Black Sailors and Shipworkers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1866–1966 | Episode 195

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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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Missiles and Meteorites: Polar Exploration and the Brooklyn Navy Yard | Episode 94

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From the 1830’s to the 1960’s, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was an important base for exploration of the Polar regions. This program with Yard historian Andrew Gustafson will span from the Wilkes Expedition (1838-1842) that charted portions of the Antarctica coast, through Robert Peary’s numerous attempts at the North Pole (1886-1909), and the many Cold War-era programs to map, patrol, and fight in the Arctic Ocean, the new frontline between nuclear-armed US and USSR.

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