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 People in the News


People In The News - Women's History Month - Rosa Parks  

Rosa Parks

Reprint of an article National Women’s History Museum

By Arlisha Norwood, NWHM Fellow | 2017


On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of going to the back of the bus, which was designated for African Americans, she sat in the front. When the bus started to fill up with white passengers, the bus driver asked Parks to move. She refused. Her resistance set in motion one of the largest social movements in history, the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Rosa Louise McCauley was born on February 4th, 1913 in Tuskegee, Alabama. As a child, she went to an industrial school for girls and later enrolled at Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes (present-day Alabama State University). Unfortunately, Parks was forced to withdraw after her grandmother became ill. Growing up in the segregated South, Parks was frequently confronted with racial discrimination and violence. She became active in the Civil Rights Movement at a young age.

Parks married a local barber by the name of Raymond Parks when she was 19. He was actively fighting to end racial injustice. Together the couple worked with many social justice organizations. Eventually, Rosa was elected secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). 

By the time Parks boarded the bus in 1955, she was an established organizer and leader in the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama. Parks not only showed active resistance by refusing to move she also helped organize and plan the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Many have tried to diminish Parks’ role in the boycott by depicting her as a seamstress who simply did not want to move because she was tired. Parks denied the claim and years later revealed her true motivation:

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Parks courageous act and the subsequent Montgomery Bus Boycott led to the integration of public transportation in Montgomery. Her actions were not without consequence. She was jailed for refusing to give up her seat and lost her job for participating in the boycott. 

After the boycott, Parks and her husband moved to Hampton, Virginia and later permanently settled in Detroit, Michigan. Parks work proved to be invaluable in Detroit’s Civil Rights Movement. She was an active member of several organizations which worked to end inequality in the city. By 1980, after consistently giving to the movement both financially and physically Parks, now widowed, suffered from financial and health troubles. After almost being evicted from her home, local community members and churches came together to support Parks. On October 24th, 2005, at the age of 92, she died of natural causes leaving behind a rich legacy of resistance against racial discrimination and injustice.


People In The News - Women's History Month - NY Mets Owner Joan Whitney Payson

This article was written by Joan M. Thomas Read the complete article Society for American Baseball Research 

Joan Whitney Payson first owner of the NY Mets. First woman to buy a baseball team with her own money.

Becoming the third woman to own a major league baseball club, Joan Whitney Payson marked history by heavily investing in the expansion New York Mets of 1962. The club’ s first majority stockholder, she was also the first of her gender to purchase such an enterprise with her own funds. Born into considerable wealth, she used much of her fortune to benefit public hospitals and advance medical research. A famous patron of the arts, she owned some of the world’ s most valuable paintings. Her very impressive genealogy, coupled with that of her husband’ s, infers the concept of a snooty high-society matriarch who vaunts her membership in the DAR. However, her character and well-documented passion for horse racing, baseball, and other sports counters that notion. In reality, plump, round-faced Joan Payson’ s ordinary countenance, jovial disposition, and selfless generosity yielded her such designations as the fairy grandmother, or mother dumpling, of the New York Mets. During an early 2008 phone interview, former Met Ron Hunt said it best: “She was just a nice lady.”

Read more


People In The News - Women's History Month - Marie Colvin

Marie Colvin (photo wikipedia)Marie Colvin was an American journalist who worked as a foreign affairs correspondent for the British newspaper The Sunday Times. Colvin was born in Astoria, Queens in 1956. She grew up in East Norwich and graduated from Oyster Bay High School in 1974. She attended Yale University where she received a BA in anthropology.

While at The Sunday Times she served as their foreign corespondent specializing in the Mid East. She covered conflicts in Chechnya, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and East Timor. In 2001 while covering the conflict in Sri Lanka she was impacted by the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade and lost the vision in her left eye which resulted in Colvin wearing an eye patch.

