Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades through time…

November 22, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy Thanksgiving! Whereas we have written multiple posts to celebrate Thanksgiving which focus on Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations, we thought this year we would give a shout-out to the resiliency of New Yorkers by directly the spotlight on the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades through time. Please enjoy this walk back through history:

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades

The Traveler… spreading the word… named director…

May 16, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

Blog-5-16-2016-American-Bible-SocietyToday I journeyed to New York City by the way of the New-York Spectator of May 15, 1816. There I found the announcement of the formation of “The American Bible Society” which still exist today. Some of the founding/early members include Elias Boudinot, who had been President of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783, John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, Daniel Coit Gilman, Edwin Francis Hyde, and Francis Scott Key. The front page report announced the formation of the organization and the third page report contained their resolutions. “… The leading feature of the constitution limits the operations… to the distribution of the bible without note or comment…”.

Also in the issue is an article “Bank of the United States” in which “The President and Senate have appointed the following named, Directors of the Bank of the United States… John Jacob Astor, of the city of New-York…”. Mr. Astor was known as the first prominent member of the Astor family, the first multi-millionaire in the United States and the fifth-richest man in American history.

~The Traveler

Guess he wasn’t thinking…

June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The  January 8, 1902 issue of the “Wellsville Daily Reporter” of New York has an interesting article of a construction worker who apparently wasn’t thinking when he attempted to thaw frozen dynamite (see below).

Perhaps the precursor to the shell game?

February 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The following “invention” appeared in the Scientific American dated November 23, 1878.  Perhaps the “shell game” was developed to take advantage of the abundance of this unsold product?

Interesting items on the Underground Railroad…

February 11, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The “Supplement to the New-York Daily Tribune“, May 11, 1849, has the following at the top of the front page. Note the incredibly strong pro-slavery bias in the first paragraph:

The Traveler… we’ve come a long way baby…

October 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week I traveled to The Woman’s Journal of October 14, 1911. This issue was celebrating after waiting two days for the outcome of the California election on the suffrage vote… “reading first with despair, then with growing hope and finally with jubilation the conflicting reports that came over the wires… Praise God. Victory ours. Four thousand majority.” The front page contains a photo of the Statue of Liberty with six stars surrounding her. These represented the states which have passed the “equal suffrage” — Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and now adding California.

The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention is traditionally viewed as the beginning of the Women’s Rights Movement. It was not until June 4, 1919 that Congress sent the proposal for the 19th Amendment, the woman’s right to vote, and then it was not until August 18, 1920 that the final ratification was passed, by the vote from Tennessee. It was a long road, but “we’ve come a long way baby” since then!

~The Traveler

What happened to this Yankee stadium?

August 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

A question for all the Yankee fans out there: what happened to this stadium?

The March 29, 1914 issue of the “New York Times” shows the “…Plans For Yankees Park…” with a detailed drawing captioned: “How the Yankees’ Ball Yard at 225th Street and Broadway Will Look When it is Completed.” and beneath which is a detailed article headed: “Yankees’ New Park To Hold 40,000 Fans” “Double-Deck Grand Stand of Steel and Concrete to be Completed in September“. The article (see photos) provides many details of the new ball park, however I can find no record of it being built.

The Yankee website notes that the team shared the Polo Grounds with the Giants from 1913 through the early 1920’s until the stadium called the “House that Ruth Built” was ready for use in 1923. Does anyone know the history of this “mystery stadium” supposedly built in 1914?

The Civil War… 150 years ago today… May 4, 1861

May 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We continue our weekly feature of reflecting upon the appropriate 150 year old issue of “Harper’s Weekly” from the perspective of a subscriber in 1861:

The front page of today’s May 4, 1861 issue portrays what seems to me an eerie sight. It is captioned: “The House-Tops In Charleston During the Bombardment of Sumter” and shows what appears to be hundreds of men and women watching the battle in the distance, smoke rising from the forts & what appears to be bomb blasts as well. It is as if they are watching fireworks on the 4th of July–but this is war!  Several of the women are shown doubled over in grief. It must have been a distressing event to witness.

The maps are always helpful in providing a geographic perspective of the war. A full page map shows: “…Part of Maryland and Virginia, Showing the Probable Theatre of the War”. It’s a great view of Chesapeake Bay, showing Baltimore to the north and Norfolk to the south, and including Washington, D.C. & other towns as well. I didn’t realize the nation’s capital was so close to the Bay.

Another full page shows: “The Great Meeting in Union Square, New York, to Support the Government” which includes both soldiers and citizens. Two other prints show the support for the war with the “Boston Regiments Embarking for Washington…” and a parade of “The Seventh Regiment, Marching Down Broadway to Embark for the War” with cheering fans along the way, even hanging from the windows and cheering from the rooftops–flags everywhere. It must have been a very special sight!

The drama & tragedy of war is certainly depicted in the print: “First Blood–The Sixth Mass. Regiment Fighting Their Way Through Baltimore”. It shows nearly hand-to-hand fighting, long rifles involved with killed & wounded on the ground. The daily reports can’t relay the violence a single print portrays.

Other prints are interesting as well showing the huge size of the “Stevens’ Bomb-Proof Floating Battery” (but made out of wood: how can it be bomb-proof?), “The Heroes of Fort Sumter” and soldiers preparing for war.

The Traveler… Madison Square Garden being sold… big shoes to fill…

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, by means of the Christian Science Monitor dated April 7, 1911. I was very surprised to find a photo headline “View In Madison Square Garden, Just Sold” with the article “Dispose of Madison Square Garden for Big Skyscraper Site”. Since I have personally visited Madison Square Gardens in my travels, I had to do some Googling for more information on this matter. I have found that there have actually been four Madison Square Gardens!! This was the second location and was located where the current New York Life Insurance building is located.

A second page article entitled “No ‘Famous Man’ for Princeton” caught my eye. “Princeton University has been searching the country for some ‘famous man’ to succeed Governor Wilson as president, but most of the famous ones ‘are already taken up.'” I guess when succeeding the Governor [and yet to become the US President!] those are big shoes to fill…

~The Traveler