New-York Historical Society @nyhistory avatarNew-York Historical Society

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After fourteen years of construction, the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge opened #onthisday in 1883. At the time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, proclaimed the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” 🌉 More than 150,000 people walked across the bridge that first day alone, including President Chester A. Arthur. But the first to cross the bridge was Emily Warren Roebling, who began as a secretary but ended up managing workers, overseeing contracts, liaising with city officials and board members, and generally serving as a surrogate engineer after her husband and the bridge’s chief engineer Washington A. Roebling fell ill during construction. 🐓 Rumor has it she carried a rooster with her for good luck when she crossed the bridge on May 24, 1883. #womenshistoryisamericanhistory #TBT


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Double #wcw! 👯‍♀️ On Monday, June 25, we're beyond thrilled to welcome journalist and comedian #SamanthaBee of @fullfrontalsamb in conversation with journalist and @NotoriousRBG author @irincarmon, as they discuss women, politics, and the media today for a special Women's History Salon at our Center for Women's History. 👉 Get tickets at the link in bio. #womenatthecenter
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Pro-tip: You can go to this and other awesome programs and special events for free by joining our Women's History Council. Visit the link in bio for info. #womenshistoryisamericanhistory


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A staircase fit for a royal. 👑✨ #TiffanyTuesday 📸: @jon.wallen


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Mandrakes are a curious plant! According to medieval lore, they could cure headaches, earache, and insanity...but their roots grew in human form and would shriek when torn. This 15th-century manuscript shows the safest way to harvest it—attach one end of a cord to the plant and the other to a dog. The dog would be encouraged to move forward by sounding a horn or by enticing it with meat, dragging the mandrake with it. 🐕🌿 See this and many more Herbological relics on view in “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” a @BritishLibrary exhibition, on view at N-YHS starting October 5. #Herbology #HarryPotterNYHS
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📸 A mandrake being pulled out by a dog, in Giovanni Cadamosto, Herbal © British Library Board


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Here’s one idea for celebrating the Royal Wedding—visit our friends at @DowntonAbbey: The Exhibition! Insider tip: Stop by the New-York Historical Society during Pay-as-you-wish Friday Night (6-8 pm) on June 1, and you'll have an exclusive opportunity to enter for a chance to win tickets to #DowntonAbbey: The Exhibition! 💃✨


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The Roseate Spoonbill is the epitome of unique, natural beauty, wouldn't you say? John James Audubon admired these prehistoric-looking, wading birds, the largest North American member of the ibis family. But the beauty of their feathers brought the species to the brink of extinction by 1920. Plume hunters invaded colonies to slaughter the birds for fans sold in the tourist trade. The beauty of their feathers brought the species to the brink of extinction by 1920. They survived after the Audubon Society dispatched wardens to protect them and urged the passage of strict conservation laws. Today, the Roseate Spoonbill is one of the great success stories of the conservation movement. 👉 Learn more about this utterly magnificent bird from the @usfws page today! And see this gorgeous painting in our exhibition "Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife," on view through July 15. #FightforFeathers #FashionFriday


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On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court endorsed the concept of "separate but equal" racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, validating and upholding racist laws throughout the country that had been enacted as early as the 1870s and wouldn't disappear until the 1960s. At the same time, alongside the turbulent Jim Crow era, automobile usage increased and Americans began taking road trips—but these trips differed greatly depending on the color of your skin. At best, African Americans faced the humiliation of being turned away; at worst they risked bodily harm. Some towns even banned blacks from visiting after nightfall, citing “sundown laws.” In 1936, Victor Green, a Harlem postal worker, compiled and published the first Negro Travelers’ Green Book, a directory of businesses that welcomed black travelers. It was a much-needed resource that helped eliminate some of the worry African Americans faced while on the road. The last Green Book was published in 1966. See this and other recent acquisitions now on view in our Library. 👉 Learn more at the link in bio. #blackhistoryisamericanhistory


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The #SummerofMagic is coming! 🔮🎩✨ Join us this June, July, and August to explore the enthralling stories behind New York's magical past—from illusionists to fortune-tellers to escape artists—through displays, events, family programs, free films, and more! (You may even learn a few tricks of your own!) In our special exhibition "Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection," see relics from the renowned magician's private collection, like Harry Houdini's Metamorphosis Trunk, which allowed he and his wife Bess to magically trade places; a dress believed to be worn by Adelaide Herrmann, the "Queen of Magic," who became known for her dangerous death-defying bullet catch act; and Copperfield's own Death Saw used in one of his groundbreaking acts! 👉 See the full line-up and get tickets at the link in bio. #abracadabra


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At the end of her first term as Congresswoman, Clare Boothe Luce's daughter was killed in a car accident. In the depths of her grief, she turned to the #Catholic faith and two years later in 1946, she converted—much to the consternation of her husband’s Presbyterian family. ⛪️ Already a renowned playwright, socialite, and politician, Luce became one of the most famous converts to Catholicism—a denomination that was still viewed with skepticism and suspicion by much of Protestant America. Converting to Catholicism left an indelible mark on her political career and became a contributing factor when #PresidentEisenhower appointed her as ambassador to Italy, making her the first woman to head a major U.S. embassy abroad. 🇺🇸 Though many were wary of the appointment, one of her biggest supporters was #EleanorRoosevelt, who said: "They say the Italians were uncertain about accepting a woman as ambassador, for it was a somewhat new departure in their part of the world. But in Mrs. Luce they will find not only a beautiful woman, but an able ambassador, with brains which any man might be proud of." (👉Swipe to see Roosevelt in the second pic.) Read more about her political career at the link in bio. #womancrushwednesday #firsts #womenatthecenter


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Happy birthday, Professor Pomona Sprout! 🌱🌿This month, we’re celebrating #Herbology, the study of plants and their magical uses—and a class all Hogwarts students must take. Plants are particularly useful as an ingredient in potions, and are historically significant for their medicinal properties. Several of the plants students are taught about at Hogwarts—including hellebore, dittany, and mandrake—can be found in encyclopedias known as herbals. 🐉🐲🐍 This magnificently decorated herbal was made in northern Italy around the year 1440. Shown here is snakeroot, known variously as dragontea, serpentaria and viperina—all referring to its ability to cure snakebite. 📖 See more Herbological objects in “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” a @BritishLibrary exhibition, on view at New-York Historical starting October 5. ⚡️Learn more at the link in bio. #HarryPotterNYHS 📸: A dragon and a serpent in a 15th-century herbal © British Library


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For months, Robert F. Kennedy agonized about whether or not he should run for president. When he finally made his announcement in March 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. felt confident that he could win—and resolved that RFK would be the first politician he would officially endorse. With little time to prepare for his presidential campaign, and without delegates or organization, Kennedy’s overwhelming popular appeal proved invaluable. He drew frenzied crowds like a rock star but was slightly uneasy with the adoration, always privately uncertain whether it was for him or his late brother. Less than a month later, Dr. King was murdered, and Kennedy, two months after that. Our exhibition #RebelSpirits closes this Sunday, May 20. #MLK #RFK
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📸: Lawrence Schiller (courtesy Lawrence Schiller Archive), 1968


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They feed us, they lead us, they always make us feel safe—no matter what species! 🐣 Yesterday was #WorldMigratoryBirdDay so what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with these beautiful moms and baby birds? Audubon had a knack for portraying some very special momma bird moments, seen here with a House Wren mom (living out of a hat!), a Wild Turkey mom, an American Robin mom, and a Hummingbird mom. Happy #MothersDay to all the motherly protectors out there! #YearoftheBird #BirdYourWorld


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