CUNY, The New York Times and JPMorgan Chase Launch “The Unforgiving Economy” Calendar and Website

A unique exploration of “The Great Recession” in the context of economic upheaval throughout U.S. history is now available on a dynamic website and a richly illustrated companion calendar.

“The Unforgiving Economy” calendar, supported by The New York Times and JPMorgan Chase, was created by a team of archivists and historians at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College, under the supervision of professor Richard K. Lieberman. It includes pages of economic milestones, starting with John Rolfe planting the first tobacco in Virginia in 1612 and British and Dutch pirates trading 40 to 60 enslaved Africans for provisions in Virginia in 1619.

“In the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Chancellor Matthew Goldstein wrote in the introduction to the calendar, this “is a timely look at the economic history of the United States, helping readers to understand the patterns of economic growth and crises in our nation’s history.” The project “received valuable input from the University’s finest scholars, whose participation underscores the integrity of the content.”

Illustrated with scores of photographs and graphics drawn from the Archives and The Times, the calendar also offers overviews of key facets of economic history, one each month, from agriculture to the environment, from black migration northward to the role of 19th century robber barons, from advertising and credit to the underground economy.  The University is also releasing a “this date in history” app that draws upon research done for this and other CUNY wall calendars over the past seven years.

Professor Lieberman was assisted by Steven Levine, Stephen Weinstein and Tara Jean Hickman. They worked closely with some of the University’s finest scholars and with The New York Times in College, which offered access and publication rights to The Times’ photo archives and is making this calendar widely accessible. The Times executives involved were Felice Nudelman, executive director, education; A. Craig Dunn, partnership director, education; Stephanie Doba, Newspaper in Education manager; and Diane McNulty, executive director, corporate communications.

CUNY’s new this-date-in-history app reveals, for example, that on Jan. 18, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson and allied leaders opened the Paris Peace Conference in hope of settling issues arising from World War I. The app – which also draws from prior CUNY calendars on voting rights and citizenship, women’s leadership, immigrants, city life, freedom, health and public higher education – can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Market. It can be viewed and downloaded at

The text and most of the images from the University’s eight calendars are at

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847 as The Free Academy, the University has 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves over 271,000 degree credit students and 269,808 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by, the University’s website.