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Historical Society Celebrates Local Women

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


“Most of the general histories of Long Island give very little, if any, attention to women,” Naylor said. “But they were there and played a role and there have been some women who have been nationally important.”  


A desire to put a spotlight on the role of women in Long Island history combined with her experience teaching Women’s History and Long Island History at Hofstra University, led her to write Women in Long Island’s Past. The book was published in 2012 and highlights the lives of over 100 Long Island women, from the native Algonquian Indians, to the colonial and Revolutionary years through the twentieth centuries. The women were humanitarians, pilots, entertainers, activists and much more. 


Among the women Naylor writes about in her book and will speak on during her presentation are Westbury natives. She plans to talk about sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, philanthropist Martha Bacon (who donated the Westbury Children’s Library), Westbury’s first children’s librarian Jacqueline Overton, Rachel Hicks and founder of Old Westbury Gardens Peggy Phipps Boegner. 


Naylor will present on these women and more at this Sunday’s meeting of the Westbury Historical Society. The presentation starts at 2:30 p.m.