LaGuardia’s ‘unexpected visit’


“Local Civic Organization Greets Mayor” was one of the lead stories in The Feb. 8, 1934, issue of The Villager.

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who grew up in Greenwich Village, “unexpectedly” attended a reception scheduled in honor of his wife by the Greenwich Village Neighborhood Association at Greenwich House on Barrow St.

“More than 400 Villagers, many of them his old friends, were there to greet the city’s first citizen,” the newspaper reported. “The Mayor showed his pleasure at seeing them again, as he stood in the receiving line with Mrs. LaGuardia and Mrs. Mary K. Simkhovitch, director of Greenwich House and first vice president of the Neighborhood Association.”

Some said “The Little Flower,” as the mayor was known, had been invited with his wife but that it was not known whether he would be present. Others that he had been invited, but wished his acceptance not be announced.

“Perhaps I was an uninvited guest,” LaGuardia said. “Perhaps I wasn’t even wanted. But I’m glad to be here all the same.”

In brief remarks, the mayor praised the association, saying its work was well known around the city. He said the association and other similar civic groups should work with the city to better people’s living conditions. The association was then “working…on a program of municipal housing,” the paper said.