes lots of creativity — and a really full Metrocard — but you can conceivably visit places and important artifacts representing or associated with most of the presidents between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in your personal celebration of Presidents Day. Just check the following places off your list (and if you have any […]

History in the making: Beatles, Lincoln, James Duane

Ladies in a fountain: fans wait impatiently outside the Plaza Hotel Forty-five years ago today, the Beatles arrive in New York City for their first American appearance. Needless to say, there was some enthusiasm. Read all about it here. Another American icon Abraham Lincoln didn’t have quite the same reception when he arrived here for […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: McSorley’s Old Ale House

Grab yourself a couple mugs of dark ale and learn about the history of one of New York City’s oldest bars, serving everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Lennon — and eventually even women! Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE McSorley’s […]

George W. Bush … on horseback!

Okay nobody may ever honor our current president with a lavish equestrian statue, unless it’s a joke and he’s wearing a cowboy hat. But military tradition and the neo-classical and Beaux-Arts predilictions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries slapped many commanders in chiefs onto a saddle for decoration. New York city has five […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: Union Square

This former English-garden style park became the heart of protest and the labor movement. Join the Bowery Boys as we dig into the history of Union Square, from Book Row to Klein’s. Listen to it for free on iTunes or other podcasting services. Or you can download or listen to it HERE An old view […]