Flashback Friday Archive 2021-22: Flashback Friday: Week of December 3

2021-12-03 TWIR Image-Pearl Harbor

December 2, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

      The new station at Upper Piermont is now open for the use of the public, but it is yet without a name, other than Upper Piermont. Sparkill is the best it can have.
      Capt. Purdy, of the steamer Chrystenah, was presented, last week, with a beautiful pair of life preservers, for his gallant conduct is rescuing a young lady from drowning, and gentlemanly conduct generally.
      A photograph of the most beautiful specimen of penmanship we have ever seen was presented to Miss Jennie Christie, a few days ago.  The work is representative of Prof. Morse and his connection with the telegraph.

December 2, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

       The annual meeting of the Women’s Republican Club of Nyack will be held in the Repubican Club rooms, No. 3 South Boradway, on Friday evening, December 9.  Mrs. Catherine M. Tallaferro of New York City will deliver her first lecture on “Current Events.” Mrs. Tallaferro is one of the best lecturers in New York State and the women of Nyack are fortunate in securing her services for this course to be held by the club this winter.
       Mrs. E. H. Maynard, chairman of the Ninth District of the New York State Federation of Women’s Clubs, will speak on “Women’s Strenth in Organization.”

       The South Nyack Station presented very animated scene Tuesday morning when the 7:37 train left for New York.  A throng of young men and women students of the Missionary Alliance was there, singing, waving hats and handkerchiefs, and in other ways showing their respect and friendship for Dr. and Mrs. Turnbull, who were leaving for South America. 

December 1, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
Rockland Independent/Leader

[Image: Peter Sarantapoulas points to the ship, the U.S.S. Argonne, in which he was serving when the Japanese attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.]

       December 7, 1941 — Sunday morning 0800 — While stationed at Pearl Harbor, I witnessed the “Stab in the back” by Japan. Out of the beautiful sky zoomed Japanese raiders on the U.S. fleet, which was stationed here. Striking without warning, they struck the fleet a heavy blow in the first few minutes. When the American sailors realized what happened, they manned their guns in order to keep them from making further damage. But it was too late.
       What I saw I will never forget. From where the Argonne was tied up at 1010 dock, I had a ringside seat. I saw the Oklahoma turnover, watched the Arizona blow up and saw the torpedo which sunk the Oglala causing damage to a cruiser nearby. When all hell broke loose, the U.S.S. Nevada, a battleship, cut loose from her lines, made a break for the channel in order to get out in the open sea. Out of the clouds, many jet planes dive bombed her. She began to sink and whoever was in charge ran her aground, which was the best thing to do under the circumstances, in order to keep her from sinking and blocking the channel. There was other damage, but I'll keep that in my head. I'll never forget what I saw if I live to be 150 years old …

       This Japanese “Stab in the back,” resulted in 2280 American soldiers dead 1109 wounded 188 planes destroyed and 19 ships sank.
       Peter Sarantapoulas of Bardonia was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Argonne as a radio man during the attack and the words above came from his diary written immediately after the Sunday morning sneak attack.
       While on active duty Sarantapoulas kept a diary showing where he was stationed during the entire war, a serious violation of Navy rules.
       This morning he will board a plane from San Francisco on route to Honolulu where he will join more than 2000 survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack in their memorial services for their fallen friends whom they have vowed never to forget.

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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