History

December, 2013

QueensLine

Jackson Heights native Rettig starred in TV’s ‘Lassie’

Best known as Jeff Miller, the star of the TV series “Lassie,” Queens native Tommy Rettig was a child actor who appeared in numerous films and television shows in the 1950s and ’60s. He performed alongside Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe, Robert Mitchum and Ronald Reagan. Comments (1).
History

Queens mourns Nelson Mandela

The borough’s elected officials mourned the death of Nelson Mandela, many citing the former South African president as a source of personal inspiration. Comments (1).
Whitestone

Obituary: Steven S. Zedlovich, 69

Steven S. Zedlovich, 69, a resident of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., for five years and formerly of Whitestone, died Dec. 14 at his home. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

Try to do right by others during this holiday season

During what many people call the “Season of Light,” this time of holidays and holy days, I recall past seasons. I think many people do that as we come to a new year. Comments (2).
Flushing

Tour offers glimpse into borough’s holidays’ past

Last weekend, many Queens residents took a step back in time by joining in the Queens Historical Society’s 26th annual Holiday Historic House Tour. Comment.
QueensLine

‘Spirit of ‘76’ made 318th stop in Queens during 1948

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1948, Pearl Harbor Day, the “Freedom Train” rolled into Queens and stopped in Flushing for a four-day stay before going on to Jamaica for another two days. It carried priceless documents: the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Emancipation Proclamation and other important historical papers and artifacts. Comment.
Jamaica

Queens mourns Nelson Mandela

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) said he was moved to see the outpouring of support from world leaders who gathered in Johannesburg earlier this week to remember the late Nelson Mandela. Comments (3).
Flushing

No place like home for the holidays

Those interested in getting an in-person taste of how Queens once celebrated the holidays are in luck. Comment.
Jamaica

Plaque to mark Washington’s visit

On a victory lap across Long Island nearly 225 years ago, President George Washington spent a night at a “pretty good and decent house” in Jamaica, and now a group of prolific young historians want to mark the location. Comment.
QueensLine

November 1956 saw a rash of teens causing mischief

November brings to mind crisp autumn breezes, weekend football games and Thanksgiving turkey. In 1956, the nation sent President Dwight Eisenhower back to the White House that month, with only seven mostly Southern states backing Democratic contender Adlai Stevenson. Comment.

November, 2013

Letters

Remember Ferrigno for her dedication

My good friend, Marjorie Ferrigno, died Nov. 14. She was in her late 90s. Comment.
History

Reporter recalls covering JFK assassination

It was a beautiful day worthy of a visit by the president of the United States that Friday in late November, but would the people of Dallas heartily welcome the first family? Comment.
Jamaica

Council approves ‘Tuskegee Airmen Way’ renaming

Students at York College’s Aviation Institute are used to peering toward the sky and pretty soon they will have something new to look up to. Comments (2).
Rockaway Park

Mourners mark 12th anniversary of Flight 587 crash in Rockaways

Family and friends of more than 250 people killed when Flight 587 crashed in Belle Harbor 12 years ago braved bitter wind and falling snow to pay their respects to the victims. Comment.
Belle Harbor

TimesLedger staffer has work showcased in Sandy exhibit

On the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, the Museum of the City of New York has brought back vivid recollections of the incredible destruction wrought by the storm in a display of 200 photos, including one shot by TimesLedger Newspapers Photo Editor Christina Santucci. Comment.

October, 2013

QueensLine

‘Civic Virtue’ made its Queens debut in October 1941

In October 1941, with the war in the United States a little more than a month away, war clouds gathered as the Japanese “peace cabinet” stepped down and the United States ordered all ships in the Far East to make for friendly ports. Ships were leaving Japan with American nationals on board while Japanese nationals were preparing to leave America. The Japanese press whipped up hysteria over the Allied oil embargo. Comment.
Maspeth

Siblings want city to designate 9/11 firehouse a landmark

On a clear day, firefighters in Squad Co. No. 288 can see the top of One World Trade Center from their fire house in Maspeth. Comment.
South Jamaica

City mulls renaming Jamaica street after Tuskegee pilots

York College in Jamaica is home to CUNY’s aviation school, and students there may soon have some inspiration close by from those who paved the way for their high-flying aspirations. Comments (1).
QueensLine

Boro Germans in 1914 hoped the kaiser would win

Over summer 1914, Europe plunged into its first continent-wide war since the days of Napoleon. In the United States, public opinion was divided over the war. German and Irish Americans were the country’s two largest ethnic groups. Comment.
Long Island City

Obituary: Reardon, 54, of Long Island City headed Coast Guard Auxiliary

Anthony Reardon, a Long Island City resident and a top city leader in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, has died at 54. Comment.
Jamaica

City Council votes to make old Jamaica HS landmark

The ornate building that housed the original Jamaica High School was officially given landmark status this week after a City Council vote. Comment.

