Arts & Entertainment

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

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.
Charles Cornwallis.
Hannah Caldwell.
Virginia Apgar.
William Livingston.
Concert attendees had the opportunity to collect all of the history cards. Credits: Jennifer Popper
Credits: Jennifer Popper
Credits: Jennifer Popper

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:

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Still Time to Register for the "I Want to Eat Ice Cream" Ice Cream Eating Contest

September 23, 2017

UNION, NJ - Spots are limited for Union's 2nd annual "I Want to Eat Ice Cream" ice cream eating contest, Saturday, Oct. 14 @ 3pm during the Union Autumn Festival. 
Visit the Magic Fountain at 1081 Stuyvesant Ave. (no purchase necessary) to register.   Spots are very limited.  Must be 10 years old or older.   
Kids and adult trophy ...

Registration Open for Annual Halloween Window Painting Contest

UNION, NJ – Registration for the Annual Halloween Window Painting Contest is underway.

Contestants, in grades 5 – 12, have an opportunity to paint storefront windows throughout town.  Window assignments and paint will be distributed on October 11 from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.  Trophies will be awarded by grade.

Register in person at the Recreation Department, 1120 ...

Veteran's Alliance Memorial Day Dinner Dance

UNION, NJ - A fundraiser for the Township of Union Veteran's Alliance Memorial Day Parade is scheduled with a dinner and dance on Friday, October 20.

Tickets are $65 and includes a dinner buffet, wine, beer and soda.  The event features the entertainment of "Park Ave".  The fundraiser is being held at the Knights of Columbus, 1034 Jeanette Avenue, from 6:00 - 11:00 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_79cd9d9d502341ed2f13_a7dd5fde97c53a54b918_pencil

Sat, September 23, 11:00 AM

Vauxhall Public Library, Vauxhall

School-Aged Children Drop-In Craft: "Back to ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_0a36183b59daef78391b_mini_magick20170919-6770-11xb9nt

Sat, September 23, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Teen Movie - Banned Books Week Kick-Off: The ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_05af9f1d265ffa65625b_chamber_5k_2017_bullseye

Sun, September 24, 7:45 AM

Union High School, Union

Mayor's Day 5k and Kid's Run

Fairleigh Dickinson Students from Union Inducted into Phi Zeta Kappa and Phi Omega Epsilon Honor Societies

September 22, 2017

MADISON, NJ - The following Union residents attending Fairleigh Dickinson University have been inducted into FDU's Phi Zeta Kappa and Phi Omega Epsilon honor societies for the Spring 2017 semester:

Vivian Muniz and Gabrielle Pais have been inducted into FDU's Phi Omega Epsilon honor society. Eligibility for membership in the University's senior honor society is ...

Union's Stephanie Enweonwu Joins Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall

WALTHAM, MA - Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is excited to welcome Stephanie Enweonwu from Union to the Class of 2021. 

Located within 10 miles from Boston, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall is a small, coeducational college preparatory school dedicated to teaching the way students learn. Visit Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School online at www.chch.org.

 

Union's Dr. Xurong Kong Elected Officer of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

BATON ROUGE, LA - Dr. Xurong Kong of Union, N.J., was recently elected as an officer for the Kean University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Kong, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies at Kean University, was elected to the position of president and will serve during the 2017-2018 term.

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate ...

Seniors and Caregivers Invited to Discuss Service Needs for Union County

September 18, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ-A public meeting will be held on Monday, September 25 at 10:00 a.m. at the O’Donnell-Dempsey Senior Center, 622 Salem Avenue in Elizabeth. Caregivers and seniors are invited to attend, participate and express their views on the service needs of seniors.

“This public hearing is a good opportunity for residents to request services in areas such as caregiver support, ...

Joseph Cryan Running for 20th District State Senate Seat

September 21, 2017

Like so many others, I will forever remember exactly where I was on Election night last November. It was clear our new President would have, among other attributes, a conservative agenda.  I knew the many changes coming from Washington would ultimately end up being decided in every state’s capital.

With confidence that I could be a voice for my community based on my experience, ...

Board of Education Candidate: Michelle Schulz

My name is Michelle Schulz, and I’ve been a resident of Vauxhall for over 20 years.  I’ve been married to Jack, who works for Union County as Supervisor of Park Maintenance Services, for 21 years.  We have six children, Michael, Dominick, Jacqueline, Jonathan, Amanda, and Brandon, all of which are products of the Township of Union Public Schools.   Michael ...

Board of Education Candidate: Sherry Higgins

My name is Sherry Higgins, and I’ve been a resident of the Township of Union for over 30 years. I’ve been married to Patrick for 25 years.  We have two children, Kaitlyn and Kelly, both products of the Township of Union Public Schools.  Kaitlyn is a senior at East Carolina University in their pre-medical program, and plans to get her Masters in Sustainability before entering ...

Board of Education Candidate: Linda Richardson

My name is Linda Richardson, and I have been a resident of the Township of Union for 32 years.  I’ve been married to John, a retired Irvington Police Officer and former Director of the Irvington Police Athletic League, now Facilities Manager of Galloping Hill Golf Course.  We have two children, Laura and Dan, both products of the Township of Union Public Schools.  Laura is a ...

Union County College Names New Governor to the Board

September 22, 2017

CRANFORD, NJ – At the September 19, 2017, Joint Meeting of the Union County College Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, Hugh C. Welsh, of Cranford, was sworn in to serve as a new Governor. Union County College Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel and Board of Governors Chair Elizabeth Garcia welcomed Mr. Welsh to the meeting and initiated his swearing in.

Mr. Welsh is the ...

Riding for Warriors 3rd Annual Motorcycle Ride Raises More Than $17,000

UNION, N.J.  – The third annual Riding For Warriors recently wrapped its cross-country motorcycle journey raising more than $17,000 for Hope For The Warriors and its A Warrior’s Wish program and granting five wishes for deserving service members. 

Celebrating 11 years of service, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to ...

Paint by the Pone Event, Saturday, Sept. 30 at Warinanco Park

ELIZABETH, NJ--The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation invite youngsters ages 4 to 12 years old to participate in “Paint by the Pond.” This will be the second year for this interactive art project which will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the pond in Warinanco Park. The pond is ...

Vendors Wanted for Indoor Flea Market

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The Springfield Presbyterian Church (Parish House Auditorium), 37 Church Mall, Springfield N.J. will host their Ninth Annual Indoor Flea Market on Saturday October 28, 2017 from 9:00A.M. to 3:00P.M. 

Vendors are sought for the event.  An 8 foot table will be provided for the cost of $25.00 which is payable at the time of reservation.  First paid- first ...

Columns

Sam Shepard's 'Simpatico' takes off

Sam Shepard’s “Simpatico” has a forceful workout at McCarter Theatre.

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, NJ – If you’re at all familiar with the works of Sam Shepard, you know that he writes about gritty, unforgiving characters in what appear to be hopeless situations.

In “Simpatico,” we learn that Vinnie and Carter are former partners in a race horse ...

Watching Tropical Storm Jose-Could Produce Rain, High Winds in the Garden State

September 16, 2017

ELIZABETH, NJ-New Jersey residents may want to check the weather to the track the path of Tropical Storm Jose. A forecast map that was issued this morning by the National Hurricane Center has the state on the outer edges of its possible path.  Tropical Storm Jose could strengthen as it heads north through the Atlantic.

The system is still days away from its center being hundreds of miles ...

Letters to the Editor