Tales from the Archives: The Puerto Rican Experience Reflected in Federal Records | Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Government records are not just the stuff of bureaucratic nightmares. While created to serve agency functions, federal records can also reveal very personal stories. Dennis Riley, an archivist at the New York State Archives, and formerly at the National Archives in New York and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, will discuss some of the personal history reflected in the records from Puerto Rico held at the National Archives in New York City.

>> Continue reading

Explore Brooklyn’s Avenue of Puerto Rico | Virtual Program

PAST PROGRAM | Virtual Programs

Explore the history of Graham Avenue, Brooklyn’s “Avenue of Puerto Rico” and take an in-depth look at the businesses and people of this community, including the historic Moore Street Market, and the department stores, butcher shops, and pushcarts of the past and present. Turnstile Tours has worked in the neighborhood for more than 10 years, and this program is based on more than 20 oral history interviews with neighborhood residents and local business owners and on original archival research that we will share during this session.

>> Continue reading

100 Years of Refuge at the Brooklyn Army Terminal

May 15, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This remarkable facility served for 47 years as a critical supply base and logistics hub for the US Army, and today it is a center of industry and innovation, home to 100 companies and nearly 4,000 jobs. Throughout this centenary week, we will be sharing stories of the Terminal, past and present, on our blog and social media.


The Brooklyn Army Terminal was designed for war, a massive warehouse and port facility to receive, store, process, and ship war materiel to points around the globe. But the Terminal did not just send out troops and supplies to wage war; it has also been an important place of refuge and relief for people trying to escape persecution, war, and disaster. Here are some examples of the Brooklyn Army Terminal’s history as a safe haven over the last century.>> Continue reading

Immigrants Who Made the Brooklyn Navy Yard Great: Frederick Lois Riefkohl

This post is part of our eight-part series profiling immigrants to the United States who made significant contributions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the eighteenth century to the present day.


Frederick Lois Riefkohl (1889–1969)

The histories of Puerto Rico and of the US military are deeply intertwined, and much of that history runs through the career of Frederick Lois Riefkohl, the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the US Naval Academy, to win the Navy Cross, and to achieve the rank of rear admiral. Normally we would not consider someone from Puerto Rico an immigrant – they are US citizens – but Reifkohl lived in a complicated time.>> Continue reading