From the Editor


I am very pleased to welcome you to our Winter 2011 issue, the third in the online version of the Long Island History Journal.

In this issue, you will find an article by Jeffrey Kroessler addressing Brooklyn’s problems with insuring an adequate water supply and Allison Manfra McGovern’s examination of an archaeological site in Rocky Point and the story it tells regarding the life of free blacks there in the first part of the 19th century. Our reviewers critique books on topics including the history of Smithtown, the 1939 World’s Fair, gang violence on Long Island, and the life of a Navy SEAL from Patchogue who was a casualty of the conflict in Afghanistan.

As I mentioned in my first letter as editor, I am particularly interested in encouraging the use of Long Island in teaching about the history of the United States. To that end, Stephen Sanfilippo, who has taught history at both the high school and the college levels, brings a Long Island perspective to the first part of the standard survey course of U.S. History. We look forward to future contributions on this theme that will bring us to the present day.

Our Historical Resources section has expanded to include Brooklyn and Queens and LIHJ readers can now use the section as a portal to the historical societies and sites in those boroughs. Also in this issue is a recording of a song by Caroline Doctorow, a well-known singer and songwriter, centering on the story of the Big Duck, a Suffolk County landmark. You’ll find the recording, background information and an image of the Big Duck in our Audio-Visual Resources.

The LIHJ was pleased to be a co-sponsor for an excellent symposium on “The American Revolution on Long Island and in New York City,” at Stony Brook University, on October 4th, 2010. Edward Lengel, of the Papers of George Washington Project, and Edwin Burrows of Brooklyn College, presented very thoughtful talks to an appreciative, capacity audience and our Publisher, Wolf Schäfer, gave a brief tour of the LIHJ website. We look forward to future collaboration and thank Elizabeth Kahn Kaplan of the Three Village Historical Society for inviting the LIHJ to participate.

Readers are encouraged to share comments in our Letters section. If you haven’t already done so, please go to the “subscribe” link on our home page and enter your free subscription to the LIHJ so you will be sure to hear about upcoming issues.

Charles Backfish
Editor in Chief

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