• Sinatra

    Frank Sinatra on Governors Island in WW2

    Frank Sinatra was born 100 years ago today, and the Internet seems to be going crazy about the milestone. There’s a little-known story about the time “The Voice” went to Fort Jay on Governors Island in 1945. The tale is best told on the Governors Island National Monument Facebook page, reproduced here. If you aren’t already, follow them, because there are good history updates all year long. World War II was entering its fourth year in February 1945. No one of course knew at the time that the conflict would be over in six months. The Army was still looking for recruits. In December 1943 Sinatra had been declared 4-F…

  • Fort Wood

    Blast From the Past: Docs on the Way

    I could read stories about old Governors Island all day long. That’s one of the great things about the newspaper archives in the Library of Congress. Here’s a great tale from July 1893 that made the inside pages of Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. At the time, Fort Columbus (today Fort Jay) had a busy post hospital that supported all local soldiers. This included those of Fort Wood, which was the small army garrison on Liberty Island. Remember, the Statue of Liberty had only been erected on it seven years earlier; the Army still manned the guns on the island. In this era before telephone connections, the soldiers used cannons…