"I strive to link your ordinary experience of New York – what you can see, hear and feel – with the history and culture of New York."

Peter Laskowich: Historian, Teacher & Guide
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Events for: Saturday, July 1, 2017
New York During the Revolution - Tour
Time:ALL DAY EVENT
Date:Saturday, July 1, 2017
Description:
The American Revolution is a story of such daring and courage that it is still invoked everywhere. Every day New Yorkers pass by remnants of its desperation and its glory: damage caused by inspired patriots, a final remaining symbol of British authority, traces that led to the hanging of a schoolteacher who regretted that he had but one life to give. 

Charrings from a great fire as the British took over show the direction of the blaze and suggest how St. Paul's Church survived to become home base for the rescue workers of 9/11. It was one of two great fires that left most of the city in ruins. "New York is destroyed," said George Washington at the end of the war, "but its future greatness is certain." 

We'll see the site of his emotional farewell and of his glorious return six years later. 

The great statue in the harbor also has much to say about the conduct of the Revolution, and how the horribly overmatched Americans (see GW letter in black ink, below) eventually won. So do the world's first combat combat submarine and a metal chain protecting the colonies' most vital waterway. The Hudson River played a key role in a victory so stunning that upon surrender the British band played "The World Turned Upside Down."
       -------------------------------------------------------------
GENERAL WASHINGTON DISPATCH #1209 - August 1776 
To the Congress: 
I can now report with some certainty that the eve of battle is near at hand. Toward this end I have ordered the evacuation of Manhattan and directed our defenses to take up stronger positions on the Brooklyn Heights. 

At the present time my forces consist entirely of (Colonel) Haslet's Delaware militia and (General) Smallwood's Marylanders - a total of 5000 troops to stand against 25,000 of the enemy, and I begin to notice that many of us are lads under 15 and old men, none of whom could truly be called soldiers. 

One personal note to Mr. Lewis Morris of New York: I must regretfully report that his estates have been totally destroyed, but that I have taken the liberty of transporting Mrs. Morris and eight of the children to Connecticut in safety. The four older boys are now enlisted in the Continental Army. 

As I write these words the enemy is plainly in sight beyond the river. How it will end only Providence can direct, but dear God what brave men I shall lose before this business ends.
 
Your obedient, 
G. Washington

       --------------------------------------------------------------
Fee: $30 per person
For more information be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:
         http://local-expeditions.com/expeditions/new-york-during-the-revolution/


Jackie Robinson's Brooklyn - Tour
Time:ALL DAY EVENT
Date:Saturday, July 1, 2017
Description:
It is said that if Jackie Robinson was the ideal man to integrate baseball, then Brooklyn was the ideal place. How was Brooklyn the ideal place? 

No other major league team - no other major league community - in 1947 was willing to sponsor the sight of a black man on the field. Brooklyn welcomed it. The sites of Dodger celebrations, the Rickey-Robinson meeting and Ebbets Field help in understanding the story.
 

A connection always exists, however, between the character of the land and the culture that arises there. This is emphatically so of Brooklyn. We will see that it is the physical nature of the borough that so predisposed its people to accept and then embrace this man.
 

As modern baseball's first black player, Jackie Robinson forced the nation to begin addressing racism well beyond sport. Largely traceable to Robinson are the integration of the military, of public schools and of American society generally, and the Civil Rights Act itself. The first obstacle was baseball's hierarchy: in a secret meeting just before Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the spring of 1947, the owners voted 15-1 against.
 

Brooklyn was alone.
 

In that first year Robinson is said to have been knocked down in every game. (A newspaper reported that July, "Jackie Robinson can usually count on the first pitch being right under his nostrils.") One spiking nearly ended his career. Several death threats were taken to the police. In the middle of the season a doctor ordered ten days complete bed rest, warning Robinson that he was approaching a nervous breakdown. Robinson refused.
 

So torrid was the abuse that even his southern teammates rallied around him at last, and the question around the National League went from "Can he take it?" to "For how long?"
 

The drama unfolded in the little ballpark in the heart of Flatbush.

Fee: $40
For more information be in touch at peterlaskowich@earthlink.net
Here's your link to register:
http://local-expeditions.com/expeditions/jackie-robinsons-brooklyn/


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