Thursday, January 25, 2007


What links these two?

The answer to Figure It Out Friday I:

The clue was New York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge which has connected the County of Richmond (Borough of Staten Island) to Kings County ( Borough of Brooklyn) since 1964. It's also where the New York City Marathon begins.

Teachergirl had established that the silhouette was of Robert E. Lee. So if you had figured out about the Verrazano Bridge, Googling/Yahooing Robert E. Lee, New York City, Verrazano, Brooklyn or Staten Island might have given you the clue to the fort. I had also posted a Postcard from New York, so I was in the New York State of Mind!

The fort is Fort Hamilton, which ironically is part of the Washington, DC Military District!

Capt. Robert E. Lee was the Post Engineer (1841-46) at Fort Hamilton which is in the Brooklyn. (Brooklyn is also known as Kings County but was an independent city until it was consolidated into New York City until 1898.)

Even when Lee was in Brooklyn, he wasn't too far away from Richmond! (Bad joke!)

Another Lee/New York Connection: The United States Military Academy at West Point where he was both an outstanding student (1825-1829) graduating second from the top of his class with no demerits, and as Superintendent (1852-55).

An interesting side note: Abner Doubleday, who popularized baseball and took over shortly after Gen. Reynolds was killed during the first day at Gettysburg, was posted as an engineer at Fort Hamilton in the early months of 1861. He was transferred to Fort Sumter where aimed the cannon that fired the first return shot in answer to the Confederate bombardment of the fort on April 12, 1861, thus starting the war.

Visiting: Fort Hamilton has a modest museum which is well worth the visit for history buffs. There are also some splendid vistas of the bridge and harbor.

There are several forts around the New York City area representing the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, and the World Wars. One of the most visited and yet overlooked forts is Castle Clinton; that's where one gets the tickets in New York for the Statue of Liberty!

I have designed a curriculum-based all New York State ETP for a California middle school for this coming April. (Two buses!!!) As I am also conducting it, I shall be reporting on our progress during the course of the program. I'm planning on visiting Ft. Hamilton.

The Educational Tour Marm

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