This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of July 5

2024-07-05 TWIR Image-Erie RR Suffern

July 2, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Messenger


To thee, the little children’s Friend,
Their hymn to-day shall rise;
O from the heavenly courts descend,
And bless the sacrifice!

While through our land fair freedom’s song.
Our fathers raise to thee;
Our accents shall the notes prolong;
We children, too, are free!

The post with blessings from thy hand,
Was richly scattered o’er;
As numerous as the countless sand
That spreads the ocean shore.

O may the future be as bright,
Nor be thy favors less
Resplendent with the glorious light
Of peace and happiness.

On earth prepare us for the skies;
And when our life is o’er,
Let us to purer mansions rise,
And praise thee evermore.

July 3, 1924 – 100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

[Image:  Erie Railroad station at Suffern, NY, ca. 1920. William D. Hassler photograph collection. Image courtesy of the N-Y Historical Society via]

       The new motor vehicle law became effective Tuesday. Every motorist must have a license to drive and to obtain this examination must be taken. The new license costs $2.
       Fines collected from speeding motorists are to go to the State Treasury after a deduction by the village or town. If a village has 500 inhabitants and maintains traffic rules it may retain $1 for each person in the village, or $500 of all the fines collected during the year. No town is permitted to employ a traffic policeman whose pay depends on the fines, nor may a person be employed by a city or village whose salary depends on the fines collected.
       Licenses to operate motor vehicles must be obtained by all drivers before Oct. 1. Operators of motorcycles also must have a driver’s license after that date. The licenses will cost $1 and 50 cents for a renewal.

Some of the Provisions
       Some provisions of the new law are:
       Brakes and steering mechanism must always be in good order, and a suitable horn must be provided. A muffler also must be used; cut outs are prohibited.
       Two white headlights of twenty-one candlepower each must be carried on all vehicles and must be lighted from one-half hour after sundown until half an hour before sunrise. The lamps must clearly show objects 200 feet ahead. Tail light must always be red and so arranged that they illuminate the rear number plate. All motor vehicles carrying ten or more passengers must have fire extinguishers. Trucks must have a mirror adjusted to give a view of the traffic in the rear. Under the new law an “omnibus” is any vehicle used to transport passengers for hire.
       Machines standing in public streets also must have headlights, but local ordinances will be followed as to parking with only tail lights showing.
       The new Commissioner of Motor Vehicles is to put a force of inspectors in all counties to look for violations of overloading and poor equipment. More than 200 inspectors are to be appointed. The State troopers also will aid in enforcing the new regulations.

Punishment for Violations.
       Violations are punishable by a fine of not exceeding $50, or imprisonment for more than thirty days, or both. The violations include: Operating unlicensed motor vehicles; driving by a person under 18, unless accompanied by a chauffeur or owner; operating without proper license plates; operating with dealers’ or demonstration plates for pleasure or for hire for more than five days by persons other than manufacturers or dealers; for not stopping on signal from a person driving a horse, or for disregarding rules when meeting or passing other vehicles; failure of dealer to report to the Tax Commission the lending of his plates, or failure of the buyer to return the plates within six days, or failure of a dealer to report such negligence on the purchaser’s part.
       A maximum sentence of $100 fine or sixty days in jail is provided in the case of any one who accepts a transfer of a motor vehicle without the certificate issued by the State Tax Commission properly indorsed. This provision is expected to reduce the number of car thefts.
       Speeding more than thirty miles an hour, or reckless operation of a car are subject to a minimum fine of $100 and thirty days in jail, or both.
       Fines of $500 or more may be imposed, with a jail sentence of not more than one year, for driving while intoxicated; leaving the scene of an accident without stopping and giving name and license number and other information to the proper authorities; operating while license is suspended or revoked; making false statements in connection with registration when applying for a license.

July 5, 1974 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       The weatherman provided the fireworks Thursday for this year’s Fourth of July celebrations as humid 94 degree temperatures drove thousands of Rocklanders to the county’s parks, pools and beaches.
       Palisades Interstate Park police reported that many areas were filled to capacity. Some sites were closed off to the public until room could be made for them.
       In the meantime, motorists parked on road shoulders, sipped cold drinks, and waited for their place in the shade.
       In Tappan, 200 persons joined with the Tappantown Society to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Orangetown Resolutions. The Resolutions, signed on July 4, 1774, were an important predecessor to the Declaration of Independence.
       The ceremony was held on the doorstep of the ’76 House. Now a restaurant, the house was the American blockhouse where British spy Maj. John Andre, who plotted with Benedict Arnold to take over West Point, was confined before his execution.
       Orangetown Supervisor Americo diFrancesca and Orangetown town historian Ralph Braden were among the speakers who reminded the spectators of Tappan’s historic background.
       “Two hundred years from now,” said DiFrancesca, “let us hope our descendants will gather here, keeping the best of the past and the best of the new.”
       Two thousand persons gathered along the mile-and-a-half parade route to watch 17 marching bands from New York and New Jersey in the annual Suffern Independence Day Parade.
       Lounging in lawn chairs or huddled on the sidewalks, spectators waved balloons and applauded their local fire departments as they stepped briskly along Lafayette, Orange, and Ramapo Avenues.
       The U.S. Navy got into the act, bringing a miniature “tin lizzie” to the parade that delighted children. Behind the small car a sailor tossed posters and wafted white frisbees into the crowd.
       “It’s terrific” said an old-timer who said he was a professional parade watcher. “It sounds corny, but it’s true. Everybody loves a parade.”
       For those Rocklanders interested more in watching things instead of people, the Eighth Annual Independence Day Antiques, Arts and Crafts Festival turned South Broadway in Nyack into a street fair.
       Artisans from as far away as Connecticut brought dulcimers, clothes, jewelry and antique furniture to sell to the brightly clad crowds streaming down the street. Local delicatessens and sweet shops did a brisk business quenching thirsts as buyers clutched cold drinks in their hands while they surveyed the wares.
       Traffic was heavy in the county, according to town police stations, but concentrated mostly in recreation areas.
       Rocklanders who missed fireworks Thursday can still see fireworks displays Friday and Saturday.
       Piermont will highlight its annual Fireman’s Carnival with fireworks tonight at 7:30 p.m. And in Haverstraw, the Elks Club will shoot the works tonight between 9 and 10 p.m.
       Suffern will also sponsor a fireworks display in the village’s athletic field at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2024 by The Historical Society of Rockland County. #FBF Flashback Friday may be reprinted only with written permission from the HSRC. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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