History Detectives

Category Archives: Blasts from the Past

Blast from the Past: Lincoln and the Jews

By Liz Stern In Jerusalem, there is a beautiful street near the King David Hotel named for Abraham Lincoln. There is a similar one in Tel Aviv and a memorial statue of Lincoln in Ramat Gan. Why is there devotion in Israel to the 16th President of the United States? Abraham Lincoln was a man […]

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Dining Cars during the Golden Age of Railroading

By Leyla Hamedi The Golden Age of Railroading refers to the late 1800s when the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad led to easier, more comfortable, and quite dignified train travel. Travelers used to have to leave trains at designated water stops if they wanted to get something to eat and more often than not, […]

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Brr! A Brief History of Winter Fashion in New York

Winter is here! It seems that everyone is pulling on their boots, sweaters, parkas, and jackets this week. The weather channel is warning of snow, and, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is clear that the cold weather is here to stay. Have you ever wondered how people used to stay warm in the […]

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Blast from the Past: Tiny Incubator Babies: The Coney Island Attraction

Like many children growing up in busy families, sometimes I had to go into work with my dad. I loved it! My dad worked in a big city hospital and when we got there, he would guide me through the labyrinth of hallways to the neonatal intensive care unit where he parked me in front […]

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Adults Playing Dress-Up – Bill Cunningham: Facades

So, you think kids are the only ones allowed to play dress-up? Renowned fashion photographer Bill Cunningham would disagree. The exhibition Bill Cunningham: Facades , currently on view at the New-York Historical Society through June 15, showcases a stunning series of photographs taken by Cunningham of models in period costumes all around New York City. To […]

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Happy 150th Birthday, Nellie Bly! Celebrating This Courageous Journalist, Feminist, Traveler and Fighter for Justice

One hundred and fifty years ago today, in the western town of Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania, the thirteenth child of Judge Michael Cochran was born. Her given name was Elizabeth Jane. All the other mothers in Cochran’s Mills had the habit of dressing their daughters in muted brown and gray fabrics…but not Mary Jane Cochran. She […]

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Frances Wright: Unsung Heroine of the Suffrage Movement

When you think of Women’s History Month, which names come to mind? Many people rightfully associate Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton with the women’s rights movement of the 1800s. After all, they founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, an organization to help women gain the right to vote. For all of […]

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Another Gettysburg Address

One hundred and fifty years ago today, thousands gathered in Gettysburg, PA for the dedication of a national cemetery for those who died at the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863. The three days of this battle left over 51,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead, missing, captured, or wounded. The country needed to heal from […]

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Halloween History: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The origins of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” lie shrouded in mystery. Some say that the character of the Headless Horseman was inspired by the German folktale “The Wild Huntsman.” Washington Irving may have heard this tale while traveling abroad. Others insist that the Headless Horseman was based on an actual Hessian soldier who was […]

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Halloween History: Fortune Telling Games

Halloween has a fascinating history, and the New-York Historical Society will explore some of it at our first Spirits of Hallowe’ens Past family party. The party will take place on Halloween from 5-7 pm and is free with Museum admission. The night’s activities are inspiring a series of Halloween History blog posts. This first post […]

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