2012-05-04 / Community

Jacob Riis Comes To Peninsula Library

Jacob Riis Jacob Riis The life and times of author, photographer, social reformer, newspaper reporter, speaker and famous New Yorker Jacob Riis will come to life in “The Story of Jacob Riis and Jacob Riis Park,” in a multimedia presentation by historian Bernie Feuer. The show will be presented at Peninsula Library, 92- 25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach on Saturday, May 12 starting at 1 p.m.

Danish immigrant Jacob Riis became a New York crime reporter in 1877. Picking up skills in the newly emerging field of photography, he became the first photojournalist. Traveling the tenement streets and slums of his beat, he was appalled at the conditions he found there and decided to document it through photographs and books. Today his photographs are universally valued by social and photographic historians.

His first book, “How the Other Half Lives,” became a best seller and brought him to the attention of such new found friends as then New York City Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.

In weaving together words and pictures, Feuer will tie Riis’ story into that of the Rockaways. Along with photos of Riis and by Riis, viewers will travel back in time, see and learn about how immigrants and the poor lived in the 1880s New York City and about the hospital that was the catalyst for the creation of Riis Park, see pictures of the early park and learn about the glory days of Riis Park under Robert Moses. They’ll also learn about the architecture and significance of the Park.

Feuer is well known for his informative and well received presentations which have included histories of Jamaica Bay and rollicking Rockaway Beach as well as looks at civilian, police and military aviation in the area. He has guided many enthusiastic audiences through voyages of discovery to the past and present.

With “The Story of Jacob Riis and Jacob Riis Park” he invites us to walk along in the footsteps of history and discover a New York, and a worldrenowned New Yorker we may have never known. All are welcome. Admission is free.

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