Streams

American Resting Place

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Find out how Americans are buried, and what our cemeteries tell us about gender, class and culture in U.S. history – from Native American burial grounds to 19th c. public parks and modern-day lawn cemeteries. Marilyn Yalom is the author of The American Resting Place.

Guests:

Marilyn Yalom
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [4]

Melinda Hunt from New York City

Marilyn Yalom was totally uninformed about cemeteries in New York City. The earliest "White Man's" bones are buried in the New York City Marble Cemetery at 2nd Ave. and 2nd St. They were moved there when development overtook Lower Manhattan. This cemetery has underground marble vaults and full body burials still occur. Henry Roosevelt, founder of Roosevelt Hospital, was recently re-buried to allow for expansion of the hospital. Any person can prove their decent from a cemetery owner can get buried in this cemetery in the East Village of Manhattan. This was not a garden cemetery and it is still active.

Additionally, Trinity Church and St. Mark's Church in the Bowery have slave burials. The family slaves were buried with their families. They were property. Trinity has on-line lists of African Americans buried at Trinity.

Hart Island is the largest cemetery in the United States. It has an estimated 800,000 burials to date. Calvary Cemetery which Ms. Yalon seems to know about through her cab rides from La Guardia Airport does not have "over three million burials." She added a decimal point making it almost four times larger than it really is.

I can't begin to list all the other factual errors this guest made on the air. Hopefully her book reviewers will fact check her text.

Nov. 18 2008 01:46 PM
hjs from 11211

when ms yalom said "witch's symbol" i'm guessing she meant the pagan pentagram, but i don't know what she was laughing at

Nov. 18 2008 01:29 PM
Robert Varner from New Jersey

I thought I was the only one who wouild explore cemeteries. I wish I knew why I do it. Those who are interested can go to www.findagrave.com to look up famous and not so famous dead people.

Nov. 18 2008 01:28 PM
John Lankenau from east village

odd question - but maybe your guest has an idea:
LONG STORY, but I found an old tombstone on the streets of nyc from one Hinda Amchanitzky who died in 1910... the writing is mostly yiddish, and I have had no luck finguring out where this came from.
Hinda seems to be in the Library of Congress as writing the first yiddish american cookbook, but a search of nyc records came up with info that was not accurate. Some record of family until the 30's then nothing.
any ideas to figure out where this came from and where it belongs?

Nov. 18 2008 01:24 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.