Talking Hart Island
Hebrew Free Burial Society with Amy Koplow, Executive Director

Hebrew Free Burial Society with Amy Koplow, Executive Director

March 15, 2020

Episode 29 “Hebrew Free Burial Society”: with Amy Koplow, Executive Director.

While many of the young women and men who perished in the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire could be identified, many could not. As unclaimed or identified deaths, according to New York City policy, bodies were traditionally shipped to the City Morgue at Bellevue and later passed on to potter’s field at Hart Island.

It was certain that the 22 identified victims of the Triangle Shirt Waist fire would be laid to rest there, as well, except for the extraordinary intervention of the Hebrew Free Burial Society.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Louisa Van Slyke with Author Gail Jarrow.

Louisa Van Slyke with Author Gail Jarrow.

March 8, 2020

Episode 28 “Louisa Van Slyke”: with Author Gail Jarrow.

The ship lurched in the heavy North Atlantic swell, its bow plunging deep in the troughs as it pitched sharply, its seasick passengers crammed into its small hold. The young lady, dressed simply, was just another anonymous face in the crowded ship. She kept to herself, as she’d always done. But the new world beckoned, and she tried to think about what awaited her. Her name was Louisa Van Slyke, and little did she know how short her stay would be.

Louisa, would die of Yellow Fever in 1869 like thousands before her and after, from a multitude of diseases that swept through New York City, in the 19th century. With no friends or relatives to claim her, she would become the first of almost a million to be laid to rest in the Potters Field on Hart Island.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Greta Garbo with Lois Banner

Greta Garbo with Lois Banner

March 1, 2020

Episode 27 “Greta Garbo”: with Lois Banner,

Professor (ret) USC.

Leo Birinski was a playwright, screenwriter and director. He worked in Austria-Hungary, Germany and in the United States.

Birinski was the screenwriter of many Hollywood productions including, “Song of Song”s staring Marlene Dietrich, “The Lady Has Plans”, staring Paulette Goddard, and perhaps his most famous, “Mata Hari” staring the screen legend Greta Garbo.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Ghosts of St Vincents with Tom Eubanks

Ghosts of St Vincents with Tom Eubanks

February 23, 2020

Episode 26 “Ghosts of St Vincents”: with Tom Eubanks.

Founded in 1849 to care for indigent immigrants in Greenwich Village, St. Vincent’s Hospital was sold in 2010 to create multi-million-dollar homes. In its 161 years of existence, the legendary institution treated survivors of the Titanic, tended to victims of both World Trade Center attacks, and served as Ground Zero of the AIDS Crisis.

With honesty, humor, and flights of historical fancy, GHOSTS OF ST. VINCENT’S tells the hospital’s story through the eyes of a man who spent a winter on its 7th floor AIDS ward and who survived just in time for the drug “cocktail” that saved so many lives, but which also witnessed the deaths of over a thousand people subsequently buried on Hart Island.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

The Tenement Museum with Kevin Jennings, Director

The Tenement Museum with Kevin Jennings, Director

February 16, 2020

Episode 25 “The Tenement Museum”: with Kevin Jennings, Director.

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, located at 97 and 103 Orchard Street, in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, is a National Historic Site. The Museum’s two historical tenement buildings were home to an estimated 15,000 people, from over 20 nations, between 1863 and 2011.

The museum’s exhibits and programs include restored apartments and shops open daily for public tours, depicting the lives of immigrants who lived at 97 Orchard Street between 1869 and 1935 and 103 Orchard Street from the 1950s to the 1980s. The museum also provides a documentary film and offers tours, with costumed interpreters portraying the building’s former residents, tastings of their communities’ typical foods, and neighborhood walks.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Still Born with MJ Adams

Still Born with MJ Adams

February 9, 2020

Episode 24 “Still Born”: with MJ Adams.

Fifteen years after a Manhattan hospital sent her stillborn baby to New York City’s potter’s field for burial, MJ Adams heard the name Hart Island for the first time.

