Discussion Thread #10

Good morning, it is hard to believe but here is the final discussion thread of the semester. In the usual 100-300 words give us your insights on this Universal Newsreel clip from 1966. As always you have wide range: explain what you think it says about Brooklyn, about New York City, about the United States, or focus perhaps on some aspect of the film footage itself upon which you might wish to expand.

24 thoughts on “Discussion Thread #10”

  1. It is unfortunate to know that the Brooklyn Navy Yard had to come to an end by its closing in 1966 due to economic reasons. It seems to have been admired by many and used by many since 1,000 people showed up to its closing ceremony and from watching many people enter all the ships made from the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the clips. I wonder what exact economic reason led to its closing. Life seemed to be booming post World War II with high employment going on in the country, which could have led to a peak for the Brooklyn Navy Yard in return, but things ended up the other way.     

    1. Pamela, indeed it was a sad and unfortunate day for Brooklyn when the Navy Yard shut down. Primarily it was a cost cutting measure but also indicative of the decreasing importance of the New York City waterfront in the years after the Second World War.

  2. I was curious about the current conditions at the Brooklyn Navy Yard since its closure in 1966, but found some very interesting Google Street Images. Located on 8th Ave between South St and Market St, the street was filled with loading docks for the nearby commercial buildings, but I noticed four men dressed in different color suits standing in front of the 360 degree cameras. Regarding the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the closure led to the beginning of commercial development in the area. An exhibition. visitor, and employment center were created to help stimulate more traffic flow in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The site has huge potential considering the views of Lower Manhattan, Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

  3. It must be a difficult time for those who had worked in the Navy Yard to see it’s falling. I feel like older generations often spend their heart and time on a specific job, it becomes a heritage crafts to their descendant. That’s a usual tradition in China back to 100 years ago. Many heritage crafts got lose today because mechanical engineering replaces most handcraft products. A place like Brooklyn Navy Yard deserves life longer and well-protected. These places shouldn’t be forgotten, so sooner the next generation will have an actual vision of where did their grandfather work, what they made to this country, how the process looked like, etc.

  4. It is definitely a sad sight to see. For a port such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard to have been opened since 1802, drastically serving its community by employing thousands of Brooklyn natives and serving international ships around the world, as well as building them to send off to war. This Navy yard has been a hub not only to the military, but to the general public. It is an iconic location that to most, will never be forgotten, and in the video, we really see this happening as many service members and civilians, payed their respects on the final close of business before the DOD shut them down indefinitely.

    Although they may have closed down for a specific reason, i believe the city and the world definitely took an impact on its closure. I do not believe it should have happened, as it may have put thousands of people out of a job, but it may have been a necessary move that needed to happen. This video definitely shows a more fragile and respectable side of all of its glorious moments in history of the Brooklyn navy yard that will never be forgotten.

  5. Its fascinating to watch this video and see the closure of such a historic site. Its interesting how they talk about the 217 acre now remaining silent. They talk about the shipyard closing after over a century and a half of work and now it sits in silence from the economy closing it down and it doesn’t sound like they have any plans for it going forward. I wonder now all these years later how different it looks and how its uses have changed overtime. With such a large space it would be a shame if it remained abandoned and wasted all that area.

    1. Gillen, it’s crazy that the 217 acre site was idle and unused for many years. Thankfully it has been renovated over the past 15-20 years and is finding new life and purpose today in 21st century NYC cultural and economic life.

  6. The new things and history I have learned from this class is a lot. I had no idea there was a navy yard in Brooklyn. I decided to read more about it since the video did not go into details. I was happy NYC Brooklyn played a major factor in the navy. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was where ship parts were made for the navy ship. I am just realizing that when something happens or a president dies, they put the countries flag down. In the video, they brought down the USA Flag to fold and hand it back to the head. The Brooklyn navy yard during this pandemic has been used to manufacture personal protective equipment for our front-line works. It was good to know that space is being used for something beneficial.

  7. The video was very interesting and informative but was also kind of sad. As the commentator was speaking about its history you could see the videos in the background showing off the yard’s accomplishments and the people who worked in the yard. It seemed to me that everyone in the video was very proud to have worked there and been a part of history. The navy yard is a special part of New York City and it would be a shame if people were to forget about it and its history.

  8. The passage of time takes many things away. It is always nice to see videos like this, reminiscing the good old time as well as saying farewells to the past. The footage shows the importance of the Brooklyn Navy Yard throughout the year it services the country, but I am curious about what is the “economy reason” behind the closure. I mean when a place that is this old there are always sentimental values behind it and when you consider the achievements, they had accomplished throughout the 165 years it not like the place is not important, so why did it close? Are the achievements too little compare to the cost of maintenance or the losses from the pre-Christmas fire in 1960 bankrupt the place or are there other reasons? Unfortunately, those questions we may never know for sure even if we dig through the papers.

