“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Morris Pesinís Legendary Canoe Trip Which Launched Liberty State Park

Morris Pesinís Legendary Canoe Trip Which Launched Liberty State Park Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2008
1. Morris Pesinís Legendary Canoe Trip Which Launched Liberty State Park Marker
Inscription. On the foggy, drizzly morning of June 13, 1958, Morris Pesin (1911-1992) made his historic 8 minute canoe trip to the Statue of Liberty with a Jersey Journal reporter to dramatize the close proximity of the Jersey City shoreline to Ms. Liberty. The newspaper story focused public attention on his ideas of public access from New Jersey to the Statue and of an open space family park rising up from the waterfront wasteland of decaying piers and abandoned railroad yards. Morris repeated the canoe trip on October 28, 1961, the Statueís 75th birthday.

Morris Pesin, known as the “father” of Liberty State Park, spent 18 years spearheading the crusade to create this urban state park, which opened in Americaís Bicentennial year on June 14, 1976. He then continued to work with other park advocates for 16 years to guide the parkís progress as a free and green park for people of all backgrounds to enjoy, within view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

A year before his canoe trip, Morris and his wife Ethel had arrived on Liberty Island from his hometown of Jersey City with their two children, after a frustrating three-hour trip which included a Holland Tunnel traffic jam and a long wait in line for the Circle Line ferry in Manhattan. He looked to the west and was struck by two things. One was that the Statue
Marker in Liberty State Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2008
2. Marker in Liberty State Park
The proximity of Liberty Island to the Jersey City waterfront can be appreciated in this photo.
was very close to Jersey City, and the other was that the desolate waterfront was a shameful background for the sacred Ms. Liberty.

A few days after the 1958 canoe trip, he stated to the Jersey City Commission (the forerunner of the City Council), “We have here at our doorstep, Americaís greatest shrine – the Statue of Liberty – and we have failed to realize its potential.”

The plaque in the nearby Visitor Center reads, “A tribute to Morris Pesin whose imagination, dedication, and perseverance were prime factors in making the dream of Liberty State Park a reality.” In 1985, President Ronald Reagan presented Morris with the Volunteer Action Award at a White House ceremony.
Erected by Liberty State Park.
Location. 40° 41.496′ N, 74° 3.263′ W. Marker is in Jersey City, New Jersey, in Hudson County. Marker can be reached from Morris Pesin Drive, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is on Liberty Walk in Liberty State Park, close to the Statue of Liberty. Marker is in this post office area: Jersey City NJ 07304, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Liberation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Explosion at Liberty! (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Salt Marsh (approx. 0.4 miles away); Inside the Statue (approx. 0.4 miles away); Symbolism (approx. 0.4 miles away); Statue Facts (approx. 0.4 miles away); “Mother of Exiles” (approx. 0.4 miles away); Emma Lazarus (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Jersey City.
Jersey City Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2008
3. Jersey City Marker
Marker is located on Liberty Walk, which travels from the Statue of Liberty to the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Liberty State Park.

More about this marker. The right of the marker contains a photograph of Morris Pesin rowing his canoe toward the Statue of Liberty. It has a caption of "On his second canoe trip, Morris (on the right) brought a wreath on behalf of Jersey City for Ms. Libertyís 75th birthday on October 28, 1961."
Also see . . .  Liberty State Park, Historic Gateway to America. New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry website. (Submitted on November 3, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Categories. 20th CenturyNotable Events
Lady Liberty Watches the Enterprise Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, June 6, 2012
4. Lady Liberty Watches the Enterprise
The Statue of Liberty is seen here watching over the Space Shuttle Enterprise (seen at right) as it is transported to the Hudson River.

Credits. This page originally submitted on November 3, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,616 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on June 7, 2012, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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