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Firefighter John A. Seedorf Memorial

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Marker is located at the southwest corner of California and Atlantic Avenues.

Marker text:
Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf
March 22, 1949 - April 9, 1979

Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf joined the Atlantic City Fire Department on December 23, 1973. His first assignment was at Fire Station 10, formerly located at Rhode Island Avenue and Melrose Avenue. He served honorably as a fire fighter for 5 years. He ended his career at Engine No. 4, Division 3 located at Atlantic and California Avenue.

Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf was killed in the line of duty on April 9, 1979.

The City of Atlantic City proudly honors Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf for his years of service to his community and his commitment to saving lives by naming Fire Station No. 4 in his honor.

Fire Station No. 4 will now be known as the Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf Memorial Fire Station.

Additional information:
John Seedorf was a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force. He was thirty years old when he was killed in a collapse in a burning building on Elberon Avenue. Though the building was vacant, Seedorf entered anyway to make sure no one was trapped inside. His unfortunate death has led to improvements in safety equipment for Atlantic City's firefighters, as well as reviews of the policies on entering vacant buildings. In addition to Fire Station No. 4 being renamed in Seedorf's honor, the beach block of Elberon Avenue was renamed John A. Seedorf Lane on the 15th anniversary of the blaze. Fire Captain William McGrail said on the occasion, "John was one of those people who makes life fun, period. He had a way of making each day as different and unique as he was. He is missed."

For more information, see:
Atlantic City Press, articles from April 10, 1994, May 26, 2000 and January 14, 2008

 

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Leavander W. Johnson Statue

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Statue is located in City Center Park, on Atlantic Avenue between North Carolina and South Carolina Avenues

Text on statue:
Leavander W. Johnson

1969 - 2005

34 Wins - 5 Losses - 2 Draws - 26 KO'S

An Atlantic City native who became the IBF and IBO Lightweight World Champion

Additional information:
Born in Atlantic City and coached by his father, Leavander Johnson honed his boxing skills early, practicing at the Police Athletic League's boxing gym. His professional career began in 1989, and featured 12 straight bouts in Atlantic City casinos before launching an international career. Johnson quickly worked his way up to the coveted title of the International Boxing Federation's Lightweight Champion, but, tragically, he sustained brain injuries while attempting to defend this title and died in 2005 after a Las Vegas match. Following his death, a number of local tributes took place to honor Atlantic City's own boxing star. The statue in City Center Park was sculpted by Brian Hanlon and dedicated in 2010. The street outside of the PAL gym used by Leavander has been renamed in his honor, and the gym itself is adorned with a banner celebrating his achievements. Leavander Johnson was also inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. Perhaps the best tribute of all, however, is Leavander's father Bill Johnson's decision to continue his career as a boxing coach. In an Atlantic City Press interview, Bill Johnson said, "When Leavander died, I stayed away for a while and thought about giving it up. But I thought it would be an injustice to Leavander if I didn't keep helping guys and training fighters. Leavander kept fighting right to the end and I know he would want me to do the same thing."

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, July 9, 2010, September 22, 2006 and November 10, 2005
Casino Connection, September 2010

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Florence Valore Miller

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Marker is located outside the entrance to the Atlantic City Art Center on Garden Pier, New Jersey Avenue and the Boardwalk

Marker text:
By order of the Mayor of Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Council, the Atlantic City Art Center is hereby dedicated to Florence Valore Miller for a lifetime of tireless commitment and selfless dedication to the promotion of artistic and cultural programs designed to nurture the aesthetic spirit of all the people of Atlantic City.

1984

Additional information:
Florence Valore Miler, an Atlantic City native, was one of the resort's largest champions of arts and culture. Amongst her numerous achievements were founding the Atlantic City Fine Arts Commission in 1969, and helping to build Atlantic City's original Art Center on Garden Pier. When this center was destroyed by fire in 1981, the new center was dedicated in her honor. Miller spent but a few years of her life outside of Atlantic City, when she moved to Hollywood with her husband and acted as a stand-in for movie stars. When the couple returned to Atlantic City, they founded the Miller School of Art together. Miller was such an advocate of the Arts in Atlantic City that she considered herself the city's unofficial Minister of Culture. She was the Fine Arts Commission's director from its founding until her 1981 retirement from the position, though she continued as its Chairwoman Emeritus. She was also the Art Center's Executive Director until 1999, and was a member of the Historic Gardner's Basin board. Miller was also known for fighting against the moving or tearing down of many of the city's monuments, and for speaking out against a proposed plan to extend gambling onto Garden Pier. Florence Valore Miller died in 2002, but her presence can still be felt in cultural locations across the city.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, March 22, 2002 and March 23, 2002

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Christopher Columbus Statue

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A photo of the statue in its previous location, Columbus Plaza at Arctic Avenue and Christopher Columbus Boulevard. The statue was recently moved to the area in front of the Nike Outlet Store at the terminus of the Atlantic City Expressway, to make room for the development of the Bass Pro Shops building.

