two thousand twenty
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Did F.D.R. ever visit Newark?
I recently ran across the photo from the 1920's, showing a group of men at the Newark Airport. I should emphasize that it is Newark, New York airport. 
The airport, a federal airport, was located on the former Newark Fairgrounds at the end of Driving Park Avenue, aptly named for the horse races held there every year. Fair Street is also named for the annual event.
The Newark Fair ended in the early teens and an airport was eventually built there using federal aid. Air-mail was an exciting thing back then. Imagine.......sending a letter across country in a couple of days!
When I first looked at the photo, I was able to identify three of the men and someone who appeared to be President Franklin DeLano Roosevelt. But wait....Roosevelt served as President from 1933 until his death in 1945.Would he have visited Newark? I hadn't read of any such visit in my research.  
Then I remembered that Roosevelt was Governor of New York for 3 years starting in 1929. So the man in the photo with a cane is probably New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, then soon to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
Photo from left- Newark Mayor Arthur N. Christy, Governor Roosevelt, unknown, James (Jim) Pitkin, George A. Burnham.

The Newark Fair Grounds, about 1910

So, what is there now. The Newark Airport ceased to exist as a federal facility in the 1930's and was run as a landing field by flying buffs Karl Herman, Walt and Stuart Hallagan, and others. In the 1950's a need was identified for a new hospital and the Village of Newark made the land available for the new Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, opened in 1957.


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