2013-05-16 / Other News

Brooklyn Historian Named President Of The Society Of Old Brooklynites

At their annual meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, Brooklyn Borough Historian Ronald Schweiger was elected as the 48th president of the Society of Old Brooklynites. The borough-wide civic organization dates back to 1880 when Brooklyn was an independent city and the third largest in the Nation.

Schweiger joins a long list of distinguished Brooklynites who have served at the helm of the Society. They have included former Brooklyn city mayors, members of Congress, the State Senate, military leaders, banking and business executives, attorneys, professors, newspaper publishers, editors and writers. Two highly regarded women also served with the Society - a DAR Regent (Margaret Skinner) and an ASCAP songwriter and civic leader Theresa Rosen. The first Society President was former Brooklyn City Mayor John Ward Hunter. Ronald Schweiger, a retired educator, is also the current president of the Brooklyn College Alumni Association. In 2002, he was appointed to the non-salaried position of Borough Historian by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Among some of the more prominent members of the Society have been poet and editor Walt Whitman, Columbia University President Seth Low, a past Brooklyn and then City of New York Mayor; and the true father of baseball, Henry Chadwick.

The Society, which lobbied the city, state and federal governments for a suitable monument in memory of the Prison Ship Martyrs from the American Revolution, has held an annual memorial tribute at the base of the 159-foot tall Prison Ship Martyrs Monument on the top of the hill in Fort Greene Park. Under the monument is a crypt where the remains of 11,500 patriots are entombed. This is the largest American Revolution burial site in the nation. The monument which was designed by Stanford White was dedicated in 1908 by President-elect William Howard Taft, representing President Theodore Roosevelt who was in Panama at the time.

Other officers re-elected for another term were Michael Spinner, President and CEO of Sunset Parkbased Spinner Industries as First Vice President; Ted General, a veteran columnist for two Brooklyn weekly newspapers and a local civic leader as second Vice President; Sherman Silverman, a retired airline consultant as Treasurer; Holly Fuchs, a member of Community Board 8 and a retired banking supervisor as Corresponding Secretary and Linda Orlando, a retired court stenographer and area community activist, as Recording Secretary.

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