Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Long Island History Project

It’s a long island with a long history. Want to hear it? Interviews with historians, scholars, authors and anyone with a story to tell and a passion for this unique region of New York.

Oct 11, 2020

Anyone attempting to invade Long Island Sound at the turn of the last century would have faced a gantlet of artillery guns mounted in forts across the islands that stretch from Orient Point to the Rhode Island coast. With little actual chance of invasion, the men manning these forts had few diversions to choose from: baseball, drinking, or ruining a man's career.

On today's episode, we speak with Marian E. Lindberg. Her new book, Scandal on Plum Island: A Commander Becomes the Accused, focuses on the court martial of Major Benjamin Koehler. Accused by a number of his men of immoral conduct, Koehler faced trial on the island in 1914. Compared by some contemporaries to the Dreyfus Affair, Koehler's case reveals much about the military's emerging views of homosexuality and the developing norms of masculinity in America.

You'll hear about Marian's research process, her interactions with Koehler's descendants, and her thoughts on preserving Plum Island and Koehler's legacy.

Further Research