NYC Historical Landmarks: Ellis Island

Monday, June 29th at 3 p.m.

It is estimated that over 12 million people passed through Ellis Island, from the time it opened in 1892 through the year 1954 when the last immigrant passed through its door. Join us for a photo tour of this iconic New York landmark that represents America’s rich cultural heritage.

NYC Historical Landmarks: Empire State Building

Monday, June 22nd at 3 p.m.

Although no longer the world’s tallest building, The Empire State still holds title as New York City’s essential skyscraper. Taking less than a year to build, and opening its doors in the heart of the great depression, the Empire State Building remains a cultural icon and one of New York’s most popular tourist destinations. Come learn about this iconic building!

NYC Historical Landmarks: Brooklyn Bridge

Monday, June 15th at 3 p.m.

From the tall gothic arches of its towers to the raised promenade with dramatic views of the New York skyline, this renowned architectural icon has inspired generations with the simple elegance of its design and functional beauty. Take a trip to Brooklyn with us, right at Darien Library!

NYC Historical Landmarks: Statue of Liberty

Monday, June 8th at 3 p.m.

Join us for a photographic journey of one of America’s most iconic monuments, from the ancient origins of its design to her post on Liberty Island standing watch over New York Harbor.

NYC Historical Landmarks: Pennsylvania Station

Monday, June 1st at 3 p.m.

The peak achievement of renowned architects McKim, Meade and White, whose design was based on the Roman Baths of Caracalla, “Penn Station” was completed in 1913. Unceremoniously torn down in 1963, the loss of this architectural masterpiece led directly to the establishment of the Landmarks Preservation Society. Come learn about this historical landmark!

Civil War Research

Laura Congleton
Laura Congleton

Saturday, May 16th at 2 p.m.

In this program, Ms. Congleton will provide guidance on how best to determine whether or not your ancestor served in the Civil War. You will learn how to identify and research both Union and Confederate veterans using federal and state records available online and at local repositories. Laura will provide tips on how to separate veterans with the same name, and how to avoid common research mistakes. Join us at 1 p.m. to discuss your own work before the program. 

About the Speaker

Laura Congleton is a Brooklyn-based professional genealogist with more than 30 years experience in family history research. She specializes in New York City and military records, and is one of the contributing authors of the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, published by the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. Her writing has also appeared in the APG Quarterly, and in the Expert Series on Archives.com. She is a native of New Canaan, CT.

Iraq: Creation of Colonialism

Image courtesy of flickr user soldiersmediacenter
Image courtesy of flickr user soldiersmediacenter

Thursday, May 7th at 7 p.m.

On October 3, 1932, the British Mandate in Iraq ran out and Iraq was admitted into the League of Nations.  This bundle of grievances known as Iraq is a product of World War I/Colonialism; the result of the imperialist agendas of Britain and France in expectation of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Borders were etched in the sand with little regard for tribal affiliations, clannish associations, religious differences and ethnic passions. This talk will trace this progression beginning with the British East India Company's arrival in Basra in 1763.

About the presenter

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute. In addition, Mark Albertson teaches history at Norwalk Community College. His courses include: World War I and Iraq:  Creation of Colonialism, Iraq:  A History, Vietnam:  A History, World War I, The Turning Points of World War II, The Great Patriotic War: The Titanic Clash Between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and American Empire: Grand Republic to Corporate State. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his effort in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

Arab Nationalism, Arab Socialism

Image courtesy of flickr user piaser
Image courtesy of flickr user piaser

Tuesday, May 12th at 7 p.m.

Credit for the current Arab Spring has been accorded to President Obama with his 2009 speech in Egypt, or President Bush with his unseating of Saddam in 2003, or President Carter with the Camp David Accords in 1978. Yet, the Western military leader who has done more than three American presidents to change the face of the modern Middle East was Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1798, Napoleon led a French Revolutionary Army into Egypt and the Levant.  With this army came the ideas unleashed by the French Revolution:  Liberalism, Democracy, Republicanism, Socialism, Secularism, Nationalism, Parliamentarianism; ideas that would help to accelerate the demise of an already tottering Ottoman Empire.  This talk will explain this phenomenon in relation to the present situation in the Middle East.

About the presenter

Mark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine and is a long-time member of the United States Naval Institute. In addition, Mark Albertson teaches history at Norwalk Community College. His courses include: World War I and Iraq:  Creation of Colonialism, Iraq:  A History, Vietnam:  A History, World War I, The Turning Points of World War II, The Great Patriotic War: The Titanic Clash Between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and American Empire: Grand Republic to Corporate State. In May 2005, Mark was presented with a General Assembly Citation by both houses of the state legislature in Hartford for his effort in commemorating the centennial of battleship Connecticut.

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

Tuesday, May 26th at 7 p.m.

Take a trip the Ireland's Great Hunger Museum without leaving town! The mission of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is to collect, preserve, exhibit and study its collection of art, artifacts and literature relating to the Irish Famine/Great Hunger that occurred from 1845–52. In doing so, it seeks to educate audiences of all ages about the underlying political, social, economic and historic causes to the Great Hunger, and the magnitude of the disaster on Ireland and its people. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art by noted contemporary Irish and Irish American artists as well as a number of period paintings by some of Ireland’s most important 19th-century artists.

About the presenter

Grace Brady is the first Executive Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University which opened to the public in October 2012. She is responsible for overseeing the museum, which houses the largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine (1845-52), the worst demographic catastrophe of 19th century Europe. Most recently, Brady co-edited “Famine Folios” with Niamh O’Sullivan, Curator of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (IGHM). These Folios are the first in a series of essays that cover many aspects of the Famine. They are beautifully illustrated with works from the IGHM collection and interdisciplinary in nature by internationally established scholars in history, art history, cultural theory, media history, political economy, literature and music. Brady received her M.A. in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and holds a B.A. in Speech Communications/Theatre Arts from the University of Richmond.

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