History

Alexander Gumby in 1950. Gumby's Autobiography in Scrapbooks, Number 5. (Image credit: Columbia University Libraries)

L.S. Alexander Gumby may be one of the most influential historians of early 20th century African American life in New York—even though he never wrote a traditional volume of history.

When Kenneth T. Jackson began teaching his course, "The History of the City of New York," 37 years ago, he decided to take his students out of the classroom to grasp the full impact of the urban environment. He first thought of daylight walking tours, but the streets were too crowded.

Sylvia Nasar. Image credit: Piotr Redlinkski

As the city, nation and world pause to remember the 10th anniversary of the destruction and heroism that will forever mark lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., Columbia University is commemorating the occasion with a range of programs rooted in its mission as a place of lear

Some 35 million people visit Central Park each year, but only a few of them realize how much history lies beneath their feet.

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