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Photo of the Week


"How shall we know it is us without our past?"
- John Steinbeck

by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Librarian

Long Island's Tercentenary, 1936. (Image from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives.)

The first European settlement of Long Island (named Lange Eylant by the Dutch) was established at the head of Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn, in 1636, by William Adriaense Bennett and Jacques Bentyn, Dutchmen from New Amsterdam (on the tip of Manhattan Island). Thus, Long Island made claim to its 300th anniversary in 1936.

In commemoration of this historic event, New York Governor Herbert H. Lehman appointed a Long Island Tercentenary Committee to arrange a program in celebration. The U.S. Congress, with the approval of the President, authorized the minting of a special 50-cent coin in honor of Long Island's Tercentenary. The committee was enlarged to be fully representative of the four Long Island Counties of Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. County Committees were set up to plan and arrange parades, banquets, pageants, and other forms of local celebrations, beginning on Memorial Day and continuing throughout the summer of 1936. In cooperation with the Long Island Tercentenary Committee, this booklet on "Historic Long Island" was published by the Historical Committee of the Long Island Chamber of Commerce. The booklet is available for reference in our research library.

The Suffolk County Historical Society is preparing a major exhibit to commemorate the Centennial of World War I. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 1:00 pm, in our Grand Staas Gallery. All are welcome. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served. Curated by Richard F. Welch, Over Here, Over There: Long Island & the Great War will feature artifacts, maps, photographs, weaponry, posters, and more depicting Long Islanders’ experiences during the war...from the front lines to the home front, neutrality to belligerence, and mobilization to victory. We hope you can join us for this special event!


The Suffolk County Historical Society’s PHOTO OF THE WEEK Series is created by librarian Wendy Polhemus-Annibell using historic primary source materials from our local history library’s extensive archives. To subscribe, visit our website or send an email request to Wendy at wannibell@schs-museum.org.

Interested in seeing more historical photos from the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society? Spend an afternoon at our Local History Library perusing our extensive archival photography collections. We're open Weds. - Sat., 12:30 - 4:30 PM.

To view our Photo of the Week archives, visit our website at www.SuffolkCountyHistoricalSociety.org.

If you've been enjoying our Photo of the Week, please consider becoming a member of SCHS.

From the Civil War to civil rights, revolutions to restorations, spies to Suffragettes, boatbuilders to bootleggers, and whalers to wineries, Long Island's history comes alive at the Suffolk County Historical Society!

The Suffolk County Historical Society, founded in 1886, collects and preserves the rich history of Suffolk County and beyond. We offer a history museum, art galleries, a research library and archives, and a multitude of exhibits, programs, and educational lectures and workshops year-round. Our unique collections reflect more than three centuries of Long Island history. Click here to learn about Member Benefits!


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