LDS general Relief Society president participating in U.N. panel


Thursday, 13 April 2017

United Nations Headquarters
405 East 42nd Street, New York

Linda K. Burton
Linda K. Burton

Linda K. Burton, general Relief Society president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be participating in the annual Focus on Faith briefing at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Thursday, 13 April 2017. The panel discussion will take place from 11am to 12.45pm EDT. Members of the public wishing to attend the event must register in advance.

The interactive discussion will focus “on the role of faith-based organizations in addressing current refugee and integration issues.” Other panelists will include:

Attendees must have a ticket to attend. To receive a ticket, register in advance online. Tickets will be distributed at the visitors’ entrance to the United Nations headquarters immediately before the event, so the New York Public Affairs Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends arriving 60–90 minutes before the event is scheduled to start.

Spanish interpretation will be available.

Getting to U.N. headquarters

405 East 42nd Street
New York City

The nearest subway station is Grand Central-42 St, which is served by the 4, 5, 6, 7, and S trains as well as Metro-North. The U.N. is about a 10-minute walk east of the station, straight down 42nd Street.

If that walk is a little too far for you, you can also take the M42 bus. The headquarters of the U.N. is also served by the M15 and M15-SBS buses.

I would not at all recommend driving to the United Nations; the U.N. itself does not offer parking to the public, and nearby lots are likely to be full (and expensive if they actually have spaces).

Updated 27 March 2017
This post will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.

Checking out the old South Ferry station before it closes forever

Mosaic station identification sign, South Ferry subway station, Manhattan (Heins & LaFarge, 1905)

First, the backstory.

On 16 March 2009, a new South Ferry subway station, the southernmost subway station in Manhattan, opened. The old South Ferry station, which originally opened over a century earlier in 1905, had served millions of commuters well, but it had always had its limitations. When the New York City Subway was originally built, local trains had only five cars, and so stations where only local trains stopped were built just long enough for five cars. This later proved insufficient, so local trains were extended, as were local stations — where possible. That’s the reason the beautiful original City Hall subway station was shuttered at the end of 1945, and it’s why the architecture and signage of some older subway stations abruptly changes partway along the platform.

City Hall subway station
The City Hall subway station, which was closed at the end of 1945. (Photo by Paul Lowry via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

The old South Ferry station, built as a loop where terminating downtown trains could turn around and return uptown — like the City Hall station — couldn’t be extended. But, unlike City Hall, it was too vital to close: there wasn’t an alternative station nearby, and it gave commuters a needed connection to the Staten Island Ferry. So it remained open, though only the first five cars of a ten-car train could platform.

Gap filler, South Ferry subway station, Manhattan
A platform extender fills the gap between the curved platform and the open doors of a waiting 1 train.

But, as I mentioned, it was also a loop, and you know what happens when you align a ruler-straight subway car with a curved platform? It leaves large gaps between the platform and the train — gaps that really are big enough for someone to fall into. Mind the gap, indeed! So the old South Ferry station had mechanical platform extenders that filled the gap in front of each train car. But that also made service at the station slower, since arriving trains had to wait for the gap fillers to extend and departing trains had wait for them to retract.

(There was also an inner platform within the loop, but the curve was so tight that trains could open only their center doors. It proved so problematic that the inner platform was closed in 1977, though the tracks are still used, particularly by downtown 5 trains which terminate at Bowling Green on weekends and use this loop to turn around and return to the uptown track.)

So in 2009 a new, modern South Ferry station opened. It was a true terminus, with the tracks ending on either side of an island platform. In addition to making the station fully accessible, it also allowed more frequent service on the 1 train: MTA New York City Transit could decrease rush-hour headways from four minutes to as frequently as 2½ minutes — 24 trains per hour.

But then, a mere three and a half years later, the unthinkable happened. On 29 October 2012, hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey and hit Lower Manhattan with a nearly two-meter (six-foot) storm surge which flooded streets, buildings, and tunnels, including subway tunnels and stations. Millions of liters of salt water filled and virtually destroyed the new South Ferry station and its sensitive, state-of-the-art electronics and other equipment.

Decorative tiles, South Ferry subway station, Manhattan (Heins & LaFarge, 1905)
Vintage 1905 ceramic tiles depict a sailboat. Fifteen of these tiles decorate the original South Ferry station.

Five months later, on 4 April 2013, the old South Ferry station was reopened to restore the 1 train’s vital connection to the Staten Island Ferry. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York state agency that operates the subway, had to figure out what to do about the old station, with repairs estimated at $600 million or more.

Now, four years later, the MTA’s Fix & Fortify repairs on the new South Ferry station are almost complete. Since the idea behind the repairs is to leave the transit system more resilient and able to weather future storms with less damage, once the old South Ferry station closes it may never open to the public again. So last Saturday, 18 March 2017, I took some time to visit the station and take in its early-20th-century details and design. Here are some photos and videos from my visit.

This video shows a train entering the station and gap fillers extending before the doors open.

In this video, the same train leaves the station. Notice the train pause while the driver waits for the gap filler signal to clear. Also notice how loudly the wheels scrape against the rails, despite the lubricant which is sprayed on the tracks to reduce friction.

The MTA plans to reopen the new South Ferry station in June 2017, after repairs that cost $344 million.

Looking to do some self-publishing? Here’s a Blurb discount for you

Blurb preview
I have used Blurb since 2008. Since 2011 I have produced a quarterly magazine recording family memories. My family and I write the text and take the photos, I mix the text and images in creative, eye-catching layouts, and Blurb prints each issue beautifully and professionally. It has become a real treasure for our family.

Even in our electronic and digital age, for the most important things there is still nothing quite like the feel of paper in your hands — the touch of something that connects you to a particular moment or person in your life.

