History Room Programs

Only the most recent five History Room Program announcements are shown here. Go to History Room Programs Archive for complete listings.


Posted: August 26, 2018
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Opening Reception: Wish You Were Here: A Look Back at Life in Hudson Through Vintage Postcards

Program Description: Wish You Were Here: A Look Back at Life in Hudson Through Vintage Postcards is the library’s first ever History Room collection exhibit; curated by David Murphy of Hudson, former president of the library’s Board of Trustees and a member of its History Room Committee. The opening includes a presentation on the collection, hosted by Gary Sheffer, a native of Hudson. Wine and cheese reception to follow. Note cards and t-shirts will be available for purchase with an image of an iconic historic Hudson postcard. 

Date/Time: Thursday, September 6, 6-8pm (Opening Reception); the exhibit will be on display through October 31.                                 

What did people do to connect with each other before telephones, internet, and instant messaging? Many sent postcards, even if it was to a friend or relative just a few miles away. Wish You Were Here examines and celebrates that era.

The Hudson Area Library History Room has collected an extensive set of postcards from this river city, most from the early 1900s, that tell charming personal stories about life here 100 years ago. The collection illuminates how essential this widely used method of communications was for travelers, family and friends in and around Hudson. It includes many street scenes of Hudson, prominent buildings such as the county courthouse, and parks such as Promenade Hill.  

We are proud to make the images available to the general public. In addition to this two month exhibition we are also making the images of our postcards available in our page on the Hudson River Valley Heritage’s Digital Collections.

For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Posted: August 1, 2018
Adults, History Room, News, Programs

Ulysses Grant: An American Enigma by Elizabeth Diggs

The Cottage, in Mt. McGregor (near Saratoga Springs) was the final home of our 18th century President.

Program Description:  In conjunction with PS 21’s production of award-winning playwright Elizabeth Diggs’ GRANT & TWAIN, Ms. Diggs discusses the fascinating life of Ulysses Grant and his relationship with Mark Twain.

Date/Time: Thursday, August 23, 6-7:30pm

Suggested Audience: Adults

Grant, a West Point graduate, had a deep connection to the Hudson Valley. He spent the last weeks of his life at The Cottage, in Mt. McGregor, New York (near Saratoga Springs). During that time, backed by satirist Mark Twain, he completed the best-seller, “The Civil War Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.” With Twain’s dedication and promotion, it went on to become a nationwide best seller. “The essential enigma of Grant,” says Diggs, “is that he rose to greatness as a military leader, as President, and finally, as a writer.  And yet, he was not ambitious.  He hated war, but he was our greatest warrior.  He disliked politics, but he was elected twice as President of the Union he saved.  And he never intended to write about the war, but when he finally did, his book was regarded as one of the greatest memoirs of all time.”

Raised in far Western Ohio, the future President was one of the few West Point cadets from what was then the frontier and was looked down upon for his rough clothes and lack of polish.  But he ended up making friends for life there – admired for his calm disposition, wry wit, and his unmatched horsemanship.

Early in the war, he was spurned by the Commander of the Army of the Potomac (McClellan) and given a desk job.  Finally assigned to an unruly Volunteer regiment, he quickly won their loyalty and began to win battles in the West when the Union was losing in the East.

Grant made headlines with the victory at Fort Donelson in 1862.  When asked for a meeting to discuss terms of surrender his reply was, “No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.”  This reply and the surrender of an entire Rebel army of 30,000 made him famous overnight.

Late in the war, President Lincoln called him to Washington to make him Commander in Chief of the Union Army.  Although it was their first face-to-face meeting, they became close friends.  After Lincoln’s assassination, he sat in the shadows near the casket for two days, weeping silently as thousands of mourners filed by.

By the time the war finally ended, Diggs says, “He was idolized by the North for winning the war, and by the South for the compassionate Articles of Surrender he wrote at Appomattox.”

Years later, Dwight Eisenhower was puzzled by Grant’s reputation as a drunkard.  He studied his battle plans and tactics and concluded that only a man in full control of all his faculties could have devised and implemented Grant’s famously complex and audacious strategies.  Eisenhower said, “He met every test and rose to the occasion unlike any other man in American history.  He’s not been given his due.”

