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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Season's Greeting from the La Guardia and Wagner Archives

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

Mayor Ed Koch with Patti Lupone, 1980

In 1980 Mayor Ed Koch and Patti Lupone (winner of a Tony Award that year for the title role in Evita) celebrated the holidays by kissing during a Christmas tree lighting.  (See above.)  This is one of my favorite holiday photos available on the La Guardia and Wagner Archives website. You can see more by searching for them at http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/   I found this one using "Christmas" as a keyword in a photo search. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Stinging Critique of College Athletics by the Eminent Historian John Hope Franklin

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

More than 20 years before the accusations of sexual assault and rape in the athletics programs of Syracuse and Penn State Universities, the eminent historian John Hope Franklin delivered a stinging critique of college athletics and their deleterious effects on higher education in a LaGuardia Lecture hosted by La Guardia Community College at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1989.  It is now available on the Featured page of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives Website http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/featured.aspx  and on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/user/lagarchivist?feature=g-all#p/u/42/3_GeAo3WzXQ 

You can also learn more about intercollegiate athletics on the Archives' Investing in Futures: Public Higher Education in American website. 
http://www.cuny.edu/site/cc/higher-education/intercollegiate-athletics.html and in The Chronicle of Higher Education commentaries called, "What the Hell Has Happened to College Sports? And What We Should Do About It?"http://chronicle.com/article/What-the-Hell-Has-Happened-to/130071/?sid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Professor Franklin's words felt prescient to me and I wanted to share them with you. I hope you will take the time to consider the role and meaning of athletics in higher education and send us your comments.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Photo of Fiorello La Guardia with Isoroku Yamamoto, Architect of the Pearl Harbor Attack

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

 Major La Guardia poses with two other early aviation enthusiasts, Captain Poggi of the 
Italian Army and Captain Isoroku Yamamoto of the Japanese Navy at the Austro-Italian Front, 1918.

During World War I, Fiorello La Guardia left his seat in Congress to serve in the Eighth Aviation Center in Foggia, Italy.  While in Italy he met officers from other countries interested in aviation, including Isoroku Yamamoto, a Japanese naval attaché and later the architect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago today.  (See photo above and attached.)

Ironically, as Ian W. Toll recounts in today’s New York Times Op-Ed, “A Reluctant Enemy,” Yamamoto had been an opponent of attacking the United States.  (See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/opinion/a-reluctant-enemy.html?_r=1&ref=opinion) Before Pearl Harbor, he had traveled widely in the U.S. and Europe and based on his observations of the U.S. and its industrial might concluded that “Japan lacks the national power for a naval race with America.”   

The photo captures the chance encounter of two young men on divergent paths.  La Guardia was on his way to becoming the United States’ greatest mayor, while Yamamoto would become infamous for the attack on Pearl Harbor.  While we do not know what conversations La Guardia and Yamamoto had, one wonders if Yamamoto’s impressions of the brash, outspoken congressman from New York City added to his reluctance to attack the United States.