Centennial of General Pershing on Governors Island

One hundred years ago on Sunday, General John J. Pershing woke up in Times Square. He was in bed in the Astor Hotel, which once was on the corner of Broadway and W. 44th Street. I do not know how he got from Forty-second Street to the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street, but I like to think that instead of a car he and his group took the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) Continue Reading →

World War I Book Published and I Wear a Doughboy Uniform

The last week has been a whirlwind ever since my new book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War was published by Globe Pequot. I was on the edge for weeks because the book was delayed, and I was worried it would miss the centennial on April 6. To say it was close was an understatement. April 4 I finally got a chance to see the 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 →

Rubber Rats and Vintage Uniforms in the Bronx

In the basement of an American Legion hall in the Bronx I saw an Army coat from the Teddy Roosevelt administration, a shirt worn in 1918, and a display of medals that were museum-quality. There was also a rubber rat and caps galore. This could only be a flea market for World War I buffs, and it was held on Saturday, February 25. If there was one story that came out of the inaugural event 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 →

New York State Creates WW1 Commission

It has a long title, but New York State finally has a World War One centennial organization to join the many other states that work with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. On Nov. 29, 2016, Governor Cuomo signed Bill #6856, which creates the New York State World War I 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission. This had been promoted by the World War One Centennial Committee for New York City, which launched in April at Continue Reading →

Dorothy Parker Reviews the Ziegfeld Follies

On Saturday I debuted my W.C. Fields History Walking Tour as part of Fields Fest, a 6-week celebration of the life of the great comedian. Dorothy Parker was a huge fan of Fields. In my book The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide, I was really happy to be able to include a photo of Parker and Fields together. One of the parts of the tour I wanted to do, but didn’t for Continue Reading →

99 Years Ago First Doughboys Died in WW1

Today is the Ninety-ninth anniversary of the first American soldiers to be killed in combat in World War I. The three became national heroes and their names were printed in newspapers coast-to-coast. Today they are remembered together on Governors Island, where three roads carry their names. On Nov. 3, 1917, German troops killed Private Merle David Hay, Corporal James B. Gresham, and Private Thomas F. Enright, all serving with Company F, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Continue Reading →

World War I History Day on Governors Island Photos

It was a big honor for me last month to be the volunteer coordinator for World War I History Day at Governors Island National Monument. I was knocked out when the National Park Service counted more than 12,000 visitors engaged with us for the day. It was such a hit that we are going to return, with a two-day schedule, on September 16-17, 2017. The first “Doughboy Day at Fort Jay” was launched to prepare Continue Reading →