On September 9, 1891, Cass Hite killed Adolf F. Kohler in the Green River Valley of the Utah Territory in self-defense. Despite this, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. What followed were petitions, letters, and people asking one question: why?
The answer was complicated. Prosecutors in court claimed Hite killed Kohler out of anger after being called a coward (The People of the Territory of Utah vs. Cass Hite, n.d.). For Hite’s defense, Kohler shot first after Hite went to him to settle their differences without violence (Salt Lake Tribune 1892, 3). The court split when the first trial proceeded in February 1892. With no solid proof of either sides’ story besides bullet holes and a dead man, a he-said she-said predicament ensued. Witnesses contradicted each other on key points depending on which side they supported. “Ultimately,” says Knipmeyer, author of Hite’s biography, “[it] came down to which witnesses each member of the…jury believed” (Knipmeyer 2016, 147-148).
A copy of the cover of Forbes Magazine, dated October 30, 1978 displaying the Statue of Liberty. This is currently part of the Endres Collection for the Center for Migration Studies.
This artifact is a copy of the October 30, 1978 issue of Forbes magazine, which portrays the Statue of Liberty in all her glory, a symbol of American’s immigrant heritage. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! (Moreno 2004). However, this sentiment towards new immigrants has changed throughout the life of America. I believe that views towards immigration, over time, have been based on what America was going through in history. It’s important for us to look back on an article like this and see how far we’ve come – so in this case, I wonder, how far have we come since 1978? Continue reading →
Image of Joan Nestle, Polly Thistlethwaite, and cat. Lesbian HERstoy Archive Collection. 1994.
Pictured are activist and writer, Joan Nestle, current Chief Librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center (Thistlethwaite 2014) Polly Thistlethwaite, and cat at the Lesbian HERstory Archives (LHA) in 1994 taken by the photo collection manager, Saskia Scheffer. I discovered this picture, with the help of an archivist, in a crammed filing cabinet, not too far from where the picture was taken. The cabinet was organized with an eclectic cataloging system, determined by the many archivists over the years. I was searching for content involving cats for an upcoming exhibit when we discovered this artifact. As I held this image, I wondered when the last time someone took notice of this seemingly insignificant photograph. Continue reading →
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).  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. 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 →
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.
Farmingdale State College “Modern Community syllabus,” page 1, circa 1948.
“Modern Community in 1950”
As part of an Academic Service-Learning project, I was tasked with cataloging textbooks and notebooks donated by an alumnus of the 1950 class at Farmingdale State College. The donor of the material was Mr. Benjamin P. Vecchio, a graduate of the Building Construction (BC) program at LIATI. At LIATI, students were either part of the Agricultural College, or the Technical College. As a student in BC, Mr. Vecchio was a part of the Technical College that, according to a campus map, made its home on Conklin Street in Farmingdale, NY, away from the Main Campus. The history of the Technical Campus is interesting because the ‘Central Hall’ building used to be known as the Nazareth Trade School, a home for Orphans between 1900 and 1940. “It was held at the old tech area which was on Conklin Street. All the classes were there, none of them were here, except sports, sports were here, but the rest were over there.”Continue reading →