The New York Historical Society

Opened in 1804, The New York Historical Society is the oldest museum in NY and the second oldest in America, and a personal favorite of mine. The wealth of artifacts, letters, newspapers, art, and objects it holds is truly staggering and tells rich stories, both personal and public, about the incredible people and events that have shaped this world famous city, and America itself. By exploring the collection we can find riveting and at times shocking insights into the evolution of New York, from daily life to war, crime to gastronomy, abolition to fashion to momentous moments that changed New York and the world. Every visit will include a peak into the exquisite and often photographed library and will look at history from the many viewpoints of those that have lived in this bustling pluralistic city. 

New York, Then and Now

What did New York really look like, feel like, smell like before it was the metropolis we know today? Learn about the lifestyle of the Lenape people that lived here before the settlers "discovered" this "beauteous isle." Discover the objects and attitudes the settlers brought from Europe to start a life in this outpost of the world, and how they still shape the city today.  Find out more about the Africans who built New York and how their fate changed as the English came. What did people eat and wear? How did they find jobs, where did they find lovers, how did they find hear about current events?  How did rich women spend their days and poor men spend their evenings in 1670 vs. 1870? How did this all change and WHY? Encounter relics of life in old New York right up to the modern day and look with new eyes at the objects we find familiar—a bathroom door from a nightclub, a credit card, modern art—and imagine how those in the future will ponder us. 

New York Tales: Historic Events and Fascinating Characters that Made New York

Only in NY could a penniless orphan become Hamilton! This exploration uncovers all the famed and forgotten people and hard to believe events that made New York what it is today.  A transvestite governor who ran NY in the 18th century, a brawl in the battery in 1776, a runaway slave that started a newspaper, a famous debate that made a legend, an inauguration that changed the world, a photography studio that could transform a politician's image, a famous cartoonist that could take down the powerful, a traitor who stole war time secrets—all these people and events are integral to the history of NY and America. Find out the shameful, hilarious, triumphant, and downright odd tales that could only happen in NY. Discover all the incredible characters and fortunes won and lost as "Manahatta" became the Big Apple.

All of the NYHS tours for kids and families can be adapted for any age. You can find those themes here
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