Norman Rockwell depicted families, small towns, and American icons in paintings and illustrations that have become world-famous emblems of mid-century American life. He started his own family and lived for almost two decades right here in New Rochelle.
Joseph Campbell wrote groundbreaking books on world mythology, finding the common threads in stories shared by many cultures across thousands of years. He first encountered the folklore that would inspire his life’s work at the New Rochelle Public Library next door to his childhood home.
Carrie Chapman Catt succeeded Susan B. Anthony as the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, where she successfully mobilized men and women across the country to pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. She founded the League of Women Voters, ran for president in 1920, and spent the last twenty years of her outspoken life in New Rochelle.
These are but three of the remarkable men and women recently inducted into the inaugural class of New Rochelle’s Walk of Fame, an instructive and thought-provoking new feature of Library Green in downtown New Rochelle. With large biographical signs for each of 25 inductees, the Walk of Fame showcases nationally recognized artists, activists, athletes, entrepreneurs, and more who have distinct ties to New Rochelle.
The next time you’re at the library or dining downtown, I encourage you to take the time to read the signs designed and funded by historian Roderick Kennedy, Jr. (a former New Rochelle resident himself). You’ll be reminded of — or learn anew — the rich cultural history of our hometown. It’s a tradition to be proud of, and I commend the City’s Parks Department and the New Rochelle Downtown BID, as well as City Historian Barbara Davis, for supporting Rod Kennedy’s excellent work.