In 1983, Buffalonian Bobby Uplinger and his lawyer, Bill Gardner, took Bobby’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bobby had been arrested for making a sexual invitation to an undercover cop, and he and Bill were intent on showing that this case–and the many others like it around the U.S.–was a violation of a gay man’s constitutional rights. In this episode, Averill and Sarah introduce an oral history the History Buffs collected from Bill Gardner about this case. Tune in to learn how Bill and Bobby’s story turned out.
Show Notes & Further Reading
William Gardner, Oral History Interview. Conducted by Averill Earls and Elizabeth Garner Masarik on behalf of the Buffalo Oral History Project, 22 November 2015, in the home of William Gardner.
Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky and Madeline D. Davis. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Does your city have a big, sprawling cemetery – maybe one with ornate Victorian monuments and statuary? If it does, it was likely built during the rural cemetery movement of the early to mid nineteenth century, an effort to move places of burial away from the center of villages and to the park-like settings on the outskirts. What spurred this move? Join Elizabeth and Sarah as they talk grave iconography, disease epidemics, the commodification of death, and ‘rural’ cemeteries.
Show Notes & Further Reading
Bender, Thomas. “The ‘Rural’ Cemetery Movement: Urban Travail and the Appeal of Nature,” The New England Quarterly 47 (June 1974).
In the Fall of 1980, serial killer Joseph Christopher set out on a racially motivated killing spree in Buffalo, NY. His horrendous acts inspired the city to rally together in the name of peace and to publicly condemn Christopher’s actions and his supporters. Join us as History Buffs Intern and Public History student Destiny Johnson frames an interview with Buffalo resident Ellie Dorrittie, who was there for it all.
If you live in the Rust Belt, you may have noticed that Easter brings not only jelly beans and chocolate bunnies to the grocery store but also boxes of butter molded into the shape of lambs. Does it confuse you? Do you eat it but have no idea why? Join Tommy, Dan, and Marissa as they dig into the rollicking history of the butter lamb, just in time for Easter!
Today, we’re headed just up the road from Buffalo to Love Canal, New York, a small suburban development that made big headlines when toxic chemicals started to appear in residents’ yards. After a damning health study was released in the summer of 1978, the residents there became arguably the most influential environmental advocates of the late twentieth century. Join Katie and Tommy as they talk environmental justice from then until now with their guest, Dr. Richard S. Newman. It’s a Valentine’s Day special, History Buffs style!
As mentioned in the podcast, Dr. Newman will be giving a talk at the Buffalo History Museum on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. His talk is entitled “Love Canal: A Toxic History,” and comes from his new book, Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present. The book is published by Oxford University press and will be released in April 2016.
The Pan-American Exposition, which opened in May 1901, was the pride of Buffalo. The city sparkled with new electric lights that boasted the power and potential of the electricity produced by nearby Niagara Falls. President William McKinley called it a symbol of the “progress of the human family of the Western Hemisphere.” Little did President McKinley know this speech, full of hope for the future, would be his last. On September 6, 1901, Buffalo became known for something other than electricity or the glittering Pan American Exposition: it became the city where one president was assassinated, and another was inaugurated. Join Dan and Elizabeth as they discuss an anarchist, an assassination, and the unconventional inauguration of one of our nation’s most unconventional presidents.
As a little plug for our fair city – you should definitely stop in and see the incredible Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. And while you’re in town, take some time to wander around Delaware Park, where you can check out the last few remnants of the Pan American Exposition (now the Albright Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo History Museum).
Fisher, Jack. Stolen Glory: The McKinley Assassination. La Jolla: Alamar Books, 2001.
Kachun, Mitch.”big Jim” Parker and the Assassination of William Mckinley: Patriotism, Nativism, Anarchism, and the Struggle for African American Citizenship.” The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 9 (1), 93–116.
Miller, Scott. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century. New York: Random House Publishing, 2013.
Morris, Edmund. Theodore Rex. New York: Random House, 2001.
Morris, Edmund. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1979.
Most American history books devote a page at most to the War of 1812. It is often referred to as the forgotten war. However, scholarship on the war has exploded in recent years due to the 200th Anniversary of the beginning of the war in 2012.
Drawing of citizens fleeing Buffalo, NY December 30, 1812. Drawn by LeGrand St. John. Courtesy of Buffalo History Museum.
The War of 1812 may be a lesser known episode within the larger narrative of American history, but for inhabitants of Buffalo, NY and the surrounding region- the War of 1812 still holds a place of fascination and remembrance.
Join Elizabeth Garner Masarik and Tommy Buttaccio as they discuss the War of 1812 and how the Burning of Buffalo transformed this once frontier town overnight, and even travel with them to the Buffalo History Museum as they speak with Cynthia Van Ness, Director of Archives, about documents pertaining to this obscure episode of American history.
Birds eye view at the junction of main and tupper. Drawn by LeGrand St. John. Courtesy of Buffalo History Museum.
Alan Taylor. The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, and Indian Allies. New York: Knopf, 2010.
Carl Benn. Native Memoirs from the War of 1812: Black Hawk and William Apess. Johns Hopkins Press. 2013.
Nicole Eustace. 1812 : War and the Passions of Patriotism. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2012.
For a discussion on using rhetoric of rape and sexuality for political means see:
Sharon Block. Rape and Sexual Power in Early America. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Burned residence chimneys drawn by LeGrand St. John. Courtesy Buffalo History Museum.