Category Archives: News

ONLINE LEARNING

ASF Spotlight on Scotland’s Remote learning opportunities

How often we hear from ASF Members and friends how they wish they had studied in Scotland – or could do so – but life has now made that impossible.

No longer true. Remote learning has changed all that.  Members of the ASF team have in recent years been undertaking several courses — and ASF as a bridge between the US and Scotland will in the coming weeks spotlight courses from partners and associates we feel you may enjoy

Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of a subject or earn  earn a professional or academic credential–a certificate for professional development receive college credit for a degree—these classes, taught by leading universities, are knowledge packed and fun!

June Spotlight:  Highlands and Islands from Gaelic to Music and Archaeology from your Home.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has 13 colleges spread across the Highland and Islands of Scotland – from Shetland, to Orkney to Lewis and Skye.
UHI offers a wide range of remote learning courses without you having to leave your home.

From Gaelic language to traditional music, to courses in Scottish History and Heritage

Degree and Certificate courses range from a year to four
and the next online terms begin August/September 2020

Gaelic      Traditional Music
History    Genealogical Journey        Archaeology and much more

For an overview of course and how to register visit :
https://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/…/study-w…/our-course-offer/

May Spotlight:  Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy

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Robert Burns statue, Ayr, Scotland, UK Stock Photo

The course will allow you to Celebrate and Dig deeper into the life and works of Robert Burns with this FREE University of Glasgow online course! 

Professors at the Center for Robert Burns Studies at University of Glasgow will guide learners in examining the poems, songs, manuscripts and objects used to commemorate the poet – and give you a special insight into Burns the man. 

The topics covered will include the cultural reputation of Robert Burns as patriot, lover, and man of the people, as well as as poet and songwriter, Major works such as ‘Scots Wha Hae’, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘A Man’s a Man’, ‘The Vision’, and ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the commemoration of Burns in material culture, and the international celebrity and legacy of Burns.

Your Professors would include Gerand Carruthers, Catriona Macdonald, Pauline MacKay, Ronnie Young.

There are no requirements to take the course – except for your love of Burns …  and perfect for those with an interest in Robert Burns, Scottish history, poetry, song and culture. Click here to start today, https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/robert-burns

If planning a visit to Scotland, for Burns lovers, a visit to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayr- just 40 minutes from Glasgow. 

On this the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath ASF share with our Members and Friends Lesley Riddoch’s documentary around this historic document and time.

Journalist and broadcaster The Lesley Riddoch Podcast wrote to the The American-Scottish Foundation® this morning – inviting us to share with all “Declaration” – a documentary on the history of the Declaration of Arbroath,

As Riddoch notes:
.. so as soon as we realised the corona virus lockdown would also cancel every celebratory event, my filmmaker colleague Charlie Stuart and I dropped other work and decided to make a film ourselves with help from Oscar-nominated composer Patrick Doyle, historian Fiona Watson and the actor Brian Cox

Only completed this past Saturday April 4th we share with all on this its 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath

DUE TO COVID-19 THE DATES OF THE AMERICAN-SCOTTISH FOUNDATION SPRING EXHIBITS AT FEDERAL HALL ARE BEING REVISED – FURTHER DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.

The American Scottish Foundation is proud to announce upcoming exhibits at Federal Hall March 20th – June 8th



In the Footsteps of John Muir an exhibit of photographic works by Award winning Scottish photographer Ken Paterson, tracing Muir’s travels, from his early days in Dunbar, Scotland to Yosemite, California, allows one to see the environments which Muir loved and did so much to help preserve. A series of images featuring landmark sites along the John Muir Trail, Scotland, which opened in 2014, is now spotlighted in the exhibit.


The Declaration of Arbroath – 700th Anniversary
2020 marks the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, one of Scotland’s most important historical artefacts.

A Copy of the Declaration will be on display at Federal Hall, which is said to have inspired the American Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration is a letter dated 6 April 1320 written by the barons and freeholders of the Kingdom of Scotland to Pope John XXII, asking him to recognise Scotland’s independence and acknowledge Robert the Bruce as the country’s lawful king. 

Visitors will view an English translation of the original Latin text, and learn about the context in which it was written 700 years ago.

Scotland’s Sunday Post revives past column of 1950s tips whilst lauching tips for today with “Pass It On”…

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When growing up in Scotland do you remember the The Sunday Post as your memories are about to flow back as leading Scottish publisher D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd launch a podcast on June 12, of the Post’s Archives, primarily around the popular little column where readers, usually women, could write in with tips for running a household. Alongside will be a series of books as capsules of social history of the time.

The tips are funny, delightfully dated and dubious at the same time, and occasionally even useful!

WE ALSO TODAY HAVE GREAT TIPS and so DC Thomson are launching the podcast of the “Pass It On tips,” with a young, modern woman’s voice that remembers these tips in practice re-imagined.

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A few of ASF’s favorite tips from the Sunday Post archives include:
DENT REMOVER—Put table tennis balls that are dented into a bowl and pour boiling water over them. This takes the dents out.

A KNOTTY PROBLEM—A knot in string or laces which cannot be easily loosened should be hammered gently. Then insert the point of a thick needle and prise open.

