People & Stories Oral History Project: Peter Stone

In this interview, Peter Stone and interviewer Rod Carlson show us what People & Stories is all about. Stone has been in White Plains since September 1950. He grew up in a house his family built in North White Plains and, when he was a kid, walked the five miles into downtown. White Plains' rich ethnic mix made a strong impression on him. Stone served as Chairman of the Humans Rights Commission from 1995 to 2008 and also worked as a management consultant in freight transportation. He describes himself as a “middle class, happily married grandfather viewing the world as one community under God's direction.”

Stone describes White Plains in the 1950s, from the banks and railroad station to the churches and street life. If you're interested in the history of restaurants, Stone can tell you where the first Chinese restaurant in the city was located. Remember when White Plains had four movie theaters? Stone does, and he recalls each of them with precision, giving us a sense of their differing characters and quirky aspects.

Stone spends a good deal of time on his work with the Human Rights Commission and the effects the Commission had on life in the city. The Commission was formed in 1968 and its purpose was to enforce fair and legal practices in employment, housing, and public accommodation (transportation, retail, houses of worship, etc.). He takes listeners through various directors' time with the Commission and the history of the White Plains Coalition for Cultural & Racial Harmony.

Stone's oral history is a wonderfully detailed entry into our growing collection. We're grateful for Stone's willingness to share his stories and for Carlson's work as an interviewer. If you're interested in being an interviewer or a storyteller (or if you know someone who would make a good storyteller), contact the Librarian for White Plains History.

Categories: History and Oral History.