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County History Conference: Lessons from Ulster County

Counties should have county history conferences. So I have been preaching since 2011 when I initiated five such conferences in the Hudson Valley and helped organize four of them. One of them was the Ulster County History Conference. While it was not as successful as the Orange and Putnam counties’ events, it did provide a […]

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History at Columbia University: Report from a Battle Front in the Culture Wars

On April 5, while doing research, I took a lunch-break and picked up a copy of the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia University undergraduate newspaper. In reading the paper, I came across several articles directly related to history and the current culture wars. Since I have a sample of only one newspaper, I can’t determine […]

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My Own History Advocacy Day in Albany

Tourism Action Day occurred on March 12 this year, one week after Parks Advocacy Day. The sequence worked out well for me as I got to see some legislators twice in a very brief time. Tourism Action Day was organized by the Tourist Industry Coalition. According to its website, the New York State Tourism Industry […]

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Imperiled Promise: History and the NYSOPRHP

Imperiled Promise is the name of an NPS-commissioned study on the state of history within the NPS. The subject was the focus of a series of posts in 2017. The consultants (professors) hired to conduct the study interviewed NPS staff, gathered data, and produced a report documenting the history situation and recommending changes. Given the […]

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NYSOPRHP Advocacy

On March 5, I participated in Park Advocacy Day in Albany. The event was organized by Parks & Trails New York. As you might suspect, even though the term “Historic Preservation” is contained within the name NYSOPRHP, the state organization also is responsible for 35 historic sites as was mentioned several times during the course […]

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Negroes and the American Dream: Hidden Figures, Open Dreams

The story of middle passage blacks in New York now moves to the 20th century. So far various posts have covered * the diminishment of the story of middle passage blacks during the two centuries time of slavery until 1827 and some of the efforts to recover and tell the story (see Forgetting July 4, […]

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Historic Preservation: The New York City Experience

On Saturday, March 3, I attended the 24th annual Preservation Conference run by the Historic Districts Council (HDC).  According to its website: Our mission is to ensure the preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings and public spaces in New York City, uphold the integrity of New York City’s Landmarks Law, and further the preservation ethic. […]

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Twelve Years a Slave – What about the Other Years?

Solomon Northup, born 1808, died around 1863, was a slave for 12 years from 1841 to 1853.  What about the rest of his life? What about his life as a free person for the first 32/3 years of his life? What about his life for the last ten or so years of life? In the […]

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Undoing the Whitewashing of Black History in New York

In this post, I continue an issue I first wrote about on June 16, 2016, Forgetting July 4, 1827.  The post addressed some of the ways the first two centuries of black history in New York from slavery to emancipation had been forgotten or downplayed over the years. The post included some examples of people, […]

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