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June 30, 2022

June, a month without a spare day

Amsterdam’s unforgettable day.(Baseball and a day at the fair). The Yankees arrived at 12:35 that afternoon when the crack New York Central train the Empire State Express made a special stop in the city, depositing Joe DiMaggio and his fellow Yankees in a sea of autograph-seeking fans. Police Chief Frank Kearns assigned a special detail of patrolmen to keep the crowd off the tracks.  

Go Fund Me/July 4th Weekend

...This weekend Sunday, July 3, 2022 Extra, Extra, read all about it! Historians published early in the day From Arnold to Tonko, Congressmen who lived in Amsterdam. The Benedict Arnold elected to Congress was not the infamous traitor but a merchant and brewer. Arnold served in the State Assembly and was a general in the War of 1812.

One of Amsterdam’s most unforgettable days

By Bob Cudmore

Could not find a picture dated to the early 40's

...if you have such a picture, send to Bob Cudmore and we will post it

          Sam Vomero will never forget Monday, July 20th, 1942, the day the Yankees and the carnival both came to Amsterdam.

          The Yankees’ exhibition game against their farm team, the Rugmakers, on that date is remembered by many.  But Vomero produced a newspaper ad to show that on the same day, the James E. Strates Shows arrived in Amsterdam, traveling on its own train of 30 cars.  Vomero, who lived on Morris Street in the East End, waited for the carnival train with a crowd of people at the old freight house Sunday night.  Vomero, who was 12, gave up his vigil about 2 a.m. and returned to the freight house Monday morning after the train, including Strates’ private railroad car, had finally arrived.  The carnival, sponsored by V.F.W. Post 55, set up at Karp’s Park on Upper Church Street and featured Adele Nelson’s “baseball playing elephants,” a trapeze artist and what was called “America’s best midway.”

          The Yankees arrived at 12:35 that afternoon when the crack New York Central train the Empire State Express made a special stop in the city, depositing Joe DiMaggio and his fellow Yankees in a sea of autograph-seeking fans.   Police Chief Frank Kearns assigned a special detail of patrolmen to keep the crowd off the tracks.

There was a parade complete with upper floor office workers pitching ticker tape onto the Yankees and the Amsterdam High School Band.  According to David Pietrusza’s book, Baseball’s Canadian-American League, DiMaggio and Lefty Gomez missed the team bus when it left the Hotel Thayer on Division Street.  The two ball players were given a ride to Mohawk Mills Park by fan George Sandy for the 4 p.m. game.  Sandy recalled that DiMaggio asked, “Where in hell are all the girls in this town?”

Incredibly, fire had destroyed the grandstand at Mohawk Mills Park eight days before the big game   Pietrusza wrote, “Hammers and saws replaced bats and balls at the site, and a miracle happened.  By the time the Yankees arrived, not only had every barbecued seat been replaced, but the park’s total capacity had been increased by 200 sears.” 

Joe DiMaggio hit a two-run homer over the 320 foot right field fence in the fourth.  The game went to extra innings and the Yankees won 9-5 in the 10th.

A seven-year-old heart patient named Johnny Martuscello, wearing a Superman shirt, got to meet his idol, DiMaggio. 

The New York City baseball writers were impressed with what Jack Smith of the Daily News called the “sheer love of baseball, enthusiasm and support”: they found in Amsterdam.  An illustration accompanying Smith’s column showed a sign that was typical of Amsterdam that day, “Welcome Yanks.  Closed for the afternoon.”

“Even the hardened veterans who have played exhibition games from coast to coast were moved,” Smith wrote.

Vomero was among the 4,000 fans at the ball game and that night walked to the carnival.  The James E. Strates Shows returned the following year with a new featured performer, the Great Wilno.  Wilno was shot from a cannon over two Ferris wheels into a net.  The stunt worked well in Amsterdam but Vomero recalled reading that Wilno later died in Syracuse when he hit a Ferris wheel during a performance.  Vomero said the Strates Shows can still be seen at the State Fair in Syracuse but the carnival never came back to Amsterdam after 1943.

The Yankees returned to Mohawk Mills Park in 1949 and drew a crowd of 4,562, about 500 more than 1942.  The 1949 Yankees, including Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto, beat the Rugmakers 9-2. 