September, 2013

Little Neck

Dorothy Hyland dies at 84

Dorothy Hyland, of Ocean Grove N.J., and a former longtime Little Neck resident, died Sept. 21. She was 84. Comment.
Maspeth

Maspeth firefighter honored for sacrifice made on 9/11

Joseph Hunter always pictured himself as a member of the city’s Bravest. Comment.
Glendale

Glendale remembers 9/11

A ceremony was held at Dry Harbor playground in Glendale Sunday to pay tribute to those killed on 9/11. Comment.
Letters

Always remember events of 9/11

Why are certain events of our national history remembered, honored, grieved over or occasions for celebration? Of course, certain events have had such an impact upon the American psyche that it would seem impossible to forget or overlook. Dec. 7, “a day which will live in infamy”; D-Day; Thanksgiving; and Halloween are all part of the American calendar. Comment.
QueensLine

Astoria, Howard Beach besot by drag racing in 1958

It was 1958 and we called it “The Golden Age of Television.” At 6:30 p.m. on Channel 4, you had the news with Gabe Pressman. At 7 p.m., one could either watch the evening news with Robert Trout or sports with Howard Cosell. At 7:15 p.m. ran “World News with Douglas Edwards.” Comments (1).

August, 2013

QueensLine

Queens residents torn over Kinsey report in August ‘53

In August 1953, the Korean War truce was signed. Just returned to stateside, Airman First Class Raymond W. King, of Astoria, received the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service over North Korea. As a flight engineer on a B-26 bomber, King was taking part in a reconnaissance mission the previous year when his crew spotted a convoy and destroyed 22 enemy vehicles. Comment.
Flushing

Dragon Boat Festival: Races honor patriotic acts of statesman/poet

Like so many legends, Dragon Boat races reportedly started to honor a man whose fight against tyranny ended with his death. Comment.
Douglaston

Obituary: Michael Joseph Carnicelli, 77

Dr. Michael Joseph Carnicelli, of St. Augustine, Fla., died July 13 at Baptist Hospital South in Jacksonville, Fla. He was 77. Comment.

July, 2013

Far Rockaway

Far Rock man stands up for bungalows

Far Rockaway’s Beachside Bungalows have been given a guardian by the name of Richard George. Comments (1).
Hollis

Boxer Emile Griffith, 77, called SE Qns. home

Boxing legend Emile Griffith, who began preparing for his glory days in the ring at the Gil Clancy Gym in Queens, died Tuesday. He was 77. Comments (3).
Bayside

Comfort Woman shares story with Queensborough CC

Ok Sun Lee can clearly recall the day she was taken from her native Korea. Just 15 years old, she was walking alone through her hometown, a rural village, when she was kidnapped by two strange men. Comments (12).
Bayside

Obituary: Ex-Baysider John Cash dies in Illinois at age 92

John J. Cash, who grew up in Bayside, died at Good Shepard Hospital in Barrington, Ill., July 3. He was 92. Comment.
QueensLine

Little green men visited Queens in summer of 1952

The year 1952 will be remembered as the summer of UFOs on the East Coast. Since the 1947 sightings of unidentified flying objects over Roswell, N.M., Americans from various parts of the country had been reporting seeing strange phenomena in the night skies. Comment.
Letters

Parks must clean up Olde Towne burial ground

The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground is in Flushing on 46th Avenue between 164th and 165th streets. It is a 19th-century cemetery where approximately 1,000 souls rest. Many of the dead are children, victims of epidemics. Most of the interred are African Americans or indigenous Americans. Comment.
Bayside

Students at QCC learn from comfort women

History traveled more than 6,000 miles to meet face-to-face with students at Queensborough Community College. Comment.
Jamaica

Original Jamaica HS building receives city landmark status

The building that housed the original Jamaica High School more than 100 years ago earned a spot on the city’s landmarks list last week. Comment.
Jamaica

JFK’s historic Worldport put on ‘endangered’ list

Preservationists scored what may end up being a symbolic victory last week when JFK Airport’s historic Pan Am Worldport, set to be demolished to make way for a parking lot, was recognized as an endangered historic site. Comments (3).

