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Swept by Ocean Breezes: A History of Coney Island

May 20, 2014

Swept by Ocean Breezes: A History of Coney Island.  A lecture by John B. Manbeck.

Coney Island, originally a useless peninsula south of Kings County, materialized into an attraction as a result of the machinations of a political boss, John Y. McKane. By selling off the public lands of the independent Town of Gravesend to concessionaires, he encouraged popular attractions to build on the desolate coast. Mass transportation crossed Brooklyn to bring the daring and the curious. First, fishermen, then racing enthusiasts, finally the masses who flooded the beaches, amusement rides and the boardwalk. In an age that was limited by finances and in its mobility, summer at Coney Island became a utopia, only diminished by modern inventions and a more worldly view. The slides document this transformation from a desolate wasteland to a dreamland for the common populace.

Funded grant program of the New York Humanities Council, the Council distributes federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities directly to notable projects created by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other cultural and educational organizations.

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Time: 2:30 pm

Contact: Bonnie Wind Phone: (845) 362-4400 x177 Website:
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