September 1937: The way it was in Queens
is metal fixtures are stolen, benches
broken, and greenery ruined. Statures
are in a constant state of disrepair. Restricted
lawns are used for ball playing.
Holdups and assaults are frequent. Unlicensed
peddlers sell food without health
Jamaica buses replace trolley line
without fanfare. Trolley motorman Henry
Kalstika of Whitestone is asked if he
is sad on the passing of the line. ‘What’s
the difference?’ he said. ‘People want fast
service nowadays.’ A few days later, College
Point ends trolley service. Borough
President Harvey drives last trolley car.
The passing of the old trolley had served
College Point, Flushing, and Jamaica
since 1891. On hand is John Koznet, Jr.,
83, who rode the first trolley 46 years before.
Although the community may feel
like they lost an old friend, the bus line
represents progress said officials. The
rails are to be ripped up before the end
of the year.
The Colored American Civic Association,
a coalition of civic leader and black
ministers, disclosed appalling conditions
in a report on housing the Flushing
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TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | SEPT. 10 - SEPT. 16, 2021 13
In conjunction with the Greater Astoria
Historical Society, TimesLedger
Newspapers presents noteworthy
events in the borough’s
Welcome to September 1937!
Borough President Harvey refuses
the Democratic Party nomination. ‘You
know,’ he tells reporters, ‘you can’t fool
all the people all the time. The people
know what I have done. Compare the
New York of today with what it was four
years ago. I am running for Borough
President of Queens, not for mayor or
governor or president. My issues will be
my nine years of accomplishment in the
borough and my stand on Americanism.
I expect to double my plurality of four
Added police needed in park system.
Midway through the fourth year of expansion,
playgrounds number 384, (a
300% increase). Insufficient enforcement
personnel results in vandalism and
crime Parks Commissioner Moses says.
He paints a grim picture. Parks are unsafe
for visitors at night. Half million dollars
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community’s ‘Negro’ population. Some
structures date back one hundred years.
Of the 119 houses surveyed, 30 have no
toilets; none have electric refrigeration.
Only 17 have central heating, 90 have
only cold running water, while two have
no running water at all. Eight shacks are
declared unfit for human habitation.
The Trylon and Perishere will be dedicated
in impressive ceremony befitting
the $1.7 million project. Work continues
on the 18 story high orb with its 700
foot companion during ceremony. The
thump-hiss, thump-hiss of the pile driver
putting 99 foot ‘sticks’ for the Tyron’s
foundation beat a steady rhythm for the
speeches and music.
Two Navy blimps and dozens of
planes circle around. One thousand orange
and blue helium filled balloons,
each bearing a miniature Trylon and
Perishere, will soar into the air. Present
will be several governors, the mayor, officers
of great corporations taking exhibit
space, judges, ambassadors, chambers
of commerce, and officers of historical
The Commander of Flushing’s Grand
Army of the Republic will be unable to
attend event commemorating the 75th
Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
Although he can’t travel, Commander
Ringold Carmon is still looking forward
to the occasion. He admits to cheerfully
being 94 in October, but don’t send any
flowers, for ‘there’s plenty of life in this
old veteran yet.’
He fought through the Civil War from
beginning to end. He started as a 15-yearold
drummer boy during the First Battle
of Bull Run and participated in the final
agonizing siege of Richmond commissioned
at a lieutenant.
He claims to be the American flag
bearer at the head of the first column
that rode into the fallen Confederate
capital of Richmond. Commander Carmon
remembers carrying dispatches for
General Grant. They were wrapped in a
tin foil in his month. He was to swallow
them if captured.
For further info, call the
Greater Astoria Historical
Society at 718-278-0700 or www.