history

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Twenty-five years ago last weekend, the Berlin Wall came crashing down, a key event that led to the end of the Cold War. The anniversary is also shining a light on a piece of the historic wall that ended up in Syracuse, a fact many central New Yorkers aren’t aware of.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG

At an All Nations Powwow at the Portal Institute in Susquehanna, Pa., tribes of Native Americans from across the United States gathered to celebrate their traditions and support a struggling tribe. The pow wow is put on as a benefit for the Lakota people from South Dakota.

Tribes from all over the eastern United States and Midwest were gathered in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods.

A string of male and female dancers in vivid color step and bounce in time to the drum.

For the past month, members of the Oswego community have been rehearsing a historical play based on real events, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the area's involvement in the war of 1812. WRVO's Mark Lavonier met with members of the production team to learn more about the play.

The play "The Great Rope" will be performed inside the grounds of Fort Ontario tonight at 6pm in Oswego.

Tom Crist / WRVO

The shade of a palm tree is an unusual place for students from Utica College to take a class, but that’s where Tom Crist teaches his summer course in osteology -- the  study of bones.  

Standing at the head of a concrete picnic table recently, Crist carefully lifted a cranium—a human skull—from a plastic Ziploc bag.

“So you are meeting your first Butrint individual,” Crist told the students.  “This is from burial 1250 from area 19. You can see some of the orbital bone is broken away here. That is post-mortem loss."

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Utica's Union Station has been a mainstay in the city's historic Bagg's Square neighborhood since 1914. In that time, the train station went from a bustling transit hub, to nearly being demolished in the 1970s, to a recent resurgence as a public gathering place. This weekend, Utica is celebrating the station's 100th anniversary and some of the things that make it unique.

Seventy years ago, nearly 1,000 European refugees came to Oswego to escape the Holocaust during World War II. Now the city's Safe Haven Museum is collecting and cataloging stories from those living in the city at the time, for what it calls the "Neighbors Project." The refugees, many of them Jewish, were housed at Fort Ontario from 1944 until 1946. The camp was the only one of its kind in the United States.

Utica considers launching freedom trail

Apr 16, 2014
Doug Kerr / Flickr

Almost 200 years ago, Utica was home to a passionate abolitionist community determined to rid the young nation of slavery. Now a local group is trying to remind the public of the significance of the city’s role in the anti-slavery movement.

Nearly sixty people came out recently on a typically chilly winter morning to walk downtown Utica streets, each of which had a story to tell from the days of the Underground Railroad.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO

Churches play a vital role in any community. A symposium was held on Saturday to raise awareness of the role church buildings play in downtown Syracuse, since both occupied and vacant properties impact the neighborhoods.

The Mission Restaurant in downtown Syracuse was built in the 1840s and used to be the Syracuse Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was part of the Underground Railroad. The Hotel Skyler on the Syracuse University campus was a synagogue before it was renovated with green energy and environmental design standards.

NPR political analyst Cokie Roberts is also an author of historical non-fiction books. And she will be speaking in central New York Thursday evening at the Seward House in Auburn. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Roberts from her home in the Washington, D.C. area about the role of women in American history and in politics today.

Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

The Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 canal schooner that's also a floating museum. This summer she's commemorating 19th century transportation history by traveling from Lake Champlain, across the canal system to Buffalo, down the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, and back again.

Syracuse is one of the nation's destination cities for refugee immigrants. More than 7,000 have come to the area since 2001.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Jai Subedi, a refugee from Bhutan who arrived here in 2008 and Gregg Tripoli, the executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, which has created a new exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Museum on the immigrant and refugee experience.

Heather L / via Flickr

Lawmakers in Washington are pushing for the establishment of a Harriet Tubman National Park in Auburn, where the abolitionist lived and died. Members of the New York congressional delegation say it could have a big impact on Auburn.

Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

This week begins a year long campaign in New York that focuses on the Two Row Wampum, a treaty between the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Nation, and some of the first settlers of New York state. The idea is educate, advocate, and create a better relationship Native Americans and New Yorkers.

The Onondaga Historical Association turns 150 this year. Friday night they hold a Jubilee Celebration in Syracuse University's Carnegie Hall that also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

What used to be the Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois Museum on Onondaga Lake will be transformed into a new kind of museum in the next year. The new Great Law of Peace Educational Center will tell the story of upstate New York's Native Americans, from their point of view.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

With the outbreak of World War Two, the Army installation then known as Pine Camp expanded, to become Camp Drum and eventually Fort Drum today. In the process, it swallowed up several villages, including their cemeteries.  Fort Drum researchers have created a database and new maps that will help family members of those buried at the cemeteries to find and visit their loved ones' gravesites, both in person and online.

What made Upstate New York such a hotspot for the abolitionist and women’s rights movements?  Was it just geography, or was it something about the people who lived here?  Historian Judith Wellman, an expert on the Underground Railroad and the women’s rights movement in the 19th century, answers this question and offers other stores and information that illuminate this time period and counter some of the stereotypes we have about our region’s place in history.