After a lengthy effort spearheaded by high school students, a street in New York that previously bore the name of a Ku Klux Klan leader has been renamed.

In honour of Paul Lindner, a banker who helped build Malverne on Long Island more than a century ago and served as a great giant of the New York State Klan, the village board of Malverne decided last year to rename Lindner Place. Lindner Place was renamed Acorn Way last week, making the change official.

In 2020, Brown was a member of a group of students who started looking into Lindner and discovered that he was a KKK leader.

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In school forums and with the village board, students pushed for the street name to be changed; the board decided to do so in September 2022. Although many Americans connect the Ku Klux Klan with the South, the organization’s gatherings and cross-burnings in New York in the 1920s drew sizable crowds. At that time, in addition to Black people, the Klan also attacked the Catholic and Jewish communities.

The issue of renaming the street was discussed during a Malverne village board meeting on February 2, 2022, when a committee member gave the board an update on the online submissions. Mayor Keith Corbett stated that he intended to engage with the village trustees and citizens to find a solution. Corbett declared, “We’re looking forward to cooperating to see this through. We simply need trustworthy middlemen on both sides to maintain open lines of communication and ensure that we act in the best interests of the village’s citizens.

The village board will be presented with a recommendation by the 33 members and organisations that make up the renaming committee next month. Voting on the top three to five prospective new names that had been gathered since January 20 was scheduled to start on Wednesday.

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The petition, which was started by lifelong Malvernite T.J. Magno in July 2020, requests that the roadway be renamed Cherry Lane in honour of Elizabeth Carol Cherry, a teacher who worked in Malverne schools for more than 30 years.

After the police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 and the ensuing protests across the nation, including in Malverne and Lakeview, the argument over the street’s name arose. The demonstrations increased attention on monuments and streets named for people who are known to have held racist views or, in Lindner’s case, were affiliated with white supremacist groups.

Woodfield Road, Davison Avenue, and Lindner Place were the district’s three elementary schools in 1966, the year the Malverne School District became the first district in New York to receive a desegregation order. Later, the school on Lindner Place changed its name to Maurice W. Downing Primary School.

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Lindner was a prominent member of the Ku Klux Klan in New York and served as the chapter’s leader in Nassau County. He was a significant contributor to the growth of the community and was born in 1877 to German immigrants. He owned the property where Grace Lutheran Church is located today and maintained a prosperous farm. In order for the Amsterdam Development Co. to build what would eventually become the Village of Malverne, he sold the majority of the land he owned, which included more than simply his farming.