Will publicize findings before special meeting in March 

The Desmond-Fish library in Garrison will make public this month a working group’s findings from an investigation into alleged Nazi sympathies of one of its co-founders and whether his name should be removed. 

Anita Prentice, who chairs the board, said at its meeting on Jan. 27 that a report from the Name Review Working Group’s probe into statements by former U.S. Rep. Hamilton Fish III will be posted on the library website on Feb. 16, The board scheduled a special meeting at 10 a.m. on March 9 to discuss the findings. 

The working group began meeting in August in response to a report by Rachel Maddow, in her MSNBC podcast Ultra in October 2022, on pro-Nazi statements made by Fish and the use of his office’s mailing privileges to distribute propaganda for the regime in the 1930s. The debate over the library’s name is mentioned in Maddow’s recent book, Prelude: An American Fight Against Facism.

The Desmond-Fish board also approved, at the January meeting, a policy for naming or renaming the library’s buildings, collections and landscape, and procedures for responding to concerns about the people who are honored.

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