History Detectives

Category Archives: Blasts from the Past

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Explore the Beekman Family Tree!

How far back can you trace your family tree? The Beekman family can trace its roots in New York City all the way back to 1647, when Wilhelmus Beekman arrived in New Amsterdam on the same ship as Director-General Peter Stuyvesant! Wilhelmus Beekman was born on April 28, 1623 in Holland. As a young man […]

Blast From the Past: The Mystery of the Missing Eagles

It all started with very good intentions. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office as the 32nd President of the United States in March of 1933. It was a very dark time in our country’s history – we were in the middle of the worst economic depression we had ever seen or would see. One […]

Blast from the Past: The New York City Draft Riots

By Jacqueline Smith During the summer of 1863, New York City erupted in violence. July marks the 150th anniversary of the New York City Draft Riots-the largest civil uprising in our nation’s history. From Monday July 13, 1863 until Thursday July 16, 1863 mobs wreaked havoc on the streets of New York, looting stores, attacking […]

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