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Town of Oyster Bay Hosts NHL Legend O’Ree

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto recently took special occasion to present Hockey Pioneer Willie O’Ree, the first black player to ever play in the National Hockey League (NHL), with a proclamation on behalf of the Town of Oyster Bay.  

Supervisor Venditto proclaimed Jan. 18 to be ‘Willie O’Ree Day’ in the Town of Oyster Bay, to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Willie breaking the color barrier in the NHL.

On January 18, 1958, playing for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens, O’Ree became the first black person to play in the NHL—an extraordinary event that paved the way for future players of diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.