Adams, then living in New York City, learned the full-term baby boy she was carrying had died in utero. Devastated by grief and seeking a medical explanation, Adams agreed to an autopsy and was told it would take four to six weeks to get the results. She didn’t have money for a funeral, so she signed paperwork to have the baby buried, at public expense in what Adams was told, was a “city cemetery”.

When Adams returned to the hospital six weeks later, she inquired about the results of the autopsy. She learned it was never performed. Her baby had already been buried in a mass grave on Hart Island.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Leo Birinski with Barbara Kosta

Leo Birinski with Barbara Kosta

February 2, 2020

Episode 23 “Leo Birinski”: with Barbara Kosta,

Professor, University of Arizona.

For a man with a little known history, no legitimate records to prove his place of birth, or even his date of birth, and who would eventually be buried in a mass grave on Hart Island, Leo Birinski became a known  playwright, , screenwriter, and film director.

Perhaps the best measure of a man is his work and for Birinski that included the German silent film masterpieces, “Waxworks” and “Tragedy of Love”.

Join us as Professor Kosta, head of the Department of German Studies at the University of Arizona and affiliated member of Gender and Women’s Studies in Film, as she explores Birinski’s career and the film legend, Marlene Dietrich.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History by John Barry

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History by John Barry

January 26, 2020

Episode 22 “The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History”: by John Barry,

Author and historian.

The influenza pandemic is believed to have killed somewhere between 50-100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. In New York City alone, more than 33,000 people died in a matter of weeks. The gaping maw of the common trench on Hart Island waited solemnly prepared to accept its new denizens.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

The Bowery with Dr. Robert Aronowitz

The Bowery with Dr. Robert Aronowitz

January 19, 2020

Episode 21 “The Bowery”; Dr. Robert Aronowitz,

Physician and medical historian, University of Pennsylvania.

“The Bowery is one of the oldest stretches of land in Manhattan, and was once a footpath used by members of the Lenape tribe to transverse Manhattan Island.  Once the home of the most affluent members of New York social circles, by the mid 1900’s its streets were occupied by low-brow concert halls, German beer gardens, dime museums, gambling parlors, and brothels.

By the early 1920’s, Bowery neighborhoods became known as the infamous “Skid Row” and whose inhabitants were primarily alcoholic and homeless men. A notorious ‘medical experiment’ was then conducted on hundreds of these men, which came to define how expendable this segment of society had become. Hart Island became the eternal home for many.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/

Ruth Proskauer Smith with Ian Dowbiggin

Ruth Proskauer Smith with Ian Dowbiggin

January 12, 2020

Episode 20 “Ruth Proskauer Smith”: with Ian Dowbiggin,

Professor at University of Prince Edward Island.

Ruth Proskauer Smith, or Ruth P. Smith as she became more commonly known as, was a historic pro-choice reproductive rights, and pro-right to die advocate. Even after she was over one hundred years old, she spent much of her time teaching other senior citizens about the Supreme Court, as she wanted to pass on her knowledge to others before she died.

In her directive before death, she willed that her remains would be donated to NYU Medical Center for cadaver research, and once NYU was done with her body, she was to be cremated and her remains to be given to her family for a dignified burial. But contrary to her wishes she was interred in a mass grave on Hart Island. A representative from NYU called it a mistake.

Join us as professor Dowbiggin recounts Ruth P. Smith’s incredible life and death.

Michael T. Keene is the author of Folklore and Legends of Rochester, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Mad~House, Question of Sanity, and now his new book, 

NEW YORK CITY’S HART ISLAND: A CEMETERY OF STRANGERS

Order a signed, soft cover copy of the book: New York City's Hart Island, directly from the Author

https://michaeltkeene.com/hart-island-soft-cover-book/

Learn more about Author / Host / Filmmaker Michael T. Keene

https://michaeltkeene.com/about/

Send questions / comments / suggestions to:

https://michaeltkeene.com/contact/

Connect with Michael T. Keene on Social Media

Twitter https://twitter.com/talkhartisland

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TalkingHartIsland/