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Remembering 9/11: Historical Memory

Where were you on the Day of Infamy? Where were you when you learned that Kennedy had been shot? Where were you when the towers fell? Perhaps the more appropriate question to ask is not “where were you…?” but “were you?” In other words, we have shifted from a time of people remembering events in […]

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Columbus Day: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

First contact is a venerable science fiction concept. It refers to the literal first physical contact between beings who previously had had no direct contact with each other. Frequently, prior to first contact, one group, the technologically more powerful one, observes the second one possibly leading to close encounters of the first kind. Or in […]

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Remember the Titans: Jephthah’s Daughter and Sons of Bitches

The story of Jephthah’s Daughter is a short one in the Book of Judges, Chapter 11. Within biblical scholarship, it has been identified as a “text of terror,” a designation coined by my own biblical professor. This fearsome sobriquet derives from the deadly end experienced by the young woman. She was sacrificed to the Lord […]

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Irene to Irma: Six Years a Blogger

September 19, 2017, marked the six year anniversary of my writing blogs on the state of New York State history. A month earlier I had written a post for New York State History about a teacherhostel/historyhostel in the Mohawk Valley conducted just prior to Irene. John Warren, the editor of the blog contacted me and […]

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The Healthcare Debate: Déjà-Vu All Over Again

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What goes around, comes around. These simple universally-known precepts are beyond the mental capabilities of elected officials in the DC Expanse. People there operate under a different set of guidelines. They believe that If you deploy a superior weapon effectively, the other side will never […]

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Noah and the Erie Canal: Amos Eaton, Rensselaer Institute

This year marks the onset of the bicentennial of the construction of the Erie Canal. As part of that event the world conference of canals is being held this September in Syracuse with various field trips to canal-related sites. In this post, I wish to address one aspect of the creation of the Erie Canal […]

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County and Borough Historians Institute

On August 25, 2017, I attended the one-day County and Borough Historians Institute at the New York State Museum. The session was called by Devin Lander, the New York State historian. In part it was a continuation of a process started last year in a similar session held last October in conjunction with the New […]

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Jerusalem Throne Games

I interrupt the normal flow of history and political blogs for an announcement of great importance. My new book Jerusalem Throne Games: Bible Story Battles after the Death of David (Oxbow Books) has been published. The book is a relentlessly political approach to the battle for power after the death of David as fought through […]

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New York and Robert E. Lee

New York State has the potential to seize a leadership position in the national discussion over the Robert E. Lee statues and the place of slavery and the Confederacy in American history. It can do so not because pre-Civil War Lee was stationed in New York while he was part of the military [and not […]

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King George III and Robert E. Lee

Once upon a time there was a statue to King George III in Manhattan, then there wasn’t. The statue was dedicated on April 26, 1770 at Bowling Green, the southern tip of the Manhattan island. It had been commissioned by the General Assembly of the New York colony. It was resolved: That an Equestrian Statue […]

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