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The Insider's Connection

The Telephone: Invented by Italian Immigrant, Antonio Meucci

Do you like stories? Especially hidden history stories? We’re happy you’re here! Here at Inside Out Tours we inform, explore, and activate through storytelling.  We especially love what we call “hidden histories” – the stories that our history books either left out or got totally wrong.  Each blog, we’ll share with you a true story and we hope you’ll join us on a tour where we dive deeper, you can ask questions, and you can see, feel, hear, smell, touch, and explore the real-life places where these stories lived, breathed, and unfolded! Our first story is about the incredible Antonio Meucci.  Did you know that the telephone was invented by an Italian immigrant in Staten Island? You read that right, folks. About 150 years ago, in the house at 420 Tompkins Avenue, Antonio Meucci developed the telephone. He created it so…

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January 31, 2022

125 million people visit Rockefeller’s Center Christmas Tree every year

Tis the season for history (always) and usually our posts are about hidden histories. Things you can’t see, or have to look for, or that have been left out of your textbooks. But this one’s the opposite of hidden–you can see it, crystal clear, Swarovski crystal clear, every December in NYC. Let’s rewind… 90 years…

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December 22, 2021

Native American Heritage Month: Quashawam’s Montaukett Tribe Leadership

Wyandanch was the well-known and widely respected sachem of the Montaukett Tribe in New York. You’ve probably heard his name…he was a strategic leader, he formed alliances like nobody’s business, and he got a sweet little Long Island town named after him. But do you know the story of Quashawam, his daughter?! She’s the one who took over him as leader, ensured the tribe’s survival, and protected their land. You won’t find a trace of her name or story on a map or in a history book, so let’s talk about her, shall we! Quashawam was born around 1640 in Montauk, the same year that colonists arrived with the lovely gifts of liquor, weapons, and contagious diseases. For centuries, the Americans had lived peacefully on Long Island, san colonists. They were surrounded by water – the women were the farmers…

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November 21, 2021

How The Word Is Passed by Clint Smith features the NYC Slavery and Underground Railroad Walking Tour

Hi, this is Inside Out Tours! We’re so glad you’re here. Inside Out Tours is a New York sightseeing company with a mission to inform, explore, and activate through storytelling. We especially love hidden histories–stories that our history books left out, or got all wrong. Each month, we’ll post a story here on this forum. We’re…

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October 27, 2021

Asian American History in NYC: A Quick Walking Tour!

Anyone walking through Chinatown and Lower Manhattan can feel the Asian-American presence and influence on New York City’s culture. Bet let’s get specific! What are the figures, monuments, and locations that represent these communities’ histories? Stop #1: Bayard Street, between Baxter and Mulberry What you’re looking for: A bronze statue on a granite pedestal What…

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June 4, 2021

The Legacy of Emma Lazarus in New York

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. – Emma Lazarus The New Colossus, a poem by Emma Lazarus, is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty. But this inscription, immortalizing her words, was created sixteen years after the poet died in 1887. Her life in New York…

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May 24, 2021

Celebrating Haitian Heritage Month

May is Haitian Heritage Month, an opportunity to participate in Haitian culture and traditions, wherever you are. Does your hometown celebrate Haitian Heritage in May? The first-ever recognition of Haitian Heritage Month in the US was in Boston in 1998. Since then, the celebrations have continued to expand; now, the festivities honoring Haitian culture are…

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May 17, 2021

Kalpana Chawla: the First Woman of Indian origin to go to Space

Kalpana Chawla spent her whole life chasing her dreams of being an astronaut. In 1997, she made history as the first woman of Indian origin to go to Space. Kalpana Chawla created opportunities, shattered glass ceilings, and spearheaded groundbreaking research for NASA. It’s the 1960s, and it’s uncommon for women and girls in Karnal, India…

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May 14, 2021

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo: the Battle of Puebla in 1862

  Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more widely in the United States than in Mexico! The holiday–commemorating an 1862 battle where an underdog group of 2,000 indigenous Mexicans defeated 6,000 French invader troops, against all odds, in the city of Puebla–gained popularity in the USA in the 1960s when Chicano activists encouraged public Cinco de…

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May 7, 2021

Jane Jacobs and the Future of Architecture and City Planning

What influences the character and development of a New York City neighborhood? Who decides which voices are heard in the face of urban renewal and expansion? How did one woman’s love for New York City empower communities and shift the future of architecture and city planning? After a costly war and an economic collapse, mid-20th…

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April 30, 2021

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman in American History to Receive a Medical Degree

How do local leaders arise from a community need? Which doctors have shaped the history of public health in New York City? How did Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell go from abject poverty and social mockery to founding her very own hospital? Elizabeth Blackwell was the third of nine children, born in Bristol, England to a Quaker…

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April 23, 2021

Influential Voice in Music & Culture: Marian Anderson

Who are the most influential voices in music and culture? Whose stories have shaped New York City legacies? How did Marian Anderson make history with resilience and a great singing voice? Marian Anderson was born in 1897 in Philadelphia. Her mother worked in childcare and her father sold coal and ice – both were devout…

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April 16, 2021