REHEATING PIE—When reheating either meat or fruit pie, put the dish right into a paper bag, fold over, and pin in end. The pie heats all the way through without spoiling the crust.

CLOTHES PEGS—New clothes pegs should be popped into cold water and brought to the boil. Allow to cool and dry before using. They won’t snap or break so easily.

The First Thanksgiving Celebration shared by the Pilgrims & Wampanoag Nation in 1621

Smithsonian Magazine offers an instight into what was served for the first Thanksgiving Celebration shared by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Nation at Plymouth Colony in 1621 from an account written by Edward Winslow, an English leader who attended and wrote home to a friend.

It is a full account of the meal served – where turkey was a part of the feast but not the center piece it is today.

Further insight is offered by Kathleen Wall, a “foodways culinarian” at the Wampanoag Homesite Plimoth Plantation a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts who has researched recipe books and documents

Wall explains .. “Thanksgiving was a three-day celebration and … have no doubt whatsoever that birds that are roasted one day, the remains of them are all thrown in a pot and boiled up to make broth the next day. That broth thickened with grain to make a pottage.”

In addition to wildfowl and deer, the colonists and Wampanoag probably ate eels and shellfish, such as lobster, clams and mussels. “They were drying shellfish and smoking other sorts of fish,”

A Happy Thanksgiving to all from all of us at The American-Scottish Foundation® team.

Read the full article by clicking this LINK 

Scottish Stone Masons who helped to build the White House, honored in Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland are leading on the honoring of a group of 6 Scottish stone masons who travelled to Washington DC in 1794 – they have now been honored with a plaque unveiled at 66 Queen Street in Edinburgh

HES have now mounted an exhibit with background to The Scots Who Built the White House – and is now on display at the Engine Shed in Stirling until Friday 12th April 2019. Entry is free.

Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/…/honour-for-scots-stonemasons-who…

Join us as the ASF presents the Wallace Award to Sir Moir Lockhead & Andy Scott for their contributions to Scottish Heritage, Arts & Culture.

Friday 9th November – New York

The ASF Wallace Awards Celebration

Friday November 9th

University Club, One West 54th Street, New York

The Wallace Awards will be presented to:

Sir Moir Lockhead, Chairman, National Trust for Scotland for a lifetime journey providing transport for people to reach & enjoy Scotland’s beautiful landscapes & his current inspired leadership to conserve Scotland’s rich heritage.

Dr. Andy Scott for his outstanding contribution to Scottish Arts.  Dr Scott is recognized as one of today’s foremost contemporary sculptors, world renowned for his public art.  Amongst his most recognizable works are his 100 foot tall Kelpies, the largest equine sculptures in the world, located in Falkirk, Scotland.

The evening will be a celebration of Scotland with whisky from Glendronach Single Malt Scotch Distillery, Scottish food, music, dancing – and opportunities to bid on our silent and live auctions.

Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean, Winner of the UK MasterChef The Professionals 2016, Chef Lecturer at the City of Glasgow College, will bring “touches” to spark the menu.

The award winning team of Claire McKenzie & Scott Gilmour of Noisemaker will offer musical interludes with Mike Ogoltree and Shortbread, and will then lead the Scottish reels.                                                                                                                                                                   Silent and Live Auctions will bring opportunities to help support the ongoing work of the ASF, and an ASF Grant to the new Baird Family Hospital in Aberdeen for its Neo Natal unit overseen by The ARCHIE Foundation alongside the University of Aberdeen.

We hope you will join us for this very special evening.

Tickets may be reserved HERE 

If you wish to join a table we will look to seat you – or let us know whose table you are joining.

If you have questions please call the ASF Office on 212 605 0338

or email americanscottishfoundation@gmail.com

 With Andy Scott joining us on November 9th, how can we not look back to Tartan Week 2014 and the 20 ft macquette Kelpies on display that spring at Bryant Park.

Read more of the 2014 Kelpies stay in New York HERE.

ASF is proud to have helped to bring the Kelpies to New York – we were so sorry to see them leave.

The full size 100 ft Kelpies, unveiled in 2015, are the largest equine sculptures in the world; situated in the Helix Park, Falkirk, beside the Forth of Clyde & River Carron extension.  Boats traverse “through” the Kelpies; and when lit at night they become magnificent beacons.

When next in Lower Manhattan a “must see” is the South Street Seaport Museum – and we encourage you to take time to wander around the Seaport which is one New York’s most historic areas.

The restoration and development of such historic places does not just happen and the story behind South Street Seaport Museum is just that.  There would be no South Street Seaport Museum were it not for two visionaries – Jakob Isbrandtsen, founding chairman of the South Street Seaport Museum and founding president Peter Standford, together they  envisioned so much of what is today’s wonderful South Street Seaport Museum.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting, outdoor and indoorThe sad news of Isbrandsten’s passing last week brough to the ASF’s attention not only what he did for Lower Manhattan and New York – but for Scotland too.

One of Isbrandtsen’s great loves was the restoration of the windjammer Wavertree which was has deep roots to Scotland and the Jute trade.