Statue text:
Christopher Columbus
Born Genoa, Italy 1451
Died Valladolid, Spain 1506

Additional information:
Atlantic City has long been home to a rich Italian community in its Ducktown section. Some time in the 1920s, this community formed the Columbus Day Committee out of 23 local Italian-American organizations, with the purpose of organizing events and celebrations each year for Columbus Day. In 1937, this committee, with the help of the St. Michael's Church's parish community, succeeded in naming a plot of nearby land "Columbus Plaza" to commemorate the famous Italian explorer. In the mid-1950s, however, this tribute from the city's Italian community came under threat, as the city was in talks to turn the plaza into a parking lot. Mayor Joseph Altman suggested that the plaza would be spared if it contained a more prominent feature, such as a statue. The Columbus Day Committee set to work. Funds were raised, and a contract for the statue was awarded to the Italian sculpting firm and quarry of Gennaro Chiurazzi. The statue was sculpted primarily by artist Gaetano Chiaromonte in Italy before being dismantled into sections. It was then shipped to Atlantic City, where it was reassembled to take its place in Columbus Plaza.

The statue of Christopher Columbus stands 8 feet tall, upon a 9-foot base - 17 feet high in total. It is sculpted of marble, and was dedicated in 1958 as a gift from the Italian community to Atlantic City. It was seen by the community's members as a symbol of friendship between Italy and the United States, and also one of faith, as Bishop McCarthy told the crowd at its unveiling that Christopher Columbus's "competence and determination were largely due to his trust in God." Originally, the statue of Columbus faced the Atlantic Ocean, as if to gaze upon the land he had sailed from.

In 1991, the statue was refurbished after a man climbed onto it and broke off its left arm. When the terminus of the Atlantic City Expressway was reconfigured in the 1990s, the statue was briefly moved to the All Wars Memorial Park at Providence Avenue and O'Donnell Parkway. It was returned to a modified Columbus Plaza in 1998, where it now stands to greet tourists entering the city from the highway.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, April 30, 1998, April 10, 1996, October 13, 1958, October 8, 1958, and June 30, 1957

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Horace J. Bryant, Jr. Statue

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Statue is located in the library of the Stockton College Carnegie Library, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Pacific Avenue.

Text of plaque fronting statue:
Horace J. Bryant, Jr.
1909 - 1983

Horace J. Bryant was the first African American and career employee to be appointed to a State Cabinet position when he was appointed Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance in 1969. In 1972, he was elected Atlantic City Commissioner, and re-elected to a second term in 1976. Mr. Bryant was founder and president of the Northside Union League Federal Credit Union. Born in Lawnside, New Jersey. Graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Additional information:
Horace J. Bryant was an Atlantic City resident for 44 years, and spent many of those years making strides in racial equality within both the city and state government. Bryant was the first black man to run for office in Atlantic City in 1948. In that election, he received the most votes of any independent candidate, but not enough to defeat the incumbent. He ran for office again in 1952, and when this again failed, he turned to new strategies which would change the all-white political atmosphere of the city. A life member of the NAACP, Bryant was vocal on race issues. He advocated that Atlantic City's black residents turn to a system of "bullet ballots," wherein they would vote for only one candidate and ignore everyone else on a ballot. Bryant also led drives to fully integrate Atlantic City's movie theatres in the 1950s, and created the Northside Credit Union to combat banking discrimination. When he was elected as the city's Commissioner, Bryant dedicated himself to increasing opportunities for black citizens to work in City Hall. Boardwalk Empire author Nelson Johnson, who knew Bryant, stated that "When you were around him, you felt like you should be taking notes because what he said was so meaningful."

Bryant died in 1983, and his home street in the city's Venice Park section was renamed in his honor. He was inducted into the Atlantic City Hall of Fame in 1993. The bust which sits in the Carnegie Library was commissioned as part of the renovation works on the building when Stockton College assumed its ownership. Its sculptor is Jennifer Frudakis, a former Margate resident who now lives in Horsham, PA.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, February 8, 2009, April 14, 1983, February 14, 1985, September 30, 1993, and February 26, 2004