Welcome to our brand-new podcast, The History Twins – where history is more than just dates and dead people. In each episode we explore the past through music and story.
For our first episode, we’re talking about “This Man’s A Spy!”, our musical retelling of the story of American general Benedict Arnold and British Major John Andre.
We first heard about John Andre from Hudson Valley, NY storyteller Jonathan Kruk. In Jonathan’s telling of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Major Andre is actually mentioned. In the classic tale of the Headless Horseman it’s said that Andre’s ghost haunts Sleepy Hollow in the place where he was caught, which is now Patriot’s Park in Tarrytown, NY.
Most people have heard the story of American General Benedict Arnold who gave up the plans for West Point. John Andre is the British officer who received the plans, but who was also caught and sentenced to death. Ironically, Benedict Arnold got away.
One reason that this story is remembered to this day was that, had this traitorous plot succeeded, Britain may have won the war.
Over the course of our podcast episodes, we will tell the stories behind the songs that we wrote and performed for “This Man’s A Spy!”, as well as other historical programs that we’ve created.
We want to give a shout out to Revolutionary Westchester 250 (rw250.org), under the leadership of President Constance Kehoe, was created in support of the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act of 2016. New York State officially joined the national commemoration of the American Revolution in February 2022 with the passage of the New York State 250th Commemoration Act. Revolutionary Westchester 250 works to build awareness and appreciation of Westchester County’s critical role in the American Revolution.
RW250 launched this aptly named initiative—This Man’s a Spy!—co-chaired by Lynn Briggs and Bob Fetonti. This effort creates community awareness, understanding, and enthusiasm for the historical significance of this critical event in U.S. history. The Yorktown Heritage Preservation Commission /Yorktown 250, in conjunction with This Man’s a Spy! and RW250, is delivering a number of related activities in Yorktown this year, the location of several key Revolutionary War events. Local partners include the Town of Yorktown, Yorktown Small Business Association, Yorktown Historical Society, and the Yorktown Arts + Culture Committee. While admission is free, donations are welcomed.
In July 2016, Congress passed the “United States Semiquincentennial Act” in order to provide for the observance of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, which is in 2026. Local, state, national and international activities are being planned, encouraged and developed to celebrate this birthday. Westchester County, and in particular, Yorktown, played a pivotal role in both the American Revolution and the founding of the United States, and passed a local resolution to honor the occasion. The Yorktown Heritage Preservation Commission is pleased to partner with Revolutionary Westchester 250 (RW250) in presenting special events relating to the nation’s birth.
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