Return to home 1900 Mar 24,
Mayor Van Wyck of New York broke ground for the New York subway
tunnel that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn.
1900 May 22, The Associated
Press (founded in 1848) was incorporated in New York as a non-profit
1900 Jun 11, Lawrence E Spivak,
news panelist (Meet the Press), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1900 Oct 26, After 4 years of
work the 1st section of NY subway opened. [see Feb 26, 1870]
1900 The London show Florodora
was brought to NYC and featured the Florodora Sextette. Evelyn
Nesbit, one of the sextette, later married Harry Kendall Thaw,
playboy heir to a Pittsburgh coal fortune. In 1906 Thaw killed
architect Stanford White, who had frolicked with Nesbit during the
Florodora run [see June 25, 1906].
(WSJ, 12/9/06, p.P10)
1900 The Congregation Shaare
Zedek built a temple at 25 W. 118th St. It later became the Bethel
Way of the Cross Church of Christ.
(SFC, 6/10/02, p.D5)
1900 The Victory Theater was
built on 42nd St between 7th and 8th, i.e. Broadway in NYC by Oscar
Hammerstein, the grandfather of the well-known lyricist. In the
1930s it became Minskys, the famous burlesque house. It was restored
in the 1990s and used for children’s theater productions.
(WSJ, 12/15/95, p.A-16)(SFC, 5/17/97, p.E1)
1900 Joshua Lionel Cowen
(1877-1965), inventor, along with some partners founded Lionel Corp
in NYC. Operation were later based outside Detroit and Lionel grew
to become the world’s largest toy maker in the 1950s. [see 1901]
1900 In London an estimated
300,000 horses pulled cabs and omnibuses as well as a variety of
transport wagons. NYC counted some 100,000 horses.
(Econ, 11/26/16, SR p.3)
1900-2000 In 2004 James Traub authored "The
Devil's Playground," which described this period in NYC's Times
(WSJ, 3/19/04, p.W12)
1901 Feb 25, [Herbert] Zeppo
Marx, comedian, actor (Marx Brothers), was born in NYC.
1901 Oct 14, Justin Huntly
McCarthy's "If I Were King," premiered in NYC (Francois Villon).
1901 Seth Low became mayor of
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1902 Mar, Clarence Barron
(1855-1928) and his wife, Jessie Waldron, purchased Dow Jones &
1902 Jul 30, Anti-Jewish
rioters attacked the funeral procession of Rabbi Joseph in NYC.
1902 Aug 3, Judson Laire,
actor, singer (Papa-Mama, Adm Broadway Revue), was born in NYC.
1902 Sep 29, Broadway
impresario David Belasco reopened the Republic Theatre under his own
1902 Nov 18, Brooklyn toymaker
Morris Michton named the teddy bear after Teddy Roosevelt.
1902 Nov 22, A fire caused
considerable damage to the unfinished Williamsburg bridge in New
1902 Dec 4, Charles Dow
(b.1851), co-founder of the Wall Street Journal and inventor of the
Dow Industrial averages, died in Brooklyn, NY.
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p.
1902 In NYC the 21-story
Flatiron Building (Fuller Bldg.) was built on a pie-slice of land at
23rd & 5th Ave. by architect Daniel Burnham with a French Beaux
(HT, 5/97, p.24)
1902 The French Renaissance
style, 200-room, Algonquin Hotel was built.
(SFC, 3/4/00, p.A21)
1902 Construction began on the
Morgan Library at Madison Ave. and E. 36th to house the private
collections of J. Pierpont Morgan. [see 1906]
(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.T8)
1902 The Society of American
Magicians was formed at Martinka & Co. Magic supply House in
NYC. The shop later became Flosso-Hornmann Magic.
(SFC, 10/2/03, p.A19)
1902 The Baltimore Orioles
baseball team was sold at the end of the season to former police
chief Bill Devery and casino operator Frank Farrell of New York, and
moved to NYC to play as the New York Highlanders.
(ON, 6/09, p.12)
1902 William Randolph Hearst
served 2 terms as Congressman for the 11th District of NY in 1902
(SFEM, 10/24/99, p.20)
1902 The novelty Plato Clock
was patented by Eugene Fitch of NYC. It resembled a lantern based on
the story that Plato used a lantern-shaped clock while "looking for
an honest man."
