This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about history of The Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls.
Glens Falls was front and center in Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s re-election campaign a half-century ago.
“City Republican Chairman Thomas Marzola demurred when asked if the governor was in fact coming to Glens Falls June 29 to kick off his re-election campaign,” Post-Star reporter Irv Dean reported on June 20, 1970. “He then told one reporter that everything is tentative.”
The reporter’s news tip, or perhaps just a solid hunch, turned out to be correct.
“Well over” 3,000 people, including the “Rocky-ettes,” a group of local teenage girls and young women, chanted “We want Rocky,” outside the Queensbury Hotel when the governor arrived.
“The governor responded by saying, ‘You’ve got Rocky, but there is a question whether we are going to keep him,” Post-Star reporter Hermine Sherman reported on June 30.
As it turned out, Rockefeller would easily win a fourth term, defeating Democrat Arthur Goldberg by about 700,000 votes.
First National Bank of Glens Falls, now part of TD Bank, and Kamyr Corp., at the corner of Ridge and Lawrence streets, opened their parking lots for public parking during the event.
The governor’s helicopter originally was planned to land at Crandall Park, but the location was changed at the last minute to Warren County airport.
Republican state Comptroller candidate Edward Regan of Buffalo accompanied the governor.
Rockefeller, later in the evening, spoke to a smaller group in the hotel ball room.
“These are tough times — times when people are worried about our institution, about government and leadership in government, about business and colleges.”
At one point, the governor departed from his prepared speech to lead the crowd in singing, “Happy Birthday,” to state Sen. Ronald Stafford, R-Plattsburgh, who was in the audience with Assemblyman Lawrence Corbett, R-Fort Edward.
On June 30, Rockefeller picked up a major endorsement from the New York State Conference of Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers International Union, which was holding its annual convention at The Queensbury Hotel.
“The fact remains that all the government in the world can’t lay a single brick or set one tile or plaster one wall,” he said, in a speech accepting the endorsement.
Later June 30 he spoke at the dedication of the Lake George Institute of History, Art and Science at the old Warren County courthouse in Lake George.
Rockefeller, who arrived at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage, praised the village’s charm.
“One of the reasons it remains beautiful is because you have said ‘no’ to the neon nightmare that once threatened to make a honky tonk out of this fine village,” he said.
About 3,500 people attended the ceremony.
“It was quite a dream,” Rockefeller said, referring to the restored courthouse. “To make the dream come true, it took a lot of zeal, determination and money.”
Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.