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More of NJ’s storied corruption at the Hoboken Historical Museum

HOBOKEN — Every resident of Hudson County knows the Pulaski Skyway.
But how many know the Skyway was the scene of a bloody labor war? Or
that the fighting led to a sensational murder trial? Or that legendary
political boss Frank Hague was a key player in the construction of the
Skyway and the first superhighway project in the nation?

Author and journalist Steven Hart will speak on these topics this
Sunday, June 24, at 4 p.m. in the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301
Hudson Street
, as part of the museum’s 85th anniversary of the opening
of the Holland Tunnel and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the
Lincoln Tunnel. Hart, a former Hudson County resident, is the author
of “The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of
America’s First Superhighway” (The New Press), a critically acclaimed
account of a little-known chapter of American history.

“The Pulaski Skyway was the final link in the Route One Extension,
which was built in response to the planned opening of the Holland
Tunnel,” Hart says.

“State officials understood that the streets of
Jersey City and the roads across the Meadowlands would be unable to
handle the millions of vehicles pouring out of the tunnel. The Route
One project was meant to take that traffic across the Meadowlands as
quickly as possible.”

Hart will explain why the Depression-era highway project touched off
fighting so intense that local newspapers referred to it as “the war
of the Meadows.” He will also reveal the design flaws and political
interference that made the Skyway into the dangerous rollercoaster
ride dreaded by millions of commuters each day. And he will show how
Frank Hague, Jersey City mayor and ruler of the most powerful
political machine in America, played a central role in the story.

Copies of “The Last Three Miles” will be on sale in the museum gift
shop, and Hart will be available to sign purchased copies.

Hart’s talk begins at 4 p.m. in the Hoboken Historical Museum. For
more information, call the museum at (201) 656-2240.

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