Harbor Sides: July and August 2009

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Date: July 17, 2009
Contact: Mindi Rambo, 212-668-2208

From New Amsterdam to First U.S. Capitol
(Federal Hall, 26 Wall Street)
Federal Hall National Memorial rests on the site of the City Hall of New Amsterdam which was later remolded and became the first U.S. capitol building, where George Washington was inaugurated as America’s first President. To celebrate its legacy, Federal Hall is featuring a series of events and exhibitions in August.

  • Light on New Netherland: This special exhibit will run from Aug. 5 through Sept. 8 and explore many aspects of the colonists’ lives from Henry Hudson’s discovery of Manhattan through the end of the Dutch rule.
  • Battle Week: National Park Service Rangers in period costume will kick off the annual observation of Battle Week with a reading of the Declaration on Independence on the front steps of Federal Hall at 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 21. The day’s activities will also include special talks, and programs
  • Revolutionary War Flag exhibit:This collection of flags from the American Revolution will be curated by Eric Kramer from Aug. 20 through Aug. 27 as part of the Battle Week observation at Federal Hall.
  • Extended Hours: As part of its August activities, Federal Hall will have extended hours through the month. Beginning Aug. 1, this national park will be open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of the month.

Civil War Weekend
(Governors Island)
The National Park Service, 119th New York Volunteers, The GawdAwful Mess and Battery G of the First Pennsylvania Light Artillery will provide family friendly activities, living history demonstrations, music and other programs as part of Civil War Weekend at Governors Island National Monument August 8 and 9.

Living historians representing Union soldiers and officers, Confederate prisoners, artillerymen, officer's wives, ladies, laundress, musicians, and a politician will be on hand to introduce visitors to the men and women of the Governors Island Garrison and Confederates imprisoned on the island. Some of their activities will include: Historic weapons demonstrations and cannon firings, walking tours and talks and special activities for children.

Family Days at African Burial Ground
(African Burial Ground National Monument, Ted Weiss Federal Building, 290 Broadway. Manhattan)
African Burial Ground National Monument invites you and your family to visit on Saturday, July 18 and Aug. 22 for Family Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program includes a 25-minute documentary, information session, artwork tours, memorial tours, and an opportunity to learn more about the history of the African Burial Ground.

Two If By Land, Two If By Sea
(National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy)
The National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, the official partner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, is offering 4 different tours this summer – two boat tours and two walking tours. These tours cover wide ranging topics from the early history of the city when it was a Dutch settlement, the American Revolution, and the city’s ongoing role in as an arrival point for immigrants from around the world. For more details, to buy tickets for the boat tours or download the walking tours, visit www.nyharborparks.org

Boat Tours

  • Gateway to America: Explore the ways that geography, defense, immigration and commerce have shaped the history and influence the future of New York in this sweeping audio narrative with actress Kathleen Turner.
  • America: Who We Are: Experience the wide-eyed wonder immigrants felt as they sailed into New York Harbor on this amazing boat ride and audio tour. You'll explore historic harbor sites as you journey into immigration's past and present with commentary by New York Times reporters, National Park Service rangers and recent immigrants.

Walking Tours

  • George Washington’s New York: Experience the city's transformation from colonial treasure to cradle of revolution and briefly, capital of a new nation. Take this self-guided tour at your own pace with our free downloadable map and brochure.
  • New Amsterdam Trail: Commemorate the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson's voyage to New York and the subsequent settlement of Manhattan, with this free downloadable audio walking tour.

The Sound of Music
(General Grant National Memorial, 122nd Street and Riverside, Manhattan; Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park, Manhattan; Governors Island National Monument; Gateway National Recreation Area – Sandy Hook Unit, New Jersey) 
Music is in the air this summer at the national parks of New York and New Jersey. 

  • “Jazz Mobile,” a series of 8 free concerts celebrating jazz, will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays beginning July 2 through August19 at General Grant National Memorial in Upper Manhattan. For a performance schedule, please visit www.jazzmobile.org
  • Music lovers can travel to Lower Manhattan to hear a variety of genres at Castle Clinton National Monument at 7 p.m. on July 23, July 30 and August 6 during the River to River Festival. Tickets to the free concerts are available beginning at 5 p.m. the day of the concert. For performer information, please visit RiverToRiverNYC.com.
  • The Sandy Hook Summer Beach Concerts will be held Wednesdays through August 19 at 6 p.m. held on the beach at Area E. The Sandy Hook Foundation, a National Park Service partner, sponsors this annual free concert series. If weather is a factor, a decision will be made at 2 p.m. on the day of the concert. For a performers list go to www.sandyhookfoundationnj.org or call 732-291-7733 or for rain cancellations.

Free For All
(Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, 28 E. 20th Street, Manhattan) 
As part of the National Park Service's nationwide entry-fee suspension weekends, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace NHS will not be charging its standard $3 admission fee on Saturday, July 18 and Saturday, August 15, 2009. NPS Rangers offer tours of the historic home at 10 and 11 a.m., and 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. The tours are the only way to see the period rooms.

After experiencing TR’s boyhood home, visitors can head uptown to the American Museum of Natural History, which was near and dear to the 26th president’s heart, and see how TR put what he learned in his youth into practice for the benefit of residents and visitors to New York City.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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