National Geographic : 1954 Dec
813 Watson, New York Daily News Abandon Ship! Manhattan Youngsters Plunge into the Cool East River Because traffic is heavy and pollution a hazard, New York City laws discourage swimming in the harbor. On hot days, however, boys will be boys. This carefree group takes off from a barge. port of New York would be another Navy function. During World War II about a sixth of all shipping from the United States was routed through New York Harbor. A clearinghouse of shipping problems is the 81-year-old Maritime Association of the Port of New York, better known as the Maritime Exchange. Its membership of 1,500 covers every phase of the industry. William F. Giesen, the association's general manager and counsel, forecast an early end to the one overriding problem which has kept New York Harbor in the headlines in recent years. This is the plague of labor troubles, accompanied by revelations of waterfront crime and racketeering. "This port," said Giesen, "has undergone a house cleaning which has been monumental in scope and incomparable in soul-searching na ture to anything of its kind in the history of port affairs and port facilities. "New York has been through the worst. Natural advantages, augmented by man-made facilities and the experience of handling a major portion of the world's overseas com merce since the era of sailing ships, will con tinue to keep this harbor the greatest maritime center on the face of the earth."