Dorothy Day, Catholic Worker founder

Dorothy Day (1897 – 1980) was an American journalist, social activist, and Catholic convert born in Brooklyn. Day initially lived a bohemian lifestyle before gaining fame as a social activist after her conversion. She later became a key figure in the Catholic Worker Movement and earned a national reputation as a political radical. Day was an active journalist and wrote about her social activism. She was a suffragette, arrested many times for her activism and practiced civil disobedience. She established the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist movement that combines direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf in the 1930s. She co-founded the Catholic Worker newspaper in 1933, and… Read More

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Lillian Wald, founder Visiting Nurse Service in NYC

Lillian D. Wald (1867 – 1940) was an American nurse, humanitarian and author. She was known for contributions to human rights and was the founder of American community nursing. She founded the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Visiting Nurse Service in the city.  After founding the Henry Street Settlement, she became an activist for the rights of women and minorities. She campaigned for suffrage and was a supporter of racial integration. She was involved in the founding of the NAACP. Ms. Wald was born in Ohio, but moved to Rochester NY with her family while she was… Read More

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Clayton Patterson, artist, photographer, videographer, historian

Clayton Patterson (born 1948) is a Canadian-born artist, photographer, videographer, member of the No! Art movement and folk historian. He moved to New York City in 1979 and focused almost exclusively on documenting the art, life and times of the Lower East Side in Manhattan. In 1972, his partner, Rensaa gave him his first camera and in 1980 he began photographing life in the Lower East Side of New York City. In 1985, Patterson began photographing kids from the neighborhood in front of his front door. Over the years, he has taken hundreds of photos, and displaying them on his “Hall of Fame” in… Read More

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Jacob Schiff, philanthropist

Jacob Henry Schiff (born Jakob Heinrich Schiff; 1847 – 1920) was a Jewish-American banker, businessman, and philanthropist. Among many other things, he helped finance the expansion of American railroads. He was born in Germany and migrated to the United States after the American Civil War and joined the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co on Wall street. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in September 1870 Mr. Schiff was the most well known and influential Jewish leader from 1880 to 1920 in what later became known as the “Schiff era”, grappling with all major Jewish issues and problems of the day, including the plight of Russian Jews under the Tsar, American and… Read More

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Augustus Ludlow, War of 1812

Augustus C. Ludlow (1 January 1792 – 13 June 1813) was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812. He was born in Newburgh, New York and was appointed midshipman when he was 12. He received a commission to be a lieutenant at age 18. Ludlow was second in command to Captain James Lawrence on the USS Chesapeake during the ship’s engagement with HMS Shannon on June 1, 1813. It was to Ludlow that Lawrence said “Don’t give up the ship.” Both Ludlow and Lawrence were mortally wounded in that battle, and Ludlow died in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 13, 1813. Lieutenant Ludlow was buried together with Captain James Lawrence and Lawrence’s widow, in the… Read More

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Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky, founder bank and synagogue

Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky (1841-1912) was born in Russia, in an area that is now part of Poland and moved to the United States in 1873. He rose from being a penniless orphan at age 3 to becoming a Talmud prodigy to ending his life as a wealthy Lower East Side banker and “macher.” Mr. Jarmulowsky bought steam ship tickets in bulk and sold them to other immigrants at a reduced price prior to his family moving from Germany to the United States. Once in NYC, he opened an office at 54 Canal Street, an immigrant “bank” that provided a place for… Read More

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Louis Allmendinger, architect, Mathews Model Flats

Louis Allmendinger, architect, designed and developed housing  in 1908 and 1911, setting the standard for future tenement construction. The homes  are characterized by three-story tenement buildings featuring yellow and orange Kreischer-brick facades, stone details, pressed-metal cornices, and ironwork at the stoops and area-ways. They are prevalent in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Woodside Queens. The buildings, known as “Mathews Model Flats,”  (built by Gustave X. Matthews) at a cost of $8000 each. They constituted better-quality housing than previous tenement models, providing larger rooms and private bathrooms. The tenements attracted working-class German immigrants from nearby Bushwick, Williamsburg, and the Lower East… Read More

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