(SFC, 9/21/98, Z1 p.8)
1902 Martin Bach opened the
Quezal Art Glass & Decorating Co. in Maspeth, Queens, NY.
(SFC, 1/11/06, p.G2)
1902 Train service between New
York and Chicago began. In 1995 Amtrak’s "Broadway Limited" service
made its final run.
(AP, 9/9/00)(MC, 9/9/01)
1902 Kosher beef prices in
America jumped from 12 to 18 cents a pound and caused riots in
Jewish enclaves in the northeast.
(Econ, 12/12/15, p.79)
1902-1945 Nicholas Murray Butler served as
president of Columbia Univ.
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1903 Jan 4, Topsy the elephant
was poisoned electrocuted in Luna Park, Coney Island, NYC. The
10-foot elephant had killed 3 keepers over the last 2 years. Edison
used the opportunity to demonstrate the lethal potential of
alternating current, promoted by rival George Westinghouse.
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.33)(Internet)
1903 Jan 21, International
Theater (Majestic, Park) opened at 5 Columbus Circle in NYC.
1903 Jan 30, Here is a live
operatic performance recording of the opening scene excerpt from Act
2 of Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci". It was recorded Live by Lionel
Mapleson at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on a two minute Wax
1903 Mar 2, The Martha
Washington Hotel opened for business in New York City. The hotel
featured 416 rooms and was the first hotel exclusively for women.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1903 Mar 29, A regular news
service began between New York and London on Marconi's wireless.
1903 Apr 14, Dr. Harry Plotz in
NYC discovered a vaccine against typhoid.
1903 Jun 19, Henry Louis Gehrig
(d.6/22/1941) was born in New York City. He became first baseman for
the New York Yankees and started 2,130 games consecutively: HALL OF
FAMER; MVP '36; 7x World Series; .341 avg., 493 HRs; 2,721 hits,
1,990 RBIs. He died of a muscle wasting disease amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis, now known by his name.
1903 Jul 26, Dr. Horatio Nelson
Jackson of Vermont and his mechanic Sewell Croker arrived in NYC and
completed the first cross-country automobile trip in 63 days after
leaving SF. On July 26, 2003 Peter Kesling and Charlie Wake
completed a rerun of the original trip.
(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.B8)(WSJ, 7/19/02, p.W9)(WSJ,
5/7/03, p.B1)(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.A2)
1903 Oct 13, Victor Herbert's
"Babes in Toyland," premiered in NYC.
1903 Nov 16, V. Herbert's and
H. Smith's musical "Babette," premiered in NYC.
1903 Nov 23, Singer Enrico
Caruso made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in
New York, appearing as the Duke of Mantua in "Rigoletto."
1903 Dec 19, The Williamsburg
suspension bridge opened between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
1903 The Manhattan Bridge
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1903 The New Amsterdam Theater
on 42nd St. in New York City, home of the legendary Ziegfeld
Follies, was constructed by Herts and Tallant. It was renovated in
1997 for $34 million by the Walt Disney Co.
(WSJ, 4/3/97, p.A16)(SFC, 5/17/97, p.E1)
1903 The New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE) opened its first building at 10 Broad St.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.D2)
1903 Frederick Law Olmsted, the
architect of Central Park in NYC, died at the McLean Asylum in
Waverly, Mass. In 1999 Witold Rybczynski authored the biography: "A
Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America In the
(WSJ, 5/21/99, p.W5)
1904 Feb 1, S.J. (Sidney)
Perelman, author, humorist (Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, One
Touch of Venus, Strictly from Hunger, Westward Ha!) was born in
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)(MC, 2/1/02)
1904 Jun 15, A fire erupted
aboard the steamboat General Slocum, owned by the Knickerbocker
Steamboat Co., in New York City’s East River and some 1,021 people
died. The ship carried a congregation of a German church on its
annual picnic. Capt. William van Schaick (1837-1927) was convicted
of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in Sing Sing. He was
pardoned by Pres. Taft in 1911.
(AP, 6/15/97)(www.newyorkhistory.info)(ON, 2/06,
1904 Aug 16, NYC began building
the Grand Central Station.
1904 Sep 9, Mounted police were
1st used in NYC.
