Rockland History: 2020-21 Radio Programs

Crossroads of Rockland History - HSRC on the Radio
Crossroads of Rockland History - HSRC on the Radio

Crossroads of Rockland History, a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 am on WRCR radio at www.WRCR.com. Join host Clare Sheridan as we explore, celebrate, and learn about our local history, with different topics and guest speakers every month.

Haverstraw Brick Museum
This program originally aired on December 20, 2021. To listen, click here.

Did you know that we can discover the future by studying the past? The Haverstraw Brick Museum is doing just that! Host Clare Sheridan interviewed Rachel Whitlow, acting executive director of the Haverstraw Brick Museum and Center for Historic Preservation. They discussed the Museum’s new innovation series of exhibitions; interesting collaborations with organizations, including the Pratt School of Architecture; and goal to engage the community through history, STEAM education, and hands-on living history experiences.

Learn more at:  https://www.haverstrawbrickmuseum.org

Patriots and Spies in Revolutionary New York
This program originally aired on November 15, 2021. To listen, click here.

Spies! Loyalists! Tories! Conspiracy! Strange messages? Codes in invisible ink? On the November 2021 episode of  "Crossroads of Rockland History," Clare Sheridan interviewed A. J. Schenkman, author of the new book Patriots and Spies in Revolutionary New York, published by Globe Pequot. Ann Bates, Enoch Crosby and other notorious figures in the American Revolution were discussed. A.J. Schenkman teaches history in the Lower Hudson Valley and writes about the history of Ulster and Orange counties. He is the Town of Gardiner Historian.

Blauvelt Family History
The program originally aired on October 18, 2021. To listen, click here.

Ralph Blauvelt joins Clare Sheridan to speak about his new book, Four Hundred Years in America: 17th Century Immigrant Ancestors. This is the story of the first immigrant settlers in New Netherland, some of whom are Blauvelt’s own ancestors. Their lives are reconstructed from the documents they left behind, and their stories are those of strangers in a strange land trying to build a new life.

Read more about the new book here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-hundred-years-in-america-ralph-blauvelt/1140167170

Major André's Toe/Typhoid Mary
The program originally aired on September 20, 2021. To listen, click here.

In this two-part episode, Clare Sheridan reads “The True Story of Major André’s Toe,” as written by Palisades Historian Alice Gerard. (The story appeared in the HSRC's South of the Mountains history quarterly). This story is relevant right now, because one hundred years ago, Major John André’s remains were exhumed by order of the Duke of York and moved from Tappan (the site of André’s hanging) to Westminster Abbey.  In terms of legends and lore, the truth about this story is one of the most frequently asked questions of our staff at the HSRC. Part 2 revisits Clare’s interview with author Mary Beth Keane about her book FEVER, the historical fiction exploration of Mary Mallon, a.k.a. Typhoid Mary—a story of that is more relevant today than ever!

Tappan Scavenger Hunt
This program originally aired on August 16, 2021. To listen, click here.

A history scavenger hunt is happening in Tappan. Carol LaValle of the Tappantown Historical Society discussed the details surrounding this fun, educational and family-friendly event, which is co-sponsored by the Tappan Library.

Link to the hunt here:  https://www.tappanlibrary.org/localinfo.asp

Rockland Radio's Steve Possell
This episode originally aired on July 19, 2021. To listen, click here.

We turned our attention to the life and career of Steve Possell, who is retiring after a fifty-year career in local Rockland County radio. First at WRKL and now at WRCR, Possell has had an impact on local radio and our community that can only be called significant. We learned about how he got started in radio, his favorite moments over the past decades on the air and his plans for retirement.


Toni Morrison Retrospective
The program originally aired on June 22, 2021. To listen, click here.

Author Brenda Ross visited the program to speak about the Toni Morrison retrospective that she curated for the Historical Society of the Nyacks. This is the first exhibit to open in the Historical Society of the Nyacks’ new museum space on the first floor of the DePew Building at 50 Piermont Avenue, Nyack, NY. Brenda Ross has honed her craft through years of writing workshops. She holds a bachelor of arts in creative writing from SUNY Empire State College. Her acclaimed novel, Bibsy, was completed in the Novel Writing course at Sarah Lawrence College.

