This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of February 3

2023-02-03 TWIR Image-Day Care Center

February 1, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       The persons, who, in a sleigh, front of my gate, between two and three o’clock last Saturday afternoon, the 25th inst., ran over my little Tan Terrier, and left him to perish in the deep snow, —not having feeling or courage enough to stop and inform me, whereby his life could have been saved, —have their punishment: They will despise themselves, for illustrating the meanest combination that disgraces human nature, cruelty and cowardice.
                                          DANIEL ULLMANN.
       PIERMONT ROAD, January 27th, 1873

      Russia leather muffs, the latest thing out. As they are not pretty, and altogether useless, they will probably be fashionable with our Nyack girls before long.
      Candlemas occurs next Sunday, 2d inst. According to an old legend, hibernating animals come out of their holes on that day, and if they see their shadows, go back again to sleep the balance of the winter.

February 3, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Times

       The Spring Valley Shirt Waist Factory was robbed Monday night of material as well as a quantity of manufactured shirt waists, and similar material.
       The thieves must have operated a large truck in order to carry away the plunder, as it bulked so much it would have been impossible to have carried it in an ordinary truck or touring car. The value is said to be several thousand dollars.

February 3, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Fannie Davis, educational coordinator of the West Street Day Care Center in Spring Valley, with Michael Powell of Spring Valley, February 1973. Davis talks about her philosophy of the day care center in this interview. Photo by Art Sarno.]
       Every morning on her way to work, Mrs. Powell gently hands her sleepy four-year-old to Fannie Davis, and with a quick good-bye kiss, she’s off.
       Then Mrs. Davis greets another little charge, and another, and another . . .
       Fannie Davis is not the neighborhood babysitter. She’s the educational coordinator of West Street Day Care Center in Spring Valley.
       “I wouldn’t want any program I’m involved in to become solely a babysitting service,” she stresses. “Eighty per cent of a child’s learning takes place before the age of six. Since these years are so crucial, they should be filled with learning experiences. At our day care center, the children are not only presented with an interesting and challenging educational program, but they learn from being with each other every day.
       “Whether a child is rich or poor, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Jewish or Catholic we teach him to grow up proud of himself and his heritage. And more important, we teach him to get along with his peers. This does not mean,” Mrs. Davis emphasizes, “that we tell the children they’re all alike. Children know the difference between black and white. Presenting and dealing with racial differences is much better than evading the issue.”
       But though the children may be broadening their awareness of what different people are like, Mrs. Davis has found that many adults still have misconceptions about the purpose of day care centers. “Some people,” she reports, “think that day care is a service needed only by poor, underprivileged families in which the mother must work.
       “This is simply not so. All children need stimulating activities and exposure to other people. If I could bring my children up again, I would insist that they had the experience of a day care center. “Most children love it here. The occasional problems, that we do have, I would attribute to this lack of understanding of the objectives of day care programs. For example, we had a mother who enrolled her child here because she was under the impression that she had to go to work, though, actually, she would have liked to stay home with her child.
       “So when she dropped off the child, she was heartbroken. Now, what’s the child going to think when he sees his mother crying? He must have thought this was a really terrible place! So naturally, he was very nervous and unhappy.”
       Another problem Mrs. Davis has observed is that some families need financial assistance, but are too proud to ask for it or find the social services department hard to deal with. “These families, too, should think of the welfare of their children first,” she says.
       If it is determined that a family is entitled to financial assistance, it can be arranged for the children to attend West Street Day Care Center or some other center, free of charge. For those families who are not social service clients, but who are operating on limited budgets, the center provides child care from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $15 per week. The children receive breakfast and lunch, and participate in a full program of learning units and recreational activities, and recently, the center began operating its own bus for field trips and regular service for kindergarten-level children.
       With the help of the parents of West Street Day Care Center children, the dedication of the center’s staff, and the financial support of numerous community service organizations, the center has managed to expand—but just barely.
       “We were hoping the social service department would be more cooperative about informing interested people of the center’s existence. In fact, one of the reasons we started operating at our second location, in the Spring Valley Dutch Reformed Church, was that that social services department had led us to believe that they would help us achieve full enrollment.
       “Also, we were hoping that professional people would help us test these children. Since we have our own bus now, we can transport the children to doctor offices for eye and ear tests, x-rays or physical examinations. Now, more than ever, we need the community’s help in order to survive.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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