Author: Bill Batson

Bill Batson is an artist, writer and activist. He has worked for non profits, labor unions, and government in New York State as an organizer writer and public relations specialist.
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Nyack Sketch Log: The History of the Historical Society of the Nyacks

This Sun., July 25 at 5p, the Historical Society of the Nyacks & Hudson Market on Main sponsors, A Taste of Local History. Meet Culinary Historian Lavada Nahon and enjoy a colonial era meal You must register for the meal portion of the program ($55 for 2) by today, July 20. Read more to register.

As President of the Historical Society of the Nyacks for the last 22 years, Win Perry works tirelessly to commemorate the heritage of all the families that call the Nyacks home. Here is the history of your Historical Society

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Nyack Sketch Log: The Nyack Library Part II

The Nyack Library is an example of one of the most epic philanthropic gestures of the early 20th Century. Andrew Carnegie supported the construction of 1,689 public libraries in 1,419 communities across America.

Read more about how the size of the structure built by the steel magnate’s largesse was doubled with the construction of a modern wing in 2011 and learn about two exciting upcoming programs made possible by Nyack Library.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Culinary Scholar Lets Public Taste History

On Sun., July 25th at 5p (on zoom)– Culinary Historian Lavada Nahon uses food, utensils and customs to explore the day-to-day life of early Lower Hudson Valley farmers and their workers, many of whom were enslaved, with special attention to what they were eating and drinking, who was preparing it and more.

Thanks to the Historical Society of the Nyacks and Hudson Market on Main, two can enjoy this meaningful meal and lecture for $55. You must register by July 20 to participate in the meal. Read more to learn how.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Farewell to Rockland County Civil Rights Icon Dr. Travis Jackson

Rockland County Civil Rights icon Dr. Travis Jackson passed away last week. He was 87. In his honor, Nyack Sketch Log is reposting this column outlining the historic role he played in the battle to integrate schools in our county. Dr. Jackson was found of quoting this African proverb: “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” Through his work as an educator, and a participant in the documentation of the school desegregation case that brought Thurgood Marshall to Hillburn in the 1940s, Dr. Jackson became the historian for the lions. He did his pride proud.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Local Connection to Juneteenth at Mount Moor and St. Philips

Juneteenth commemorates the 19th of June, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger read General order number 3 in Galveston Texas, declaring that all slaves were free. Two men who were under General Granger’s command in Texas are buried in Mount Moor Cemetery in West Nyack, one became pastor of St. Philip’s in Nyack.

Explore this local connection, the debate over civil rights substance vs symbols, and a possible way to commemorate Juneteenth in Rockland County in 2022.

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Nyack Sketch Log: A Tribute for Ellen Jaffee

I am proud to pause for a moment to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of Ellen Jaffee who represented the 97th Assembly District in Albany for 14 years.

Join the virtual tribute for Ellen on Fri, June 18 at 6:30p. I am honored to be participating on a program that includes Spring Valley NAACP President Willie Trotman, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie and Congressman Mondaire Jones. Click to find info on joining the Zoom event.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Last Thursday, June 3, I was honored to be inducted into the Rockland County Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the other honorees, Gail Golden, Michael Greco, Martin Langer and Rabia and Dr. Paul Nagin.

I accepted the recognition in the name of my grandmother, and local civic leader, Frances Lillian Avery Batson. Here are my remarks. I have also reposted a column I wrote about my grandmother entitled, Grandmother’s Chair.

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Nyack Sketch Log: Korean War Hero and Ten Civil War Veterans receive Memorial Day Honors at Mount Moor

A Memorial Day service will be held in West Nyack on May 31, 2021 at 10:00am at Mount Moor Cemetery to honor Korean War hero Henry William Cook, Jr. and ten Civil War-era veterans who recently had their headstones replaced.

One vet, Solomon Miller, who witnessed the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, provides a direct connection to the origins of the solemn holiday.