1904 Sep 25, A New York City
police officer ordered a female passenger in an automobile on Fifth
Avenue to stop smoking a cigarette. A male companion was arrested
and later fined two dollars for "abusing" the officer.
1904 Sep 26, GB Shaw's "How He
Lied to Her Husband," premiered in NYC.
1904 Sep 28, A woman was placed
under arrest for smoking a cigarette on New York's Fifth Avenue.
1904 Oct 4, 1st day of NYC
subway, 350,000 people rode the 9.1 mile tracks. [see Oct 24, 27]
1904 Oct 24, The 1st NY subway
opened. [see Oct 4, 27]
1904 Oct 27, The first rapid
transit subway, the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), was
inaugurated in New York City. It ran from the Brooklyn Bridge uptown
to Broadway at 145th Street with a fare of one nickel. [see Oct 4,
(AP, 10/27/97)(HN, 10/27/98)
1904 Oct 28, In NYC the City
Hall station subway station opened. The station closed in 1945 when
subway cars moved their doors to the center, because this created a
dangerous gap between the exit point on the train and the platform.
1904 Nov 17, George Cohan's
musical "Little Johnny Jones," premiered in NYC.
1904 The Jewish Museum of NYC
was founded and housed at the Jewish Theological Seminary on 122nd
St. and Broadway. In 1944 Frieda Schiff Warburg gave her
chateau-style mansion at 1109 Fifth to the museum, which re-opened
there in 1947.
(WSJ, 7/6/04, p.D5)
1904 In NYC the New York Times
moved into a new building at Longacre Square. Publisher Adolph Ochs
persuaded the mayor to rename the intersection Times Square.
(SFEC, 3/1/98, Z1 p.8)(ON, 6/07, p.12)
1905 Apr 12, Hippodrome arena
opened in NYC.
1905 Jun 11, Pennsylvania
Railroad debuted the fastest train in world (NY-Chicago in 18 hrs).
1905 Oct 30, G.B. Shaw's "Mrs.
Warren's Profession," premiered in NYC.
1905 Nov 14, David Belasco's
"Girl of Golden West," premiered in NYC.
1905 The New York Giants with
the help of pitcher Christy Mathewson won the World Series under
manager John McGraw.
(SFC, 9/28/99, p.A27)
1905 New York City’s Columbus
Circle became the first example of traffic going round a circle in a
defined direction. In 1897 Holroyd Smith in London had proposed a
"gyratory" traffic flow, with traffic going round the circle in a
defined direction. Eugene Henard (1849-1923), French architect and a
highly influential urban planner, called the concept carrefours a
girations (gyratory crossroads), now known as roundabouts.
1905 New York City began using
a garbage incinerator to generate electricity to light the
1906 Feb 4, The New York Police
Department began finger print identification.
1906 Mar 11, The Simplified
Spelling Board was announced with Andrew Carnegie funding the
organization, to be headquartered in New York City. In August Pres.
Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order mandating simplified
spelling in all government administrative documents.
1906 Apr 15, Nine European
steamships arrived in NYC with some 11,839 immigrants. Another 8
ships were expected the next day with a similar number of
immigrants. The facilities at Ellis Island could only handle 5,000
newcomers per day.
(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.A13)
1906 Jun 25, A love triangle
came to a violent end atop New York's Madison Square Garden as
architect Stanford White, the building's designer, was shot to death
by Harry Thaw, for an alleged tryst White had with Thaw's wife,
Florence Evelyn Nesbit. Thaw, tried for murder, was acquitted by
reason of insanity. At the time this was called "The Crime of the
(HN, 6/25/99)(AP, 6/25/06)
1906 Sep 24, Victor
Herbert's musical "Red Mill," premiered in NYC.
1906 Oct 23, Gertrude Ederle,
swimmer (Olympic-gold-1924), was born in NYC.
1906 Oct 31, George Bernard
Shaw's "Caesar & Cleopatra," premiered in NYC.
1906 The Congregation Ohab
Zedek built a temple at 18 W. 116th St. It later became The Baptist
(SFC, 6/10/02, p.D5)
1906 The 16-story,
Beaux-Arts-style Knickerbocker Hotel opened in NYC at Broadway and
42nd. It was financed by Jacob Astor. The hotel closed in 1921 and
was converted to apartments and textile showrooms. In the 1950s it
was converted to an office tower. In 2006 it was purchased by
Istithmar Hotels, an investment arm of Dubai’s royal family, with
plans to restore it as a luxury hotel.
