After a two-year hiatus, Fleet Week New York is back! So to mark the day that units arrive in New York for the celebration, we will be looking at some of the participating ships, among them two large Navy ships, four training vessels, two Coast Guard cutters, and a Royal Navy icebreaker, and the opportunities to visit them in Manhattan and Staten Island. We will also look at the history of Fleet Week and other naval reviews in New York, from the return of the victorious fleet after the Spanish-American War, the vast flotilla assembled after World War II, and our present-day Fleet Week tradition dating back to 1988. We will share images and stories of some of the special visits of military vessels to our harbor and to the Brooklyn waterfront.>> Continue reading
After a two-year hiatus, the fleet is returning to New York, though with a somewhat smaller contingent. This year, Navy, Coast Guard, and Royal Navy ships will be gathering on Manhattan’s West Side and at Staten Island’s Stapleton Pier—no ships coming to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, unfortunately. And due to the schedule of the tides, the parade of ships on May 25 will be very year this year; expect the ships to pass through the Narrows by 7:30am, and the ships expect to be at their berths by 8:30am.
Below is our annual guide to some of the units that will be in town—be sure to check out full schedule of events posted by the New York Council Navy League. If you can’t make out to all of these spots during the week, join us on Memorial Day for our Fleet Week Harbor Tour with our friends at Classic Harbor Line, where we will cruise past all the docking locations, get a waterside view of the ships aboard a beautiful motor yacht, and discuss the rich naval history of the harbor.
Waterfront workers were at the vanguard of the labor movement; the word “strike” has its origins in work stoppages on the London docks in 1768, when sailors “struck” the sails of ships to keep them in port. In New York, skilled shipworkers organized some of the earliest trade associations, and they agitated for steady wages and reduced working hours as far back as the 1820s. At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, federal regulations and political patronage often stifled workers’ ability to strike, but by the time of World War II, the massive workforce of the Yard was heavily unionized, and the good-paying jobs would form the backbone of Brooklyn’s middle class. In this virtual program, we will examine the long history of labor organizing at the Yard, how workers fought for their rights in the absence of formal unions, and how the unions ultimately proved powerless against changing politics and economics of the shipbuilding industry in New York.
- John G.M. Sharp, “The Washington Navy Yard Strike and ‘Snow Riot’ of 1835
- John R. Stobo, The Brooklyn Navy Yard: Civil Servants Building Warships
- “The Old Ship-Builders of New York” (Harper’s Magazine)
- Arnold Sparr, “Looking for Rosie: Women Defense Workers in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1942–1946”
- “March on Washington Movement, 1941–1947” (Black Past)
- “Pouring Concrete: The Brooklyn Navy Yard Prepares for War” (Turnstile Tours)
The history and legacy of the Second World War can be seen all around us in Brooklyn. Once home to hundreds of factories, shipyards, and warehouses, and responsible for sending millions of service members off to the front lines, Brooklyn was arguably one of the most important communities in waging and winning the war. Using locations from communities across Brooklyn—including famous sites like the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal, and lesser-known sites that help tell stories about labor, housing, and culture—as well as primary source documents and oral histories, this program will help illuminate Brooklynites’ experience of World War II.
- (Re)connecting Brooklyn’s History – Brooklyn Public Library
- Companion booklet for educators • for students
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Archive
- Brooklyn Daily Eagle WWII supplement (Dec 9, 1945)
CUNY TV, March 18, 2022
On this edition, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and its big investment in small business. Ensuring no neighbor is left out of the windfall from the coastal complex’s growth. The yard’s deep historical connection to World War II that many might not know. What the city’s largest Spanish speaking television station sacrificed to survive. Then CUNY’s effort to assist Hollywood with its diversity push.
While New York City sat at the nexus of many important canals built in the 19th century — the Erie, Morris, and Delaware & Raritan among them — the city had its own internal network of lesser-known canals, some filled in, some never built, and some still with us today. As part of our ongoing virtual program series on canals, we will examine the ambitious schemes from the 17th century onward to connect the city’s bays and streams, from the Heere Graft of New Amsterdam to the Wallabout Canal of Brooklyn.
- WATCH past programs about canals
- Sergey Kadinsky’s Hidden Waters Blog
- Canal Society of New Jersey
- Beyond Manahatta: The Welikia Project
- Map of Kings and part of Queens counties, Long Island N.Y., 1852
- Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York, 1865
- A Connected View of The Whole Internal Navigation of the United States, 1830
- “A Really Greater New York,” (Popular Science, 1916)
To celebrate the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 221st birthday, which takes place during Black History Month, we’re looking at the past and present of Black trailblazers and innovators at the Yard. Join this panel discussion as we examine the vital role played by Black sailors and shipworkers since 1801, and how the Yard has been an engine for economic empowerment since it became a city-owned industrial park in 1969. We will be joined by entrepreneurs, artists, and craftspeople in the Yard today, as well as staff from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Special guests will include Kyiesha Kelly of Hip Hop Closet and Gina Riley of Rebel Designs.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day as we share some of our favorite love stories from history from the places that we work. We will share long-distance love letters from World War II, milestone weddings in Prospect Park, workplace romances at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and people who found their loves in public markets. We will share artifacts, newspaper clippings, oral histories, and more from various archives, and we invite participants to share their own love stories and family histories in this Zoom meeting.
- Weddings in Prospect Park
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Collection (Center for Brooklyn History)
- Jennifer Egan, “Reading Lucy” in Brooklyn Was Mine
- “Navy Yard Visitors Share Memories and Mementos”
- “100 Years of Refuge at the Brooklyn Army Terminal”
- “RIP Essex Street Market Vendor Ron Budinas” (The Lo-Down)
- Jacques Torres Chocolate
- Uncommon Goods
Concrete is the world’s most ubiquitous building material, and many important milestones of its development took place in Brooklyn. In this virtual program, we will examine concrete’s history, production, and chemistry, then discuss some of the landmark structures that drove the development of steel-reinforced concrete in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From Gowanus to DUMBO, Prospect Park to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we will look at monumental buildings and small details designed by some renowned architects, including Cass Gilbert, Albert Kahn, and Calvert Vaux.
- John C. Goodridge (1874) Beton-Coignet: A Description of the Material and its Uses in France and America
- Histoire de la maison Coignet (1900)
- Turner Construction (1919) A Record of War Activities
- “Pouring Concrete: The Brooklyn Navy Yard Prepares for War”
- Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation
- “Alternative materials could shrink concrete’s giant carbon footprint” (Chemical & Engineering News)
To mark the 80th anniversary since the attack on Pearl Harbor, this virtual program will examine the connections between the fleet in Hawaii in 1941 and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We will look at the histories of the eight ships built at the Yard that were moored in Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning, including the battleships Arizona and Tennessee. We will also discuss the role the Yard played in salvaging the Pacific Fleet in the aftermath of the attack, as more than 1,000 skilled Brooklyn shipworkers volunteered to go to Hawaii to help rebuild.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History Collection
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial Oral History Collection (NPS)
- Pearl Harbor Salvage Report 1944 (NHHC)
- Pearl Harbor: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal (NHHC)
- Edward C. Raymer (2012) Descent Into Darkness: Pearl Harbor, 1941 — A Navy Diver’s Memoir