“In 1999, when she and two other women chose to stay on in a besieged compound of refugees in East Timor – as diplomats and most other reporters left, afraid of the mob – she could literally claim to have kept men, women and children alive (although she was not given to boasting and left it to others to chronicle her achievements: “Her courage saved 1,500,” read one front-page headline).” Emma Graham-Harrison, The Observer, Nov. 10, 2018

 …I feel I have a moral responsibility towards them, that it would be cowardly to ignore them. If journalists have a chance to save their lives, they should do so.”  Marie Colvin in 1999 BBC broadcast from East Timor. (The Circle Feb. 19, 2018)

Colvin was recognized for her work as a foreign correspondent receiving many prestigious awards (wikipedia) including:

  • 2000 – Journalist of the Year, Foreign Press Association
  • 2000 – Courage in Journalism, International Women’s Media Foundation
  • 2001 – Foreign Reporter of the Year, British Press Awards
  • 2009 – Foreign Reporter of the Year, British Press Awards
  • 2012 – Anna Politkovskaya Award, Reach All Women in War (RAW in WAR)
  • 2012 – Foreign Reporter of the Year, British Press Awards

Marie Colvin died while reporting in Homs, Syria. She was cremated and half of her ashes were scattered off Long Island, and the other half on the River Thames.

Stony Brook University has established the Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting.  The Marie Colvin Memorial Fund was established by Colvin’s family as a way to recognize Marie’s humanitarianism.

Colvin’s family filed a civil action against the government of the Syrian Arab Republic charging that they ordered her assassination. They were awarded $302 million in damages in 2019.

Marie Colvin suffered the loss of an eye, PTSD and eventually lost her life covering the war in Syria. “These are not just numbers, I want to tell the stories of each person.” On November 16, 2018, “A Private War” was released in movie thearters based on a Vanity Fair article about Marie Colvin.. 

Marie Colvin brought history in the making to our homes and hearts.


Announcing Princesses & Princes of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade In St. James

Piper Petrocelli

St Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for March 16, 2019 1:00 pm.Lake Avenue from Woodlawn to Railroad Avenues. Piper bands, marching bands, Scout troops, dance groups, floats, fire trucks, antique cars and more
Meet the Princesses and Princes of the 2019 St. James Chamber of Commerce St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Piper Petrocelli is two fabulous years old. She is an Irish twin to her big brother Mason and their great-great-grandma Winnifred immigrated to NY from Ireland. Piper loves to play the ukelele, sing, and eat carbs. Her favorite time of year is any time involving presents or cake and she perfected her princess wave at Uncle Giuseppe’s. Piper is the daughter of Jeff and Nikki Petrocelli who co-own Soul Brew and live in Saint James with their entire family. Really; all of them. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… It’s a party!Piper is a signed model with an agency in NYC and has been recently featured in Gap, Kidbox, Huggies + Gerber national campaigns.

Abby MillsAbby Mills was born October 4 and is a 1st grader in Mrs Chacons class at SJE. She enjoys swimming and going on the monkey bars on the playground.  She is a daisy in Girl Scout troop 3637.  She is also a blue belt with green stripe in karate. Her Hobbies are boating, playing outside, Swimming and karate.Angelina DeStefano

Victoria and Angelina DeStefano 8 years old and attend Mills Pond Elementary School. They both love to draw and paint. They like to Play with their friends, ride their bikes, scooters and play basketball.

Emily Mills is 8 years old and is in 3rd grade at St. James Elementary School. She loves to dance! She’s been dancing at Chorus Line Dance Studio since she was 4 years old. She currently takes jazz, tap and ballet. Emily is also an avid reader. One of her favorite series to read is My Weird School. She loves dogs and spends lots of time researching Victoria DeStefanodifferent breeds and training techniques. Emily is getting ready to welcome her first dog into her family this summer! She also loves to make slime. She has her own slime laboratory in her basement where she is always mixing up new batches. Emily is proud of her Irish heritage on both sides of her family and wishes everyone a Happy St.Emily Mills Patrick’s Day!

