Corporal Margaret Hastings | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows Owego, New York, native Corporal Margaret Hastings on her Victory Bond tour at the close of World War II. In Spring, 1945, Owego native Corporal Margaret Hastings boarded a transport plane with 23 other service men and women. It was for a sightseeing trip over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea. But the trip ended when the plane crashed violently into the side of a mountain. Cpl. Hastings was one of only three survivors.

The Broome County Historical Society and Brian Frey Present 'Rod Serling's Binghamton'

Join WSKG and the Broome County Historical Society on April 27 at 6:30 PM for a special presentation entitled “Rod Serling’s Binghamton” at WSKG Studios in Vestal, New York. Rod Serling grew up on Binghamton’s West Side and graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1943.  After serving as a paratrooper during World War II, Serling went on to become one of the most celebrated and successful writers in television history.  “The Twilight Zone,” the iconic television series he created and hosted, continues to influence writers and filmmakers nearly sixty years after it first aired. During the presentation, documentary filmmaker Brian Frey will talk about the lasting legacy of Rod Serling’s writings, and share film clips and interviews with friends and historians who illustrate how Serling’s war experience and Southern Tier upbringing helped influence his life and work.  

Brian Frey has been producing films for Public Television for over twenty years.  Several of his films have aired on PBS stations across the country.  He has produced profiles of EJ shoe company founder George F. Johnson, IBM CEO Thomas Watson, and flight simulator inventor Ed Link.  He has won three New York State Emmy Awards and eleven New York State Broadcasters Awards. This event is sponsored by the Broome County Historical Society.

Join WSKG for a Special Sneak Peek at Ken Burns's 'Jackie Robinson'

Join WSKG April 7 at 6:30PM, at our studio in Vestal, for a special sneak peek at the new documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns – JACKIE ROBINSON. We will be showing 40 minutes from the two-part, four-hour film. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and an RSVP is required. Write to or call 607-729-0100.

JACKIE ROBINSON, is directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, and will air April 11 and 12, at 9:00 p.m. on WSKG TV.

Join Us For a Special Discussion About 'Harvest'

Join WSKG on Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30PM as we host the Broome County Historical Society for a presentation on Harvest, the latest documentary from award winning filmmaker Brian Frey. Frey will present extended clips from the film and discuss the making of his documentary which examines the evolution of farming in the region over the last 200 years. Be a part of this special look at Harvest, January 20th at 6:30PM at WSKG Studios located at 601 Gates Road Vestal, NY.  Admission is free and no reservation is needed.  

This event is sponsored by the Broome County Historical Society.

Civil War Reenactment | Delhi, NY

On November 30th, 1864, Union and Confederate soldiers clashed at the Battle of Honey Hill in South Carolina. This July the battle was recreated for a group of onlookers at the Delaware County Historical Association in Dehli, NY.

This was the second annual Civil War Reenactment held at the DCHA. In addition to the reenactment of Honey Hill, the weekend event included living history exhibits, a Civil War wedding, kids drills, scavenger hunts, and period photography and film demonstrations. One highlight for visitors was meeting the history horses “Big Red” and “Rebel Yell.”

The Battle of Honey hill was chosen because of the important role the 144th NY infantry regiment played in the battle.

New Exhibit at Binghamton University Highlights True Costs of the Civil War

The lower gallery of the Binghamton University Art Museum is abuzz with activity. A group of graduate students huddle around a tape measure debating the best way to hang a large picture frame on the wall. Around them on the floor, other frames and labels lay in neat rows. The students are setting up for a new exhibition, entitled The Civil War: Images of Ruin. “This is actually the first exhibition I’ve worked on,” explains Kasia Kieca, an art history student at Binghamton University.

"A Dawn Like Thunder" By Robert Mrazek


Troops involved in a conflict are admonished to pursue the enemy and carry out their mission as if victory in the war depended entirely on them.  That may not always be the case — there’s a lot of hurry-up-&-wait in the armed forces — but sometimes it does turn out that a small number of individuals can have a decisive influence on the outcome of a war. Of course, given the inevitable chaos and pain of battle the reckoning may have to wait for that final arbiter of victory, the judgement of history.

Now a judgement has been rendered about the record of the U.S. Navy’s Torpedo Squadron Eight and a new book, “A Dawn Like Thunder” by Robert J. Mrazek , sets out the crucial role of that one unit during the early days of World War II in the Pacific.  At both the Battle of Midway and Guadalcanal, at a stage in the war when the final outcome was still uncertain, Torpedo 8 faced the Japanese forces and contributed to gaining time and territory and turned the tide of battle. The role of Torpedo 8 was recognized at the time — it was the most highly decorated naval air squadron of WW2 — but at a tragic cost, for the squadron is believed to have suffered the greatest number of combat deaths of any such unit in American history.   “A Dawn Like Thunder” recounts the military maneuvers and details the armaments at the disposal of naval aviation .  “The torpedo planes [skipper John Waldron]’s men flew were terribly outmoded,” writes Mrazek.  “Some of his pilots derisively referred to them as ‘flying coffins,’ and by 1942, they weren’t far wrong.”  But the story of Torpedo 8 is told mostly through the lives of the Navy flyers, proceeding through chapters concentrating on the actions and character of dozens of officers and men. Harold “Swede” Larsen was an Annapolis graduate and a tough taskmaster who commanded Torpedo 8.  One of his men actually tried to shoot him.  Swede led the unit through its bloodiest fights and went on to have a distinguished naval career.