Tuesday, September 25, 2012


This is Peter Vallone, holding the report card of his mother, Leah Palmigiano, who attended the Manhattan Trade School for Girls from 1919 through 1921 (you can see her full student record here). I took this photo earlier today, after interviewing Mr. Vallone in his Manhattan office.

If you're a New Yorker, you probably recognize the name Peter Vallone. He was City Council Speaker -- the second most powerful post in the city, after the Mayor -- from 1986 through 2002, and he was the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nominee in 1998 (losing to the incombent, George Pataki). Although he's no longer involved in municipal politics, his son, Peter Vallone Jr., is a city councilman from Queens.

In the course of interviewing Mr. Vallone today, I learned that his mother had an extremely difficult childhood. Her son's robust political career is one of the greatest success stories to emerge from the Manhattan Trade School report cards. I'll be telling that story in more detail in my next Slate article, which will appear in October.

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Psychiatric records update: Remember the photo from the mental hospital patient ledger, which I wrote about last Friday? I've now received the full ledger album in the mail. It's quite an artifact -- a lot of powerful information to digest. I've also learned more about other documentary projects involving mental hospital records. I'll have more to say about all of this shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Any more word on the Central Islip Psychiatric Hospital project? I can't seem to find any updates?I have a relative that is listed as an "inmate" there on the 1940 Census. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this!