Newsies were poor, often abandoned, sometimes immigrant children who sold newspapers on New York City streets in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Families meet some of the boys (and occasional girls) who worked as newsies, and explore the 1899 strike in which the newsies brought two New York newspapers almost to a standstill. Children and grown-ups can try their hand at being a newsie in an interactive digital game.
Here families engage in a pivotal moment in the lives of poor, young, New York orphans who were transported from East Coast cities to new lives, mostly in rural America, beginning in the mid-1800s. Considered the nation’s first foster care program, the orphan train relocated many thousands of children over its seventy-five-year history.
When Esteban Bellán was a young Cuban student at St. John’s College (now Fordham) in the 1860s, he was introduced to the game of baseball, discovering both a talent and a career. He Americanized his name, and as Steve Bellán became the first Latin American to play professional baseball.
Dr. James McCune Smith was a brilliant abolitionist and the United States’ first university-trained African American physician.
Cornelia van Varick was a Dutch girl who lived in Flatbush, Brooklyn, around 1700. A great deal is known about her household and family because when her widowed mother died, executors compiled an estate inventory that still survives.