New Jersey 350th Anniversary Programming

From: Carol and Gary Levin>
Subject: New Jersey 350th Anniversary Programming
Date: December 11th 2013
Is your library looking for a unique historical program celebrating a little-known Jersey woman? 
Invite "Emily Warren Roebling" to come for a visit!

She was called “one of the most noted women in the country” and “the most famous woman in New Jersey”…yet today few people even know her name!

On December 12, 1881, people in New York City would have witnessed a strange sight. High above the East River, a line of men in business suits were cautiously walking along a narrow path of wooden boards laid down across the open steel frame of a huge unfinished bridge. Strangest of all, the line was led by a woman, her long skirt billowing in the wind as she showed them details of the construction. When they reached the New York side, everyone toasted her with champagne. It was the first official crossing of what would be called the Brooklyn Bridge.

Many books and films have featured the Brooklyn Bridge and millions of people have crossed it. Built between 1869 and 1883, without modern machines or even electric light, it was the one of the most amazing technological achievements of its time. Yet few people know that a woman helped supervise much of its construction.

After her husband became bedridden, Emily Roebling became his liaison to the project – eventually communicating with the engineers and suppliers so well that it was rumored that she had become the Chief Engineer herself! Later she helped design the family mansion in Trenton, studied law, organized relief for returning troops from the Spanish American War, attended the coronation of the Tsar of Russia and even took tea with Queen Victoria…

Hear her tell her story.

Carol Simon Levin is  happy to bring Emily Roebling to libraries, senior centers, historical societies, schools and other venues. The presentation includes a “lantern slide show” (PowerPoint presentation) and will be made in costume impersonating Emily Roebling (or in street clothes as a straight lecture if preferred.)  If interested, please contact Carol Levin at:">, 908 781-6041. The program can be tailored for children, teen, or adult audiences.  For more information:  A preview video is available on request.

More Jersey trivia: Next week -- December 17th, 2013 will be the 110th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' 1st successful flight of a powered heavier than air aircraft, but did you know that a Jersey girl flew a powered aircraft solo nearly six months before them?  

Aida de Acosta from Long Branch, NJ was visiting Paris during the summer of 1903 when she saw Alberto Santos-Dumont's flying dirigible and asked him to give her lessons -- after three lessons, she flew the craft solo for two hours and Santos-Dumont declared,  "Mademoiselle, vous �tes la premi�re aero-chauffeuse du monde!" ("Miss, you are the first woman aero-driver in the world!")  The press did not, however, carry the news, as her father firmly believed that a woman's name should only appear twice in her lifetime...when she was married and when she died.  (The story came out years later after she was on her second marriage!)  

Check out for stories of other early female aviators whose extraordinary accomplishments were  obscured by the fame (and mysterious disappearance) of Amelia Earhart.   (Incidentally, New Jersey also played a role in Earhart's famous transatlantic solo flight -- she flew her plane from Teterboro airport to Newfoundland before embarking across the Atlantic.)


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