Join Ms. Diggs in the Library’s Community Room to learn more about this remarkable President and his relationship with Mark Twain. Refreshments provided. Contact programs@hudsonarealibrary.org for more information. For further information about Diggs, Grant, Twain and the play at PS21 go to www.GrantTwain.com.

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Posted: July 26, 2018
Adults, Children, History Room, News, Programs

Oakdale Lake Picnic & Oakdale Past and Future Exhibition

Oakdale Lake June 1963. Howard Gibson Collection.

 Program Description: Friends of Hudson Youth and Friends of Oakdale Lake will throw the first annual Oakdale Lake Picnic open to all of Hudson, ushering in a new era of community use and involvement at Oakdale. There will be free hot dogs with pickles made by Oakdale campers and Hawthorne Valley sauerkraut; Stewart’s ice cream; and a DJ. The Oakdale Picnic offers the first ever viewing of a new exhibit, co-created by the Hudson Area Library,  Friends of Hudson Youth and Friends of Oakdale Lake. The exhibit, “Oakdale Past & Future,”  includes historic photographs, maps, and memorabilia on Oakdale.

Date/Time: Thursday, August 9, 4-6pm

The exhibit, “Oakdale Past & Future,” consists of black and white photographs of Oakdale Lake in its heyday, maps and quotes from early Oakdale Lake plans, beginning in 1911, an original color 1995 plan that includes design elements never implemented, and a concise history of Hudson’s relationship with its own lake. An expanded exhibit will be remounted by the Hudson Area Library in January 2019.

Representatives from Friends of Hudson Youth and Friends of Oakdale Lake, as well as from the Hudson Valley Initiative, a program of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning, will be on hand to talk about plans for improvement of Oakdale Lake and organizational goals and results. For more information email Info@hudsonyouth.org or call 518.828.1792 x101.

The Oakdale Picnic is made possible by the generous support of the City of Hudson, Metzwood Insurance, the Friends of Hudson Youth, and the Friends of Oakdale Lake.

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Posted: July 1, 2018
Adults, Children, History Room, News, Programs

Family Field Trip to Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

Hudson Area Library Kids in an Historic Tug O’ War!

Program Description: All ages and families are welcome to join us for a tour of & activities at the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site. Transportation and lunch will be provided. To sign up email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org or call 518-828-1792 x1010. Meet at the library at 11:30am to join us on this annual free family trip. Rain or shine we will be heading out!

Date/Time: Monday, July 23, 11:30 – 3pm

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Posted: June 3, 2018
Adults, History Room, Programs, Young Adults

Odds Against Tomorrow: Screening & Discussion

Program Description: The library’s History Room is pleased to present a special screening & discussion of Odds Against Tomorrow with documentary filmmaker David McDonald. Odds Against Tomorrow is a 1959 film starring Harry Belafonte that was filmed in Hudson and New York City and used many Hudsonians for cast and crew. There will be a preview of McDonald’s trailer for his documentary in progress about the filming of Odds Against Tomorrow and a discussion about the film, followed by the screening.

Date/Time: Thursday, June 28 from 6-8pm.

In an artist profile for Greene County Council on the Arts David McDonald writes: “Apparently, tons of people in the town of Hudson had served as extras in the movie or played a part in the production…so I got it into my head to do a short video about [people’s] memories of the event. To do so, I thought I should sit through the old movie, and when I did so, I was gobsmacked.  That movie, all about the price of intolerance, was as relevant for today’s world as it had been in 1959. I was hooked.” McDonald’s documentary is a “film-about-a-film”.

The movie runs for about one hour and forty minutes. This program is open to the public and there is a suggested donation. Snacks and refreshments will be available at a cash bar.

For more information email programs@hudsonarealibrary.org, call 518.828.1792 x101, or visit the main desk in the library.

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Only the most recent five Adult Programs are shown here. Go to Adult Programs Archive for complete listings

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