Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: Events

Ellis Island’s Busiest Day

On April 17, 1907, Ellis Island had its busiest day ever, processing 11,747 individuals who just arrived to America. An average day had them processing about 5,000, so this must have overloaded them! According to the Ellis Island Foundation, “During this historic month [April 1907] of American immigration, the Port of New York received 197 ships [...]

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. But for the first time since 1888, the holiday will coincide with the first day of Hanukkah. So celebrate now, because this is not going to happen for another 70,000 years (give or take). The above Hanukkah lamp, or Hanukkiot, was [...]

Grand Illusion Tackles Class Relations During WWI

On Friday, October 25, the New-York Historical Society will host a free showing of Grand Illusion, with opening remarks by David Denby and Kati Marton, as part of its WWI and Its Legacy Film series. Directed by Jean Renoir, the film follows French officers attempting to escape a German POW camp, but Renoir uses the POW structure to comment on class relationships, war, and Europe’s changing social order.

Some Lessons From Benjamin Franklin For 4th of July

Ben Franklin was known for many things, but one of his most enduring legacies is his Poor Richard’s Almanack.  Published under his pseudonym, Ben Franklin released a yearly almanac from 1732 to 1758, filled with calendars, poems, sayings, and weather and astrological information. It is from these almanacs that we get most of Ben Franklin’s [...]

Mayor Ed Koch Speaks At WWII & NYC Opening Reception

On October 2, former NYC Mayor Edward I. Koch (now of bridge fame) spoke at the opening reception for WWII & NYC.  Having served in WWII, he recounted his memories of the war, and reminded the audience of the great, shared sacrifice thousands of Americans made. Below is his speech. I was 19 when I [...]

Ken Follett Brings History Alive

The title of Ken Follett’s new book about life during World War II, Winter of the World, is quite literal. “The triumph of Stalin’s regime in the Soviet Union and Hitler’s regime in Central Europe was a bloody tragedy for the human race. The keynote of that whole period was the struggle against the worst [...]

Genesee Brewing Brings History To Its Brew House

To celebrate our exhibition Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History, the New-York Historical Society is hosting a series of Saturday beer tastings run by local breweries in the exhibit’s Beer Hall. The program will run from May 26 through August 25; half-hour tastings will start at 2pm and 4pm. Not only will visitors get to taste some [...]

What’s It Like Being Benjamin Franklin?

Have you ever wanted to ask Ben Franklin about his infamous kite experiment? Or his time as the first United States Ambassador to France? Or maybe just how to play a good game of chess? The real founding father may be gone, but you might forget that while speaking to Jack Sherry, an American History teacher [...]

Behind-The-Scenes Writing Contest: Tell The Stories Behind Our Collections!

Ask any historian or curator why they do what they do, and they’ll probably answer that they want to tell a story. Most of the time we don’t know the people behind the objects in our collection, and even if we do it’s just a name, a date, a title. We don’t know what the [...]

On World AIDS Day, Remembering Keith Haring

The New-York Historical Society is dedicated to teaching its visitors about the city’s and country’s past, which includes the HIV/AIDS pandemic that reached its peak in the 1990s, and unfortunately continues today. Today is World AIDS Day, a worldwide day of remembrance for those who have died, support for those who are suffering, and an [...]