Tottenville History Blog

July 2018

Happy Independence Day! 

I have always seen the 4th of July as so much more than a red, white, & blue summer celebration. Barbeques….picnics…..fireworks displays….summer fun on a hot July day & night. 

It is great to be free to enjoy this time thanks to Congress adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The meaning of the day held significance to me ever since I was a little girl.

My mother was born in Italy; my father was born in the United States. As I was growing up my mother instilled in me how important it was to be an American, despite its human flaws.

My Dad fought in World War II. At home my Mom was spit on for being Italian. Italy sent a notice to join Mussolini’s army to her older brother, which he promptly discarded. Their younger brother was in the US Army with my Dad.


Our freedoms are not free. Our country is not perfect, but that’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to work to improve it.

The Declaration of Independence 

Because of an act of violence reported in the news at the Capital Gazette, I found out something I never knew about the Declaration of Independence that I want to share with you. 

“The Maryland Gazette traces its origins back to 1727 in Annapolis … In July 1776 the Gazette was one of the first newspapers to publish the Declaration of Independence, although it appeared on page 2; then, as now, local news took precedence.” Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun, June 28, 2018

I found the complete text of the Declaration of Independence, not the shortened version that was in our school textbooks, complete with list of the King’s offenses that prompted the document.  Have you ever read every word of it?

Imagine what it was like to read it with Congress before signing. They were taking a risk. They were going against the King. They were declaring independence from tyranny.

Read the full text of the Declaration of Independence.

Meet King George III

“England’s longest-ruling monarch before Queen Victoria, King George III (1738-1820) ascended the British throne in 1760.”

Do you know what King George did that propelled us onto the course of the Revolutionary War?

Quoted from the Declaration of Independence:

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. 

— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

See the flag this 4th of July remembering its meaning

Do you know what it symbolizes?

  • Stars are a symbol of the heavens and the goals to which humankind aspires; stripes are symbolic of rays of light from the sun. 
  • Thirteen stripes represent the original thirteen colonies that declared independence from England; fifty stars symbolize the current 50 United States. 

  • White signifies purity and innocence, red signifies valor and bravery; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”

Each American is responsible for keeping our freedoms. Yes, that means you and me. Imagine if one day the America we grew up in no longer allows the freedoms we take for granted. 

If we leave it to others, we should not be shocked if one day these freedoms disappear.       --Angie

In memory of: 

  • Gerald Fischman
  • Rob Hiaasen 
  • John McNamara
  • Rebecca Smith
  • Wendi Winters

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From the very first day of my research of the history of Tottenville, interaction with others has contributed the most depth to the historical facts.  Meeting the people who know Tottenville has given me the best insights into the community and online interactions have added even more.

Won't you please become a part of living Tottenville history with me?

Tottenville History Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

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June 16, 2018

Great News to Share with You

Many of you have been waiting for my book on Tottenville to finally become a reality. I know I sure have!

The book 20th Century Tottenville is taking longer than anticipated as I go the traditional publishing route creating a book proposal to submit to literary agents and university presses that have indicated interest in the project. 

Who knew that compiling information and writing a non-fiction book proposal would be more difficult for me to do that writing a book?


Thanks to a course I’ve been taking this summer I am in the process of learning how to write & self-publish an eBook from all the crates full of prior to 1900 information accumulated over the years that will not be in 20th Century Tottenville

So while I have no idea when 20th Century Tottenville will finally make it to publication, I’m determined that the beginning of Tottenville History will be published as an eBook by the end of the summer! 

My working title for this first eBook is:

17th Century Tottenville History Comes Alive: 

Meet the people. Experience the Events.

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for all your support & patience,