biting dogs

The 19th Century War on Dogs

Dogs have always been a matter of debate in American cities. In 19th-century New York City, the debate involved paying impoverished children to participate in dog-murder.
Black Tom Explosion Diver

The Unlikely Spy Alliance Behind the 1916 Black Tom Explosion

German imperialists teamed up with Irish republicans and Indian nationalists during World War I; the resulting conspiracy trial ended in a courtroom assassination.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

How Anti-Catholicism Created an American Saint

Elizabeth Ann Seton is known today as the first American Roman Catholic saint. her road to canonization was no easy path.
Public Baths

Public Baths Were Meant to Uplift the Poor

In Progressive-Era New York, a now-forgotten trend of public bathhouses was introduced in order to cleanse the unwashed masses.
New York skyline

The Real Reason Why NYC’s Skyscrapers Are Where They Are

Why does Manhattan have two business separate districts? Turns out that it's not because of the usual story about bedrock depth.
NYC Subway Sandhogs

The Sandhogs Who Built the New York Subway

Unlike other laborers, who toiled anonymously on bridges and buildings throughout the city, the sandhogs had an iconic status in New York City.
Humpback whale

Why Have Whales Come to New York City?

What brought whales to the city? It’s a tale of water quality, plankton, and an unassuming but vital fish called the menhaden.
Stonewall Inn

Why Stonewall?

The Stonewall riot in June, 1969 is generally remembered as be the beginning of the gay liberation movement. But there was precedent for the event.
NYC food riot

“Give Us Bread!”

In 1917, a food riot erupted in Brooklyn over the prices of staples. These forms of protest, sadly, are not quite yet ready for the dustbin of history.
Draft riots

Race and Labor in the 1863 New York City Draft Riots

An enormous historical event that shaped New York City is not much spoken of today. In July 1863, ...