Long Island Region Facts

Each Friday a new fact about a region of New York State is posted to the Exploring Upstate Facebook Page. In case you haven’t been following along there, here’s what you missed!

– The first death directly associated to Black Friday shopping occurred in Valley Stream, NY (Long Island) in 2008 when 2,000 shoppers stormed a Wal-Mart fatally trampling a 34-year-old employee. [source]

– The first supermarket to exist in the United States was King Kullen. It opened on Long Island in 1930. [source]

– The very first suburbia in the U.S. was built on Long Island in 1947 and named Levittown. [source]

–┬áIn the Village of Head-of-the-Harbor on Long Island, it is illegal to have a public picnic. [source]

– The Long Island Railroad is not only the busiest commuter railway in the country, it’s also the oldest railway in the U.S. to be operating under its original name. [source]

– In 1985 the Supreme Court ruled that Long Island is not an island at all, but rather a peninsula. The 9-0 ruling allowed the Block Island Sound waterway to be reclassified and therefore not subject to state regulation which required pilots to carry a license. [source]

– The hamlet of Yaphank on Long Island was the site of a summer camp that taught Nazi ideologies during WWII. When the war ended the camp was shut down and even the streets named after Nazi party leaders were renamed. However, even today, because of a clause written into the property’s bylaws, homes may only be owned by individuals of direct German descent. [source]

– The trend beginning in the late 1980’s where Americans began to nearly triple the amount they recycled was in large part due to the infamous “Gar-barge”. The 3,000 tons of waste were loaded on the Mobro 4000 barge in Islip off Long Island and shipped to a dump in North Carolina, where it was turned away. It was subsequently turned away in numerous other ports and spent 5 months at sea before returning to Islip and placed in a dump. [source]

– There is some mystery to the origins of the black and white checkered flag used to end an auto race, but the earliest photographic evidence of its use was at the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race on Long Island in 1906. [source]