Kayla Helen Moore is a sweet, smart, kind and funny 11 year old, attending 5th grade at Saint James Elm.  Kayla has been a Daisy, Brownie and a Girl Scout in our local troops for many years.  She attends Religious Instructions at Saints Philip and James, has been taking swim lessons for more than five years and is a very good swimmer.  Kayla Helen MooreKayla is also a fifth-year camper at Ivy League Camp in Smithtown.  Just recently, Kayla got the part of “Jane” in Mary Poppins performance at the 5th grade Broadway Bonanza and is super excited! Kayla’s favorite hobbies include; art, singing, dancing, playing Roblox, making Musically Videos and is a master at making slime.  Kayla’s Dad was born and raised in Saint James for over 50 years.  Kayla’s grandfather, John Moore, was the former Chief of the Nissequogue Fire Department and the former Mayor of the Village of Nissequogue.   Kayla’s parents, Theresa and Brian Moore are from 100% Irish backgrounds; with their grandparents coming from Ireland.  With that kind of heritage; Kayla’s face is like the map of Ireland; with her bright blue eyes and a face full of freckles.   Her mom always reminds her that “A face without freckles is like a sky without stars”

Michael Tynebor-Michael Tynebor. is 7years old in second grade  where he was just awarded to “ On Target” Award. Recipients honored for being kind and respectful following the rules and helping others.
He loves the Islanders and participated in the New York Junior Islanders “ Learn to Play” ice hockey program at the Rinx. He has been playing dek hockey since he was 3, the past two years with St. Patrick’s. He is a wolf scout in Cub Scout Pack 57 and attends the St. James Lutheran Church Sunday School. He loves board games, video games and fishing.

Tyler FarrellTyler Farrell is 8yrs old and in second grade at SSPJ. He is the son of the late Katie Farrell. The family started in memory of Katie- Katiesway.org an Organization that collects baby items and clothes for families. Hes proud of this organization since his mommy memory can live on through generosity and love.  He loves to read and draw. He sings in the chorus at Sts. Philip & james RC Church 



People In The News - Women's History Month - Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin


Doris Kearns Goodwin -  Presidential historian and public speaker.  Ms. Goodwin was born in Brooklyn and raised in Rockville Center. She earned a BA from Colby College and received her Ph.D from Harvard University. Goodwin did a fellowship at the White House during the Johnson administration despite the release of an article she co-authored calling for Johnson’s removal from office over Viet Nam policy. She later helped Johnson write his memoirs.

Goodwin is an avid baseball fan having grown up with a father who shared with her his knowledge of baseball and his passion for the Brooklyn Dodgers. After moving to Massachuesetts and long after the Dogers left Brooklyn, she became a fan of the Boston Red Sox. Along with writing a book Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin. One of her many accomplishments is that she was the first female to enter the Boston Redsox locker room. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin (Wikipedia)Doris Kearns Goodwin won a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for her book No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. She is the author of seven books the most recent book Leadership in Turbulent Times published in 2018 and was an immediate best seller.  She is the recipient of the Charles Frankel Prize awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award and the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Ms. Goodwin’s book, Leadership in Turbulent Times,  is not about the Trump administration rather it is Goodwin looking at four presidents, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevel and Lyndon Johnson.  David Smith who interviewed Doris Kearns Goodwin for The Guardian had this to say about her book, “The Team of Rivals author has brought Lincoln together with Johnson and two Roosevelts to produce a timely study of what makes a great president.” 

The article dated October 7, 2018 points out the book was started by Goodwin five years before and that it is not about Donald Trump. What the book points out is characteristics the former presidents had that made effective leaders.

Smith asks Goodwin the question, “The White House is a short walk away. Having made the study of presidents her life’s work, does she think leaders are born or made?

“I would say mostly made,” Goodwin says. “Does the man make the times or the times make the man? It’s a mixture. I think you are born with certain qualities, of intelligence probably, memory and maybe even empathy. Some people, like Lincoln, were born with empathy. It was just a natural part of his temperament, and temperament may be inborn too: the way you look at the world and whether you’re optimistic or you’re pessimistic.

“Theodore Roosevelt wrote this essay about the two kinds of success. The first belongs to the person who has a genius and can do something that no one else can do, like Keats writing a poem. But he said most success is people who develop ordinary qualities to extraordinary degree through the application of hard, sustained work. I really believe that too.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin helping readers understand America and presidential leadership.



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