Female World War II Veteran gets Historic Marker in Owego

Today, a new historic marker was dedicated in Owego honoring the life and service of Corporal Margaret Hastings. Born in 1914, Cpl. Hastings grew up in Owego and joined the Women’s Army Corps, or WACs, in 1944. On May 13, 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close, Cpl. 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. However, the pleasure cruise ended unexpectedly when the plane crashed violently into the side of a mountain.

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.

Jane A. Delano

In 1917, America entered the hellish nightmare of World War I. During the conflict, nearly 20,000 American nurses served in hospitals across Europe tending to the sick and wounded. The rapid training and deployment of these nurses would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of one women – Jane A. Delano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrTXy3UmFr4

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Corporal Margaret Hastings

On May 13, 1945, as the Second World War drew to a close, twenty-four American service men and women boarded a transport plane for a sightseeing trip over the uncharted jungles of Papua New Guinea know as “Shangril-La”. However their pleasure cruise ended unexpectedly in tragedy, crashing violently into the side of a mountain. Corporal Margaret Hastings, an Owego, New York native, was among the three survivors of the crash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDeTx8s7ofg

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Tioga County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Tioga County Historical Society
Library of Congress

Women's Basketball Team at Cornell, 1905 | #tbt

Today’s throwback Thursday photograph comes from the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University. The image shows members of a women’s basketball team at Cornell University taken in 1905. Before women’s basketball became a varsity sport at Cornell in 1971, women played in inter-class competitions and teams wore different color bloomers to tell each other apart. You can’t deny that uniforms have come a long way since the early 1900s.

Women, Abolitionism, and the Coming of the Civil War

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, adjunct professor Kevin Murphy discusses the important role women played in the Abolition Movement. Women, Abolitionism, and the Coming of the Civil War
While the miniseries Mercy Street largely focuses on the practices of wartime medicine, the creative team behind the show also exposes viewers to the integral role women played in nineteenth-century reform. In the show’s opening scene, Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a transplanted New Englander, is interviewed by Dorothea Dix (Cherry Jones), a leader in the fight to reform care for the mentally ill and the Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War. To the middle-aged Dix, Phinney stands out as an assertive but uncontroversial figure, the perfect young woman to become head nurse at the Mansion House Hotel. Well, almost uncontroversial.

The Civil War And Challenging the "Cult of True Womanhood"

Editor’s Note: WSKG has asked faculty and graduate students in the History Department at Binghamton University to explore the history behind PBS’s new drama Mercy Street. In today’s blog post, Binghamton alumnus, and WSKG producer, Shane Johnson discusses the 19th century concept of domesticity and how women challenged that notion during the Civil War. The Civil War And Challenging the “Cult of True Womanhood”
When Nurse Mary Phinney arrives at Mansion House in the first episode of Mercy Street, the camera circles around her as she tries to comprehend the overwhelming sights and sounds of a Civil War hospital. She has entered a new world. In many ways, the dramatized story of Nurse Phinney mirrors the stories of thousands of women who left their domestic worlds and enter the public sphere during the Civil War. In the process, these women challenged 19th century gender norms, the “cult of true womanhood,” and their acceptable place in American society at the time.

A NASA First | #tbt

On the night of February 3, 1995, the dark skies around Kennedy Space Center in Florida light up as the space shuttle Discovery lifted off on its 20th mission to outer space. The launch represented an historic moment for NASA and the space program; it was the first Space Shuttle mission piloted by a female astronaut – Eileen Collins. Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows Collins at the pilot’s station during that historic flight. https://youtu.be/4-_rwxr3ygE

Lt. Col. Collins was born in Elmira, New York where she attended Elmira Free Academy. Collins had a very successful career with the Air Force and NASA, logging over 872 hours in space. In 1999, she made another historic flight as the first female commander of a U.S. spacecraft, and retired from NASA in 2006.

Kirkside Park

Beginning in the late 1890’s, and for the next 40 years, Kirkside Park was part of the estate of one of Roxbury’s most famous residents, philanthropist Helen Gould Shepherd. The 11-acre park encompasses both banks of the East Branch of the Delaware River, includes Adirondack style bridges, gazebos, a waterfall and stone terraces. Unfortunately, following Mrs. Shepherd’s death in 1938, the park fell into disrepair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5qg-73zPYs

In 1999, the Town of Roxbury launched a park revitalization project, and today, Kirkside Park, with its rustic bridges, riverside paths, flower gardens and ball fields has been restored to its former grandeur. Once again Kirkside Park stands as a center of activity and natural beauty on New York’s Path Through History.

Wharton Studios

Wharton Inc.

In 1914, Theodore Wharton and his brother Leopold opened Wharton Inc., a silent film studio in Ithaca, NY. Between 1914 and 1919, the studio produced over a 100 different short and feature length movies. The majority of the films were action-adventure and comedy serials, featuring stars such as Pearl White, Oliver Hardy, Irene Castle, and Lionel Barrymore. The Wharton Brothers also utilized Ithaca storefronts and the majestic gorges and waterfalls of Tompkins County as the backdrops to many of their films. Sadly, the studio fell into tough financial straits and had to close its doors in 1919. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UNVwpXAxEU

Today, the Ithaca Motion Picture Project has plans to convert the former Wharton studio building, which still stands in Stewart Park, into a museum.