Lecture: A Lost Story of the Revolutionary War
The noted historian Benjamin Carp will explore the Great New York Fire of 1776, a mystery of the American Revolution, in a lecture on Thursday, February 16, in the Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium. Carp’s book on the devastating fire – one of the great mysteries of our early nation – is forthcoming from Yale University Press.
Carp’s presentation will draw heavily from his years of research and from his book The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution (Yale University Press); publication date: January 31. In his book, Carp reconstructs the political climate of eighteenth-century North America and highlights the significance of New York City as a strategic center in the American War of Independence. He returns to the summer of 1776, when the rebel army under George Washington repeatedly threatened to burn New York City to the ground rather than see it fall under British control.
Under these circumstances and days into the British occupation of the city, a tremendous fire swept across Manhattan, destroying a fifth of its buildings and creating the conditions for riot and plunder. Was this devastating fire the result of an accident at a tavern? Or was it started under direct orders from the revolutionary commander? Carp’s important retelling of this seminal but largely forgotten event features some of the American Revolution’s most important figures, including Nathan Hale, an early patriot with special importance for Long Island, and another lesser-known spy who deserves equal adulation.
Advanced praise: “Benjamin Carp’s impressive new study represents a pathbreaking investigation of the role of fire in the American Revolution. Full of twists and turns, this beautifully crafted book will definitely fascinate and inform… Highly recommended!” – James Kirby Martin, author of Insurrection
The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.
Benjamin L. Carp is the Daniel M. Lyons Chair of American History at Brooklyn College and affiliated faculty in the history program at the Graduate Center of the City University of the New York (CUNY). He specializes in the history of the American Revolution and the eighteenth century, particularly in the seaport cities of eastern North America. He has written about firefighting, gunpowder explosions, fear, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo of 1807-1809.
In addition to books and academic articles, Carp has written for BBC History, Colonial Williamsburg, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He received a B.A. in history from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia.
Workshops: Mixed Media Selfies, Winter Blooms
Children in grades K-3 can learn and have a lot of fun in two February school recess (week of February 20-25) workshops offered by educators at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.
Mixed Media Self-Portrait
Monday, February 20: See Vanderbilt family portraits in the historic house and create a mixed media “selfie” portrait.
Wednesday, February 22: Explore the ways living things get energy, examine plant bulbs, and make a bulb-forcing container with paperwhite narcissus.
Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education, said, “Our art and science workshops are a great way for kids to have fun learning in the collections and to create unique art.”
Workshops are offered from 10 am to 12 pm. Fee: $20 / $18 for members.
The Rescue Effect: The Key to Saving Life on Earth
On Thursday, March 16, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Michael Mehta Webster, Professor of Practice in Environmental Studies at New York University (NYU, for an evening lecture on global warming and nature’s inherent resilience.
Webster’s lecture will draw heavily from his 2022 book The Rescue Effect: The Key to Saving Life on Earth (Timber Press). In The Rescue Effect, Webster offers cause for optimism in the often-disheartening discourse around anthropogenic climate change. Through a series of compelling animal stories—from tigers in the jungles of India to cichlid fish in the great lakes of Africa and coral reefs in the Caribbean—Webster will highlight how certain species have adapted to a rapidly changing world. He will also explore how other species, like the mountain pygmy possum, are at risk of extinction without substantive but practicable efforts on the part of conservationists, activists, and concerned citizens of our planet.
Webster argues that we have good reason to expect a bright future because, almost everywhere we look, we can see evidence of nature rescuing many species from extinction. The Rescue Effect provides a much-needed roadmap to discovering what we can do to make a healthier Earth for future generations of humans and wildlife.
The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Tickets are available online at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s website.
Michael Mehta Webster is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University. He earned a Ph.D. in Zoology at Oregon State University, and a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin.
Webster is an expert in ecology, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, and philanthropy. His research focuses on how to promote the adaptation of species and ecosystems to ongoing environmental change. Much of his recent work has centered on reef-building corals, which are struggling to adjust to warming ocean temperatures and a host of other environmental changes.
Prior to joining NYU, Webster led efforts to improve the management and conservation of coral reefs as the Executive Director of the Coral Reef Alliance. He has also held positions as a Visiting Research Scientist at NYU, a Visiting Professor of Practice at Cornell University, and a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oregon State University.
Author to Read Her Book in Next ‘Storytime’ Event
The Vanderbilt Museum’s next Storytime Under the Stars is set for Sunday, February 26, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in the Reichert Planetarium. Join author Nana Brew-Hammond for a live reading of her award-winning book Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky.
Tickets: $10 | $8 for Members.
Discover a world of creativity and tradition in this fascinating picture book that explores the history and cultural significance of the color blue. Children and parents will see the story come to life on the Planetarium dome as they listen to the author read.
While the author reads her book, the pages will be projected overhead on the Planetarium dome for all to enjoy the stunning illustrations and for readers to follow along. Many pages will be accompanied by visual and audio effects to complement the narrative.
Following the reading, families can take part in related craft activities in the planetarium lobby.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Stunning and informative—and as profoundly rich as the color blue.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Brew-Hammond was a nominee for the 54th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work. Her book was named among the best books of 2022 by National Public Radio, the New York Public Library, Evanston Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, and The Center for the Study of Multicultural Literature.
Paved with Love: A Valentine Gift That Lasts Forever
Looking for a fresh, unique, everlasting gift for your Valentine?
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Your donation will help the Vanderbilt to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.
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Purchase a Brick
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