Shortly before the City of New Rochelle recently became nationally famous (or infamous ) as an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, a controversy was developing over the threatened destruction of the Thomas Paine Museum Memorial Building on North Avenue. [Read more…] about A Last Chance To Save The Thomas Paine Museum
The City of New Rochelle, the last home of Thomas Paine, is beginning to undergo something of an economic renaissance. A number of the City’s tremendous historical resources however, remain neglected.
The Thomas Paine Museum on North Avenue — once the centerpiece of an international effort to recognize and promote the importance of Thomas Paine – has been vacant for years and is headed for sale and destruction. [Read more…] about Crisis: Forgetting Thomas Paine in New Rochelle
On November 26, 1883, a large statue of George Washington by the American Sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward was erected in front of New York City’s Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street, which statue remains there to this day.
This more than life size statute of George Washington was erected as part of a huge celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Evacuation Day, the day that the British finally left New York City on November 25, 1783 and Washington entered the City to claim it for the new American government. [Read more…] about Hoisting the Flag: An Evacuation Day Tradition
The Mill Street Synagogue, the first synagogue in North America, was constructed in 1730 and located on what today is 26 South William Street in Lower Manhattan. It was from this synagogue that two of the leading Jewish figures in eighteenth and early nineteenth century America, Gershom Mendes Seixas and later Mordecai Noah, influenced the Jewish community in the city of New York and beyond.
Although one of the most important sites in the history of the Jewish people in America, currently 26 South William Street is occupied by an Icon parking garage. It’s across the street from Dubliners restaurant and up the street from 85 Broad Street, the old Goldman Sachs building. In a city of perhaps more than 2 million Jewish residents, there is nothing that would inform a passersby or others of the importance of this place. [Read more…] about Manhattan’s Mill Street Synagogue: A Short History
On October 28, 2018, the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA), the Sons of the Revolution of the State of New York, the New York Veteran Corps of Artillery, and various French civic and military groups will hold the Sixth Annual Saratoga/Yorktown celebration in the cemetery at St. Paul’s Chapel and at Trinity Churchyard.
This celebration is intended to honor the American victories in the two most important battles of the American Revolution — the Battles of Saratoga on October 17, 1777 and the Battle of Yorktown on October 19, 1781. It is also intended to honor three important Revolutionary War figures connected with those battles who are buried in Trinity Churchyard — General Horatio Gates, Alexander Hamilton, and Marinus Willett. [Read more…] about NYC Elections of 1800: Alexander Hamilton and Horatio Gates
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
242 years after John Adams’ exhortation, people in the city of New York are still struggling with how to celebrate July 4, and its meaning. In the City of New York July 4 celebrations held after the enactment of the U.S. Constitution were anything but nonpartisan. [Read more…] about Tammany and NYC’s Fourth of July Celebrations
This year on Sunday October 15, 2017at 2:30 pm in Trinity Churchyard, the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA) with other groups will celebrate the Fourth Annual Commemoration of the American victories at the Battles of Saratoga (October 17, 1777) and Yorktown (October 19, 1781).
Whereas the Battle of Bunker Hill has been celebrated with a parade in Boston since 1786, New York perhaps because of its status as a City of immigrants has been somewhat slower in recognizing its very rich Revolutionary War history. Thus it is perhaps not completely surprising that it is 225 years behind Boston in commemorating these two most important battles in the Revolutionary War which are directly connected with sites in Lower Manhattan. [Read more…] about Marking Lower Manhattan History: Saratoga, Yorktown Commemorations
On July 4, 1817, at Rome, New York on a site now occupied by the Worthington Industries Steel plant, there was a ceremony allegedly turning the first spade of earth on the construction of the Erie Canal, one of the most important public works projects in history.
As we approach the Bicentennial of the Canal’s construction, we would do well to better understand this history and its importance. On July 2, 2017 there will be a march through Lower Manhattan sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Historical Association celebrating this event. [Read more…] about The Erie Canal, New York City, and Democratic Government
On November 25, 1783, George Washington marched down Broadway in New York City retaking the last British stronghold in the United States. By prearrangement, the British and their many Tory supporters were to leave the City by 12 pm. The American flag was to be raised at the flagpole at the north end of what is today Bowling Green park, officially ending the American Revolution. There was, however, one minor snag. When the American advance guard sought to put up the 13-star American flag, they discovered the British had greased the pole, so that the British flag could not be brought down. Washington said he would not enter the lower part of the City until the American flag was flying. A young sailor John Van Arsdale then bought cleats from a local hardware store and shimmied up the flagpole to raise the American flag, and Washington’s triumphant march to Lower Manhattan continued. [Read more…] about The Fight To Make Evacuation Day A NYC Holiday
The next referendum to decide whether to hold a New York State Constitutional Convention will be held on November 7, 2017. During the last two referenda in 1997 and 1977 (they are held every 20 years) voters declined to hold such a convention. In fact the last time a convention to revise the New York State Constitution was held was almost 50 years ago in 1967, and despite the hard work of its delegates, voters rejected the revised Constitution in its entirety.
Although amendments to the New York State Constitution occur with some regularity (including several last November), the last time the Constitution was changed through the Convention process was in 1938, almost eighty years ago.
Nevertheless, the history of Constitutional Conventions in New York State is not as bleak as this recent history would suggest. In fact, three New York State Constitutional Conventions — those of 1777, 1821 and 1938 — helped shape the State’s political history. [Read more…] about 3 Important NYS Constitutional Conventions