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Archive: What LI could’ve been

The board dispatched “Newsday’s Curious Cameragirl” — no, we’re not making this up — to survey Long Islanders about which “territory” should become a state and the 49th star on the flag.

On June 14, 1948, Newsday's editorial board stated,

On June 14, 1948, Newsday's editorial board stated, "Flag Day brings talk of new states and new stars on the flag." Photo Credit: Newsday Archive

It’s not exactly breaking news that on Long Island we tend to think that we’re the center of the universe. And we’ve apparently felt that way for quite a while — at least 70 years.

On June 14, 1948, Newsday’s editorial board stated, “Flag Day brings talk of new states and new stars on the flag.”

So the board dispatched “Newsday’s Curious Cameragirl” — no, we’re not making this up — to survey Long Islanders about which “territory” should become a state and the 49th star on the flag. The choices were Hawaii, Alaska and, yes, Long Island.

Three of the five votes recorded on that page went to Alaska. The other two were for Long Island.

Carmine DeCrescenzo, a bookbinder from Garden City, made his case by saying Long Island would rank in the top 10 states in population and industry and cited the region’s state parks, beaches, boating, fishing, swimming and “wonderful roads.” Sounds familiar.

Massapequa housewife Helen Vrooman said bluntly that Long Island has everything except mountains. “That man who wrote the song, ‘You’re living when you’re living on Long Island’ really had the right idea,” she said. She, too, noted the area’s beauty and the important role Long Island’s industrial sector played in winning World War II. She also credited “far seeing civic leaders.” That doesn’t sound familiar.

But Vrooman also predicted that Long Island would become “one of the leading resort spots in the U.S.A.”

See, for Long Islanders, we’ve always been No. 1.

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