(SSFC, 6/25/06, p.G5)
1906 J. Pierpont Morgan
(1837-1913) financed the building of the Pierpont Morgan Library, a
research library and museum at 29 E. 36th St. It was designed by
McKim, Mead and White. An expanded version was planned to reopen in
(SFC, 2/15/97, p.D1)(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.B10)(WSJ,
1907 Apr 25, Paula Trueman,
actress (Gran-Billy), was born in NYC.
1907 May 31, Taxis began
running in NYC. [see Aug 13]
1907 Jul 8, Florenz Ziegfeld
staged his first "Follies" on the roof of the New York Theater in
New York City.
1907 Jul 18, Florenz Ziegfeld's
"Follies of 1907," premiered in NYC. [see Jul 8]
1907 Jul 25, Jack Gilford,
actor (Save the Tiger, Cocoon, Arthur 2), was born in NYC.
1907 Aug 13, The 1st taxicab
began operating in NYC. [see May 31]
1907 Sep 13, The RMS Lusitania
arrived in New York, completing its maiden voyage from England.
1907 Oct 1, The Plaza Hotel
opened in NYC at 5th Av and 59th Str.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)(AP, 10/1/07)
1907 Oct 21, The Panic of 1907
began with a run on the Knickerbocker Trust Co. of New York. News
soon emerged that it was caught up in a scam by bankers Augustus
Heinze and Charles Morse, who had borrowed and embezzled vast sums
to corner the market in shares of United Copper.
(AP, 10/21/07)(Econ, 4/12/14, p.53)
1907 Dec 3, George M. Cohan's
musical "Talk of the Town," premiered in NYC.
1907 Dec 31, For 1st time a
ball was dropped at Times Square to signal new year.
1907 Dec 31, Gustav Mahler
conducted the Metropolitan Opera.
1907 The Flemish Gothic
skyscraper at 90 West Street, NYC, designed by Cass Gilbert, was
(WSJ, 10/17/02, p.D6)
1907 The American Museum of
Natural History purchased a collection of 35 Maori preserved and
tattooed heads. A Maori representative in 1998 sought to bring them
back to New Zealand.
(SFC, 3/17/98, p.B3)
1907 The US Customs House was
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)
1907 The New York Currier &
Ives partnership, formed in 1857, closed down with an inventory of
(WSJ, 12/19/00, p.A19)
1908 Jan 1, The 1st time-ball
signifying new year was dropped at Times Square, NYC.
1908 Jan 8, A subway under the
East River linked Brooklyn and Manhattan.
1908 Jan 21, New York City's
Board of Aldermen passed the Sullivan Ordinance that effectively
prohibited women from smoking in public. Two weeks later the measure
was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Jr.
1908 Feb 25, The 1st tunnel
under Hudson River (railway tunnel) opened. The McAdoo Tunnel was
completed March 8, 1904, but only officially opened on this date.
(PCh, 1992, p.655)(MC, 2/25/02)
1908 Jun 12, Lusitania crossed
the Atlantic in record 4 days 15 hours (NYC).
1908 Jul 6, Robert Peary's
expedition sailed from NYC for north pole.
1908 Jul 12, Milton Berle
(d.2002), comedian, was born as Mendel Berlinger in New York City.
(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A15)(AP, 7/12/08)
1908 Jul 14, The short film
"The Adventures of Dollie," the first movie directed by D.W.
Griffith, opened in New York.
1908 Nov 4, The Brooklyn
Academy of Music opened in NYC.
1908 Nov 16, Conductor Arturo
Toscanini made his debut with the New York Metropolitan Opera as he
led a performance of Verdi's "Aida."
1908 NYC Detective Joseph A.
Faurot, recently trained in London, used fingerprint evidence to
solve the murder of Nellie Quinn. Plumber George Cramer confessed
under the evidence.
(ON, 4/04, p.11)
1908-1917 Alfred Stieglitz operated his art
gallery at 291 Fifth Avenue.
