Since March 19, our team has been offering virtual experiences, which we will continue for the foreseeable future, but we have also relaunched in-person guided tours! Click here to see our current offerings, which we will be expanding throughout the fall. Please consider becoming a member to join our virtual and in-person experiences and to support our work during this difficult time.

Black Sailors and Shipworkers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1866–1966 | Virtual Program | Saturday, February 27

February 27, 2021 11:00 am EST

The celebrate Black History Month and the 220th birthday at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we are looking at the obstacles and opportunities that Black people encountered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the end of the Civil War through the Yard’s closure a century later. The program will examine the long history of African-Americans in the maritime trades, their systematic exclusion from the uniformed ranks of the US Navy in the Jim Crow era, and the new opportunities that emerged during World War II. We will look at profiles of trailblazers, innovators, and activists who worked and served there, and how the Yard became an important to Black economic and cultural life in Brooklyn. This virtual program follows up where we left off with last year’s “An Unfree Fleet,” which looked at the Yard’s connections to the institution of slavery.

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The Other Dutch in Our Region | Virtual Program | Tuesday, March 2

March 2, 2021 12:30 pm EST

Take a short trip west of New York City to explore a little-known and much misunderstood language and culture: the Pennsylvania Dutch, who aren’t Dutch at all but German. Educator and entertainer Keith Brintzenhoff takes us beyond pork and sauerkraut, hex signs and distelfinks, to learn about this German immigrant community, efforts to preserve its endangered language, and opportunities to celebrate its music, food, and more.

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Chocolate History of Brooklyn | Virtual Program | Thursday, March 4

March 4, 2021 6:00 pm EST

Food manufacturing has been a cornerstone of Brooklyn’s manufacturing economy for 150 years. Not only was the borough was home to some of the largest chocolate and confectionary makers in the country, but its port brought the tropical ingredients from around the globe. We will discuss some of the large and small chocolate makers that dotted Brooklyn’s landscape, the men and women who worked in them, and the transformations brought to the industry by mechanization, unionization, and war. We will also look at some of the artisanal chocolate makers that are keeping the confectionary traditions alive today.

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Delaware & Raritan Canal / Camden & Amboy RR with the Canal Society of New Jersey | Free Virtual Program | Wednesday, March 10

March 10, 2021 12:30 pm EST

The Canal Society of New Jersey returns to our virtual program as Joe Macasek will share the history of the Delaware & Raritan Canal. While George Macculloch was working to complete his Morris Canal across the highlands of New Jersey, farther south men like Robert Stockton and Robert Stevens competed for control of a route across the narrow waist of the state. This route would give the winner access to potential profits from the coal trade and control of the already lucrative trade route between the country’s two greatest cities, New York and Philadelphia. Stockton wanted a canal and Stevens a railroad. In the end, the state legislature settled their differences by giving them both charters. Rather than compete, they formed a joint company that, for 30 years, monopolized transportation, introduced technical innovation, and wielded enormous political power.

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Ships, Shanties, and the Shamrock: Brooklyn’s 19th Century Irish Waterfront | Virtual Program | Wednesday, March 17

March 17, 2021 6:00 pm EDT

On March 17, 1863, the gunboat Shamrock was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an event attended by more than 5,000 onlookers and tremendous fanfare. The christening of this ship was meant to recognize the contributions of Irish troops to the Union cause, but it also represented a watershed moment during the ascendancy of the Irish in the city’s waterfront trades. This program will examine the growth of Irish communities along the waterfront before and after the Civil War, look at the centers of civic life, including churches, pubs, and political clubs, some of which persist to this day, and learn about groundbreaking Irish admirals, engineers, and entrepreneurs that helped shape the city’s waterfront.

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Celebrating One Year, 200 Episodes of Virtual Programs | Virtual Happy Hour | Friday, March 19

March 19, 2021 8:00 pm EDT

Join us for the one-year anniversary of the launch of our virtual programs on this special 200th episode happy hour. We will have special guests and highlights from past programs, give participants the opportunity to share memories, questions, and suggestions for future programs, and share our thanks for your support at this convening of the Turnstile community.

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Around the World in One Kitchen with Brian Hoffman | Virtual Program | Saturday, March 20

March 20, 2021 11:00 am EDT

Brian and his son Sam have set an ambitious goal: to make a traditional dish from every country in the world. They’ve been making their way through the countries alphabetically and documenting their process in a wonderful video series featuring cooking demos, insights on ingredients and culinary traditions, and of course, Sam’s taste test. Join us a for a live episode, where Brian will share what goes on behind the scenes making the videos, discuss where to find ingredients from every country on Earth, and do a taste test with one of his recent creations. So join is if you’ve ever wondered how to make Afghanistan’s kabuli pulao or Armenia’s eech and topik (yes, they’re still on the A’s, but there are a lot of countries to get through!)

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Exploring the Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives | Virtual Program | Wednesday, March 24

Black and white photo of three workers standing around a wooden model of a ship

March 24, 2021 12:30 pm EDT

As both an historic site and an active industrial park, with buildings and infrastructure spanning nearly 200 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard is literally made up of layers of history. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives serves the dual function of documenting and preserving the Yard’s history, while also providing historical engineering and architectural documentation that is critical for restoration and development projects. In this virtual visit to the Archives, we will be joined by archivist Elizabeth McGorty, who will tell us about the role of the Archives, show us some of the highlights of the collection and what they tell us about the Yard’s history, and take us behind the scenes to their storage facility where they keep some of the more unique artifacts of the collection.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard Birthday: Celebrating 220 Years of Industry and Innovation | Episode 193

Aerial view that shows the Brooklyn Navy Yard with Wallabout Bay, the East River, and the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges and Manhattan in the background

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February 23 marks 220 years since the founding of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but 2021 also marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the non-profit organization that manages the city-owned industrial park. In this birthday celebration, we will look back at the decades-long transformation of the Yard from a military shipbuilding installation into a dynamic and diverse hub of manufacturing, technology, design, and opportunity that hosts more than 500 businesses and 11,000 good-paying jobs. We will be joined by staff from BNYDC, who will share new projects and initiatives, insights on the growth of the Yard in recent years, and how the businesses have navigated the pandemic.

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Chinese New Year Traditions | Episode 192

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Celebrate the Chinese New Year with our team as we share the history, traditions, and foods of one of the world’s most widely-celebrated holidays. While the actual New Year falls on February 12 this year, the celebrations stretch on for more than three weeks around the holiday. Our staff member Gina Gao will teach us about the mythology of the holiday, how people prepare for the New Year, and the origins of traditions like the red envelopes (hóngbāo) and the Lantern Festival (Yuánxiāo jié). We will also learn about New Year traditions unique to Gina’s hometown of Wuhan, and look at the evolution of celebrations in New York City’s Chinese communities. Though public celebrations are subdued due to the pandemic, we will also go live to Flushing, Queens to see how the community is marking the holiday.

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