For displaced, misplaced, and nostalgic ex-Brooklynites

THE GREAT U.S. MAIL STRIKE IN BROOKLYN, NY


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Posted by Nate Goldman on Tuesday, June 18th 2019:

Nearly fifty years ago, in March, 1970, the mail delivery personnel at the U.S. Post Office, went on strike. The strike actually started in Manhattan, but spread across the country. Whereas we are not as dependent on paper mail today, as we were fifty years ago, it should be noted that fifty years ago, there were no personal computers, no e-mail, no electronic deposits, and no fascimile (fax) machines. There were teletypewriter machines in use, but not every business had those. Businesses and individuals depended upon the flow of mail to place and receive orders, and receive checks and statements. Also, one could not pay their bills electronically, and depended upon the mail to do that. At the time, I was working near downtown Brooklyn. At lunchtime, (I remember that it was cold and sunny day), I decided to take a walk to downtown Brooklyn. I happened to walk to the area near the main post office, on Cadman Plaza. There, I saw dozens of U.S. Army trucks, coming into the area. Some of them stopped, and others went to various other post offices in Brooklyn. I found out that President Nixon ordered the Army to proceed from Ft. Dix, to NYC, to assist the post office with the mail. It was quite a sight to see all of the troops and equipment, as one does not routinely see dozens of U.S. Army trucks, and troops, in the heart of downtown Brooklyn. As some of the trucks came to a halt, near the main post office, an Officer went over to a number of the troops and ordered them to proceed to the Sheepshead Bay Post Office, and assist the personnel at that location. All of a sudden, one of the soldiers (who was obviously from Brooklyn) stated "Holy (blank), I live three blocks from that post office". He was smiling, and delighted to be assigned to a postal location, very close to his home. When I went home that evening, and turned on the local news, a postal worker was interviewed regarding the assistance of the soldiers. He didn't appear to be too enthused about their assistance. He stated "When this is over, not only are we going to have to clean up the mess from the strike, but we are going to have to clean up their mess". Thankfully, the strike ended a few days later. Incidentally, I was very happy to see my local mail carrier Lou, back on my block on Westminster Road, as I'm sure that he was relieved when the strike ended.

Reference ID: BK95839



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