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 →

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 →

Doughboy Sculpture Visit in N.C.

I visited my first sculpture by E.M. Viquesney, The Spirit of the American Doughboy, 647 miles from our house. I was not disappointed to finally see in person a sculpture I’d only read about. This is the World War I sculpture that was mass-produced and today stands in nearly 150 locations across the United States. The one I got to see is in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was in town for a family wedding, so Continue Reading →

WWI Princeton Club of New York Casualties Remembered

Princeton lost 151 men in World War I. Whether through wounds, accidents, injuries, sickness or the Influenza Pandemic, the toll was high. Of these 151, twenty-nine were members of the Princeton Club of New York. In the club entrance foyer is a beautiful bronze memorial to the honored war dead of the club. For my talk at the club on my book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to Continue Reading →

November 5 Walk and Talk in Brooklyn-Queens

On November 5 I am going to have a double-feature day: At 10:00 AM take a cemetery walking tour in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. Followed by a 2:00 p.m. book talk about World War I New York: A Guide the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War, which will be held at the Queens Historical Society in Flushing. To begin the day, I will lead a free tour of the only national cemetery in NYC in Continue Reading →

WWI Centennial Countdown Begins with Private C. LeRoy Baldridge Art

In thirty days is the centennial of American entry in World War I on April 6. To mark the occasion, beginning today I am going to post a daily countdown with a different sketch by Private C. LeRoy Baldridge. He was a sketch artist in the war and his work was widely distributed. I am going to post these images daily until April 6 on my Tumbler, Twitter, and Facebook Page. Here is a little Continue Reading →

Celina De Dio and Her Dog and Pony Show

Kensico Vaudeville Project #14 Name: Celina De Dio Act: Animal Trainer Born: About 1872, Germany Died: 12 November 1935, Wards Island, Manhattan A dog and pony show is such a common colloquial term today. But this was the act of German-born performer Celina De Dio. After a short career in London variety halls as a dancer, De Dio became an animal trainer. She was always on the bottom tier of vaudeville. For ten years she Continue Reading →

Governors Island WWI Memorial Project Launches

Last summer I started work on a project that is small in scope but means a lot to me. Today I submitted the final grant application information to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for what I am calling the Governors Island World War I Memorial Project. Last year when my book The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide was published I was not done with the island, which is by far my favorite park in Continue Reading →