New York City

65% of Staten Island voted to secede from the rest of New York City in 1993, only to have their efforts blocked by the State Assembly

Partition and secession in New York The “Greater City” exists as a result of actions of the New York State Legislature, and, as such, could be reduced in size by the same mechanism. A non-binding referendum in the borough of Staten Island was held in 1993 to consider whether it should be allowed to secede …

65% of Staten Island voted to secede from the rest of New York City in 1993, only to have their efforts blocked by the State Assembly Read More »

Eight years after JFK’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy avoided the public unveiling of their White House portraits, but the Nixons graciously agreed to a secret, private tour for her and her kids. It was her only return visit.

A Secret Visit “I wanted to let future generations know the man for what he was, a metaphor of America at a crossroads, not just handsome Jack.”- Aaron Shikler1 On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy’s life was tragically cut short in Dallas, Texas. A state funeral was quickly planned and the nation grieved …

Eight years after JFK’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy avoided the public unveiling of their White House portraits, but the Nixons graciously agreed to a secret, private tour for her and her kids. It was her only return visit. Read More »

Squirrels were originally placed in US cities as a way to reconnect city dwellers with nature

Squirrels Were Purposefully Introduced to American Cities This story appears in the February 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine. Squirrels aren’t natural city slickers. In 1856 the sight of one in a tree near New York’s city hall so shocked passersby that a newspaper published a report about the “unusual visitor.” Around that time, the …

Squirrels were originally placed in US cities as a way to reconnect city dwellers with nature Read More »

Max Yasgur who hosted the ’69 Woodstock concert, received only $10K, shunned by his neighbors, gave free water and milk to guests and was hailed. He died 4 years later and received a full page obituary in Rolling Stone as a non musician.

Max Yasgur After area villages Saugerties (located about 40 miles (64 km) from Yasgur’s farm) and Wallkill declined to provide a venue for the festival, Yasgur leased one of his farm’s fields for a fee that festival sponsors said was $10,000. Soon afterward he began to receive both threatening and supporting phone calls (which could …

Max Yasgur who hosted the ’69 Woodstock concert, received only $10K, shunned by his neighbors, gave free water and milk to guests and was hailed. He died 4 years later and received a full page obituary in Rolling Stone as a non musician. Read More »

In 1948, a man wore 30-pound, 3-toed lead shoes and stomped around a Florida beach in the night. The footprints lead people to believe that a 15-foot tall penguin was roaming their lands. He kept up the prank for 10 years, visiting various beaches. The hoax wasn’t revealed until 40 years later.

Florida’s Giant Penguin There’s just too much weird stuff in Florida to quit after three days. Maybe a fourth Strange States entry will let us get it all out of our system… The Giant Penguin of Clearwater, Florida In February 1948, the residents of Clearwater, Florida—then a small town of only about 15,000 people—were drawn …

In 1948, a man wore 30-pound, 3-toed lead shoes and stomped around a Florida beach in the night. The footprints lead people to believe that a 15-foot tall penguin was roaming their lands. He kept up the prank for 10 years, visiting various beaches. The hoax wasn’t revealed until 40 years later. Read More »

Actor Humphrey Bogart was an avid chess player, often playing on set between takes. During World War II, he played correspondence chess with members of the military posted overseas or in hospitals. The FBI intercepted this mail and thought he was sending secret codes to Europe.

Humphrey Bogart and Chess Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born on January 23, 1899 in New York City. He was the son of a noted Manhattan surgeon. His mother was was a popular illustrator. Humphrey probably learned chess in 1912. His father taught him chess during their stay at their summer home in Canandaigua Lake, near …

Actor Humphrey Bogart was an avid chess player, often playing on set between takes. During World War II, he played correspondence chess with members of the military posted overseas or in hospitals. The FBI intercepted this mail and thought he was sending secret codes to Europe. Read More »