Friday, July 1, 2022-Episode 429-John Wood Sweet is author of “The Sewing Girl’s Tale,” the story of the first published rape trial in American history.  Sweet researched Lanah Sawyer’s decision to charge an upper class man named Henry Bedlow with rape, leading to a raw courtroom drama, riots in the streets, and public debate over class privilege and double standards.  Sweet is a professor at the University of North Carolina.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

A journalism professor who lives in Nova Scotia, Dean Jobb is the author of “Empire of Deception,” the story of Chicago swindler Leo Koretz.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Extra, Extra, read all about it!

Historians published early in the day

From Arnold to Tonko, Congressmen who lived in Amsterdam.

Mohawk Valley Weather, Thursday, June 30, 2022

Including a look at The Amsterdam weather for The Forth of July Weekend

Sunny, with a high near 79. West wind 3 to 8 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 59. Light and variable wind.
Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 90. Light southwest wind increasing to 8 to 13 mph in the morning.
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. West wind 6 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 81.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.
Mohawk Valley News Headlines, Thursday, June 30, 2022
Daily Gazette
SI Group plans to move HQ to Schenectady, sell Niskayuna campus to Momentive
SCHENECTADY — Two major Capital Region industrial employers are on the verge of relocating their headquarters operations: SI Group from…

Amsterdam Recorder
Unofficial vote totals for other primaries in Schenectady, Amsterdam
Unofficial results for primary races in Schenectady and Montgomery counties that did not have vote...
City Controller Matthew Agresta submits resignation
Fort Plain’s Karker to step down after 45 years as athletic director

Leader Herald

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June 24, 2022

Ben Kemp

Friday, June 24, 2022-Episode 428-Ben Kemp from Grant Cottage in Wilton New York, where Civil War general and President Ulysses S. Grant died after completing his memoirs. This year is the 200th anniversary of Grant’s birth.

June 17, 2022

David Levine

Friday, June 17, 2022-Episode 427-Journalist David Levine is author of “The Hudson Valley: The First 250 Million Years.” His book explains how Hudson New York was part of the whaling industry. He has stories about Alexander Hamilton, the Mohicans and slavery in the time of Dutch colonial rule.

June 10, 2022

Don Williams

Friday, June 10, 2022-Episode 426-Donald Williams is author of “Grandfather’s Tool Chest.” The book has stories about 400 vintage and antique tools. Don Williams, 88, is a well-known educator, lecturer, columnist, and author. He has written eleven books on local and Adirondack history.

June 03, 2022

Buttonwood Agreement

Friday, June 3, 2022-Episode 425-New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan has the story of the Buttonwood Agreement, the founding document of the New York Stock Exchange.

May 27, 2022

David Brooks

Friday, May 27, 2022-Episode 424-David Brooks from Schoharie Crossing State Historic site in Fort Hunter takes a look at life on the wild side of the Erie Canal with tales about the Kilboys, including balladeer Tom Kilboy. Schoharie Crossing in Fort Hunter, where the old Erie Canal crossed the Schoharie Creek, is now open for the season.

May 20, 2022

Charles Gehring

Friday, May 20, 2022-Episode 423-Charles Gehring’s life work has been to translate Old Dutch language documents from the 17th century New Netherland colony in New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Gehring is Director of the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Education Department in Albany. His work has been used by many historians, including Russell Shorto whose book “The Island at the Center of the World” is a history of New York City dating back to colonial Dutch times.

May 13, 2022

Highlights Episode 2022-2

Friday, May 13, 2022-Episode 422-Highlights podcast #2 for 2022. Topics include early American patriot Marinus Willett, a corset maker in Poland, early radio, World War I, the Titanic and celebrating New York State’s birthday.

May 06, 2022

Chris Lamb/Stolen Dreams

Friday. May 6, 2022-Episode 421-Chris Lamb, author of Stolen Dreams: The 1955 Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars and Little League Baseball’s Civil War

April 29, 2022

Paul Craddock

Friday, April 29, 2022-Episode 420-Paul Craddock at UCL Medical School in London England is author of Spare Parts: The Story of Medicine Through the History of Transplant Surgery.

April 22, 2022

Edmund Richardson

Friday, April 22, 2022-Episode 419-English classics professor Edmund Richardson is author of The King’s Shadow: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Deadly Quest for the Lost City of Alexandria, the story of a 19th century British deserter who discovered a civilization founded by Alexander the Great in Bagram, Afghanistan in the fourth century B.C.

