8 More Unmarked Graves of Woodlawn Cemetery

I am really happy my friend Michael Cumella has pushed Woodlawn Cemetery to finally put a gravestone on the final resting place of singer Nora Bayes. The unveiling is Saturday, April 21, at noon at the landmark cemetery in the Bronx. A nice New York Times story explains the whole rigmarole about why the famous singer never got a stone when she died 90 years ago. But this is just the first of a number Continue Reading →

In Florida, I Locate A Museum Not in Guidebooks

Discovering the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library was an incredible find on a recent trip. Located in Cape Coral, at 4820 Leonard Street, this museum defines off the beaten track: it’s not listed in guidebooks and is tucked away inside a former supermarket nearby auto repair shops and big box stores. But to walk inside the doors is to be transported back in time to see tens of thousands of artifacts from every military Continue Reading →

Debut on Travel Channel for Submarine Story

I made my debut last week on the Travel Channel on Mysteries at the Museum. The episode is Season 19, Episode 6: “Italian Sherlock Holmes, King of the Airwaves and Texan Takes Moscow.” My part was the expert to describe the wreck and rescue of U.S. Navy submarine O-5 in 1923. It went down in a collision outside the Panama Canal. The story concerns two sailors trapped underwater and the daring rescue to save their Continue Reading →

I’m Dubbed in French to Talk WWI Wooden Battleship

I was interviewed for a French-German TV documentary on the USS Recruit, the WWI battleship that was in Union Square. The episode is in French, but I think the guy sounds like me. It aired on Arte, the travel documentary Invitation Au Voyage. For WWI, the focus of Navy and Marine Corps recruiting was Union Square. On Memorial Day, May 30, 1917, the Navy “launched” the battleship USS Recruit, made entirely of wood, on Broadway. Continue Reading →

WWI Book An Award Winner

It is a huge honor for me to announce that I was awarded my first-ever literary honor on Monday. My book World War One New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War (Globe Pequot Press) took home the Apple Award given by the Guides Association for New York City. The awards category my book was nominated in and won is Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction New York City Book Writing (Published Continue Reading →

Interview on NY 1 TV for WWI

Last Sunday was the second annual World War I “swap and sale” I helped organize in the Bronx. Our group of reenactors, the East Coast Doughboys, gathered for a flea market of WWI uniforms, equipment, ephemera, and photos. It was a lot of fun. A great journalist from NY1 came and shot a short piece on the event. You can watch it here.

Greater Astoria Historical Society WWI Talk March 5

On Monday, March 5, I will be speaking at the Greater Astoria Historical Society about my book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War. The talk is free for GAHS members, $5 for non-members. Greater Astoria Historical Society Quinn Building 35-20 Broadway, 4th Floor Long Island City, NY 11106 Part One of my talk covers all five Boroughs of New York City. These are the places Continue Reading →

WWI Centennial in NYC Remembered With “Doughboy Roadshow” Sunday March 4

As part of the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I, the East Coast Doughboys are holding their second annual Great War Swap and Sale on Sunday, March 4, in the Bronx. Collectors and living history enthusiasts are coming together to buy, swap, and sell items from the World War I era. This year, the event will include a “Doughboy Roadshow” component, in which the public is invited to bring in heirlooms and artifacts Continue Reading →

New Tours Created on Fire Department History

For the last few months a good friend and I have been researching new tours based on city fire department history. He’s an active member in the FDNY. Last year on the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire we co-guided a free tour, and he was a natural at it. To make a larger and more involved walking tour, we researched city fires going back to the Great Fire of 1776. There have actually been Continue Reading →

Neysa McMein, Illustrator and Iconic Figure

Today is the birth date of Neysa McMein, January 25, 1888, in Quincy, Illinois. Born Marjorie Moran McMein, she was the highest-paid and most in-demand female artist of the Jazz Age, who painted scores of magazine covers and created iconic posters in World War I. She was also a player in Women’s Suffrage in New York, a fashion icon, and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. McMein was a volunteer in France in WWI, Continue Reading →