Interference Archive: Support GI Resistance

Authored by Serena Troshynski

"Support GI Resistance" poster

Support GI Resistance poster created by Kevin Caplicki. This is currently housed in the Interference Archive in Brooklyn, NY.

The bright red, white, and blue of the protest poster would be eye catching anywhere, and one can imagine the statement it must have made as it was plastered all over the streets of Chicago. Created as part of a collaboration between Justseeds art collective and the protest organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), this piece was used as part of a demonstration staged in Chicago in November 2010. The demonstration included three art exhibitions in Chicago in November and December, as well as a street postering action.[1] Continue reading

Reverend Samson Occum: Forging a Bridge Across Cultures

Authored by Nicole Shaw

Your Watermarked Image

Mr. Buell’s sermon at the ordination of Mr. Occum. Acquired by Stony Brook University Special Collections from the Swann Auction Galleries in 2008.

Samson Occum was a well-respected minister in the late 18th century who worked tirelessly towards peace in his community. Believed to be the descendant of a Mohegan chief,1 he was credited as one of the first ordained Christian Indian ministers.2 Ordained in 1759, Occum spent the majority of his life working as a missionary among Indians. Regardless of receiving a stipend for his work, he spent a great deal of his life in poverty and endured much suffering at the hands of the English, while facing many betrayals and false promises. Despite these hardships, Occum continued his work to spread the Christian faith among his people. Known to preach in Montauk (Eastern Long Island), Occum blended Native American communities with Christianized Europeans and helped Native Americans assimilate to western culture. He also organized the creation of “Brothertown,” a settlement solely for Christian Indians.3 Although as a young man the only book he owned was the Bible, Occum became the first Native American to publish in English.4 To this day, Mr. Occum is honored with a wealth of recognition, particularly at Dartmouth College, which he helped raise funds to initiate. Continue reading

The NCWC’s Fight for Just Migration in WWII

Authored by Maeve Dwyer

National Catholic Welfare Conference Bureau of Immigration Annual Report (1940-1941), from the Center for Migration Studies National Catholic Welfare Conference Collection

In 1920 the National Catholic Welfare Conference, previously the National Catholic Welfare Council, created a Bureau of Immigration to aid immigrants entering the United States. [1] The NCWC Annual Report (July 1, 1940- June 30, 1941) describes the efforts of the NCWC in assisting migrants who sought refuge in the United States during a time of increasing turbulence and uncertainty. Specifically, within the context of this annual report, the violence of World War II[2] was spreading throughout Europe. The NCWC took great pains to relieve the displaced, and those fleeing Nazi holdings or Axis power territories.

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Reggae Sunsplash: A Historical Record of Live Reggae

Authored by Christopher Anderson

Watermarked image.

Reggae Sunsplash video collection. Photograph courtesy of Christopher Anderson.

From 1978 through 1998, Reggae Sunsplash was a major reggae festival which originated in Jamaica and subsequently reached international heights. Reggae Sunsplash became a celebrated event in Jamaica and “established the model for reggae concerts locally and internationally.”[1] The festival “attracted a global audience by showcasing all the legendary acts of the golden period of the music for an entire week.”[2] In addition to its local impact “Reggae Sunsplash received worldwide acclaim from the international media and this undoubtedly served to formalise reggae as an established musical artform.”[3] The festival reached beyond Jamaica with additional concerts held in numerous locations throughout the United States in the 1980’s and 1990’s. An attempt was made to revive Reggae Sunsplash with a festival taking place in 2006, however, no subsequent events have been held.[4] Continue reading

IT’S ALL IN A LETTER: Requesting visa approval for NBC reporter to travel to Hanoi in 1979

Authored by Whitney Karen Brown

Elizabeth Holtzman, letter to Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Hoang Bao Son, 28 Feb. 1979, box 35, Garner J. Cline Papers, Center for Migration Studies, (New York, NY.).

In February of 1979, Elizabeth Holtzman, Chairwoman for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and International Law wrote a letter to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Hoang Bao Son, regarding the quick approval for visas for James Upshaw, an NBC reporter, and his television crew, to travel with her to Hanoi.[1] The letter is part of a collection called the Garner J. Cline Papers, which currently resides in the Center for Migration Studies in New York.[2] The Garner J. Cline Papers consists of fifty-one boxes containing the personal papers of Garner J. Cline, who, at the time the letter was written, was Staff Director for the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives.[3] Continue reading

Exploring Ethnicity and Religion in a Map of Jamaica, Queens – 4th Ward in 1907

Authored by Malcolm Harris

Map of the roads, buildings, and major landmarks of downtown Jamaica, Queens. Created with a black color printing on a tan sheet. Includes a red-lettered advertisement by Meynen, Booth, and Eno Long Island Real Estate