April 15, 2022

Bruce Dearstyne(April 2022)

Episode 418-Bruce Dearstyne is encouraging New Yorkers to celebrate April 20 as the birthday of the Empire State.  The first New York State constitution was adopted April 20, 1777 during a momentous year for the state during the Revolutionary War.  Bruce Dearstyne was formerly on the staff of the Office of State History and the State Archives.  He has written books and articles on New York State history.

April 08, 2022

Bryan Jackson

Friday, April 8, 2022 Episode 417-Bryan Jackson is author of Why the Titanic Was Doomed.  Titanic, the most magnificent ocean liner of her time, was destined for disaster before she left the docks at Southampton according to Jackson--doomed by her owner, designers and the men who sailed her.

April 01, 2022

Neil Lanctot is author of The Approaching Storm

Friday, April 1, 2022-Episode 416-Neil Lanctot is author of The Approaching Storm: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jane Addams and Their Clash Over America’s Future.  The book recounts the debate over whether America should enter World War I. 

March 25, 2022

Ann-Marie Barker Schwarz

Friday, March 25, 2022-Episode 415-Violinist Ann-Marie Barker Schwarz explores the history of high quality music in the early days of radio. Edward Rice played the violin during WGY Schenectady’s first broadcast on February 20, 1922. Barker Schwarz is the founder of Musicians of Ma’alwyck and took part in WGY’s 100th anniversary broadcast.

March 18, 2022

Annette Libeskind Berkovits

Friday, March 18, 2022-Episode 414-Annette Libeskind Berkovits discusses her historical novel “The Corset Maker” which tells the story of a courageous Orthodox Jewish teen, Rifka, who was living in Warsaw Poland in the late 1920s and early ‘30s.  Rifka is loosely based on Annette’s mother Dora.

March 11, 2022

Highlights Episode 2022-1

Episode 413-The first highlights episode of 2022 with excerpts from seven Historians Podcasts including Evacuation Day in New York City, 100 years of WGY radio in Schenectady, a chat with New York State historian Devin Lander, the case for Benedict Arnold and more.

March 04, 2022

Jim Kaplan(Marinus Willett)

Friday, March 4, 2022-Episode 412-New York City correspondent Jim Kaplan discusses the life of Marinus Willett.  Willett is well known to historians because of the work he did during the American Revolution in the Mohawk Valley.  But Willett was born downstate and returned to New York City after the war to serve in public office.

February 25, 2022

Jim Coulthart

Episode 411 Jim Coulthart is an aviation historian. He has a collection of WWII aircraft incidents, and accidents with ties to Central New York. 

February 18, 2022

Peter Betz(Grave Stone)

Friday, February 18, 2022-Episode 410-Historian Peter Betz explains how he was able to help a Perth NY family acquire a gravestone at no cost for a deceased family member, Howard Forgette, who was a US Army veteran.  Betz also discusses a program on Fulton County immigrants taking place at the museum in Gloversville.  And he has the story of a bear who did groundhog weather forecasting work in Sacandaga Park.

February 13, 2022

WGY 100 Years (Mike Patrick)


WGY’s Mike Patrick interviews Bob Cudmore on Bob’s years at the 100 year old radio station.

February 11, 2022

James Kirby Martin

Friday, February 11, 2022-Episode 409-James Kirby Martin is executive producer of the documentary Benedict Arnold: Hero Betrayed.  The film is based on Martin’s 1997 book Benedict Arnold Revolutionary Hero.  The documentary is streaming on several TV platforms, narrated by Martin Sheen and stars Peter O’Meara.  Three men from the Mohawk Valley area created the documentary: Niskayuna native Chris Stearns, Saratoga Springs native Tom Mercer and Fort Johnson native Anthony Vertucci.

February 04, 2022

WGY Podcast

Radio station WGY is celebrating its 100th year on February 20, 2022.  Bob Cudmore, who hosted a WGY talk show from 1980 to 1993, has audio featuring pioneer WGY air personalities Kolin Hager, Martha Brooks, Howard Tupper, Elle Pankin and Earl Pudney.  Current WGY news anchor Mike Patrick describes podcasts Patrick has done with many WGY veterans.

January 28, 2022

Devin Lander

Friday, January 28, 2022-Episode 407-New York State historian Devin Lander discusses plans to observe the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

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