Established in 1982 at LaGuardia Community College/ CUNY with a mission to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City. We hold nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival records and 3,200 reels of microfilm with almost 100,000 photographs and 2,000,000 documents available on our website.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AIDS Awareness Day Classroom Materials

Tara Jean Hickman
Educational Associate

In honor of World AIDS Awareness Day tomorrow, I would like to share primary documents useful for the classroom that look at the early stages of AIDS in New York City. 
            The attached PDF highlights two of my favorite documents in the Selected Documents from the Collection of Mayor Edward Koch Volume I: AIDS e-publication.  The first document from 1982 highlights the early confusion in the Health Department of a new “group of diseases reaching serious proportions in the homosexual male population.”  By 1985, as the second document shows, the controversial needle exchange program was introduced to combat the growing AIDS epidemic.  Encourage your students to think critically about the effectiveness of this program, outlining the pros and cons. These documents can also be found on our website in the Koch Collection Highlights: http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/COLLECTIONS.aspx?ViwType=1&ColID=8
These historical documents can also be paired with the latest report from the United Nations agency in charge of the global fight against AIDS, from a November 27, 2011, New York Times editorial, Still Fighting Against AIDS: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/opinion/still-fighting-against-aids.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Still%20fighting%20aganist%20AIDS&st=cse .
         In addition to these documents, the La Guardia and Wagner Archives has a rich array of primary documents on New York City cultural and social issues.  If you have any further questions or would like to conduct research at the La Guardia and Wagner Archives, please contact me at:  (718) 482-5065 or thickman@lagcc.cuny.edu.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mayor La Guardia, Thanksgiving, 1942

Steven A. Levine

Coordinator for Educational Programs

On November 29, 1942, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia described a Daily News cartoon by George Clark over WNYC radio about the feelings of Americans whose loved ones were overseas during World War II on Thanksgiving. (See below)  La Guardia read the caption of the cartoon.  As the mother prepares the Thanksgiving meal, she says to her husband, "He's a thousand miles from us today, but I cooked his favorite desserts anyway.  An American soldier can turn up mighty sudden and unexpected nowadays."  La Guardia told his audience that "Those were the thoughts of hundreds of thousands of fathers and mothers in our country on Thanksgiving Day.  May the boys soon come home, safe and victorious."  More than 65 years later, the feelings are the same for families with service men and women overseas as they await their return home.
Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.

Excerpt from La Guardia Radio Speech, November, 29, 1942

Friday, November 18, 2011

Terry Parker Talks About the Integration of His North Carolina School in 1969

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

Terry Parker, Coordinator of Media Services at the LaGuardia Community College Library, was a high school student when desegregation came to East Spencer, North Carolina in 1969.  In this video (part of a longer piece), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0zgrmWCbto   Terry tells the story of how desegregation took place in his hometown, in what he calls "exciting, but turbulent times." 
Echoes of Terry's story can be found today in the unification of the predominantly African-American and poor Memphis, Tennessee school district with the surrounding white majority and mostly middle class suburban school districts.  Thirty six years after desegregation and white flight to the suburbs, similar issues of race and class continue to be an issue for both Memphis and our nation. See The New York Times  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/merger-of-memphis-and-county-school-districts-revives-challenges.html?ref=education
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision declared that "separate but equal" was "inherently unequal," but resistance to segregation in the U.S. was strong and it was not until the late 1960s and early 1970s that desegregation began in earnest.  To provide more background on the civil rights movement you can also use a lesson the La Guardia and Wagner Archives (with The New York Times in College) developed on Freedom Summer in our Let Freedom Ring curriculum.  http://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/freedom_curriculum/PDFs/09-1697_Let_Freedom_Ring_Less6_HM3.pdf  
Please contact me at slevine@lagcc.cuny.edu  if you have any questions about the video or the curriculum.