Huntingdon Station, N.Y.
Dedicated Sept. 5, 2014
Partners: Suffolk County Library Association, Suffolk School Library Media Association, Lambda Literary Foundation and Empire State Center for the Book
The Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site & Interpretive Center was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of the author.
More than 125 people attended the celebration, including Congressman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). The plaque was revealed by Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) Board President William T. Walter, Ph.D.; WWBA Executive Director Cynthia Shor and Empire State Center for the Book Director Rocco Staino.
Also in attendance were S. Chris Shirley, board president, Lambda Literary Foundation; Jackie Narkiewicz, president, Suffolk County Library Association, and Madelyn Haussner, president, Suffolk School Library Media Association.
Proclamations celebrating the designation were delivered from Suffolk County Legislator Doc Spencer and New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele. A citation was presented on behalf of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano by Special Assistant Christopher Brown.
Mary Nagin performed 19th century music on the fiddle. Darrel Blaine Ford appeared as Walt Whitman in traditional garb. Historic tours of the site followed the ceremony and reception.
Poet and journalist Walt Whitman was born at the site, and memories of the house and of Long Island strongly influenced his writing. Apprenticed to a printer in his youth, Whitman taught at Long Island schools and founded a weekly newspaper in the area that continues to this day.