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The Play-o-Graph, or How we “watched” the game before television

Back before the internet was ubiquitous, before television was in every home, and before FDR’s fireside chats, there was the Play-o-Graph.  Between 1905 and 1921 (and for several years after), eager fans across the county would huddle around their local newspaper buildings to “watch” the World Series games, play-by-play information coming in over the telegraph wires and be displayed to the waiting crowds on a specialized electronic scoreboard.

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The Curious Case of Diedrich Knickerbocker

In late 1809 a mystery enraptured New York.  A curious old man disappeared from his hotel room, where he had been staying for over a year.  His disappearance was covered in the newspapers, with updates coming by letters from several individuals who claimed to have known or seen the elderly gentleman.  It was revealed that, in his stead, the old man had left behind a most wonderful history manuscript.  The book, published by the innkeeper to recoup his losses, would not only elevate the literary career of a young writer but also help to give a growing New York City an identity it embraces to this day.

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Inwood Native American Caves – ‘City Full of History’ Episode 7

Last time on “City Full of History”, we flew with the ‘Bremen’, the first airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop from East to West!  Come along this week as we visit Inwood Hill Park and dig in to the history behind New York City’s Native American Caves!

Inwood Hill Park is a unique place on the island of Manhattan.  While Central Park, Manhattan’s other sprawling woodland area, was designed and built from the ground up, the area that would become Inwood Hill Park was largely undeveloped.  By the end of the nineteenth century only a few small farms and the occasional mansion called the northern tip of Manhattan home.  Because it went mostly untouched the Washington Heights and Inwood areas were ideal for archaeological digging and in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s a dedicated group of amateur archaeologists answered the call.

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Kidnapping Benedict Arnold: the Saga of John Champe – ‘City Full of History’ Episode 5

This week on “City Full of History”, we visit three states to track down the saga of John Champe, the American soldier who defected TWICE and infiltrated British held New York City in an attempt to kidnap the treacherous Benedict Arnold!

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