We revisited some of Newsday's most iconic photos through the decades to see what happened to the people who captured our imaginations.
Our list so far includes Christine Jorgensen, one of the first transgender women to come out publicly, the triplets who were separated at birth and reunited 19 years later, and the first woman cadet at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Their stories are inspiring and tragic, and sometimes both.
We will be adding to this collection, and no doubt will be asking for your help finding people who were in some of the photos that helped to define Long Island's story.
Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson
Tennis great Althea Gibson shows baseball legend Jackie Robinson her backhand grip on February 16, 1951. In 1947, Robinson broke major league baseball's color barrier when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and in 1951 Gibson became the first black player to compete at Wimbledon.
TWA Flight 800
Crewmen aboard a U.S. Coast Guard boat pickup pieces of debris that floated on the surface on July 18, 1996, the morning after TWA Flight 800 went down in the Atlantic about 10 miles off East Moriches.
Aerial photo of the new Levittown homes taken circa 1948. This view looks northwest from Wolcott Road on the bottom right to Newbridge Road on the top left.
Mets pitcher Jesse Orosco celebrates after striking out Marty Barrett to clinch an 8-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of the World Series at Shea Stadium on Oct. 17, 1986. It was the second World Series championship in Mets history.
Actress Marilyn Monroe fixes her hair before her appearance to publicize the kickoff of construction of the Time-Life Building in Manhattan on July 2, 1957.
Newsday Publisher Alicia Patterson pushes the press button for first Newsday edition on Sept. 3, 1940.
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy stands atop a platform overlooking Long Beach on Sept. 6, 1964, during a campaign stop in his race to become a United States senator from New York. He was elected two months later.
Derek Jeter's final season
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter jumps for joy after a game winning hit against the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the 9th inning at Yankee Stadium, Sept 25, 2014. This game was Jeter's last home-stand at Yankee Stadiium.
Jones Beach: A summer destination
Jones Beach in 1952.
Fourth of July Fireworks explode over Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh to Celebrate Independence Day. July 4, 2015. This is the first time Jones Beach has hosted the fireworks show since it was canceled in 2010.
American Pharoah, winning the triple crown in the 147th Running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont June 6, 2015.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome and exercise rider Willie Delgado notice a possum while galloping during their morning workout at Belmont Racetrack in Elmont on May 23, 2014.
Clear sailing for Secretariat
Jockey Ron Turcotte looks back on Secretariat as they pull away from competitors to win the Belmont Stakes by a record 31 lengths on June 9, 1973, capping off horse racing’s Triple Crown. Turcotte won 3,032 races during his career. He was left a paraplegic after falling from a horse at Belmont Park in 1978. Turcotte, who lives in Canada, frequently makes appearances at race tracks to raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund, a charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered on-track injuries.
American Pharoah, winning the triple crown in the 147th Running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont June 5, 2015.
2013 snowstorm strands motorists
Snowbound vehicles remain stranded Saturday morning, Feb. 9, 2013, along Route 347 in Lake Grove. Most of the cars hadn't moved since traffic came to a halt on the roadway the night before. More than 30 inches fell in central Suffolk that day, and during the 2012-2013 winter season, nearly 52 inches fell on Long Island overall.
Homes in Westhampton have flooded lawns from the high tide in Shinnecock Bay caused by superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012. In all, 95,534 Long Island structures, including more than 50,000 single-family houses, were damaged or destroyed on October 29 by flood, wind or falling trees. Two years later, Long Islanders are still dealing with the loss and working to rebuild.
Residents try to flee through waist-deep waters on Shore Road in Lindenhurst as superstorm Sandy begins to subside on October 30, 2012.
Lisa Beardsley, right, hugs her neighbor Pamela Danziger amid the debris along Bayview Avenue in West in Lindenhurst on Nov. 1, 2012. Both of their homes were destroyed in superstorm Sandy.
Napeague Meadow Road is covered by flood waters from Napeague Harbor caused by superstorm Sandy in Amagansett Monday morning at 11:00 am, Oct. 29, 2012.
