Hood Quoted on the New York City Subway and a Forgotten Holiday – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hood Quoted on the New York City Subway and a Forgotten Holiday

Clifton Hood, associate professor of history, was quoted in the Nov. 28 New York Newsday article “What's next for the subway?” The article speculated on the improvements to the New York City subway system in the next century. Among them, that the Second Avenue Subway will not only finally exist, it will be but one spur along a gargantuan line from Co-Op City though Brooklyn. Conversation inside trains will be livelier when cell phones will work underground. And straphangers will turn to a digital panel to see how long it will take for the next train to arrive.

As for the Second Avenue Subway, “There have been a lot of phantom subways,” said Clifton Hood, author of “722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York.”

The Nov. 26 New York Times highlighted a forgotten holiday, Evacuation Day, in its article “Lest We Forget? Oh, We Already Have.” According to the article, on Nov. 25, 1783, British forces finally left American soil. They sailed out of New York Harbor, abandoning the city that was their headquarters during the American Revolution and clearing the way for George Washington's troops to move in uncontested from the north.

When the holiday was celebrated, merchants embraced the day, said Hood. It exemplified “their ideals of elite rule, social harmony, national independence and local boosterism,” he wrote recently in the Journal of Social History.

“Perhaps that is the final irony,” Hood wrote. “A holiday that was dedicated to memory is itself remembered for having been forgotten.”