News — History

Old Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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Created in 1827, this was the first European-style university in western Sub-Saharan Africa, and the first high-level institution since one located in Timbuktu collapsed. According to UNESCO, "The Old Fourah Bay College is perhaps the single most influential institution in Africa in accounting for the penetration and acceleration of the spread of Western education on the continent." The building was used until the late-20th-century. It also once housed the Sierra Leone Government Railway headquarters, and later the Magistrate court. During the Sierra Leone Civil War, the building was used as a  shelter and was burned in 1999. Only the external brick...

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Publishing giants, radical literature, and women’s suffrage: More secrets of Union Square South

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Photo by Beyond My Ken / Wiki Commons The area south of Union Square, on the border between Greenwich Village and the East Village, is changing. The approval of the new 14th Street Tech Hub south of Union Square combined with an explosion of tech-related development in the area has resulted in the demolition of mid-19th-century hotels and Beaux-Arts style tenements, with new office towers like 809 Broadway taking their place. Aside from being rich in 19th- and early-20th-century architecture, this area is overflowing with history connected to many of the great American artists, writers, musicians, publishers, activists, innovators and...

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