Wiffle Ball Honored By National Toy Hall Of Fame

Nov 12, 2017
Alex Crichton, WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) -  Officials from the Strong Museum announced the newest inductees into the Stong's National Toy Hall of Fame on Thursday. 

The paper plane, Whiffle Ball and the board game Clue join such classics as Etch A Sketch, playing cards, Easy-Bake Oven, Yo-Yo and Big Wheel in the hall of fame.

65 toys have been inducted since the hall opened in 1998.

Vice President for Collections at the Strong in Rochester, Chris Bensch, says the class of 2017 is the DIY group of toys, as they all require a do it yourself ethos.

Olivia Tonin / Bundy Museum

The Binghamton area is often associated with the letters "IBM" but what about "KKK"? In the 1920s, Binghamton was the New York State headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan. While a student at Binghamton University, Jay Rubin began researching the topic. He wrote the book The Forgotten Kapital: The KKK in Binghamton 1923-1928He spoke with WSKG's Sarah Gager.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase, which was negotiated by Secretary of State William Henry Seward, who lived in Auburn. The Seward House Museum is celebrating the anniversary with the unveiling of a new Seward statue on Saturday that will make its way to the Alaskan capitol of Juneau. 

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - People gathered at the gravesite of Frederick Douglass on a cold yet sunny morning in Mount Hope Cemetery to honor his life and legacy on the anniversary of his 199th birthday. 

Veronica Volk / WXXI

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Frederick Douglass has been trending in the media lately, but not in response to his significant contributions to human rights, or his antislavery oratory. President Donald Trump’s comments at a recent Black History event about how Douglass has “done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more” caused an uproar online, with many speculating about whether Trump was truly aware of whom the legend was. 

(WRVO) A new book from a central New York author details the legacy of a group called the the Oswego County Pioneers, the first organized volunteer search and rescue team created in the state. 


A team of underwater explorers that recently found the wreck of a 18th century commercial sailing vessel in Lake Ontario say what they're looking for next is not a ship.


(WXXI) An eighteenth century sloop called the Washington has been discovered off the coast of Oswego. Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland Stevens found the ship, which sank in 1803. It is the second oldest wreck discovered in Lake Ontario. 

Courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.

Today, a new historic marker will be dedicated in Owego honoring the life and service of Corporal Margaret Hastings. Cpl. Hastings was born in Owego.

Sarah Gager / WSKG News


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.


Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn is anticipating more tourists will visit after the announcement that Tubman will be featured on the $20 bill. This adds excitement about the home being turned into a national park.

Journalist Bruce Dancis|Out Of Bounds

Dec 23, 2015

Bruce Dancis attended Cornell University for a number of years in the 1960's and was president of Cornell's Students For a Democratic Society (SDS). He was a well-known anti-Viet Nam war activist and anti-draft resister and organizer. He was one of the first CU students to tear up his Selective Service draft card publicly. He spent 19 months in federal prison for his actions. He wrote a fascinating book about his experiences, which we will focus on in this of this interview. It's called Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison During the Viet Nam War (Cornell University Press, 2014). 

Broome County Historical Society

New York state has long been a center for agriculture. and, tonight, WSKG premieres a new documentary that celebrates upstate’s farming history. The movie is called Harvest. Brian Frey directed the film, and he says he misses the presence of farmers in popular culture.

Monica Sandreczki / WSKG News

The town of Afton in Chenango County is updating their local history. The town historical society is fixing a few factual flubs on a sign dedicated to the founder of the Mormon Church.

Courtesy of David Anderson

A log cabin out in Schuyler County that was built during the Depression, is set to be added to the state registry of historic places.

On the lawn at Cornell University in 1950.
courtesy of Cornell University Archives

The year 1946 saw a huge uptick in college students with the enactment of the G.I. Bill. It provided returning WWII veterans with a range of benefits, like cash payments for tuition and college living expenses. Ten years after the end of the war, over 2 million veterans had taken advantage of those benefits.

