From Mr. Barnum:
John Strausbaugh, author and host of the New York Times “Weekend Explorer” video podcast, will be the featured speaker on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2 p.m. at the Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street.
Strausbaugh, known as an authority on the history of New York City, will be discussing his latest book, City of Sedition: The History of New York City during the Civil War. The book focuses on the local conflicts between New York constituent groups and how their respective actions impacted President Lincoln’s efforts during the Civil War. In his Museum talk, Strausbaugh will describe the important roles that Barnum and other New England abolitionists, like Barnum’s best friend Horace Greeley, played in New York City during this tumultuous time in history.
Following the discussion, Strausbaugh will host a question and answer session. The program will begin at 2 pm. It is free to members, and there is a suggested donation of $5 per person for others. The talk will be held in the People’s United Bank Gallery, located behind the historic Barnum Museum building at 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT. On-street parking is free on Sundays. Visit www.barnum-museum.org for more information or call (203) 331-1104 during business hours Monday through Friday.
Strausbaugh’s previous books include his acclaimed history of Greenwich Village, The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues. He has written for the New York Times, New York Observer, The Washington Post, and appeared several times on C-Span’s Book TV. In 2007, Strausbaugh produced the NY Times “Weekend Explorer” episode “P.T. Barnum’s City of Humbug.” Since then, he has been a national advisor to the Barnum Museum.
The author has written several books on the history of recreational drug use, politics and pop culture, the priesthood and Rock n Roll. In 2006, he wrote Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture, which explores race relations in popular culture.
Bridgeport’s Barnum Museum is one of P. T. Barnum’s many philanthropic gifts. Completed in 1893, the architecturally significant building boasts a unique combination of styles and terra cotta ornamentation, and is listed on the National Register. Today the museum proudly shares the history and legacy of the world-famous entrepreneur, showman, and museum proprietor, who was also a state legislator, mayor, real estate developer, and philanthropist. The museum is home to thousands of artifacts, many pertaining to Bridgeport native Tom Thumb and his wife, as well as the P. T. Barnum Family, and Nathaniel Wheeler Family. Their furniture, carriages, artwork and other items are currently displayed, along with a centaur and mermaid.
Since 2010, the historic building has been undergoing repair and restoration due to a series of weather events that compromised the structure. The Museum is currently open for visitors in the People’s United Bank Gallery located behind the historic building, open for viewing and tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays year-round (closed on Thanksgiving). There is no admission charge but donations are welcome.