In conjunction with the Greater Astoria Historical Society, the TimesLedger newspaper presents noteworthy events in the borough’s history
It was 1955.
The Board of Higher Education announced the suspension of a Queens College instructor who refused to answer questions about Communist party affiliations.
The instructor, Dudley Davis Strauss of Sunnyside, refused to answer questions about Red connections before 1953.
Charges of “neglect of duty and conduct unbecoming a member of the college staff”-under the Education Law- were lodged against Strauss, and he was immediately suspended without pay.
The first atomic submarine, “Nautilus,” moved under nuclear power to open waters for her first dive, after a 50 hour maiden voyage off Long Island.
Three Queens seamen were on board: Albert A. Ferris of Astoria, Francis A. Picano of Richmond Hill and John P. McGovern of Ozone Park. The sub had been launched on September 30, 1954.
The Port of New York and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority unveiled plans to build a $93 million six-lane suspension bridge over the East River between the Bronx and Queens.
The span would be known as the Throgs Neck Bridge. In Queens, it was to connect to a new $27 million dream highway named the Clearview Expressway, whose route through Bayside was to destroy over 500 homes and displace nearly 1,000 families
Few in Flushing knew that Mary Helena McPhail Andrews was 99 years old. She was born in 1855 and remembered Abraham Lincoln’s funeral cortege, the blizzard of ’88, and the construction of the Queensboro Bridge.
Her husband, George Andrews, had built many of the factories and homes in Hunters Point.
Her advice for longevity was: “Take things as they come. And keep busy. I’d die if I couldn’t work.”
Mrs. Andrews had witnessed the advent of the electric light, automobile, airplane, radio, movies, and television, but still preferred modern days to the “good old days.”
“Life was harder in the old days,” according to Mrs. Andrews. “We were happy …we didn’t know anything different. But I’d rather live today.”
Bronco Charlie, the last of the Pony Express riders, rode over the horizon into the golden sunset.
His life spanned 105 years. He left a piece of advice, good for any day in any era. When asked the secret of his long life, he always said, “Live right and be friendly.”
The entertainment page also reported that Jackie Gleason was looking for scripts or usable ideas for his hilarious “Honeymooners” series.
Writers could be paid $500 and up, depending on the quality of the material accepted.
For further information, contact the Greater Astoria Historical Society at 718-278-0700 or visit their website at www.astor
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