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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
August 31, 1900

Men of the Force and Their Friends Have a Jolly Outing.

Unusual activity on the part of the street cleaners was noted in the early morning hours yesterday. It was the day set apart for the fifth annual festival and games of the employés of the Department of Street Cleaning at Sulzer's Harlem River Park, and drivers, sweepers, and hostlers, with the promise of a half holiday if their work was done by noon, were moved to exceptional effort. In consequence the dust flew, waste paper fluttered, and the ambling cart horses for once were galvanized into runners.

At noon the three thousand odd employés of the department lost no time in getting to the scene of the festivities. By 2 o'clock 2,500 people were in the park, and at night the number was vastly swelled. There was eating, drinking, dancing, and music, and in the afternoon much interest centered in the games, for which prizes ranging from a $10 gold piece to a silver tea service had been provided.

The events were not without occasional unexpected interruptions, and John J. O'Brien of the Department of Docks, who acted as referee, was called upon for diplomatic utterance and muscular effort.

Twelve little tots in white skirts entered into the race for girls, and their efforts were loudly applauded by admiring relatives and friends.

"They ought to give 'em each a prize," was the remark of one mother, whose daughter did not develop any remarkable fleetness of foot.

Commissioner Nagle visited the park during the evening. The dancing continued until early this morning, and the "White Wings," despite the popular balled to the contrary, showed some evidence that they were weary as they made their way home toward dawn.

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