Queer Theatre at La MaMa (1962-1980): This exhibit, which was created by Pooja Desai, a student in NYU’s Program in Archives/Public history, looks at theatrical experiments from La MaMa’s early years (1962-1980) through a queer lens. Using objects from La MaMa’s Archives, Desai reconstructs a history of the plays, production companies, playwrights, and directors who presented work on La MaMa’s stages that either reflected a “queer sensibility” or were relevant to queer/trans/LGBTQA audiences.
In less than a decade, The New Deal changed the face of America and laid the foundation for success in World War II and the prosperity of the postwar era – the greatest and fairest epoch in American history. The Living New Deal project inventories, maps and publicizes the achievements of the New Deal and its public works in all 50 states and outlying territories. [more inside]
The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously. [more inside]
Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York." And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart." Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book, published in 1920. [more inside]
How Silicon Valley Became The Man The Harvard Business Review's Justin Fox interviews Stanford historian Fred Turner about how the New Communalists molded the Valley in their image.
Recalling 1993 lets you "Step back twenty years into New York City's past. Call from any NYC pay phone to hear what was happening on that block in 1993." Other notable public history projects include the History Pin app and Shimon Attie's installations in Berlin and Rome.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
The Titanic Guide to New York City. An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]
'History on the Half Shell.' "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready, Oysters (via) dear, We can begin to feed." . . . . . "O Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?' But answer came there none-- And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.------Lewis Carroll-------
New Orleans' critical 17th Street Levee has apparently been plugged, but more work remains. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a 1999 report, National Register Evaluation of New Orleans Drainage System, that discusses changes to the system throughout its history. It's worth noting that delays in implementing sewage and drainage improvements go back to the 19th century, even after the American South confronted the deadly Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878 (the last U.S. case was in 1996). More inside...