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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in birthdays (6)

Friday
Sep162011

Genie Newspaper Archives- The Schenectady Gazette Sep 13, 1982

I was going through old newspapers when I found this lovely gem! My husband grew up in Schenectady, NY and his parents saved the Schenectady Gazette from the day he was born.

I'm not looking to get all political here, but a front page story "Congress Spurs $1 B Jobs Bill", caught my attention. I feel like I've heard a similar story in the news lately... The American Jobs Act perhaps? :) History tends to repeat itself and the issues facing the government 29 years ago feel very similar to the obstacles of today. The Jobs Act of 1982 was estimated to cost $1 billion, the American Jobs Act of 2011 is estimated to cost about $447 billion. The Jobs Act of 1982 never became law.

From the Schenectady Gazette of Schenectady NY- September 13, 1982 Front Page

Congress Spurs $1 B Jobs Bill, By Tom Raum
Washington (AP)- Congressional Democrats, trying to ride the momentum of their veto override victory, plan to seek quick action in the House this week on a $1 billion jobs program opposed by the Reagan administration.

The Democratic initiative, which backers claim could put 200,000 unemployed to work on bridge and highway repair projects around the nation by the end of the year, seems certain to touch off a week of heightened partisan bickering. With congressional elections less than two months away, the remaining battles of the almost expired 97th Congress are expected to be dominated by politics. Democrats, who have won few skirmishes since the 1980 elections, remained exhilarated from the 60-30 Senate and 301-117 House votes last week overriding President Reagan’s veto of the $14.2 billion spending bill he deemed too costly.

Hoping to strike again while ahead, Democratic leaders decided late last week to try to bring the jobs bill to the House floor, out of schedule, by mid week. “Now seemed like a good time to try to get this thing moving. If we can get two-thirds to override a veto, we should be able to get the votes needed for a jobs bill.” said a Democratic leadership aide who asked not to be identified.


“I can no longer accept in good conscience the president’s plea for patience. The American people need to see action now before it is too late.” said House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, D-Mass, commenting on the bill. “The costs of unemployment now outweigh the cost of putting people back to work,” said O’Neill, in a statement yesterday. “Today we are paying out more than $20 billion in unemployment compensation alone. This says nothing of the lost output, the lost revenues, that result from today’s high unemployment.”

O’Neil said that funding for the program would equal 5 percent of the cost of the country’s unemployment compensation bill. Congress is in its final push before a scheduled early October adjournment.

The announcement last week by congressional leaders that they would not call a post-election “lame duck” session to deal with problems in the Social Security system meant that all the remaining work of the session must be done in the next tree weeks. Since the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the priority for Congress is to provide the money needed to run the government. But of 10 appropriations bills to fund federal agencies, only one- military construction- has been approved by either chamber of Congress.

Do you save old newspapers? I save what I can, but my small Brooklyn apartment can only house so many papers and books! If you don't want to bother saving them, you can always scan stories of interest! I recommend scanning all paper documents- every time you touch the paper the oils and dirt from your gentle handling slowly damage the quality. 

Thursday
Sep012011

Happy Birthday Jack Daniel- How About a Guinness, or 7?

Today would be the 161st birthday of Jasper Newton Daniel, the founder of the famous Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. When he registered the distillery in 1866 it was listed as "No. 1" with the US government, the first registered distillery. If you haven't done the math, in 1866 he was only 16 years old! I wonder how a youngster would have thought to do this? To make history on his birthday, the Jack Daniel's Distillery hopes to break 7 Guinness World Records today at South Street Seaport in NYC. To get in on the celebration, get down to the historic seaport between 12pm-2pm.

 

Records they are trying to break:

Most Contributions to a Greeting Card

Largest Glass Bottle Mosaic

Largest Bottle of Whiskey

Largest Gathering of People Born in the Same Month (if your birthday is in September- get down there!)

Most Bottles Played in a Bottle Orchestra

Most People Blowing out Candles Simultaneously

Fastest Time to Build a 20 Shot Glass Pyramid

 

Check back to see if any of these official attempts are successful!

Monday
Aug222011

* I now have a Centenarian in My Family- Happy 100th Birthday Maw! 