Blurb logoThat is why I have come to love the website Blurb. In case you’ve never heard of it, it’s a self-publishing platform that allows you to write, design, and print your own books and magazines in a variety of formats. I’ve used it for years now and have come to rely on it for everything from keepsakes for my own family to gifts for friends and loved ones.

If you’re new to self-publishing or Blurb, you can use my own personal link below to get a promo code for a $15 discount on your first book with a minimum purchase of $30. (Please note that you must be a new Blurb customer to qualify for this discount. Additional terms and conditions at the link.)

Happy Blurb-ing!

Remembering a date that “will live in infamy”

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i. On 7 December 1941, 353 planes launched from six aircraft carriers of the Japanese Imperial Navy carried out the surprise attack, in which 19 U.S. ships were damaged or destroyed and 1,178 servicemen were wounded while 2,403 were killed.

The next day, 8 December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered one of the most famous addresses in American history to a shocked nation. Addressing a joint session of Congress, Mr. Roosevelt declared that the date of the attack would “live in infamy.” He outlined Japanese aggressions that were then taking place against the United States and its allies throughout the Pacific and he sought to stir up the nation in its resolve to fend off this threat. In closing, he asked Congress to make a formal declaration of war against Japan.

Within the hour Congress had done so, with only one dissenting vote: that of lifelong pacifist Jeannette Rankin, a Republic representative from Montana who was also the first female member of Congress. It was only the fifth war formally declared by Congress using the power given to it in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution; to this day World War II remains the last conflict for which Congress has passed a formal declaration of war.

The United States entered World War II, which would last until U.S. planes dropped the first, and so far only, atomic bombs used in war on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945. Starting in 1942, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans — loyal citizens of the United States — were sent to internment camps for the duration of the war.

To mark this anniversary, and to help teachers in their efforts to teach the complex events and issues surrounding World War II, the Great Documents Curriculum Series includes a new document with Mr. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech. In addition to the full transcript of the speech, with a number of footnotes to help readers understand people, places, and events referenced in the address, the document also includes the full text of the joint resolution passed by Congress to declare war on Japan. The document is just two pages — perfect for efficient front-back printing — and includes the other features of the Great Documents Curriculum Series.

This new documents comes on the heels of another new document in the series, John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, in which he made his resounding call, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” It was posted on 22 November 2016, the 53rd anniversary of his assassination in Dallas in 1963.

A digital preview of the newest addition to the Great Documents Curriculum Series is below. Both documents are available for purchase and digital download in PDF format for just on Scribd and Teachers Pay Teachers:

Introducing the Great Documents Curriculum Series

Magna Carta: An 800th anniversary print
My modern print of Magna Carta, released in 2015 for the document’s 800th anniversary, has sold well throughout North America. It was a featured keepsake item at museums that hosted a traveling exhibit of Durham Cathedral’s original copy of Magna Carta across Canada that year.

A few years ago I introduced my Great Documents series, which features display-worthy prints of major historical documents in easy-to-read modern type. These have sold well for several years. My print of the Constitution of the United States, for example, is the only print of its type on the market; other available prints are only facsimiles of the original parchment and don’t include the entire Constitution, which today includes both the original nine articles as well as the 27 amendments. They can be beautiful, but that eighteenth-century handwritten script can be hard to read, and they don’t convey basic information, such as which parts of the document are today obsolete or have been superseded by amendments.

Today I’m proud to announce a new set of prints in the Great Documents series especially created with classrooms in mind. The new Great Documents Curriculum Series is designed to help teachers bring meaning and life to the words of these important documents for their students. And they are designed to maximize schools’ limited resources and budgets.

Features | Availability | Free sample


Great Documents Curriculum Series: features

  1. A consistent, well-designed layout that makes incorporating the documents into lessons and assignments easy and helps students and teachers alike orient themselves quickly.
  2. The document’s title, country of origin, and year written are clearly indicated.
  3. Body text is set in easy-to-read 11-point type.
  4. Lines of text are numbered for easy reference in classroom discussion.
  5. A lined section on the right side of each page provides space for the reader to take notes. (These lines use college-ruled spacing.)
  6. Pages are numbered to help readers keep the document in order.
  7. The handouts are optimized for black-and-white printing, and the total ink coverage on the page has been reduced to save printer/photocopier ink/toner and lower printing costs. Where possible, handouts are an even number of pages — perfect for front-back printing.
  8. Study helps, including explanatory headers and footnotes as well as brief introductions on some documents, are included. These are set in sans-serif type to distinguish them from the original or official text of the document.

Some documents have additional features to enhance usability.


The Great Documents Curriculum Series is currently on sale at my new shop on Teachers Pay Teachers as well as on Scribd. The following documents are currently available, with more to come soon.

  • Magna Carta (England, 1215)
    TpT | Scribd | 7 pages | $6.00
  • The Declaration of Independence (United States, 1776)
    TpT | Scribd | 3 pages | $5.00
  • The Articles of Confederation (United States, 1777)
    TpT | Scribd | 7 pages | $6.00
  • The Constitution of the United States (1787–1992)
    TpT | Scribd | 15 pages | $7.00
  • The Bill of Rights (United States, 1789)
    TpT | Scribd | 2 pages | $3.00
  • George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (United States, 1789)
    TpT | Scribd | 1 page | free
  • The Emancipation Proclamation (United States, 1863)
    TpT | Scribd | 2 pages | $3.00
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation (United States, 1863)
    TpT | Scribd | 1 page | $2.00
  • The Gettyburg Address (United States, 1863)
    TpT | Scribd | 1 page | free through 20 November 2016
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (United States, 1865)
    TpT | Scribd | 2 pages | $3.00

Free sample

You can download George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation for free at Teachers Pay Teachers or Scribd. You can also check out the full document below.