June, 2013

QueensLine

‘Little Prairie’ star Michael Landon born in Forest Hills

For more than 30 years, Queens native Michael Landon entertained American television audiences with family-friendly shows such as “Bonanza,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Highway to Heaven.” Comments (2).
Woodhaven

Landmarks Commission to hold hearing on Forest Park Carousel

The city’s Landmark Preservation Commission is scheduled to hear testimony about the a possible landmark designation for the Forest Park Carousel Tuesday, starting at 9:30 a.m. Comment.
Letters

Revolution had other inspirations

In regard to the historical basis of American anti-Catholicism, one must analyze the Declaration of Independence’s assertion that King George III (1738-1820), “the present king of Great Britain ... has combined with others [the British Parliament] ... giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation for ... abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government.” Comment.
Woodhaven

Forest Park carousel gets landmark designation

The Forest Park Carousel spun its way onto the prestigious list of New York City landmarks after the city Landmarks Preservation Commission announced Tuesday that it would give the special designation to the attraction. Comments (3).
Forest Hills

English Rock group to perform at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium

The Forest Hills Tennis Stadium has reached a major turning point in its history. Although it has not been used for a major event in years, the arena will host English folk rock band Mumford and Sons in August. Comment.
Flushing

Historical hints hidden in walls of Bowne House

Flushing’s Bowne House is already one of the most significant historical sites in the city, but crews restoring the 17th-century building recently peeled back the outside wall to reveal further clues to the area’s rich colonial history. Comment.
Far Rockaway

Rockaway bungalows put on historic state registry

More than 7,000 humble bungalows once bordered New York City’s Atlantic Shore in Far Rockaway, providing summer getaways for New Yorkers for much of the 20th century. Now, the bungalow community has dwindled to about 100 on three blocks bound by Beach 24th Street, Seagirt Avenue, Beach 26th Street and the oceanfront boardwalk. Comments (1).
Rochdale Village

Rochdale Village: 50 years in SE Queens

When it was conceived amid the turbulence of the civil rights era, Rochdale Village in southeast Queens was expected to be the paragon of the progressive movement in integrated housing, a vision that ultimately did not take hold with the cooperative’s residents. Comments (41).
Woodhaven

Preservationists await landmarking decision on Forest Park Carousel

A vote on whether to landmark the historic Forest Park Carousel is on the agenda for later this month. Comment.

May, 2013

Elmhurst

Historic Elmhurst church cited as one of city’s most sacred sites

From the outside, Elmhurst’s First Presbyterian Church of Newtown stands alone with a towering exterior that is markedly different from those of its neighbors along Queens Boulevard. Comment.
Long Island City

Borough history buffs dig up past at Calvary

There are about 3 million people buried in Calvary Cemetery, the oldest graveyard in the borough. Comments (3).
QueensLine

People of all stripes came out for 1939 World’s Fair

The official opening of the 1939 World’s Fair came with the president’s opening remarks at 3:12 p.m., along with Gov. Herbert Lehman, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and fair President Grover Whalen, who headed the list of other speakers from 60 other participating nations. Comment.
I Sit and Look Out

‘Star-Spangled Banner’ hard to sing, but it does the job

Like most American kids, I learned our national anthem at an early age, in school. Assemblies in JHS 73 in Maspeth and at Newtown High School started off with it, and so did baseball games and other events. Comments (4).
Kew Gardens

Boro cemetery program explores Victorian funeral rituals

Emma Brown was 7 when she was struck with rheumatism in the late 1800s. One night, she woke in terrible pain, crying that she was being murdered, then fell still back onto the bed. A doctor pronounced her dead and her body was prepared for burial. Comments (6).

April, 2013

QueensLine

1936 saw Lindbergh baby killer’s body cremated in boro

It was 1936, the midpoint of the Depression. About 1,500 Queens families on relief could cultivate some of the 5,000 “subsistence gardens” in the borough. The gardens were open to all on home relief, those on work relief who did not receive supplemental home relief and those on work relief receiving only the minimum security wage of $60.50 a month. Comment.
Forest Hills

Holocaust survivor recalls war-torn childhood

To say the Holocaust was a dark time in human history is an understatement; to say it was the last genocide is foolish, according to author Marione Ingram. Comment.
Ridgewood

City marks historic Ridgewood with street signs

Elected officials joined the city Landmarks Preservation Commission and community residents to unveil new street signs marking the Ridgewood North Historic District last week. Comment.
Middle Village

FOCUS ON QUEENS: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire remembered in Middle Village

A ceremony was recently held at Christ the King High School to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. Comment.
Jamaica

King Manor Museum hosts gazing through time

The history of a well-known Jamaica residence will be featured at an upcoming event. Comment.

