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The original item was published from 1/10/2020 10:54:49 AM to 1/18/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: January 10, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Slice of History-Greenburgh & marijuana

Hartsdale's Bill Greenawalt will give sermon on his participation in the March on Washington

All are invited to the Scarsdale Congregational Church (UCC), 1 Heathcote Road, Scarsdale, on Sunday, January 12, 2020, 10:00 a.m. where Hartsdale's William Greenawalt will present a sermon on the April 28, 1963 March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom, which he participated in, and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Dream” legacy.

Coffee Hour and fellowship follow. All are welcome. Mr. Greenawalt is a former Congressional candidate, a former Greenburgh Town Supervisor Candidate, Northeast Regional Legal Services Director for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Parks Board Chair in New York State and Westchester, a Friend of Theodore Young Community Center, a Democratic State Committeeman, an attorney, and a NYS Democratic Committeeman. Greenburgh residents like Bill Greenawalt helped make a difference in the Civil Rights movement.

Greenburgh Gets its “Sun Daze on” Under the Watchful Eyes of the Boys in Blue --Greenburgh and marijuana

By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber

“I'm gonna wear my flip-flops and/ I'm gonna play some flip-cup and/ Rock a little bit of hip-hop and Haggard and Jagger….

All I wanna do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned! Work a little less, play a little more.

Girl you know you're the life of my party/ You can stay and keep sippin' Bacardi

Stir it up as we turn on some Marley

Ain't nothin' wrong with gettin' my sun daze on/gettin' my sun daze on.”

(Sun Daze Florida- Georgia Line 2014)

Today smoking marijuana is slowly becoming morally acceptable, and in some cases even celebrated as demonstrated in these song lyrics. However, historically marijuana has been met with suspicion and hostility throughout America. As discussed in our article, “When Greenburgh Went “East Bound and Down” Greenburgh During Prohibition”, from 1873-1933 the wealthy and upper middle class in Greenburgh who demanded everyone work and everything be peaceful were sure that alcohol was the cause of most, if not all, of the town’s ills. They blamed it for most of the: crime, laziness, public disruption, and disregard for authority displayed by the town’s youth and other nonconformists ( Prohibition of course did not bring an end to these problems, and when it ended in 1933, Greenburgh’s public quickly found a new root cause for these problems, marijuana.

Due to its narcotic properties, in the 1930s-1950s, marijuana was perceived as far worse than “demon rum” had ever been. Greenburgh was like many other small towns during this period in our nation’s history in that it greatly feared marijuana. In fact, one man, Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger, made it his personal mission to shut down all establishments which sold marijuana or “tea pads “as they were known back then (Marchant 2019 p.130-131). There were numerous tea pads in Greenburgh. He saw shutting them all down as the only way to purify and save America (Marchant 2019 p.130-131).

While Mr. Anslinger was the general of this anti-marijuana campaign, his number one lieutenant was Westchester County Sheriff George Casey (Marchant 2019 p.131). Together they forced a dozen Tea Pads to close their doors for good and arrested hundreds of people. The majority of which were under the age of twenty-five, once caught these customers of the tea pads would face at least a year in jail(Marchant 2019 p.131).

As previously stated, a moral shift regarding marijuana is slowly taking place. As a result of this moral shift there has been a corresponding legal shift. The states of : Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada have legalized its recreational and medical use and: Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah ,Vermont, and West Virginia have legalized it for medical use only.

What the State of New York will do is anyone’s guess, but the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo, have announced plans to revisit the proposed state-wide law in 2020.


Previous Slices of History include:


1. Greenburgh’s BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF AND TRUTH: A History of The Freemasons in Greenburgh (9/12/18)


2. Greenburgh and The Arts (9/22/18)


3. A Final Resting Place for “Man’s Best Friend”: The Peaceable Kingdom (9/29/18)


4. Greenburgh’s Hall of Heroes: Ferncliff Cemetery Where Memories Live Forever (10/12/18)


5. Greenburgh at The Great American Crossroads: Greenburgh's Civil War Story(10/19/18)


6. A Different Kind of Rebel: Greenburgh’s Contributions to the Underground Railroad (10/27/18)


7. "The Disappearing Railroad Blues" in Greenburgh: The Fate of the Putnam Railroad Line and the old Putnam Trail (11/6/18)


8. A Thousand Words Which You Never Knew: The Forgotten Story of the Seal of Greenburgh (11/17/18)


9. How a Flat Tire led to a Happy Escape: The Story of Carvel in Greenburgh (12/11/18)


10. The Guardians of History: Greenburgh’s Historical Societies (1/6/19)


11. A Small House, an Important Meeting, a Huge Victory: The Story of the Odell House (1/12/2019)


12. The Intersection of Banking, Ballet, and School: Greenburgh’s Warburg Estate (Updated) (10/22/19) 

13. Lost History: The Tragedy of Malkasten (1/26/19)


14. A Beautiful View for the Perfect Event: The Belvedere Estate (2/9/19)


15. The Power of Wealth and Humility: A Reflection on Two Highly Influential African Americans (2/18/19)


16. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part I (2/23/19)


17. Oh, The Places Your Mail has Gone: A History of The Hartsdale Post Office (3/9/2019)


18. From Insurance to Symphonies: The Home of Charles Ives (3/16/19)


19. Greenburgh Under the Hollywood Lights: The TV shows and Movies Filmed in Greenburgh Part II (3/29/19)


20. From Chasing Rabbits to Setting Records: The Amazing Story of Larry James (4/7/2019)


21. From Fixing Cars to building Infrastructure: How Massaro Park Got its name (4/13/2019)


22. There is no church here, but “the brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated” this ground: The Story of The Little White Church Cemetery (4/27/19)


23. Irvington in Chains and our Process A History of Slavery in Irvington and A look at how Slices of History are made (and our interview with historian Robert Marchant) (5/11/2019)


24. From Farmland to Shopping District: The Rise of Central Avenue (5/25/2019)


25. Like a long lost friend”: The story of how summer recreation has evolved in Greenburgh (6/7/2019)


26. Abandon Ship!!! The Story of United Nuclear Corporation and their Short-lived Elmsford Facility (6/28/19)


27. Beyond Heritage Versus Hate Toward Hope and Reconciliation: The story of Mount Hope Cemetery and its Confederate Monument (7/13/19)


28. Hidden History: The Story of Fairview Fairgrounds Part I (7/27/19)


29. Entertainers for Justice (8/3/2019)


30. A Tale of Two Towns: Greenburgh, NY, and Muncy, PA (8/23/ 2019)

31.  When Greenburgh Went “East Bound and Down”: Greenburgh During Prohibition (10/6/2019) 


32. From Mopping The Floor of One Institution to Managing Three at Once: The Amazing Story of Former Westchester County Commissioner of Public Welfare Ruth Taylor (12/12/19)


About the Authors:

We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.

Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94. It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me at 


Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at



Two Interviews with the authors:



Kelley, B. e. (2014). Sun Daze [Recorded by F.-G. Line]. Nashville, Tennessee, United States Of America.

Marchant, R. (2019). Westchester: History of an Iconic Suburb. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company .

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