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10-12-10

“When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green?: And 101 Other Questions About New York City” To Be Published This Month

Compelling questions fielded by the library staff at the New-York Historical Society Library are answered in a new book

New York, NY—For years the New-York Historical Society has collected the questions put to them by curious New Yorkers and visitors. Who was the first woman to run for Mayor of New York? Why are beavers featured on the city's official seal? Is it true that a nineteenth-century New Yorker built a house out of spite? Questions involve people, places, buildings, monuments, rumors, and urban myths. They concern sports, food, transportation, the arts, Central Park, politics, nature, and tourism, among many other subjects, attesting to the infinite varieties of story hidden within the most intriguing metropolis in the world.

With "When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green?: And 101 Other Questions About New York City" (Columbia University Press, October 2010, $39.95, paperback $14.95), the history of New York takes on a whole new, fascinating dimension. Choosing 102 of their most popular and compelling queries, the staff at the New-York Historical Library has assembled an endlessly entertaining collection of hard-to-find answers and unforgettable profiles, preserving a snapshot of New York's secret history for future generations to enjoy. Making use of their library's extensive collections, these librarians provide answers to the questions already listed above as well as many other inquiries. When was the first book printed in New York? Is it true that residents of ghetto housing once presented rats to government housing officials? Were premature babies displayed in Coney Island? Who were the Collyer brothers, and why were they famous? For readers who love trivia, urban history, strange tales, and, of course, New York, this book will delight with its rich, informative, and surprising stories.

Click here to take the quiz and find out how well you know the history of New York City.

"When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green?: And 101 Other Questions About New York City" was edited by Jean Ashton, Executive Vice President of the Historical Society and Director of the Library, and Nina Nazionale, director of Library Operations; with a foreword by Ric Burns, documentary filmmaker, writer, and producer, most recently of twelve episodes of the PBS Series The American Experience.

About the New-York Historical Society Library

The library at the New-York Historical Society, founded in 1804, is one of the oldest independent research libraries in the United States. Its extensive collections include national treasures, such as James Lyne's 1731 Plan of the City of New York from an actual Survey; manuscript maps drawn by General Washington's cartographers, Robert Erskine and Simeon DeWitt; Napoleon's authorization for the Louisiana Purchase; Freedom's Journal, the first newspaper published by African Americans; Ulysses S. Grant's handwritten terms of surrender to Robert E. Lee; and the architectural papers of Cass Gilbert and the firm of McKim, Mead, and White. Complementing these historic items are thousands that chronicle lives, institutions, and events. To find out more about the Library, visit www.nyhistory.org.

Contact: New-York Historical Society | Laura Washington | 212-485-9263 | lwashington@nyhistory.org - Peter Barrett | 212-459-0600 ext. 7133 | pb2272@columbia.edu -

Creative: Tronvig Group