The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 884, sponsored
by Speaker Vallone in conjunction with my Administration. The bill would rename
Manhattan's East River Park "John V. Lindsay/East River Park."
John V. Lindsay, the 103rd Mayor of our City, was born in Manhattan on November
24, 1921. He attended St. Paul Preparatory School in Concord, New Hampshire
and Yale University. After his graduation from Yale in 1943, Mayor Lindsay
entered the military and served admirably for the duration of the Second World
War. In 1946 he returned to Yale to earn his law degree.
In 1958, Mayor Lindsay made his first foray into elective politics with a
successful run for Congress. For four terms, he represented Manhattan's 17th
Congressional District, known as the Silk Stocking District. In 1965 he ran
for Mayor and became the City's first Republican chief executive since Fiorello
La Guardia had won City Hall thirty years earlier.
John Lindsay's two terms spanned some of the most difficult years New York
City and the nation have ever known. He struggled to hold together a City
undergoing enormous social and economic changes. While his times and legacy
are the subject of much debate and discussion, few question Mayor Lindsay's
character and good intentions. He believed in a New York that shows compassion
for the less fortunate and promises equal opportunity to all. He fought doggedly
for civil rights and racial harmony, and he helped to keep New York's diverse
populations calm during a time when race riots were exploding in cities across
the country. It is little wonder that Lindsay was the Mayor who first called
his job "the second toughest in America." In spite of it all, John
Lindsay remained a sign of optimism for all New Yorkers.
After his years at City Hall, Mayor Lindsay returned to the practice of law
and penned a novel and his memoirs. Sadly, John V. Lindsay died almost exactly
a year ago, on December 19, 2000.
The history of New York and the United States in the late 1960s and early
1970s will continue to be studied, discussed and debated for years to come.
And no discussion of those turbulent times will be complete without a look
at Mayor Lindsay's contributions. In view, then, of John Lindsay's many years
of service to the people of the City of New York, as a Congressman and as
their Mayor, I am pleased to rename East River Park, a part of his congressional
district, in his honor.
I will now turn to the bill's sponsor and to any other elected officials
wishing to speak on this matter.
I will now turn to the general audience.
There being no one else wishing to speak and for the reasons previously stated,
I will now sign the bill.