Of Poetry and Plutonium: The Cold War in Bergen County

Authored by Jessica Santulli

This is a poem typed on a faded typewriter during the 1980s. The title is "A Prayer in Time of Need" by Marjorie Medary.
This poem, which reads like a prayer, was penned by Marjorie Medary, a patron of the Oakland Public library in Oakland, New Jersey. It is part of a collection of poetry that was on display at the library during the 1980s, reflecting the effects of the Cold War on New Jersey and the United States.

The Cold War is defined as a period of hostility and political tension between the Soviet Union and the United States of America from after World War II in 1945 through 1990, when the Berlin Wall fell (Halperin and Woods 1990). This era was certainly a trying time for world leaders, diplomats, politicians, and the military. But how did ordinary people in Bergen County, New Jersey handle the looming threat of Nuclear War?

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Albert Payson Terhune

Authored By Molly Towers

Albert Payson Terhune pictures with wife Anice Terhune and three of their dogs

Courtesy of Emanuel Einstein Memorial Library: Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

Albert Payson Terhune was born on December 21, 1872 in Newark, New Jersey (2003). He is pictured here with his second wife Anice Terhune on the porch of their home on the Sunnybank estate property-now known as a literary landmark (and dog park) (Haggin, 1999). Terhune is an author (best known for his dog stories) with one of his more popular books being “Lad: A Dog” (1999).  He had a love of dogs and his stories made an impact on many of his readers in a profound way-“…in some ineffable way he transmuted his great loves into the hearts of other people so that they loved them almost as intensely as he did” (Irving, 1977: 7). Continue reading