(WSJ, 2/6/00, p.A16)
1909 Feb 12, The National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was
founded by 60 people gathered in NYC to discuss recent race riots
and how to fight discrimination. They were initially known as the
National Negro committee and signed a proclamation known as “The
Call." It was based on the Niagara movement of 1905. Mary White
Ovington (1865-1951) was one of the founders.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-6)(SFEC,12/797, BR p.6)(AP,
2/12/98)(SFC, 2/12/09, p.A1)
1909 Feb 16, 1st subway car
with side doors went into service in NYC.
1909 Feb 28, The earliest
Women’s Day observance, organized by the Socialist Party of America,
was held in NYC. Some 15,000 women marched demanding shorter hours,
better pay and voting rights.
1909 Mar 4, Harry Helmsley
(d.1997), billionaire New York landlord (Empire State Building), was
born in NYC.
1909 Mar 30, The Queensboro
Bridge, the first double decker bridge, opened and linked the
New York boroughs of Manhattan and Queens.
(AP, 3/30/97)(HN, 3/30/98)
1909 Mar 31, Gustav Mahler
conducted the NY Philharmonic for 1st time.
1909 May 31, The National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its
first conference at the United Charities Building in NYC.
(HN, 5/31/98)(MC, 5/31/02)
1909 Jun 1, Pres. William
Howard Taft touched a key in Washington, DC, sending a signal to
Seattle, opening the Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo at the Seattle
World’s Fair, as well as a signal to NYC initialing the New York to
Seattle Automobile Race.
(AH, 6/03, p.18)
1909 Jun 24, Milton Katims,
conductor, violist (NBC Orchestra), was born in NYC.
1909 Sep 14, The Tootsie Roll
trade-mark was registered. The application by NYC candy makers
Hirschfeld and Stern & Saalberg stated that “Tootsie" had been
used in association with the candy since September 1908. Leo
Hirshfield had invented Bromangelon Jelly Powder around 1895.
1909 Sep 25, The first National
Aeronautic Show opened at Madison Square Garden.
1909 Dec 9, Douglas Fairbanks
Jr, actor (Ghost Story), was born in NYC.
1909 Conde Montrose Nast
(1873-1942) founded magazine publisher Conde Nast with the purchase
of Vogue. At first, Nast published the magazine under Vogue Company
and did not incorporate Condé Nast until 1923.
1909 The Metropolitan Life
Insurance Tower was completed. The 50-story building was the tallest
in the world for 4 years. It copied the Campanile in the Piazza San
Marco in Venice that collapsed in 1902.
(HT, 5/97, p.24)
1909 NYC Mayor George McClellan
(SFEC, 4/4/99, BR p.3)
1909 Florence Nightingale
Graham (b.1878) reopened a NYC 5th Ave beauty salon and developed
her own Venetian line of beauty preparations, following a failed
partnership. She took the name of Elizabeth Arden.
(SFEM, 8/23/98, p.29)
1909-1912 The E.I. Horsman Co., a New York City
doll company, made Billiken dolls. The doll was like a teddy bear
with the head of a Chinese deity.
(SFC,11/5/97, Z.1 p.3)
1910 Apr 20, Robert F. Wagner,
(Mayor-D-NYC, 1954-65), was born.
1910 May 15, Robert F. Wagner,
(Mayor-D-NYC, 1949-65), was born.
1910 May 23, Artie Shaw
(d.2004), jazz bandleader and clarinetist, was born as Arthur Jacoby
Arshawsky on the Lower East Side of NYC to poor Eastern European
(HN, 5/23/01)(SFC, 12/31/04, p.A4)
1910 May 26, Laurance S.
Rockefeller, CEO (Chase Manhattan Bank), was born in NYC.
1910 Aug 20, The 1st shot fired
from an airplane was during a test flight over Brooklyn's Sheepshead
(WSJ, 5/20/03, p.D5)
1910 Sep 19, George Cohan's
"Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," premiered in NYC.
1910 Nov 27, In NYC the
Pennsylvania Railroad began service at Pennsylvania Station. It was
begun under the direction of PRR president Alexander J. Cassatt
(d.1906) and designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and
White. In 2007 Jill Jonnes authored “Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age
Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and its Tunnels." Penn
Station was demolished in 1963.