As Captain Boulware, CEO of the South Street Seaport Museum notes… “He financed the purchase of the ship when she might have otherwise gone to scrap, bringing to New York a windjammer of the age of sail suitable for the task of representing her thousands of sisters.”.

The Wavertree was built in Southampton, England in 1885 and was one of the last large sailing ships built of wrought iron. She was built for the Liverpool company R.W. Leyland & Company, and is named after the Wavertree district of that city.

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The ship was first used to carry jute between eastern India and Scotland. In 1947 Wavertree was converted into a sand barge at Buenos Aires, Argentina, This ship was discovered in 1967 by an American working on a sand barge and acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in 1968.

After restoration at the the Arsenal Naval Buenos Aires the ship was towed to New York in 1969.

As well as being a visionary, Isbrandtsen was a tireless volunteer, inspiring others as Capt. Boulware continues …. “After his career in commercial shipping, he shifted to volunteerism and led by example, mucking bilges in the hold of Wavertree and all manner of dirty, difficult, and dangerous tasks. He was the first person aboard the ship in the morning and the last to leave. It was all for the ship and all for the people in her. His advertisement for volunteers: “Long hours, dirty work, no pay” was just the right way to engage people in the ship, and the work done under his leadership kept Wavertree afloat for decades, allowing the restoration and care that continues today.”

A Hundred-Year-Old Handmade American Flag Flies Home… to Scotland

When WWI American soldiers died off the coast of Isle of Islay, Scotland, a group of villagers brought honor to their memory with a handmade American flag.

Islay flag

Smithsonian Magazine this week spotlights the loss of over 200 Americans aboard the SS Tuscania, On February 5th 1918, seven miles southwest of Islay, Tuscania was struck mid-ship by a 2,000-pound torpedo launched by the German submarine UB-77.

Over 2200 young Americans were aboard. The British frigates accompanying them rescued many but 200 were lost, over 180 rescued from the seas by the people of Islay.

The flag is housed in the Smithsonian, but will travel back to Islay for the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.

“Islay’s populace, still mourning the deaths of more than 100 of its own men killed in war, felt deeply the tragic toll upon the U.S. soldiers who had come to help the Allied cause. The islanders resolved to bury the American dead with honor. For them this meant interring them under an American flag. But there was no such flag on the island. So, before the funerals began, they made a decision to fabricate one.

Using the encyclopedia as their guide, a group of four Islay women (Jessie McLellan, Mary Cunningham, Catherine McGregor, and Mary Armour) and one man (John McDougall) worked through the night at Hugh Morrison’s Islay House, gathering cloth, roughly cutting out 96 five-pointed stars (48 for each side) plus seven red and six white bars, and respectfully stitching together a rectangular Stars and Stripes 67 inches long by 37 inches wide.”

Read more from Smithsonian Magazine:

New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals

The History of the New York Tartan Day Parade:

The annual New York Tartan Day Parade began 19 years ago, in 1998, after the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 155, which officially recognized April 6th as Tartan Day. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005. On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6 National Tartan Day.

Tommy Flanagan – Image via nyctartanweek.org

In 1998, the first Tartan Day Parade, consisting of two pipe bands and a small but spirited group of Scottish Americans, was led by the very first Grand Marshal, Cliff Robertson.

Today the parade is a grand affair, featuring thousands of participants, including bands, dancers and clans.

On April 8, 2017, The Grand Marshal of the 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will be Glasgow-born actor Tommy Flanagan.

The acclaimed actor has starred in Braveheart, Gladiator, and Alien vs Predator, as well as FX Network’s drama, Sons of Anarchy. He will be a starring role in the upcoming movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Chapter 2.

Past Parade Grand Marshals:

From actors and screenwriters, to athletes and designers, the past New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals have been talented Scots from all different walks of life.

Read about them here:

Sam Heughan, 2016

2016: Sam Heughan, Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit series Outlander.

2015: Co-Grand Marshals: Tricia Marwick, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (2011-2016) and Graham McTavish, Scottish television and film actor with an extensive career including roles in Outlander and The Hobbit Trilogy. 

2014: Howie Nicholsby, Kilt designer and owner of “21st Century Kilts” in Edinburgh.

2013: Kevin McKidd, Scottish-American actor best known for his roles in ABC series Grey’s Anatomy and film Trainspotting.

Kevin McKidd, 2013

2012: Brian Cox, acclaimed Scottish theatre and film actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

2011: Bob Winter, Lord Provost of Glasgow from 2007 until 2012.

2010: Rt. Hon. Alex Fergusson, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 until 2011.

2009: Alan Cumming, OBE, Tony, Emmy and Golden-Globe award-winning actor.

2008:  Lawrence Tynes, Scottish-born former kicker for the New York Giants, winners of Super Bowl XVII.

2007: Rt. Hon. George Reid, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2003 until 2007.

2006: Brigadier Melville Jameson, Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo from 1994 until 2006.

2005: Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Braveheart.

Sir Sean Connery, 2002

2002: Sir Sean Connery, Academy Award-winning actor and producer who was the first actor to portray James Bond in film.

1998: The late Cliff Robertson, Academy Award-winning actor with a film and television career that spanned half a century.