President Donald Trump presents the Medal of Honor to retired Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday. Bellavia received the award for conspicuous gallantry while serving in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.

Medal Of Honor Awarded To New York Veteran

Retired Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia received the nation’s highest medal for heroism for saving his squad in Fallujah, Iraq. Bellavia is the first living veteran of that war to be so honored.

An enormous portrait of George Washington hangs alongside swastika banners and American flags at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1939 during the German American Bund's Pro-America Rally.

When Nazis Took Manhattan

In 1939, an event at Madison Square Garden was billed as a “Pro-America Rally.” It was, in fact, a rally in support of Hitler and fascism.

As Rumors Swirl Around Bainbridge Veterans Clinic, Vets Wonder What’s Going On

The VA wants to move its Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Bainbridge, a rural community in right off I-88 in Chenango County, to Oneonta. Rumors of that move have intensified over the last year, but veterans, stakeholders and residents don’t know why a move would be made. Even more, they wonder if it would be better.

Remembering The ‘American St. Nick’

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Richard Brookins died last Thursday at the age of 96.  He was a WWII veteran but his impact as a soldier is perhaps best known for the impromptu decision to have him dress up as Saint Nicholas on December 5th, 1944.

Families, Friends Close A Chapter Of The Flight 93 Memorial

SHANKSVILLE, PA (WSKG) — On September 11, 2001, four planes crashed: two in New York City, one outside Washington DC, and one in a remote Pennsylvania field. That last plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was diverted from its likely target by its passengers and crew. All 40 were killed. Now their loved ones have dedicated the final piece of a memorial commemorating them: the Tower of Voices. The newest and last feature of the Flight 93 National Memorial is 93 feet tall, and designed to hold 40 massive wind chimes.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney Speaks At Cornell

Most of his remarks were about events of the early 2000s. Attendees asked him about some current issues, like how mistakes of the past could inform the current situation with Iran and North Korea.

“Who’s going to teach this administration?” he responded.

Security At Air Force’s Rome Lab Under Scrutiny

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Members of New York’s Congressional delegation are trying to secure funding to build a fence around the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome. Without the proper security, they fear the “Rome Lab” is potentially vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Iraq’s Christian Refugees Fear For Their Ancient Culture

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – On Wednesday evening, in Ithaca, a small group gathered in the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca to learn about the plight of Assyrian Christians from Iraq. The gathering was organized by the Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East.

Ithaca Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Focuses On His Poor People’s Campaign

People packed the gym of Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in downtown Ithaca to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They also were there to further his vision of a Poor People’s Campaign. 

It was a movement to “revolutionize” the country’s attitude toward the poor and rally them to advocate for better living conditions. After a buffet lunch and brief presentations, those attending the celebration divided into smaller groups to discuss issues and solutions to current societal problems.

Fabina Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event, said it was important to spend time talking to each other about problems the community faces today. “If we want different solutions we must create different processes. That is, looking at some of the work that the Poor People’s Campaign is doing and being in alignment with that,” said Fabina Benitez Colon, Director of the Multicultural Resource Center and one of the organizers of the Ithaca event. Nationwide, organizers are trying to bring about a revival of the Poor People’s Campaign with an emphasis on systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation.


Veterans Support Their Peers In Transition Home

The American Legion Post 80 is one of Bert Proper’s favorite places. Aside from the plaques, pictures and flags that remind him of military service history, he loves the feel of the building. “You’re around people that have been there,” he explained. Proper means been deployed. He served during the Persian Gulf War and had a tough transition back home.


How Southern Tier Farmers Fought To Hold The Union Line

Many books and movies have been written about Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and his valiant success at Little Roundtop, but very little has been said about the right end the line where Colonel Ireland was with his regiment. Today, they’re getting a little time in the sun. The 137th New York and their leader Colonel David Ireland held down the right side of the line on Culp’s Hill. Culp’s Hill is actually two hills sloping down into a ditch or a swale. On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee and the Confederate army attempted to get around the Union line.


They Call Me “Cool Fool”: A George Haley Story

To conclude our series highlighting historical black residence of our region we discuss the life of Bath, NY native Lt. Col. George J. Haley. Haley volunteered in WWII as a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces. He fought in multiple wars, flying over 90 missions in WWII alone. More history from the Twin Tiers can be found here.


From Slavery To Citizenship: The Story Of John W. Jones


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We continue our series that highlights notable black residents of the Southern Tier with John W. Jones. (If you missed the first installment, click here.)

Shane Johnson of WSKG’s history department writes: “Between the summers of 1864 and 1865, nearly 3,000 Confederate prisoners died at the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York. The monumental task of burying the dead fell upon Jones, a former runaway slave.” Shane has more on this epic here.


How Oscar Barton’s Drum Embodies Owego Civil War History


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For Black History Month, we are highlight notable black residents of the Southern Tier, starting with Oscar Barton. Barton was from Owego and, in 1863, he enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer. For two years, he carried his drum across the South as a member of the 26th United States Colored Troops. Barton’s drum is now on display at the Tioga County Historical Society Museum.