Friday-Sunday, May 24-27: June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of what has been called “the Allies’ greatest military achievement” during World War II: the invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. There are 69 documents on display, many never seen in public before, and 39 artifacts including a rare ECM Mark II SIGABA cipher machine that was used to encode the most sensitive transmissions from FDR to Churchill.
Almanac Weekly | History
Festa at Italian Center Thursday, May 16-Sunday, May 19: One doesn’t have to stroll far along the streets of Poughkeepsie’s Mount Carmel district to come across a bakery or restaurant that reaches back into the century-old culinary traditions brought to the Hudson Valley by Italian emigrants. The story goes that Eleanor Roosevelt’s limousine driver would pull up to Caffe Aurora and fetch her a box of pastries to take home to Hyde Park.
Sunday May 19: Lazarus, it turns out, was a friend, relative and fellow Shearith Israel congregant of the Gomez family, whose home in Marlboro is now known as the Gomez Mill House Historic Site.
May 17-19: Bethel Woods celebrates 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with Lunar Weekend’s sleepover in the museum and Deep Field symphonic film filled with Hubble Telescope imagery. What effect did space travel have on the 400,000 young people who descended on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm just weeks after the Moon landing?
The Ulster County Poorhouse opened in New Paltz in 1828, at the site on Libertyville Road where the Ulster County Fairgrounds and county pool complex are now located. The facility closed in 1976 after having housed thousands of people in the intervening years. Some were classified as “insane” or “intemperate,” but the records show just as many who were admitted because of old age, sickness or disability. There were unwed mothers, “debauched” women, abandoned wives, babies and children, former slaves and recent immigrants injured while employed building the Catskill Aqueduct and D & H Canal.
The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy is seeking volunteers to lead tours for the summer season. Tours occur on Sundays (noon–3 p.m.), between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Volunteers lead visitors through the inside of the lighthouse and share its history (a fact sheet is provided). It’s a fun way to get involved and lend a hand to a local landmark. For more information or to volunteer, call (845) 247-0656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 4: The annual family festival brings historic fiber arts, culture and crafts to a bucolic scenario where live sheep, angora rabbits and alpacas take center stage.
One wouldn’t think that people in the business of hunting whales far out at sea would ever have imagined Hudson to be an auspicious place to set up shop. But they did, beginning in 1783, just as the Revolutionary War was drawing to a close.
Did you know that Schodack Island was the site of the central council fire of all the Mahican peoples? Or that British mystic Aleister Crowley claimed to be meditating and writing on Esopus Island, but he may have been spying on behalf of the US government during WWI?
Monday, April 15: Even if Frances Perkins hadn’t been the first woman ever to serve in a US presidential cabinet, or the longest-serving Secretary of Labor ever (12 years), she would still deserve a shining place in 20th-century history.