Nassau County's new 125th anniversary logo will be on display...

Nassau County's new 125th anniversary logo will be on display Thursday at a ceremony in Mineola. Credit: Nassau County

The great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, who built a rustic estate on Nassau's Gold Coast that would come to be known as his "Summer White House," will join elected leaders and community officials Thursday in Mineola to mark the county's 125th anniversary.

Tweed Roosevelt, 81, of Boston, will be on hand for the ceremony at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on Franklin Avenue, where the 26th president laid a cornerstone a century ago.

It's the first of several events planned for 2024 to celebrate Nassau County's formation in 1899 when its three towns — Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay — broke off from Queens.

County Executive Bruce Blakeman will display a new official 125th anniversary logo for the first time, announce related special events and initiatives this year and discuss the anticipated positive economic impact of the yearlong celebration.

“There is such a great story about Nassau County and it is my job to make sure everyone knows about it,” Blakeman said in a telephone interview Wednesday. 

More than a dozen events large and small are planned for each month of 2024, Blakeman said, beginning with the Sheriff's Ball on Jan. 18 at the Westbury Manor to mark the 125th anniversary of the Sheriff's Department, among the first Nassau agencies established.

Roosevelt, who has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities, is chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University and president of the Society of Presidential Descendants. He is expected to discuss his great-grandfather’s laying of the cornerstone and his legacy.

Blakeman said his administration is in the process of creating a plan "to aggressively market the county" with television, radio, social media and print advertising campaigns to spotlighting the anniversary. A countywide gala is planned for May and other events celebrating the police, military, firefighters and EMS will be announced, Blakeman said.

The events will be funded through a combination of private and corporate sponsorships and with $10 million of American Rescue Act Plan funds set aside for marketing and tourism. It's part of $385 million in pandemic-era funds the federal government awarded to Nassau to be used at the county's discretion for a variety of purposes, including tourism and economic development.

The use of the federal coronavirus relief funds has sparked criticism among Democrats on the legislature who last month voted against allocating the money for 125th anniversary marketing purposes. Republicans control the legislature and the measure passed 12-7. 

Blakeman's administration did not provide details on the marketing plan Wednesday. 

Franklin Camarano, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, said "drawing attention to Nassau County in general is always a good thing. It seems that every month or so there's going to be a new way to do that. I have no doubt that anything they come up with will be great."

"It also will bring pride to the people who live in Nassau County," said Camarano, who grew up in Franklin Square. "People also need to be reminded that this really is a great place to live and work." 

It's also a place with a rich history that include Theodore Roosevelt's much beloved Sagamore Hill on Cove Neck, which he designed and had built in the late 1880s.

"In his early 20s when Roosevelt had finished college and was beginning to start a family, he thought that the best possible place to settle with his wife and to raise children would be Oyster Bay," reads part of a biography on the National Park Service's website for Sagamore Hill. "… his 'Summer White House' was the focus of international attention."

With Matthew Chayes

The great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, who built a rustic estate on Nassau's Gold Coast that would come to be known as his "Summer White House," will join elected leaders and community officials Thursday in Mineola to mark the county's 125th anniversary.

Tweed Roosevelt, 81, of Boston, will be on hand for the ceremony at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on Franklin Avenue, where the 26th president laid a cornerstone a century ago.

It's the first of several events planned for 2024 to celebrate Nassau County's formation in 1899 when its three towns — Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay — broke off from Queens.

County Executive Bruce Blakeman will display a new official 125th anniversary logo for the first time, announce related special events and initiatives this year and discuss the anticipated positive economic impact of the yearlong celebration.

“There is such a great story about Nassau County and it is my job to make sure everyone knows about it,” Blakeman said in a telephone interview Wednesday. 

More than a dozen events large and small are planned for each month of 2024, Blakeman said, beginning with the Sheriff's Ball on Jan. 18 at the Westbury Manor to mark the 125th anniversary of the Sheriff's Department, among the first Nassau agencies established.

Roosevelt, who has taught at Columbia and Harvard universities, is chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute at Long Island University and president of the Society of Presidential Descendants. He is expected to discuss his great-grandfather’s laying of the cornerstone and his legacy.

Blakeman said his administration is in the process of creating a plan "to aggressively market the county" with television, radio, social media and print advertising campaigns to spotlighting the anniversary. A countywide gala is planned for May and other events celebrating the police, military, firefighters and EMS will be announced, Blakeman said.

The events will be funded through a combination of private and corporate sponsorships and with $10 million of American Rescue Act Plan funds set aside for marketing and tourism. It's part of $385 million in pandemic-era funds the federal government awarded to Nassau to be used at the county's discretion for a variety of purposes, including tourism and economic development.

The use of the federal coronavirus relief funds has sparked criticism among Democrats on the legislature who last month voted against allocating the money for 125th anniversary marketing purposes. Republicans control the legislature and the measure passed 12-7. 

Blakeman's administration did not provide details on the marketing plan Wednesday. 

Franklin Camarano, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, said "drawing attention to Nassau County in general is always a good thing. It seems that every month or so there's going to be a new way to do that. I have no doubt that anything they come up with will be great."

"It also will bring pride to the people who live in Nassau County," said Camarano, who grew up in Franklin Square. "People also need to be reminded that this really is a great place to live and work." 

It's also a place with a rich history that include Theodore Roosevelt's much beloved Sagamore Hill on Cove Neck, which he designed and had built in the late 1880s.

"In his early 20s when Roosevelt had finished college and was beginning to start a family, he thought that the best possible place to settle with his wife and to raise children would be Oyster Bay," reads part of a biography on the National Park Service's website for Sagamore Hill. "… his 'Summer White House' was the focus of international attention."

With Matthew Chayes

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