White Playground in Short Acres was named honoring Staten Island WWI vet John Edward White.
Born in Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, White served as a trainman for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in St. George, Staten Island. Never marrying, White enlisted in the United States Army to fight in WWI, and became a member of the Allied Expeditionary Force. He gave his life assisting in the defeat of Germany.
White Playground is located in the Staten Island neighborhood of Fort Wadsworth, which takes its name from the nearby military installation overlooking the Narrows. At 300 years of age, Fort Wadsworth is the oldest continually manned United States military reservation, and, along with Fort Hamilton on the opposite side, monitors movement in the New York Harbor.
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In October 1934, New York State transferred this property and several others to the City for $7.00, to be used for park and playground purposes. The City then conveyed the property to the Staten Island Parks Department in April 1935. The title was officially vested in New York City in June 1938. In accordance with Local Law #23, the park was named “John E. White Playground” in 1940. (Credit: NYC parks)