Thursday, August 11 2022

The Abbey Inn in Yonkers

By Mary Hoar, President Emeritus of the Yonkers Historical Society, Recipient of the 2004 Key to History Award and President of the Untermyer Performing Arts Council

Monday November 22:

November 22, 1939: Yonkers Welfare Commissioner Nicholas Ebbitt announced that he had asked Milo Perkins, director of the Federal Surplus Commodities Corporation, to start the food stamp program here in Yonkers. Commissioner Ebbitt had approached officials at all of Yonkers’ banks to support the plan.

November 22, 1942: After soloist Florence Perlman sang at the “Women at War Week” gathering in the auditorium of Most Holy Trinity Church, the emcee was so moved that he gave her a big, warm kiss ! Rather than being shocked, the audience loved it; the gentleman who kissed her was her husband Alexander Perlman!

Tuesday 23 November:

November 23, 1918: Mayor William Wallin announced that a Patriotic Community Thanksgiving Singing Service would be held in the North Broadway Armory, joining the nationwide celebration of the holiday and the end of the war.

November 23, 1955: Yonkers asked the federal government for help in repairing flood damage to the Saw Mill River, asking for $ 87,000 for the work. The administration requested that the allowance go through the Federal Civil Defense Administration, hoping that the work would be led by the Army Corps of Engineers. Yonkers Democratic Supervisor Thomas McSpedon said most of the damage to Yonkers occurred in the Saw Mill River Valley, saying it was “difficult to tell people with eight to ten feet of water in their house that nothing could be done about the flooding “.

Wednesday November 24:

November 24, 1942: The Yonkers Lions Club, meeting at the Abbey Inn, dedicates a service plaque in honor of members of the armed forces to the “cause of freedom”. Over twenty percent of active Yonkers Lions had volunteered in all three branches of the US military! Club President Bert Caulfield reminded attendees that Thanksgiving is not just a feast time, and suggested that everyone “thank Almighty God” in their places of worship.

November 24, 1950: The largest group of women to be accepted into the Metropolitan Area Women Marines enlisted at the Yonkers Marine Corps recruiting station in the Main Post Office building at the foot of Main Street. After receiving last minute instructions from St. Sgt. James Harrington USMC, the female Marines departed for Parris Island for a six week start-up training.

Thursday November 25:

November 25, 1942: Gorton and Yonkers high school students went on a rampage the day before the traditional Thanksgiving football game between the two schools. Students smashed windows at Yonkers High, others were smashed at Gorton, and they smashed twenty-one streetcar windows. Police had to disperse several noisy gatherings around the corner.

November 25, 1944: Park Hill Avenue resident Irving Haim, president of international distributors, sponsored a nationwide competition for the best essays promoting a better understanding of matchbooks! Six different messages appeared on the covers, including: “When you find someone, including yourself, thinking, speaking or acting with racial or religious prejudice, stop it!” Smith, Kelly, Cohen or Svoboda are good enough to die for us, they are good enough to live here with us on an equal footing. Twenty-five million messages of tolerance circulated in the United States on his matchbooks.

Friday November 26:

November 26, 1926: Due to the economy measures of Mayor William Walsh, inmates at the municipal jail did not have turkeys for their Thanksgiving dinner; they had to be content with roast chicken.

November 26, 1942: Margaret George, advertising director for the War Industries Training Program, announced that Eastern Aircraft in Tarrytown called the Yonkers School of Aeronautical Manufacturing the “West Point of the Air”. Hundreds of certified students from the school, from all walks of life and from various ethnic and religious backgrounds, worked together in the factory with one goal in mind, to end the war.

Saturday November 27:

November 27, 1946: Former Mayor John Fogarty blew up the closure of the Yonkers Health Center laboratory. Emphasizing for many years, during the tenure of the late Health Commissioner, Dr Buckmaster, Yonkers had “an enviable health record under his long and intelligent administration, being generally among the top ten healthiest cities in the country.” The Health Center and its “magnificent equipment” were originally created to care for underprivileged children, following the advice of members of the local Academy of Medicine. The lab had been taken over by Westchester County.

November 27, 1955: Former Democratic Ninth District Councilor William Slater calls on Gov. Averill Harriman to come to the aid of Yonkers and help stop surprise pay increases after elections for mayor and twelve members advice ! Slater was leading a city-wide movement to prevent sitting Council members from raising their wages by 69%.

Sunday November 28
November 28, 1939: Earl Browder, resident of Yonkers, leader of the American Communist Party, speaks at Strathcona Hall in Yale. The loud audience mixed in cheers and boos, but were basically “in a good mood”, shouting “Viva Browder” and “Down With Everything” as he spoke. Three hundred Yale men outside the hall was another story; they gathered as he was leaving and tried to overturn his car. The car’s persistent sway didn’t do the trick, so they threw vegetables on his car. Yale President Charles Seymour had resisted pressure from New Haven Mayor John Murphy and the Connecticut American Legion to cancel Browder’s appearance.

November 28, 1946: After Daily News columnist Danton Walker wrote a column on Yonkers’ three hundredth birthday, mentioning William C. Handy, composer of the St. Louis Blues and resident of Colonial Heights, as one of ” prominent citizens ”of Yonkers; Handy reproduced the column, circled his own name, and sent it as a thank you to the columnist. WC Handy wrote on the card: “Thanks, Mr. Walker, and thanks to Yonkers who reminds me of a phrase…” More cities claim Handy is alive than claiming Homer is dead! “

Questions or comments? Send an email to [email protected]
For more information on the Yonkers Historical Society, Sherwood House and upcoming events, please visit our website, call 914-961-8940 or email yhsociety @ ao


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