To learn more about the Toni Morrison exhibition, visit http://nyackhistory.org/2021/05/21/current-exhibit
To learn more about Brenda Ross and her new book visit: 

Memories of Helen Hayes, with Joyce Bulifant
The program originally aired on May 17, 2021. To listen, click here.

Joyce Bulifant shares fond memories of her mother-in-law, Helen Hayes; her father-in-law, the playwright Charles MacArthur; and of their famous house in Nyack, Pretty Penny. Then we learned about an effort to establish Pretty Penny as a national Literary Landmark from the actor, writer, and director Joel Vig.

Harriet Tubman Comes to Haverstraw

This episode originally aired on April 19, 2021. To listen, click here.

topic is the nationally touring sculpture Harriet Tubman—Journey to Freedom, by Wesley Wofford, which will be placed in the Haverstraw African-American Memorial Park for seven weeks, beginning April 20, 2021. Clare Sheridan’s guest was Virginia “Ginny” Norfleet, founder of the Haverstraw African American Connection (HAAC). Ginny spoke about how the HAAC arranged for this sculpture to be in Haverstraw and the auxiliary programs planned for each Saturday while the sculpture is in the village. Wesley Wofford is an Emmy and Academy Award-winning sculptor in North Carolina. His sculpture is recognized on a national and international level, with various awards and publications celebrating and featuring his work.

Learn more about the Haverstraw African-American Connection at https://www.thehaac.com

Miriam Cordwell
This program originally aired on March 15, 2021. To listen, click here.

The topic is the life and legacy of Miriam Cordwell (1908-1986), the trailblazing, innovating, and award-winning hair stylist known as the first lady of hair dressing. Clare Sheridan's guest is Cordwell's niece Judith Brodil.

Urban Renewal in Nyack

This program originally aired on February 15, 2021. To listen, click here.

Owen Voutsinas-Klose, author of Race, Power and Urban Renewal on the Hudson, and Bill Batson, whose family was directly impacted when their home was seized by eminent domain to make way for urban renewal in Nyack, speak with Clare Sheridan. Owen Voutsinas-Klose is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. Bill Batson is an artist, writer, and activist who lives in Nyack. He has worked for nonprofits, labor unions, and government in New York State as an organizer, writer, and public relations specialist.

For more information about Batson's work, visit https://billbatsonarts.com.

The Ramapo Pass
This program originally aired on January 18, 2021. To listen, click here.

Clare Sheridan welcomes Rockland County Historian Craig Long, who discusses the history of the Ramapo Pass, the Clove Road, the Smith House, and the new historical markers that relate to these historic sites in the Town of Ramapo.This episode of Crossroads of Rockland History was made possible by a generous contribution from the Town of Ramapo. The HSRC is grateful for their support of our efforts to share local history with the people of Rockland County.

Muriel Fox and NOW

This program originally aired on December 21, 2020. To listen, click here.

Clare Sheridan welcomed Muriel Fox, who, while living in Tappan, made history with Betty Friedan when they and other prominent feminists founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. A powerhouse herself, Muriel Fox is a world traveler, feminist, wife, mother, and retired public relations executive who was once included in Business Week magazine's list of "100 Top Corporate Women.” Fox spoke about her career and her work with NOW, as well as her contributions to other organizations, including those located right here in Rockland County. She shared exciting news about 2021, when she and other feminists around the globe will celebrate the 100th birthday of Betty Friedan with an event that will take place on February 4 at 7pm.

For more information, visit http://www.veteranfeministsofamerica.org or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VeteranFeminists

Tess McCormack, Shopping List for Murder
This program originally aired on November 16, 2020. To listen, click here.