Catching 'Big Guy'
A 3,450-pound great white shark nicknamed "Big Guy" was landed by Montauk's famous skipper Frank Mundus, right, and Donnie Braddick, on Aug. 7, 1986. Mundus, nicknamed “Monster Man,” had a life that was said to have inspired the movie “Jaws” and its Captain Quint. Mundus died in 2008 at 82 of complications from a heart attack he had just after he returned to his Hawaii home from a fishing trip in Montauk.
2012 brush fire
Firefighters battle a large brush fire in Ridge and Wading River on the afternoon of April 9, 2012. Here the fire jumps across Wading River Road. The wildfire was one of the 10 largest in New York state in 37 years. It burned more than 1,000 acres in Manorville and Ridge, destroying at least three homes and causing evacuations. More than 100 units responded to the fires, which took four days to completely contain. Three firefighters were injured.
Avianca plane crash
An overall view of the scene in Cove Neck where an Avianca plane plunged into the hillside on Jan. 26, 1990. Seventy-three passengers and crew died in the crash after the Boeing 707 ran out of fuel.
Nancy Wagner joins first class of female cadets at Kings Point
All eyes follow Nancy Wagner, the first female cadet at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, on her first day in 1974. Wagner, who graduated in 1978, became the first woman ship pilot in the United States in 1990. She is now the only female San Francisco bar pilot, guiding ships to port for 200 miles of waterways in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of only two dozen or so female bar pilots out of a total of 1,100 throughout the country.
Wagner, whose father, Jules “Red” Wagner,” was a 1945 Kings Point graduate, said pursuing a merchant marine life “is a very difficult career choice, no matter if you’re a man or a woman,” because of the physical and emotional demands of the job.
Wagner said she was growing up at a time when opportunities were coming around for women and had briefly pursued journalism at Syracuse, wanting to become a sportscaster. She also had a dream of becoming a Rockette.
Then she saw in an article that Kings Point was going to be accepting women. “I thought, ‘I could do this,’” she said.
All service academies began admitting women in 1976, after activists' pressure led to a Congressional mandate in 1975.
Currently, women compose about 15% of the undergraduate enrollment at Kings Point.
Christine Jorgensen, transgender woman
Christine Jorgensen in 1953, after a surgery changed her from George Jorgensen Jr. An object of fascination and ridicule, Jorgensen lived with her parents in Massapequa from the early 1950s until 1967, when she moved to California. Jorgensen traveled as a nightclub performer and stage actress and spoke widely at colleges and women's clubs.
Jorgensen's sex change went public after a friend sold the story to the New York Daily News for $200. Many outlets picked up the story and she was soon a household name.
In a 1979 Newsday interview, Jorgensen said it embarrassed her to be called a pioneer.
"I see myself riding a covered wagon across the prairie when someone says that," she said.
Engaged twice, but never married, Jorgensen died at 62 in 1989.
Young protester sends a strong message
Molly Schmitt, a 6-year-old from Amagansett, delivered a message during a demonstration outside the southeast gate the Long Island Lighting Co.’s Shoreham nuclear power plant on June 4, 1979. The plant never opened.
Schmitt, now 41 and living in Brookline, Mass., went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale in 2005 and a master’s in education from Harvard in 1999. She taught for several years before moving in 2001 to the Boston area, where she’s been ever since.
Married, with two children, she co-owns a baby and children’s clothing store, Village Baby, with her best friend from high school.
Schmitt has vague memories of the 1979 protest.
“It was pouring rain and there was a lot of standing around,” said Schmitt, who attended the event with her father, a lawyer who volunteered to advocate on behalf of protesters.
Schmitt said the lettering on her forehead was thanks to someone at the protest who was painting faces.
“It was just someone there painting faces. As a 6-year-old, I thought it was very desirable.”
The beginning of a sports dynasty
New York Islanders right winger Bobby Nystrom exults after scoring the overtime goal that clinched the 1980 Stanley Cup against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Nassau Coliseum on May 24, 1980. It was the first of four consecutive NHL championships for the Islanders. Nystrom is executive vice president at Kinloch Consulting, a Melville-based insurance firm, and is an honorary board member of the Island Harvest food bank.
