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.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

VIDEOS: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Fiorello La Guardia, Brooklyn Dodgers, and NY Yankees and Giants

Bedlam at Shea Stadium when the Mets win the 1969 World Series
Baseball is in the air at Citifield, Yankee Stadium, and the La Guardia and Wagner Archives.  Check out our new videos narrated by Stephen Weinstein, the Archives' baseball expert extraordinaire : 
"Opening Day 1936: New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Dodgers at the Polo Grounds" where Mayor La Guardia throws out the first pitch, the Giants trounce the Dodgers, and Babe Ruth watches the action.
"Joe DiMaggio's Wild Dash Home Clinches Yankees 1939 World Series Victory Over the Cincinnati Reds"  The Yankees swept the Cincinnati Reds that year and this baseball newsreel would have been seen in movie theaters alongside the news of the Soviet Union's and Nazi  Germany's conquest of Poland.
You can also view the Archives' slide show,  Baseball in New York, on the La Guardia and Wagner Archives computer screens located on the 1st floor of the walkway between the M and E buildings by the La Guardia Welcome Center, and the 2nd and 4th floors of the lounge areas of the C-building.  You can also view them online at : http://tinyurl.com/dxalkg7

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mayor La Guardia's Cousin Knocks on the Archives' Door

Patrizia Luzzatto with her cousin Fiorello La Guardia

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

You never know who will walk in your door on any particular morning. Yesterday, it was Patrizia Luzzatto, the cousin of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. She arrived unannounced to the Archives researching the Luzzatto family tree. Fiorello’s mother was Irene Luzzatto-Coen of Trieste. Born in the Austro-Hungarian port city of Trieste, Irene was of Italian-Jewish heritage. Patizia and Fiorello share a common great-grandfather, who I learned from Patrizia was a rabbi and a teacher in a yeshiva. The Luzzatto family had deep roots in Trieste dating back to the 18th century, but they were most likely Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in the fifteenth century, although medieval Roman and Florentine records also mention Luzzattos.
I had the privilege of sharing notes with Patrizia, who has spent the last two years researching the Luzzattos, about Fiorello La Guardia and his family. (She will be sending her research to the Archives.) We had both read the autobiography of Fiorello's sister, Gemma La Guardia Gluck, and discussed her harrowing experiences during World War II. Gemma had married a Hungarian Jewish man and settled in Budapest before World War I. She lost both her husband and her son-in-law to Nazi genocide. The Nazis initially sent Gemma, her daughter and grandson to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Knowing Gemma was Mayor La Guardia’s sister, the Nazis then sent them to Berlin as potential ransom. When the war ended, Gemma and Fiorello regained contact and he helped her to settle in New York City in the Queensbridge Houses his administration had built. (To learn more about Gemma’s story and read the correspondence between her and Fiorello go to: http://tinyurl.com/bctcrb5 )
In our conversation, I learned that Patrizia’s family, like Gemma’s, were also survivors who went first to Argentina and later settled permanently in Caracas, Venezuela. Both are stories to think deeply about, especially as we approach Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on April 8th, which will be the 70th anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.