(AP, 11/27/06)(Econ, 4/14/07, p.95)(SSFC, 7/8/07,
1910 Dec 18, Abe Burrows,
Broadway composer (Guys & Dolls 1951 TONY), was born in
1910 Jazz musicians from New
Orleans began calling gigs to NYC "The Big Apple" vs. road gigs
elsewhere, which paid "little apples." In the 1920s John J. Fitz
Gerald, a horse-racing writer, said he first heard the term (Big
Apple) used by 2 New Orleans stable hands.
(SFEC, 9/3/00, Z1 p.2)(WSJ, 1/02/00, p.A20)
c1910 George McAneny led a
group of Progressive reformers for a massive expansion of the NYC
subway system. The project began in 1913 and was completed by 1920.
(WSJ, 4/17/01, p.A18)
1910 The Brooklyn Botanic
Garden was established under Dr. Charles Stuart Gager.
(WSJ, 6/21/06, p.D10)
1910-1925 The Royal Art Glass Co. in New York City
made glass lamps.
(SFC, 8/5/98, Z1 p.3)
1910-1987 Gimbel’s department store stood on
Herald Square in NYC.
(SFC, 12/13/06, p.E3)
1911 Feb 8, Victor Herbert's
opera "Natoma," premiered in NYC.
1911 Mar 20, Winter Garden
Theater opened at 1634 Broadway, NYC.
1911 Mar 25, The Triangle
Shirtwaist Factory Fire killed 146 immigrant workers. 13 girls
survived the fire that broke out on the top three floors of the
10-story New York’s Asch Building as the workday was ending. No one
knows what caused the fire, but it spread quickly, fueled by the
fabric scraps and sewing machine oil used in the manufacture women’s
blouses. The three avenues of escape were almost immediately clogged
with panicked workers, mostly young immigrant women. Then, to the
horror of spectators seven stories below, the desperate women began
to jump to their deaths. Appalled by the tragedy, the New York State
legislature formed a commission whose findings led to the creation
of new fire and building codes that were soon adopted in cities
(HNPD, 3/25/00)(SFC, 4/27/98, p.A8)(SFC, 2/24/99,
1911 Apr 18, George Huntington
Hartford II, heir (A&P), was born in NYC.
1911 Apr 21, Leonard Warren,
baritone, Met 1939-60, was born in NYC.
1911 May 23, The NY Public
Library building at 5th Avenue was dedicated by Pres Taft. In 2008
the central reference building at 42nd and Fifth Avenue was renamed
"The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building following a $100 million
contribution by Schwarzman (b.1947), co-founder of the Blackstone
Group, toward the expansion of the New York Public Library.
1911 May 27, The Coney Island
attraction "Dreamland" was destroyed by fire. The biggest ballroom
in the world was located at the end of the Dreamland Pier from
1911 Jun 28, Samuel J. Battle
became the first African-American policeman in New York City.
1911 Oct 29, American
newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer, born in Hungary, died in Charleston,
S.C. In 2002 Denis Brian authored "Pulitzer: A Life."
(AP, 10/29/97)(WSJ, 1/30/02, p.A16)
1911 Nov 5, Calbraith P.
Rodgers ended the first transcontinental flight; 49 days from New
York to Pasadena, Calif.
1911 The New York Public
Library at 5th Ave. and 42nd opened its doors. It was designed by
Carere and Hastings and featured a 78-by-297-foot reading room in
the General Research Division.
(WSJ, 11/17/98, p.21)
1911 The Jewish Maimonides
Hospital opened in Brooklyn.
(WSJ, 10/27/99, p.A1)
1911 The NY Highlanders (later
Yankees) signed Justin Fitzgerald from San Mateo, Ca., to a $385 per
year contract, the largest ever presented to an amateur player from
the West Coast.
(Ind, 4/17/00, 5A)
1911 The NY Giants played at
the Polo Grounds in East Harlem until 1957.
(WSJ, 10/12/99, p.A24)
1912 Jan 3, Plans were
announced for a new $150,000 Brooklyn stadium for the Trolley
Dodgers baseball team.
1912 Jan 9, The $18
million Equitable Life Assurance building in New York was destroyed
1912 Jan 29, "Professor" Irwin
Corey, comedian (Car Wash, Doc), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1912 Feb 24, The Jewish
organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.