Strange, isn't it, we remark to Sandra L. Oliver — founder and editor of Food History News — that Americans in the 19th century ate foods such as robins and calf's foot jelly and boiled eels.

She cautions against criticism of previous generations or other cultures. "You are safer not talking 'strange' but rather, perhaps, neglected or abandoned eating habits," she says. "That would include almost any offal — that is, livers, spleen, kidneys, heart, brains, sweetbreads, et cetera."

Group Wants To Preserve 'Helmira' Building

Aug 5, 2015
Courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society.

A hundred and fifty years ago this summer, the Civil War prison camp in Elmira, New York closed its doors for the last time. On Tuesday, the Friends of the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp officially kicked off their fundraising efforts to preserve the last known surviving piece of the prison known as 'Helmira.'

College history majors used to study The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Today perhaps they should also be studying the decline and fall of history majors.

Since 2010, the number of history majors at Ohio State University has dropped by more than 30 percent, according to a May 9 Columbus Dispatch story. Meanwhile, the number of students majoring in history at the University of Cincinnati has fallen by 33 percent since 2010.

Special Collections Toronto Public Library / Flickr

The National Park Service is awarding a grant to the upstate town of Greenwich to look into the town’s Revolutionary War history.
It’s autumn in the Capitol Region. And the British Army wants to separate New England from the southern colonies.

Shane Johnson / WSKG News

Tomorrow kicks off Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown. Shane Johnson of WSKG’s history department tells us about a local Hall of Famer, Jim “Deacon” White.

For ten years, Jeanne Mackin taught in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College in Vermont. She is the author of many acclaimed historical fiction novels, including The Sweet By and By, based on the life of 19th century spiritualist Maggie Fox, and The Beautiful American, based on the life of model turned war correspondent and photographer Lee Miller.

Crystal Sarakas

Tomorrow is the 71st anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy - when Allied forces began to liberate the Western European countries occupied by Germany in World War II.

Last year, WSKG’s Crystal Sarakas visited Phillip Russell, a Binghamton native who lives in Kirkwood. He was among the American troops who landed in France on that day and still vividly remembers the war.

Hear more from Russell, see a map of his journey, and listen to interviews with other local D-Day veterans and experts here.

Historian/Educator Vivian Bruce Conger | Out Of Bounds

May 10, 2015

Vivian Bruce Conger is a graduate of Cornell University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the History Dept. of Ithaca College. Her specialty and interest is in early American and  American Women's history. She is author of The Widow's Might: Widowhood and Gender in Early British America.

Her current research and upcoming book is about the little-known lives of Ben Franklin's wife and daughter. It is titled The Worlds of Deborah Read Franklin and Sally Franklin Bache: Transgenerational Lives in Colonial and Revolutionary Philadelphia.

Welterweight boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will meet tomorrow for what’s being called “The Fight of the Century”. But it was less than a century ago,on June 21, 1932, in Madison Square Garden, that a Binghamton native won the heavyweight title.

Director of WSKG’s history department, Brian Frey, recounts the life of Jack Sharkey.

Welterweight boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will meet tomorrow for what’s being called “The Fight of the Century." But it was less than a century ago, on June 21, 1932, in Madison Square Garden, that a Binghamton native won the heavyweight title.

Director of WSKG’s history department, Brian Frey, recounts the life of Jack Sharkey.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

The NBA playoffs begin this weekend. And while big city teams like Oakland, Cleveland and Atlanta are the favorites, sixty years ago the league looked much different. In 1955, the Syracuse Nationals took home the title, beating the Fort Wayne Pistons in seven games. One of the guards on that team was Binghamton resident Bill Kenville, known during his playing days as Billy the Kid, and Kenville followed a surprising path to the NBA.

Jack Sharkey: Forgotten Heavyweight

Apr 8, 2015
Leslie Jones / Boston Public Library via flickr

The Broome County Historical Society and WSKG'S History and Heritage department invite you to The Life of Jack Sharkey - a special presentation on the career and life of the heavyweight boxing champion and Binghamton native.



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.