The Meadowlands Commission has some extra copies of our beautiful 40th Anniversary calendar, and we are now offering them free of charge.
Each month has a wonderful photo or painting from the Meadowlands — from Tree Swallows to Great Egrets to Daylilies — along with a memorable nature quote.
You can pick one up the next time you are at DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands Environment Center of the administration building, or you can send a check $3 for postage, made out to the NJMC, and your name and address to Jim Wright, NJMC, 1 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071. Limit one per person.
The Meadowlands Commission is honoring Black History Month with a weekly post on this blog. Today the focus is a Tuskegee Airman from Rutherford.
In future weeks we'll look at the Underground Railroad in Jersey City, a slave cemetery in Little Ferry, and a famous black actress and civil rights activist who worked in Kearny.
Calvin J. Spann, who grew up in Rutherford, served with the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.
From 1943 to 1946, 1st Lt. Spann served in the US Army Air Force, 332nd Fighter Group, 100th Squadron, as part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen — the first-ever group of black Army pilots.
Spann was among an elite group of Tuskegee Airmen who escorted B-17 bombers and reconnaissance planes over Nazi Germany during World War. Spann flew 26 combat missions.
In a phone interview yesterday from his home in Texas, Spann said: "My growing up in Rutherford inspired me to be a Tuskegee Airman. Planes from Teterboro Airport took off right over my house.
"I was able to do everything any young man in high school did, and when I got into the Air Corps and they said they didn't think I could learn to fly, I thought that was preposterous. I'd been doing everything everyone else was doing all my life, and it really stuck with me. That was my experience growing up in Rutherford."
Click here for more with Tuskegee Airman Calvin Spann.