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.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In honor of Memorial Day, the La Guardia and Wagner Archives takes a look at the active role women have played in the military with a newsreel footage of the WAVES.  Established by an Act of Congress in 1942, the Women’s Reserve of the U.S. Naval Reserve (WAVES) enlisted more than 100,000 women during World War II. First established at the Iowa State Teacher’s College, the naval training school moved to Hunter College in the Bronx (now Lehman College) in February 1943. Women learned the fundamentals of navy life, but were initially restricted to service within the continental U.S., where they also supplemented the male labor force that was diminished due to military service overseas.
The newsreel film footage shows the WAVES working in Iowa and on the campus of Hunter College in the Bronx. Follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yaw7Gyf2Mpc&feature=youtu.be

Monday, May 21, 2012

VIDEO: Charles Lindbergh's Transatlantic Flight Remembered by Professor Janet Lieberman 85 Years Later

Steven A. Levine 

Coordinator for Educational Programs

Eighty-five years ago today Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. His accomplishment is seen as one of the most important events of the 20th century, but memories have dimmed and, in an age when jet airplanes routinely cross the Atlantic Ocean, we have lost sight of its significance. In a YouTube video, accompanied by film footage of Lindbergh's flight, La Guardia Community College Professor Emerita Janet Lieberman gives her childhood recollections of the event and a Brooklyn parade celebrating Lindbergh, which she attended with her family. The magnificent Brooklyn parade took place on June 16, 1927 its 22-mile route crowded with 700,000 school children and their parents. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R3fGL67mas
Lindbergh was a little-known air mail pilot based in St. Louis in early January 1927, when he heard about a $25,000 prize being offered to the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris. Lindbergh's historic flight earned him this prize and the adulation of the nation. Radio and newsreel film, new media of the age, spread news of his feat in ways unimaginable only ten years earlier. The 1920s was a decade of ballyhoo and heroes, and the Lone Eagle's transatlantic flight made him the quintessential hero of the era. His momentous feat also became the catalyst for the growth and preeminence of the American aviation industry, overtaking its European rivals.

This is only one piece of the Lindbergh story. To learn more about Lindbergh, including the kidnapping of his son, his associations with Nazi Germany, and support of American isolationism, see the excellent biography The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh & the Rise of American Aviation by CUNY Distinguished Professor Thomas Kessner.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Re-Segregation in New York City's Public Schools

Tara Jean Hickman
Educational Associate

Joel Motley Talks About the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education

According to a recent article in The New York Times, New York's public school system is one of the most segregated in the country.

This week in history, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional in the historic Brown v. the Board of Education case.

As the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's associate counsel, Constance Baker Motley participated in writing the briefs for Brown v. Board of Education, and had a major impact on ending racial discrimination. Her son, Joel Motley discusses Brown v. Board of Education and the momentum it carried to the Voting Rights Act on our You Tube website.

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. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Remembering the Queens Blvd Trolley and Queens historian Vincent Seyfried

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs
Queens Boulevard Trolleys, narrated by Vincent Seyfried

Last month, Vincent Seyfried, “the dean of Queens County historians,” died at the age of 93. Seyfried chronicled the history of Queens and of its railroads and trolleys, publishing more than 30 books in his lifetime. He made important contributions to the La Guardia and Wagner Archives, including descriptions of trolley car lines captured on film in the 1930s. The Archives has made these films and Seyfried’s narrations available on our YouTube site. 
To learn more about Vincent Seyfried, you can read his obituary in the Queens Gazette. If you want to learn more about the history of Queens or have any memories of Vincent Seyfried or Queens history, please leave your comments below.