Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of April 9

2021-04-09 TWIR Image-Medevac

April 8, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       We hear that war, black, grim-visaged war, has broken out in our schools. Thursday morning last, some eight or ten colored children presented themselves at the public school room and insisted on taking their place in school. This was as unexpected as it was sudden. Napoleon did not precipitate the war on Prussia so suddenly as the Spartans appeared and precipitated this war of color. Our Napoleon, Austin, was completely surprised; did not know what to do; sent for his Privy Council, the Trustees, but they did not put in an appearance. Whether afraid of the 14th Amendment, or that Grant would come to the rescue with his army, we know not; but the teacher, Austin, thus left by his supporters, asked for an armistice and dismissed the school. What will be the result we know not. The colored children claim their legal right to attend the public schools here, and some of the white children object to this procedure and say that they will not attend if the colored children are allowed to go to the same school. The colored children once had a school of their own with a teacher. They have had no separate school for some time, and the [sic] most of the colored children have not attended school anywhere for a long time. Probably this trouble will be settled by opening for them a separate school. They certainly ought to have the privilege of attending the public schools unless they are provided with one of their own.

April 8, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       That one-half of the world does not know how the other half lives was exemplified here when Miss Peters, Red Cross nurse, called to attend a sick person in the York house in Piermont avenue, found three children, the oldest aged four, running about a room naked. The family recently moved from Ossining and the mother said she had brought the kiddies here wrapped in blankets. Miss Peters at once provided clothing for the children.
       This information was given to the Board of Trustees on Monday night by Trustee Writer, who asked if the village board could not legally contribute toward the expense of the Red Cross nurse. He told of the good work being done and of the urgent need here of Miss Peters.

       Lawson Kerr, of Congers, went into his garage carrying a lantern, to see how much gas he had in the tank of his Ford car. He unscrewed the cap of the tank and held the lantern directly over it. The gas ignited and there was a lively blaze. The firemen arrived and put out the fire but not until the car was ruined and the garage badly damaged.

April 5 & 9, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Girls Evacuated—A helicopter from Ramapo Valley Airport evacuates one of the girls injured in a fall near High Tor Mountain in Haverstraw. The two girls were taken to Ramapo General Hospital. (AP Wirephoto).]
       Two New City girls injured Saturday afternoon in a 200-foot fall in the mountains near Haverstraw were reported in guarded condition early today at Ramapo General Hospital.
       The girls—Eileen Spring, 15, of 8 Lenbar Circle and Nancy Slater, 14, of 160 N. Main St.—were rescued by helicopter from the face of the mountain about a quarter-mile west of High Tor, the promontory that juts above Route 9W.
       Both were said to have received severe head injuries and possible internal injuries.
       The helicopter, manned by Anthony Cosimano and Jack Foster of the Decair Helicopter Service in Spring Valley, removed the girls one at a time to the hospital on litters provided by two Haverstraw firemen who scaled the mountain face of sharp rock.
       The girls, who were hiking off the trial, apparently did not realize they were at the edge of the mountaintop and first tumbled about 200 feet to a ledge, holding on until they were overwhelmed by fatigue. From there they tumbled another 25 feet.
       A woman who lives along Route 9W saw them fall and then cling to the ledge. She notified Haverstraw village police and firemen were dispatched shortly after 3 o’clock.
       The helicopter, which operates out of Ramapo Valley Airport, was summoned soon after and hovered over the site as the firemen secured the girls in litters.
       Both girls were being treated in the hospital’s emergency room within a half-hour after their plight was discovered.
       Donald Hastings of Spring Valley, assistant county fire coordinator, said use of the helicopter saved almost three hours of rescue time that would have been required if the girls had been brought down by litter-carry.
       Cosimano, 30, of New City, who flew a helicopter gunship in Vietnam, said the rescue Saturday was as serious and as dangerous as any mission he flew in combat.
       Cosimano had to land his four-passenger helicopter on a three-foot-wide rock ledge on which the injured girls were lying. Assisted by one of his pilots, Jack Foster, 29, of Monsey, who was standing on the ledge, Cosimano brought the chopper within inches of the wall of High Tor. He set the machine down with one skid on the ledge and the other hanging in space.
       “The rotors were in constant danger of being smashed on the cliff. This was the kind of maneuver you only do if a person’s life is in danger,” he said.
       Cosimano had to perform the difficult landing twice; he could only take out one girl each time. Haverstraw firemen had to cut down several trees hurriedly to give the helicopter enough room even to get one skid onto the narrow ledge.
       “It was as dramatic a rescue as any I saw in Vietnam,” said Foster afterwards. He, like Cosimano, is an Army veteran of the conflict.
       Rescue work by Decair Helicopter Inc. is done on a volunteer basis.

       Clarkstown police and county law-enforcement agencies closed down the Adult Book Store on Route 9W, Congers, last night and arrested the proprietor on two charges of promoting obscenity.
       The move followed complaints made at a Clarkstown Town Board meeting Wednesday night that the store was selling “picture books” and “various devices and oddities.”
       The proprietor—Alfred Garrido, 50, of Camp Hill Road, Pomona—was held overnight in the Clarkstown jail to await arraignment today before Town Justice Edward J. Flynn.
       Police, members of the district attorney’s staff, and the county Criminal Bureau of Criminal Investigation had obtained warrants to search the store and Garrido’s home.
       They said they seized films, literature, and other material to substantiate their charges Garrido was promoting obscenity. Film also was removed from Garrido’s car, the investigators said, but they added there was no seizure of material at Garrido’s home.
       The store has been described by the proprietor as the “Over 21” store. Some of the magazines visible in the racks were selling at prices between $2.95 to $5.

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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