Surveyed and Designed in 1907 by D. J. Evans and Co. and published by Meynen, Booth, and Eno Long Island Real Estate


This map of Jamaica, Queens created in 1907 by the surveyor firm D. J. Evans and Co. is a representation of the urban development that occurred following a surge in new residents to the city. From the beginning of 1900 – with the population of Jamaica, Queens being estimated at almost 153,000 – there is steady growth that occurs leading to the city being the home for just over 248,000 people by 1910.[1] This map is created for the local real estate company of Meynen, Booth, and Eno[2], who like other small relators in the area looked to capitalize on the recent redevelopments of the LIRR, which was electrified for faster service by rail by 1908 as well as the opening of the Queensboro bridge to direct vehicle travel from Manhattan to the outer parts of Long Island.[3] [4]




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President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act

President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act

Authored by: Ariana Kaleta

President Kennedy Press Conference on the Immigration and Nationality Act June 11, 1963,                     Abby Rowe/White House
“Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we  can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience.”
John F Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants

Here we see a relaxed President Kennedy, laughing during a break at a press conference but what he was discussing were serious matters for the future face of America.  The President was compelled to write “A Nation of Immigrants” after repeatedly hearing the stories of immigrant’s rights groups, such as at this meeting with the American Committee on Italian Migration.

When Kennedy first came into office, Henry Cabot Lodge’s Immigration Act of 1924 had been diligently enforced under the firm hand of the Immigration Restriction League (a prominent lobbying group founded in 1884). [1]  For four decades, the Immigration Act of 1924 used quotas to prohibit all ‘non-nativist’ nationalities, in particular Jewish, Irish and Italians fleeing Europe. However, it also had punitive effects on the almost historically unrecognized Arabic and Asian immigrants.[2]  As the threat of communism and post war depression flooded across Europe and Asia, waves of immigrants risked their lives to journey to America, only to be turned away at Ellis Island, due to these racist and religious discriminatory laws. Continue reading

Mapping the History of College Point: The Impact of Immigrants on a Neighborhood in Queens

Authored by Megan Smead

Image of Fire Insurance Map of College Point, Queens watermarked with New York Public Library logo

Map of College Point, Queens, NY from the Sanborn Map Company, Atlas 141, Queens V. 5, Plate No. 15, 1903, made available by the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division of the New York Public Library.2

The Sanborn Map Company created fire insurance maps beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, showing the location and construction of buildings and roads in major cities across the United States, which allowed insurance companies to assess fire risk.1 The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division of the New York Public Library has digitized many atlases and maps, including the Sanborn map in Figure 1, which represents College Point, Queens, NY in 1903. As part of an Academic Service-Learning experience through St. John’s University, I georectified this map, and others from the same atlas of Queens. The georectification process entails using the NYPL Map Warper tool to match coordinates from the historical map to a current map in order to align the two maps. Georectification of historical maps allows genealogists, historians, architects, urban planners and members of the public to observe geographic and demographic changes over time, and to make connections to the past. Volunteering my time and skills in service to the public by georectifiying maps allows me to strive towards fulfilling the Vincentian mission of service that is essential to St. John’s University. Continue reading

The Tricentennial of the Bellmores, Long Island, New York, 1976

Authored by Sara Alcorn

Car Bumper Sticker from the Bellmore Historical Society celebrating the Tricentennial of the Bellmores, New York, 1976.

Car Bumper Sticker from the Bellmore Historical Society celebrating the Tricentennial of the Bellmores, New York, 1976.

As the United Sates of America was welcoming their bicentennial independence, a small town on Long Island was gearing up to celebrate the three hundredth birthday of their community with pride and public service.


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“Warping” through Queens history with the NYPL Map Warper tool

insurance maps of the borough of queens, vol 2, 1915

Insurance Maps of the Borough of Queens, City of New York, Volume Two, published in 1915 and digitally reproduced on the NYPL Map Warper according to a CC0 1.0 license.

Authored by Maddy Vericker

The NYPL Map Warper is a collection of New York-area maps and atlases that have been digitized and published online under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license.[1] The coolest thing about the Map Warper tool is that it is also a crowdsourcing project that relies on volunteers to pin old maps to modern satellite maps, a process called georectification.[2]  Exploring the maps that populate the website reveals much about the history of a city that is constantly evolving, and in researching the Sanborn Map Co.’s Insurance Maps of the Borough of Queens, City of New York, Volume Two,[3] these changes are even more apparent. Continue reading