Union County News

History Cards for Kids...And Yes, Maybe Their Parents, Too

82b51fa61d048211a7b6_HISTORY_CARDS_UNVEILED.jpg
Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen, Historical Society of Plainfield President Nancy Piwowar and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski display the new History Trading Card depicting Caesar.
efc6d1314b64bc0070b0_Charles-Cornwallis.jpg
Charles Cornwallis.
0c438b76c07e20181350_Hannah-Caldwell-250x253.jpg
Hannah Caldwell.
f722003c150c780cf0a8_Virginia-Apgar-250x253.jpg
Virginia Apgar.
0a1b09e2340e37579374_William-Livingston-250x253.jpg
William Livingston.
448190863db79e0665f5_IMG_7877.jpg
Concert attendees had the opportunity to collect all of the history cards. Credits: Jennifer Popper
cea7543333463752eda9_IMG_7879.jpg
Credits: Jennifer Popper
a4fe3c3c2832be18aedd_IMG_7883.jpg
Credits: Jennifer Popper
82b51fa61d048211a7b6_HISTORY_CARDS_UNVEILED.jpg

UNION COUNTY, NJ - So what do we tell the children?...about the past, that is.

After a successful pilot program at the Deserted Village last fall, Union County’s Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs is rolling out a History Trading Card series for youngsters to learn more about the history of the people and events that shaped Union County -- and the country --we know today.

“We live in a County that is so rich in history -- and I’m not talking just about the Revolution --I’m talking about a County whose residents played vital roles in every century since New Jersey was first settled in the 1600s,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen.

Sign Up for E-News

“And yes, sadly, much has been paved over and developed over our 400 years, but we should know the ground we walk on -- the incredible people who came before us,” Bergen said.

 

Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr studied at The Academy in old Elizabethtown, while George Washington directed the Battle of the Short Hills from the Drake House in Plainfield, noted Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski.

John Philip Holland, who designed the first submarine capable of running submerged for a considerable distance, would build the US Navy’s first submarines at the Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth. The famous scientist Nikola Tesla built his plant in Rahway while Marconi built his factory in Roselle Park, she said.

“And it was not all that long ago,” Kowalski said, “That in Linden, when America needed planes for World War II, when we were fighting totalitarian dictatorships, the General Motors Plant went from turning out cars to producing fighter planes.”

“When babies are born and they want to check to see if they’re okay,” Bergen said, “they administer the Apgar test. Dr. Virginia Apgar, who invented that test, lived in Westfield.”

One of the history cards features Caesar, a slave of Isaac Drake, who was freed in 1769.  During the Revolutionary War, he was a teamster who drove supply wagons to troops  stationed at the Blue Hills Fort and Camp in Plainfield in what is now Union County’s Green Brook Park.  

Nancy Piwowar, President of the Historical Society of Plainfield, said, "I appreciate the Union County Board of Freeholders and the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs for all of their efforts to remember Caesar who at the age of 78 risked his life to supply the Continental Army. Caesar was a hero, and his story will be known for future generations."

Last year, the Cultural & Heritage Affairs Office, part of the Union County Parks Department, developed the first cards in the Union County Across the Centuries series: Alexander Hamilton, William Livingston, Jonathan Dayton and Hannah Caldwell.  Youngsters at Four Centuries in a Weekend had so much fun collecting the cards that work continued, with 14 cards now in the series and more on the way.

Because the County was celebrating the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of the Short Hills in June with a reenactment of the battle at Oak Ridge Park, a lot of focus was put on the Revolutionary War era. But as the program rolls out, there will be cards from across Union County’s history.

The new cards were unveiled this week at the County’s Wednesday night free Summer Arts concert in Oak Ridge Park. They will be going out to historic sites across the county, with the goal of encouraging youngsters to visit the sites to collect specific cards.

To see some of the cards now available, go to: ucnj.org/parks-recreation/cultural-heritage-affairs/trading-cards.

For more information, contact Cultural & Heritage Affairs at 908-558-2550 or culturalinfo@ucnj.org

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

June 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

June 16, 2018

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Senior Awards Recipients

CRANFORD - On Thursday, June 7th, Cranford High School held its annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Here is a full list of the awards and winners. 

 

Cranford High School Award for Outstanding Achievement

Top 5% of the Class of 2018

Recipient: Jack Callan, Alannah Clarke, Meg Cui, Caroline Kelly, Julia Kelly, Nicholas Macchi, Katherine Ruane, Layla Serna, Katherine Stochel, ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series Launches this Friday, June 22

June 19, 2018

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicks off Union County’s 57th annual Summer Arts Festival series of free outdoor concerts sponsored by the Freeholder Board with an evening of Broadway favorites, beloved opera overtures and more on Friday June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

Attendees are also invited to bring a mat or beach towel and join in a free Union County Get ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Between Park Street and Washington Street, Westfield

Walking Tour: What Makes a Great House and ...

Home & Garden

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...