Starting Thursday, March 19, Turnstile Tours will be offering virtual programs every day at 11am. Click here for the complete listing of sessions, or use the calendar below to find a session related to this tour program.

Comfort at Sea: History of Hospital Ships in New York City

The hospital ship USNS Comfort is en route to New York City. One of just two hospital ships in the Navy fleet, it has been dispatched from Norfolk, while its sister ship Mercy recently arrived in Los Angeles. Comfort will dock at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal (and some dredging is required to fit the converted oil tanker into the berth), while the counterpart Red Hook Cruise Terminal is being converted into one of the city’s five emergency hospitals, along with the Javits Center, Bronx Expo Center, Queens Aqueduct, and the College of Staten Island (which, coincidentally, sits on the former site of Halloran Hospital, the Army’s largest hospital in World War II).

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Virtual Session: Hidden Treasures of Prospect Park

Sunday, March 22, 11am

See and learn about Prospect Park’s little-known corners and hidden treasures, including the Rose Garden, Lookout Hill, and the park’s historic archways. Led by two engaging guides, this virtual experience will use photos of the park today and from the archives of the Prospect Park Alliance to illuminate the layers of history still visible in the landscape.

Virtual Programs

icon-calendar  Every Day at 11am + weekends at 4pm
icon-clock-o  30-45 mins
icon-map-marker  Virtual sessions via Zoom webinar

Virtual Session: How It Works: The Brooklyn Army Terminal Atrium

View of the metal frames that span the two sides of Building B, a massive concrete industrial building with an atrium at the center that opens to the sky.

Saturday, March 21, 11am

One of the most iconic spaces in New York City, the atrium of the Brooklyn Army Terminal was once a hive of activity for moving military supplies from World War I to the Cold War. This engineering marvel is a mystery to most visitors, and this presentation by our resident expert will explain how the space was designed, built, and operated, and how technologies like the forklift and shipping container impacted operations over time.

Virtual Programs

icon-calendar  Every Day at 11am + weekends at 4pm
icon-clock-o  30-45 mins
icon-map-marker  Virtual sessions via Zoom webinar

Virtual Session: All Things Olive Oil with Essex Olive & Spice

Four hands reaching in from different directions to dip bread into bowls of olive oil on a table with a spread of various olive oils, vinegars, and a bread basket

Friday, March 20, 11am

How do you know if the olive oil in your kitchen is what it says on the bottle? What are the differences between olive oils from different parts of the world? Become an olive oil connoisseur with Saad Bourkadi, owner of Essex Olive & Spice in the Lower East Side’s Essex Market, whose family has been growing olives and producing oil in Morocco for four generations. Register here.

Virtual Programs

icon-calendar  Every Day at 11am + weekends at 4pm
icon-clock-o  30-45 mins
icon-map-marker  Virtual sessions via Zoom webinar

Virtual Session: Inventions of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Thursday, March 19, 11am

For over two hundred years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been on the cutting edge of innovation, first as a leading shipyard for the US Navy, and today as a home to 500+ industrial, manufacturing, design, and technology companies. We’ll look back at inventions – some small enough to hold, some as large as ships – both groundbreaking and mundane, that shaped the history of the Yard and the wider world. Hosted by Andrew Gustafson. Register here.

Virtual Programs

icon-calendar  Every Day at 11am + weekends at 4pm
icon-clock-o  30-45 mins
icon-map-marker  Virtual sessions via Zoom webinar

Slavery and the Brooklyn Navy Yard

After nearly 12 years of leading tours at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, one of the most difficult questions we get – and almost always from young people – is this: Were there slaves here?

This question is vexing not just because of the complex and painful subject matter, but also because the historical record is incomplete. The result is usually an imprecise and unsatisfying answer. In short, yes, enslaved people were an integral part of life at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for the 60 years leading up to the Civil War, just as they were across Brooklyn and New York City.

This is an effort to unpack that complexity and get somewhere closer to the historical truth of the matter.

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Job Opening: Sales and Operations Manager

Posted on February 19, 2020

General Description

Turnstile Tours’ Sales and Operations Manager is a part-time position (15-20 hours/week) with opportunities for growth, and s/he will be primarily responsible for managing customer inquiries, sending proposals for custom tour requests, booking public and private tours,scheduling staff, generating new business for public and private tours, and supporting the company’s overall sales and marketing strategy and operations. The Sales and Operations Manager reports to the President of Turnstile Tours for his/her overall role and responsibilities, but may also report to the Vice President of Turnstile Tours on specific and designated areas of responsibility or projects. Depending on the staff member’s background and relevant experience, this staff member may also be trained to lead tours as a secondary responsibility of his/her position.

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Clayton Colefield and the Building of USS Missouri

Black and white photo of five naval officers standing on a large metal plate, one of them turning a long handle attached to a riveting machine.

They say a Navy ship has three birthdays: its keel-laying, its launching, and its commissioning. The World War II-era battleship USS Missouri has one more, its recommission in 1986 as part of President Reagan’s 600-ship Navy. But one person was witness to its first two birthdays, Brooklyn Navy Yard shipfitter Clayton Colefield, who sat for an oral history in 2009 with Sady Sullivan of the Brooklyn Historical Society.>> Continue reading

Americal Division: Brooklyn Army Terminal Sends First US Troops to Pacific

Black and white photo of two soldiers walking up a gangplank onto a ship at dusk.

Last week we looked at Operation Magnet, the scramble in the weeks after Pearl Harbor to move American forces into the European battle zone. Just one week after that, it was time to make a move in the Pacific, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal would again be key. 

Unlike Europe, America already had significant forces in the Pacific theater, and they were engaged in battle with the Japanese – but it was going very poorly. The Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and within a month, American forces were penned in on the Bataan Peninsula and the island fortress of Corregidor, and the American Asiatic Fleet, along with Dutch and Commonwealth allies, was being battered across the Southwest Pacific. By May, 87,000 American and Filipino troops would be forced to surrender, and half the Asiatic Fleet was sunk.>> Continue reading

Brooklyn to Belfast: Red Bull Division Were First US Overseas Troops of World War II

Black and white photo of a soldier waving from the gangplank of a ship with soldiers in the background.

On January 15, 1942, ships of convoy AT-10 left the Brooklyn Army Terminal to make the journey across the Atlantic. Aboard the transports USS Chateau Thierry and HMTS Strathaird were mostly soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division, aka “Red Bull,” 4,058 in all. Codenamed Operation Magnet, this was the first deployment of American combat troops to foreign soil after the US officially entered World War II.>> Continue reading