Triplets reunited after being separated at birth
Robert Shafran, left, and Eddy Galland, center, met at upstate Sullivan County Community College, 19 years after they were separated at birth. Subsequent stories about the reunion alerted the third triplet, David Kellman.
Here they are on Sept. 26, 1980 before their first television appearance on “The Today Show.”
The trio, who shared a comedic sense that made them popular on the talk-show circuit, went from exhilaration to anger when they discovered they had been part of a human experiment that intentionally separated them into three different adoptive families. Tracked for years under the guise of a "child development study," researchers hoped to shed light on the debate about nature vs. nurture, environment vs. heredity. The study included more than a dozen sets of identical multiples.
In 1986, the brothers started Triplets Roumanian Restaurant in the SoHo section of Manhattan. The restaurant had a 14-year run.
Sadly, Eddy Galland committed suicide in his Maplewood, N.J., home in 1995.
Robert Shafran, now a lawyer in Brooklyn, said he keeps close ties with his brother David, an insurance agent in East Brunswick, N.J.
The funeral of Police Officer Edward Byrne
The parents of rookie New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne, killed while guarding a witness in a drug case, are comforted by son Larry as they leave a Seaford church on March 1, 1988. Ten thousand police attended his funeral.
Byrne’s legacy lives on in numerous ways.
For instance, 91st Avenue in Jamaica, Queens; a park in Queens; a junior high school in the Bronx; and the baseball field at his alma mater, Plainedge High School in North Massapequa, were all renamed in his honor.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice established the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which supports local law enforcements’ efforts to test innovative approaches at improving public safety. The National Criminal Justice Association calls it “the cornerstone federal crime-fighting program.”
After NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton addressed the roll call of the 103rd Precinct on the anniversary of Byrne’s murder near the spot where it took place, Lawrence Byrne, who was sworn in as deputy commissioner for legal matters at the NYPD on Sept. 14, 2014, told the New York Daily News: “It eases the pain to know that people remember that Eddie’s life and death made a lasting difference in the city.”
Marisa Carney, graceful and fighting
Marisa Carney practices ballet during her first day back at ballet school on Sept. 12, 2011. Marisa was diagnosed at age 4 with ROHHAD (rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation), an extremely rare childhood brain disorder that causes uncontrollable obesity and breathing problems, putting the afflicted at risk for seizures, cardiac arrest and death, and depending on a ventilator to stay alive. There are no known causes and no cure.
Marisa, now 8 years old and in third grade, is taking jazz, tap and hip hop classes and periodically sees specialists in Chicago to see if any progress has been made in developing treatments for ROHHAD.
“She’s really the same," said her mother, Denise. "Thankfully, her mental function was never diminished in any way. She’s goes to school and does her thing.”
An historic visit
Dr. Martin Luther King rides a bicylcle on Fire Island on Sept. 2, 1967.
Benny Hooper rescued
Little Benny Hooper had been running when he fell and became trapped in a well in Manorville on May 16, 1957. Construction workers dug through sand and clay all night without sleep or pay, some of them refusing to stop until they collapsed, to rescue Hooper.
The incident -- 24 hours long and 21 feet deep -- made news nationwide. It took an uncommon alliance of volunteer spirit, excavation expertise, and an oxygen tube to save the youngster, who spent all day and all night wedged in a one-foot-wide dirt shaft. Two-hundred people dug a hole parallel to the well and carved a tunnel to reach Hooper. The event has been called the "miracle of Manorville."
In this image, Benny Hooper is shown after being rescued from the well in Manorville, May 17, 1957.
Shocked boy in front of nude mannequin
A little boy is stunned by the work of artist Charles C. Parks, called Mannequin I, on Jan. 26, 1971.
Blizzard of 1978
With the storm raging at 11 a.m., Nassau police warn motorists of an accident on the Meadowbrook Parkway in 1978.