Frank M. Ingalls, New York City: Governor’s Island, undated. Photographic print. Frank M. Ingalls photograph collection, ca. 1901-1930, New-York Historical Society, Photographs of New York City and Beyond

Governors Island, situated right off Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel, has played an important part in New York’s military history. During the American Revolution, canons on the island protected the East River. During the Civil War, Castle Williams and Fort Jay held Confederate prisoners of war. In 1966, it became a National Coast Guard base. And throughout, the island is covered with historic homes where military officers raised their families.

This summer, the New-York Historical Society’s Student Historians have transformed one of the houses into an exhibition highlighting photography and posters showing military and civilian mobilization in NYC during the war. WWII & NYC: Photography and Propaganda will be on view with hands-on activities for families on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am until 5pm through September 2.

Outside the exhibition are our victory gardens, with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce greens, cabbage, bell peppers, banana peppers, eggplant, string beans, yellow squash, nasturtiums, broccoli, cauliflower, kholrabi, and herbs like rosemary and basil growing strong!

Inside, the exhibition fills the 19th-century home. Below, this interactive map shows users where WWII efforts happened in the city, such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, or the Kaufman Studios in Astoria, which housed the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service.

The entire exhibition was put together by the New-York Historical Society’s Student Historian High School Interns, one of 12 programs to receive a 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them in the arts and humanities. It’ll be open to the public every weekend through Labor Day, with hands-on activities for the whole family. So hop on the ferry and check it out!

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