May is Jewish American Heritage Month.
We would like to recognize Congressman Lucius Nathan Laittauer, who represent the Town of Saratoga from 1897 to 1907. The Schuylerville Standard endorsed him on 6 August 1902 by saying :“The time is rapidly approaching when a new Congress is to be elected. This district has been altered since the last election so that it now includes the counties of Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Hamilton and Warren. Among the late Congressman few were more prominent and successful in the dispatch of business, than Hon. L. N. Littauer, of Gloversyille, who represented us and who is once more a candidate for nomination. A man of the highest executive ability, clean cut and straightforward in his methods, he has become a close friend of President Roosevelt, and has been entrusted by him with the management in Congress of many questions of importance to the country. No constituent who has ever asked information or assistance but has received a prompt reply and such aid as was possible. Probably no district in the country has received a better business service than ours. Mr. Littauer will undoubtedly receive the hearty support of our county and be renominated and elected.”
Laittauer was a representative that the Jewish community turned to for help on matters of international concern. In 1905 Laittauer used his influence with Rooservelt to lend assistance to the imperiled Jews of Russia. Lattauer spent his later life involved in philanthropy donating more than 6 million dollars. Among his major gifts were to his alma marta, Harvard University where he funded a Chair in Jewish Literature and Philosophy, 50,000 volumes of Hebrew text for the library and established the Graduate School for Public Administration (now known as the Kennedy School). He funded hospitals in Breslau (Germany), Paris (France) and New York (including the hospital in Gloversville). In 1901,
Littauer traveled to Schuylerville with a group of fiscal experts on a tour of inspection of the Hudson Valley Railway Company. On this trip, was Congressman James Sherman (24 October 1855 – 30 October 1912), who went on to become the 27th Vice President of the United States (1909–12), and banker Benjamin Strong, Jr. (22 December 1872 – 16 October 1928), who went on to be the first Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Saratoga has been defined by the people who by choice or by chance make up this community. There are many individuals like Lucius Nathan Littauer that help define this country and our region. It is the determination of our forefathers, in surmounting overwhelming odds that help define the American spirit – the will and ability to shape a better future. It is the people it is that define this community by choice or by chance have changed this country and even the world political development. That is why studying the people of Saratoga is integral to a good understanding of the condition of being human
May is the month that pays tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who have helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society. By Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation, May is Jewish American Heritage Month.