March, 2013

QueensLine

Former head of CIA had ties to LIC fire department

The spy genre in movies, books and television has been popular in America for decades. This year’s 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series and the popularity of the TV show “Homeland” are examples of this. The real stories of men and women in the service of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency are often as fascinating and outlandish as their fictional counterparts. Comment.
Flushing

Memories of genocide dim

Within the walls of the New York Armenian Home for the Aged in Flushing, the last accounts of a nearly century-old genocide are fading away. Comment.
Douglaston

City planned bridge to fill in boro’s Alley Pond in 1955

It was March 1955 when the city announced plans to inject 250,000 tots with the polio vaccine. The city public health commissioner explained that the effort to eradicate polio would involve all first- and second-grade school kids. Comment.
Astoria

Astoria rallies to save historic house

A diverse group of Astoria historians, elected officials, business leaders and artists have banded together to try to buy the Steinway Mansion and turn it into a museum. Comments (1).
History

Obituary: Paul J. Olvany, 57

Former Queens resident Paul J. Olvany, 57, of Austin, Texas, died Feb. 19 in Fairfield, Texas. He was 57. Comment.

February, 2013

Rockaway Park

City honors Rockaway site

The red brick facade of Engine Co. 268/Hook & Ladder 137 has watched over the Rockaway Peninsula for 100 years, keeping residents safe on both land and at sea. Comment.
History

Grand Central’s history celebrated with fête

Visitors and commuters alike showed up in the thousands Friday during the morning rush hour to observe the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, the venerable transit edifice. Comment.
QueensLine

Plan was made in 1959 for boro to secede from N.Y. over taxes

In 1959, the City Planning Commission formally received plans for the Big Six Towers Feb. 2, a proposed cooperative apartment housing complex sponsored by New York Typographical Union No. 6. Comment.
Flushing

Obituary: Beverly Ordonez-Sacks, 65

Beverly Ordonez-Sacks, of Flushing, died Saturday. She was 65. Comment.
Oakland Gardens

Obituary: Vincent Ierardi, 88

Vincent Ierardi, an Oakland Gardens resident, died Jan. 28. He was 88. Comment.
History

Grand Central birthday bash draws celebrities

The shoulder-to-shoulder crowds who competed with commuters for space at Grand Central Terminal last Friday came for a birthday party — the 100th for the venerated transit hub on a day of speeches, celebrities, brass bands and prices more appropriate to a century ago. Comment.
Editorial

Hizzoner

There is little we can say about the late Ed Koch that hasn’t already been said. He was one of the greatest mayors this city ever knew, a quintessential New Yorker who lifted the spirits of this city when it needed it most. Comments (1).
Fresh Meadows

City councilman weighs buying Brinckerhoff Cemetery

A committee formed to preserve Brinckerhoff Cemetery, a colonial cemetery in Fresh Meadows that was recently named a landmark by the city, is hoping the City Council will buy the burial ground from its private owner. Comments (2).
Laurelton

Laurelton considers historic-district designation

Built as a planned community in the earlier part of the 20th century, Laurelton was notable for its variety of Colonial Revival-style homes and landscaped center malls that stretch up and down several streets crisscrossing the neighborhood. Comments (4).
Long Island City

Former Mayor Ed Koch dies at 88

Queens mourned the loss of former Mayor Ed Koch Friday after the charismatic lawmaker succumbed to a heart condition overnight. He was 88. Comment.

January, 2013

History

Grand Central Station looks back on 100 years

Thousands of Queens residents routinely take the No. 7 train to Grand Central Terminal en route to their jobs, but now they can pause to help celebrate the 100th birthday of the venerable landmark, now a destination in itself with everything from luxury shopping to a dazzling array of gastronomical delights. Comments (1).
Bayside

Funding cuts keep Bayside Historical Society on hold

When the Bayside Historical Society’s current building at Fort Totten was built in 1877, there was no such thing as a modern elevator, and more than 130 years later that still has not changed. Comments (1).
CNG: Community Newspaper Group