Clare Sheridan welcomed Tess McCormack, who discussed her new book, Shopping List for Murder. It is the true story of a young girl’s horrific experiences long before the “Me Too” movement would usher in intolerance of abuse and the courageous Rockland County lawyer who fought for her future. McCormack spoke about her connection to this true crime saga and what inspired her to write the book. (Please note that this episode includes discussion around topics including sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, physical violence, and harassment. We  acknowledge that this content may be difficult to hear. We also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being. If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the Center for Safety and Change, https://www.centerforsafetyandchange.org,)

Shopping List for Murder is available for purchase at https://www.amazon.com/SHOPPING-LIST-MURDER-Tess-McCormack/dp/B08F6TXZ1H#:~:text=SHOPPING%20LIST%20FOR%20MURDER%20by,a%20close%2Dknit%20family%20environment

Women's History: Nita Lowey and Isabelle Savell
This program originally aired on October 19, 2020. To listen, click here

In this episode, Clare Sheridan welcomes Hon. Nita M. Lowey, who reflects on her historic career as congresswoman from the 17th District of New York. Then Becky Savell discusses the life and career of her grandmother, the historian Isabelle Savell. After a career as a journalist, and then working for Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Isabelle Savell wrote many books, including Ladies Lib: How Rockland Women Got the Vote

New HSRC Exhibitions
This program originally aired on September 21, 2020. To listen, click here.

The September 2020 episode of “Crossroads of Rockland History” focused on the two new exhibitions on view now at the Historical Society of Rockland County (HSRC). Mariel Farlow and her daughter, Michele Lehtis, discussed the monumental sculpture “Being of Light—Image of the Human Soul.” We explored the true meaning of what may be the most controversial piece of public art in Rockland County with the artist herself and heard part of a poignant reaction to the controversy from the artist's daughter. Then Jennifer Brooks, co-curator (with Christine Kowalski) of “Inside Out: Women, Fashion & The Fight for Suffrage, spoke about the use of highlights from the HSRC's permanent collection to address questions about how the fight for women’s suffrage changed fashion, and how women’s fashion—and lives—changed in response to suffrage.

League of Women Voters Turns 100
This program originally aired on August 17, 2020. To listen, click here.

Happy 100th anniversary to the League of Women Voters! Marilyn Cohen, vice president of the Rockland County Chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV), talks to Clare Sheridan about the national nonpartisan group that has been doing active grassroots organizing for 100 years with the belief that voters should play a critical role in democracy.  The conversation covers the history of the LWV nationally and here in our community, and what the LWV is doing now to prepare for the upcoming 2020 election.


Women's Suffrage Centennial Summer Reading
This program originally aired on July 20, 2020. To listen, click here.

Joining Clare Sheridan were Anya Berg of the Palisades Free Library and Katie Karkheck of the Valley Cottage Library. The librarians shared their recommendations for books that celebrate the Suffrage Centennial. We also opened the phone lines for listeners' suggestions and questions.

Anya Berg recommends:

1. The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elaine Weiss
2. Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, by Susan Ware
3. Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State, by Susan Goodier and Karen Pastorello
4. Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, by Rebecca Traister
5. Activism into Art into Activism into Art: A Personal History of Feminist Artby Cristina Biaggi, founding member of www.SuffrageForward.org
Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for Allby Martha S. Jones

Katie Karkheck recommends:

1. Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote, by Ellen Carol DuBois
2. Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, by Susan Ware
3. The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age, by Myra MacPherson
4. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activist : A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights, by Mikki Kendall, illustrated by A. D'Amico (a graphic history of the various struggles and fights for rights from ancient times to today, intended for teens)

And for kids, Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women's Right to Vote, by Dean Robbins, illustrated by Nancy Zhang

Clare Sheridan recommends:

Shout: Poetry for Suffrage, by Susanna Rich
Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates (Telling Her Stories), by Carol Simon Levin (coloring book for kids and adults – perfect for the pandemic!)
The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote (paperback), by Elaine Weiss 
Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote, by Tina Cassidy 
 And Ladies Lib: How Rockland Women Got the Vote, by Isabelle Savell

For information about the Palisades Library, go to www.palisadeslibrary.org
For information about the Valley Cottage Library, go to www.valleycottagelibrary.org

Mary Mowbray-Clarke
This program originally aired on June 15, 2020. To listen, click here.