Steve's grandmother, Genevieve "Maw" Louise Woodard Burchett, turned a young 100 years old this past Friday- August 19, 2011. She is a lively, humorous, and inspirational woman. Her life spans time periods we can't even begin to fully comprehend. In her lifetime she has persevered through 2 world wars, the great depression, and unprecedented advances in technology. I am so proud and thankful to know her and be a part of her family. A glimpse into the past 100 years of her beautiful life.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul112011

* The Triborough Bridge linking the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens for 75 Years 

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Tri-Borough Bridge, a game changer for cars navigating the city roadways.

A project marked with initial distress, construction began the same day of the stock market crash of October 1929. Mayor James "Jimmy" Walker kept financing for the bridge as steady as possible during tough times, allegedly using illegal or unethical methods. Construction of the bridge was slow, money was extremely tight for the city. In 1932 when accusations and evidence of corruption forced Walker to resign as Mayor, construction was delayed and it's fate was unknown. In 1934 Fiorello La Guardia won the mayoral race and soon appointed Robert Moses as chairman to many important public authorities, one being the completion of the Triborough Bridge.

Moses was a sketchy guy and I still don't know what to think of him. His goals seemed to be aligned with the well being of New York City, but he made some questionable decisions. I learned a lot from the PBS special series, New York: A Documentary Film. In Episode 6, "The City of Tomorrow", they explore the significant years of 1929-1941 in New York City history. I loved seeing the video footage of feisty Fiorello La Guardia. The entire series is so thoughtfully put together and interesting. Definitely a great gift for any New Yorker! 

It just so happens I have an old New York Times clipping detailing the steps to finalizing it's construction. I don't have the whole article, it seems the article on the other side was the intended story to be saved, titled America's Past "Hard Times" Always Followed. An unknown person wrote "New York Times, Jan 24, 1932".

 

A Transcription from the legible parts of the article:

"...The height of the tower above the masonry will be 275 feet to the centre of the cables, or 315 feet above mean high water. Each tower will weigh 5,000 tons, of which 3,680 tons will be of silicon steel. As laid out, the cable bents for each anchorage weigh 1,200 tons, including cast sandles similar to those on the towers, and cast steel bases for distributing the load to the masonry. The job is to be done in 450 working days.

The cable anchorages for the Hell Gate span, on Ward's Island and at Astoria, Queens, have been finished and residents of the upper east side will soon see the start of construction of the Manhattan connection both in Manhattan and on Randall's Island... Foundations for the Manhattan link lift bridge will require an estimated $1,000,000 and for the Bronx Kills lift bridge will require an estimated $400,000. Foundations for the Queens approach will cost, it is believed, $1,500,000. So far two bond issues in connection with the bridge have been authorized, one for $3,000,000 and the other for $5,000,000.

The Triborough Bridge, according to Commissioner Goldman, will be the largest structure of it's kind in the United States. The main route, from Queens to the Bronx, will be 13,560 feet long and the Manhattan connection 4,150 feet. The Queens-Bronx section will open withe facilities to carry eight lanes of traffic, the crosstown connection six lanes...

...If a fee of 25 cents is charged for each of the expected 11,000,000 vehicles a year, the yield will be $2,750,000. 'The effect of the Triborough Bridge will be to rezone traffic in New York City,' Commissioner Goldman said. "It will enable Long Island motorists to go directly to the Bronx and to points north without traveling through Manhattan first."

'We estimate that it will relieve the Queensboro Bridge of 20 per cent of its traffic. The Williamsburg Bridge of 8 percent and the Brooklyn Bridge of 6 percent of its traffic. In short, the Triborough Bridge will be one of the finest improvements this city has ever had.'"

A mere 7 years later the Triborough Bridge was completely finished and open for motorists on July 11, 1936. I wonder how their stats matched up to their predictions. Seems like there would have been so many different factors, I don't know who they figured it all out. This change for the city most likely lead a greater number of families to move around the 5 boroughs during the end of the 1930's into the 1940's. I can't wait to see when the 1940 census data is released! Only 264 days until the scheduled release, April 1st or 2nd 2012.

Good book:

The Bridges of New York, by Sharon Reier, boasts many great images of the construction periods and discusses the instability of the political and economic systems challenging the growth of NYC.