    1. Yuli, primarily it was a cost-cutting measure enacted by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara during the Lyndon Johnson’s presidential administration. It also signaled the end of New York City’s shipping economy as it existed for centuries.

  9. Looking at the closure of the Brooklyn Navy Yard made me realize that I don’t know as much as I thought I knew about our city. I grew curious and decided to look into it. I found that it would save around 477 million dollars. Due to the fact that its closure was mainly for economic reasons I would say that from a certain point of view, the closing of this was one way to try and resolve their economic issue. I also read that the yard now offers repairs as well as maintenance for ships, in addition to other services as well. I can’t help but wonder what that yard would look like now if it wasn’t closed down. With the technological advances we have made, how would that help them?

    1. Giselle, nice post. I’m glad you did a little sleuthing. How things might have evolved for the borough had the navy yard not been shut down is one of the great counterfactuals of the 1960s.

  10. Brooklyn is a very great and diverse part of New York City, Brooklyn has a lot of character to it especially the Brooklyn triangle which are three main neighborhoods, which is Dumbo, Down town Brooklyn, and The Brooklyn Navy Yard. Brooklyn was in it’s prime when war was active, this was due to manufacturing was in demand. The Manufacture had to deal with plain parts bombs and the navy Yard was the port of importing and exporting the goods, materials, our fallen and top ranked marines. The Navy yard has benefited NYC a lot, watching this clip about the shutting down must have been a terrible out come for the city, but especially for the people. This would manly be because jobs were lost and lots of people where out of work. The Navy yard was a hot spot for everyone, even the people that didn’t take part of the manifesting this was a hot spot for small businesses the provided food and more .

    Even though the Navy Yard became abandon and vacant for a few years, The Navy Yard has been restored and repurposed. The Brooklyn Navy Yard became home to some Tech companies and also small business, Even though the Navy yard and changed the main thing that can be connected to the pass is the it is still a maker space where engineering, building , fabricating, architecture and more has settled and clamed The Navy Yard to be it new home. Which I find it to be a wonder fulling thing providing opportunity for students and young adults.

  11. As a Brooklynite, I am ashamed to not have had a clue of what the Brooklyn Navy Yard meant to our city. I have drove past the yard countless times, seeing the gate, but never really opened my eyes to get to understand its history. Watching this film, made me wish I was born in that era to get the inside scoop of the yard and see it while in operation. Sad to also see how many people got laid off due to the Navy’s closing. I’m sure this took a toll on a lot of families. To know that this was known as the greatest ship building where ships came in and out during multiple wars and for repairs, surprised to me. To believe that I thought Brooklyn was only infamous for Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, food/diversity, museums and culture. Brooklyn had a Navy yard that was open for a century and a half. Today it is known as a modern day home for industry projects. Not sure if its true or not, but I hear that on the weekends(maybe this was before COVID) they give tours of the Navy Yard. This is something I would be interested to know more about.

  12. Time really does fly knowing that this is the last class of the semester. I learned a lot about the many projects Robert Moses had a hand in surrounding New York. In this video the Brooklyn Navy Yard came to a close because of the economy. You can see that the soldier brought down the USA Flag, folded it and handed it out. The Brooklyn Navy Yard will always have a historical remembrance as 1,000 people showed up at the closing ceremony for the navy yard. It’s good to know that the navy yard is being put to good use now during these troubling times. Protective equipment is being manufactured for the essential front line workers.

  13. While this newsreel displayed a lot of footage on the Brooklyn navy yard, I enjoyed being able to view shots of locations that I have seen in person myself. It does explain some of Brooklyn’s features though, in addition to it providing more of an expansive as to how City Tech was associated as a GI Bill school. Military might in any nation is always a big aspect. However with Brooklyn being a port city, it is also subject to being more influenced by military influence than any other inland location. NYC is after all thought of as one of the biggest tourist capitals of the world, and with it being a hub of war operations during the war, I suppose it does stand to reason that an area like Brooklyn would be a good spot to hold ships, especially due to operations like the Manhattan project.

  14. This video was very sentimental to watch as I I learned about the history of the Brooklyn navy
    yard. It was Interesting to see that over 1,000 military and civilians attended the closing
    ceremony. I can only imagine that the economic reason for the closing caused a great hardship
    for many workers and welders. I never really know much about the navy yard. I am very
    thankful that I was able to gain knowledge about it. An era ended a triumph era which has left everlasting memories. There was a rebirth of jobs being opened
    before the rise of the pandemic. Throughout my semester at city tech I remember receiving
    many emails from the Professional development office pertaining to employment opportunities
    at the Brooklyn navy yard. Jobs that were available as customer service and cashier at the
    Wegmans supermarket. Now I know why they offered students these positions. The navy yards
    holds personal value for many. As I observed the video and was able to learn more about the
    history of the yard, I understand more why it’s so memorable to others. So sad that the navy
    the yard had endured harsh conditions that caused the shutdown.

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