50th Anniversary of Levittown/Willingboro Programs
Willingboro Public Library will hold a series of historical exhibits, reunions of early residents, speakers, and panel discussions in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Levittown, NJ, now Willingboro, beginning Sept. 6. All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Photo at left: Developer William J. Levitt
A historical exhibit, 1958: the Birth of Levittown, NJ, will open Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 28. Documents, photos, and memorabilia from the William J. Levitt development will be on display. A reunion of 1958 residents will be held on Sat., Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. Visitors can meet and talk to original residents about their experiences as pioneers in the historic, planned community.
Further reunions will continue through Dec. with pre-Levitt families on Sat., Oct. 4; the first African-American families on Sat., Nov. 8; 1959 and 1960 families on Sat., Dec. 6. All reunions will be held at 2 p.m. Early residents who wish to participate can call assistant library director Christine Hill at 609-877-6668.
Dr. Herbert J. Gans, author of the classic sociological study The Levittowners, will talk at the library on Sat., Oct. 18 at 2 p.m. The Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, bought house number 25 in Levittown in 1958. Dr. Gans will address his Levittown experience and how the developer's plans worked out over the years.
Also on Oct. 18, the library's local history room will hold an open house from 12-5 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Willingboro Township Heritage Commission.
The end of legal segregated housing in New Jersey will be discussed on Sat., Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. Rev. W.R. James, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit James v. Levitt which struck down racial deed restrictions, will talk about his experiences integrating Levittown in the early 1960s.