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Hudson River Valley Heritage

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    • Antonio Valencia oral history interview [audio]

    • Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Ethnic neighborhoods; Ethnic stereotypes; English language; Cultural relations; Language; Emigration & immigration; Citizenship;
    • Antonio Valencia is considered to be the 'grandfather' of Mexican immigrants in the lower Westchester County region of New Rochelle, NY; he was the first known Mexican immigrant to settle in New Rochelle. He spent the next several decades not only...
    • Unit 03-Growing Up in New Rochelle (continued)

    • Business enterprises; Business districts; Busing (School integration); Military organizations; Military camps; Athletes; Judaism; Race discrimination; Synagogues;
    • Downtown New Rochelle's Retail Stores were relatively new and created a bustling shop atmosphere. George would travel to downtown, New Rochelle from his Quaker Ridge neighborhood.
    • Unit 02-Family Living and Ideals

    • Immigrants; Language; English language; Emigration & immigration; Cultural relations; Families; Ethnic neighborhoods; Ethnic groups;
    • Families were very close knit in the New Rochelle Communities. Many had a language barrier to English and children had to interpret for their parents. Some examples of food that her family ate were: macaroni, vrice beans, lentils, vegetables...
    • George Astrove oral history interview [audio]

    • Emigration & immigration; Family; Ethnic groups; Judaism; World War, 1939-1945--United States--Social aspects; Business enterprises; Business districts; Education; Educational facilities; Military camps; Kidnappings; Homicides;
    • George Astrove, the son of Russian immigrant parents and a long time resident of the City of New Rochelle, talks about growing up in what he describes as an ideal suburban community that embraces diversity of religion and race. Although he was...
    • Unit 01-Family History

    • Immigrants; Ethnic groups; Emigration & immigration; Religious education; Religious fundamentalism; Orthodox churches; Military regimes; Military personnel; Social classes; Families; Cultural relations;
    • Harry Lott is a well known attorney who practices in New Rochelle. His father was born in Latvia and immigrated to the United States. While in Latvia, he served in the Russian Army. He eventually traveled to Germany, where he met his wife, and...
    • Unit 05-On Commuting into NYC as a College Student

    • Families; Language; Work ethic; Depressions; Religious fundamentalism; Universities & colleges; Law students;
    • He attended college at St. John's but did not graduate. In those days, one did not have to finish the undergraduate program to be admitted to Law School if one's grades were good enough. He went on to St. John's Law School since he had very good...
    • Unit 09-Downtown New Rochelle Business District (continued)

    • Civil engineering; City & town halls; Business enterprises; Business people; Business districts; City planning; Shopping centers;
    • He attributes the gradual downturn of New Rochelle's Downtown Business District to lack of strong leadership of City Government during the 1950's, 60's and 70's. He also notes that New Rochelle lagged in the area of parking in trying to attract...
    • Unit 02-First Memories of America/New Rochelle

    • Immigrants; Ethnic groups; Ethnic neighborhoods; Family;
    • He describes the large house that his family moved into when they first arrived to the United States from Italy. He recalls seeing the Statue of Liberty, and confusing it with a gigantic statue of a saint. He recalls his mother telling him all of...
    • Unit 10-Perspective on Future of Downtown New Rochelle

    • Business enterprises; Business districts; Shopping centers; Civil engineering; City planning;
    • He elaborates on the promise of suburban malls in relation to the Paramus NJ investment/purchase. Although he expanded into NJ, he kept the store in New Rochelle until 1975 when he thought that it was no longer lucrative to be in New Rochelle. ...
    • Valencia Unit 01 - Immigrating to the United States

    • Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Ethnic stereotypes; English language; Cultural relations; Language; Emigration & immigration; Citizenship; Catholicism;
    • He immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1954. Prior to immigrating to the United States, he had been working in Mexico City for an insurance company. At the same time, a former mayor of New Rochelle, Mr Vergara, along with his wife,...
    • Valencia Unit 03- Social Conscience within Mexican American Community

    • Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Ethnic stereotypes; English language; Cultural relations; Language; Emigration & immigration; Citizenship; Religion; Catholicism;
    • He mentions that he is a big fan of classical music, as well as Mariacchi. He notes that while living in New Rochelle, he spent much of his free time helping other immigrants deal with issues that were specific to their demographic (other recent...
    • Unit 03-Immigrant Customs During Childhood

    • Immigrants; Ethnic groups; Emigration & immigration; Cultural Relations; Religious education; Families; Language; Work ethic; Real estate business; Depressions; Automobile repair; Victims of crimes;
    • He references the depression of 1929 as being very hard hitting since there wasn't really much existing industry in New Rochelle. His parents spoke Yiddish when they first came to the United States, and frequently spoke it in the house. He talks...
    • Unit 07--Business District on Main Street, New Rochelle in 1950

    • Military cookery; Military organizations; Military personnel; Business districts; Business enterprises; Educational facilities; Education; Teachers; Social aspects; Soldiers;
    • He references the Principal Willis Thompson, and working on the school paper, titled 'The Castle Currier.' He references the names of teachers: Ruth Stewart (Math), Anna Koff (English), Sam Schmuckler (History). He recalls sending war articles...
    • Valencia Unit 04 - Looking Back on Becoming a Citizen of he United States

    • Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Ethnic stereotypes; English language; Cultural relations; Language; Emigration & immigration; Citizenship; Religion; Catholicism;
    • He reflects on how he ended up living in the United States. He atrributes some of his the circumstances surrounding his immigration story to living in America to good luck and happenstance, particularly meeting the Vergara Family through a mutual...
    • Unit 02-Family Story of Emigration to U.S.

    • Family; Emigration & immigration; Ethnic groups; Business enterprises; Business district; Military organizations; Automobile driving; Physical conditions; Diseases;
    • He remembers that some of his graduating high school classmates of 1941 enlisted in the Armed Forces immediately following their graduation. City Hall was also located on Main Street, along with many bustling market stores on Main Street and...
    • Unit 06-Second Marriage

    • Education; Immigrants; Ethnic groups; prejudice
    • He talks about his courting his second wife in relation to his ailing mother, with whom he lived with. He told his second wife that he could not marry her until his elderly mother passed away, since he was responsible for taking care of her. ...
    • Unit 06--Memories of Isaac Young Junior High/High School

    • Family; Emigration & immigration; Ethnic groups; Business enterprises; Business districts; Educational facilities; Segregation; Busing (School integration);
    • He talks about his father's business on Main Street and how many of the shop owners were friendly with each other; the shop/business owners were of various ethnic backgrounds. He notes that New Rochelle as a community was relatively diverse and...
    • Unit 04-Beginning of Musical Career

    • Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Segregation; Church schools; racism;
    • He talks about how his first trip to the opera was as a chaperon for his younger brother. He talks about taking music lessons (trumpet) when he was a child from a gentleman who was a professional music director; in fact, the instructor was first...

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