Medallion from the Albany Legislative Correspondents' Association annual dinner
Overall: 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 x 1/8 in. (6.3 x 4.5 x 0.3 cm)
Cast oval medallion with piercing at top. Obverse: street scene with tenement houses, newsboy, policeman, garbage can, street lamppost with sign OLIVER ST. In exergue: "A.L.C.A. / 1923". Reverse: "EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE, / ALL AROUND TOWN, / THE TOTS PLAY RING A ROSY / LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN. / BOYS AND GIRLS TOGETHER, / ME AND MAMIE ROURKE / TRIPPED THE LIGHT FANTASTIC, / ON THE SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK." White enamel used to depict gas light flame in lamppost; traces of bronze finish.
This medallion was commissioned by the Albany Legislative Correspondents' Association and distributed to members at the annual dinner in 1923. The light-hearted event included "a series of vaudeville sketches dealing with the alleged Presidential ambitions of Governor Smith and ridiculing the fads, fancies and foibles of leaders in the legislative and political life of the State." The dinner began with "the investiture of all the guests with the Order of the Sidewalks of New York, a medallion suspended from a ribbon and embossed with a view of Governor Smith's Oliver Street home." The popular song "The Sidewalks of New York" was created in 1894 by composer Charles B. Lawlor (1852-1925) and lyricist James W. Blake (1862-1935). The tune became famous when Alfred E. Smith used it as the theme song for his failed 1928 presidential campaign. The medal obverse depicts 25 Oliver Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the home of Al Smith from 1907 to 1923.
Gift of John L. Williams
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.