As a young woman, Nyack’s Mary Mowbray-Clarke (nee Horgan) met and mingled with some of the most influential artists and intellectuals of the day.  Later, as co-owner of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop, a hotbed of artistic activity and anarchist political thought in New York City during the 1910s and '20s, she convinced many of her friends and colleagues to move to Rockland County, resulting in an artist colony like no other. She would eventually make her mark as an art critic, writer, publisher, and then architect of New City’s Dutch Garden. Justin Duerr, who is researching the fascinating life of Mary Mowbray-Clarke, joined Clare Sheridan to share some of what he has uncovered about this unique Rockland County woman. Justin Duerr is a self-taught artist, musician, and art-history researcher whose artwork has been featured in gallery and museum exhibits across the country. He has also toured as a musician throughout most of the continental United States. His His first book, The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Works and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, was published by Beehive Books. Justin is currently researching and writing a biography/art book centered on the multifaceted artist and counter-culture maven Mary Mowbray-Clarke.

Josephine Nivison Hopper
This program originally aired on May 18, 2020. To listen, click here

Josephine Nivison was an accomplished artist by the time she started dating Edward Hopper in 1923, but the world knows very little about her. Jennifer Patton, executive director of the Edward Hopper House in Nyack, joined Clare Sheridan to discuss Josephine Nivison Hopper’s career before she met Edward Hopper, how she helped launch his career, and what happened to her life and work after they married in 1924. Jennifer Patton has worked as a museum educator in the field for twenty-five years; during that time, she received her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, researching how museums can transform communities. The Edward Hopper House gives new understanding and depth to an iconic American artist by preserving his family home and boyhood memorabilia and illuminating his sources of inspiration in Nyack through our collections, exhibition and programs.

Learn moreat http://www.edwardhopperhouse.org.

“Orangetown Suffragist”
The program originally aired on April 20, 2020. To listen, click here.

The Orangetown Historical Museum & Archive had planned to open a new exhibition, “Orangetown Suffragist,” on April 19. Although the opening had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Clare Sheridan interviewed Orangetown Historian Mary Cardenas and Orangetown Museum Curator Elizabeth Skrabonja about their efforts to research the fight Orangetown women undertook to win the right to vote. We discussed the fascinating women's suffrage movement within the context of how women lived and were perceived at the time and the legacy that lives on today in Orangetown as we celebrate 100 years of women's suffrage.

Learn more about the Orangetown Historical Museum and Archive here:  https://www.orangetownmuseum.com

Monumental Women
The program originally aired on March 16, 2020. To listen, click here.

Pam Elam, president of Monumental Women, and the sculptor Meredith Bergmann talks to Clare Sheridan about the all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization created in 2014 with the initial goal of breaking the bronze ceiling and creating the first statue of real women in Central Park’s 166-year history. Bergmann's sculpture, "Women’s Rights Pioneers," depicts Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It will be unveiled on August 26, 2020, the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th “Votes for Women” Amendment to the constitution. This year is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony. All three women were not only Women’s Rights Pioneers, but also New Yorkers. Monumental Women has the further goals of increasing awareness and appreciation of women’s history through a nationwide education campaign and challenging municipalities across the country to rethink the past and reshape the future by including tributes in their public spaces to the diverse women who helped create and inspire those cities.  

For more information about Monumental Women, visit https://monumentalwomen.org/

Just Call Me Lucky
The program originally aired on February 17, 2020. To listen, click here.

We celebrate Black History Month by focusing on Just Call Me Lucky, a new book about Hezekiah Easter. Based on extensive personal interviews and written in the "as told to" style by Elizabeth Vallone, the book highlights Easter's many contributions to our community, including his work as the first African American to hold elected office in Rockland County, his tireless efforts to preserve Mount Moor Cemetery, and much more. Elizabeth Palombella Vallone is a teacher and freelance writer, as well as a contributing author to the anthologies Imprints on Rockland County History (1983) and Curragia: Writings of Italian American Women.

The program originally aired on January 20, 2020. To listen, click here.

"SuffrageForward–100 Years and Onward" is a yearlong effort to celebrate the centennial of Women’s Suffrage. Paulette Ross and Harriet Cornell, members of the group's steering committee, give a sneak preview of some of the exciting events planned to commemorate this important milestone. The nonprofit SuffrageForward's mission is not only to celebrate a woman's right to vote, but to empower women now and in the future and create awareness among all people of the strength and resilience of girls and women.


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