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The Long Island History Project

It’s a long island with a long history. Want to hear it? Interviews with historians, scholars, authors and anyone with a story to tell and a passion for this unique region of New York.

Mar 29, 2020

Today our guest, Erin Elizabeth Becker, recounts the story of her great grandmother, Marion Murdoch O’Hara, who worked for the US Radium Corporation in New York City. Through genealogical and historical research, Erin discovered a powerful and unforgettable member of her family who was tied to a dark chapter of American history.  

In the 1920s, many young women eagerly signed up to work as "radium girls" in well-paying positions appplying radium-tinged paint to comercial items. The radium made watch hands and clock faces glow in the dark but it was also a sinister threat, leading to sickness and death for many of those who worked with it unprotected. 

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