1912 Mar 1, Isabella Goodwin,
1st US woman detective, was appointed in NYC.
1912 May 4, More than ten
thousand women and about a thousand men marched down Fifth Avenue in
NYC to support woman's suffrage.
(NYT, 5/5/1912, p1)
1912 May 7, Columbia University
approved plans for awarding the Pulitzer Prize in several
categories. The award was established by Joseph Pulitzer.
1912 May 15, Ty Cobb rushed a
heckler at a NY Highlander game and was suspended.
1912 May 20, Joseph Proce, 3rd
victim of NYC's Zodiac killer, was born.
1912 Aug 24, NYC held a ticker
tape parade for Jim Thorpe and victorious US Olympians.
1912 Sep 30, The Columbia
School of Journalism opened in NYC. Joseph Pulitzer bequeathed $2
million to start the school.
(ON, 4/03, p.2)
1912 Dec 20, J. Hartley
Manners' "Peg O' My Heart" premiered in NYC.
1912 Police Lt. Charles Becker
was convicted of shooting a small-time gambler. In 1970 Andy Logan
(d.2000 at 80), reporter, authored "Against the Evidence," a
chronicle of the trial.
(SFC, 11/23/00, p.D9)
1912 The Durable Toy &
Novelty Co. began making toy registering banks about this time. Its
office was in NYC and its factory in Cleveland, Ohio.
(SFC, 4/2/08, p.G2)
1913 Jan 11, The first
sedan-type automobile, a Hudson, went on display at the 13th
Automobile Show in New York.
1913 Jan 15, The first
telephone line between Berlin and New York was inaugurated.
1913 Jan 18, Danny Kaye,
UNICEF, comedian, actor, was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1913 Feb 2, The new Grand
Central Terminal in NYC opened. It first opened in 1871 and was
rebuilt by Cornelius Vanderbilt at 42nd and Park Ave. It was
designed by the architectural firms of Reed and Stem and Warren and
Wetmore, and was extensively remodeled in 1998.
p.D10)(SSFC, 1/3/10, p.L4)
1913 Feb 12, A New York
commission reported that there was widespread violation of child
1913 Feb 15, The 1st
avant-garde art show in America opened in NYC. [see Feb 17]
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1913 Feb 17, NY Armory Show
introduced Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp to US public. [see Feb 15]
1913 Mar 25, The home of
vaudeville, the Palace Theatre, opened in New York City starring Ed
(AP, 3/24/98)(MC, 3/25/02)
1913 May 26, The Actors' Equity
Association was organized in NYC.
1913 Jun 2, Bert Farber,
orchestra leader (Arthur Godfrey, Vic Damone), was born in
1913 Aug 28, Richard Tucker,
[Reuben Ticker], Tenor (NY Met Opera), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1913 Sep 22, "7 Keys to
Baldpate," by Earl Derr Biggers (Charlie Chan) premiered in NYC.
1913 Oct 28, The "Krazy Kat"
comic strip by George Herriman (1880-1944) debuted as a daily comic
strip in the New York Evening Journal.
1913 Dec 21, The first
crossword puzzle, created by Arthur Wynne, the English-born New York
journalist, was published in the New York World.
1913 Arthur B. Davies helped
organize the Armory Show of modern art in New York. The exhibit
included works by Fauvists and Cubists which outraged traditional
artists. The show featured "Nude Descending a Staircase," (1912) by
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French painter.
(V.D.-H.K.p.361)(WSJ, 12/18/96, p.A18)
1913 The New York Times
building was constructed.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.22)
1913 The $13 million, 60-story,
792-foot Woolworth Building, designed by architect Cass Gilbert, was
completed at 233 Broadway and became the tallest building in the
world. The Woolworth Building in New York reigned as the world's
tallest building from its opening until the Chrysler Building was
completed in 1930. It was first conceived in 1910 with a simple
drawing by architect Cass Gilbert. Commissioned by retail giant
Frank Winfield Woolworth as the headquarters of his "five and ten
cent" store chain, the Woolworth Building was the first to utilize
many key developments in skyscraper technology. The building was
supported by a foundation of concrete piers sunk below street level
to bedrock. Men worked in caissons, or chambers kept dry with
high-pressure air, to sink the foundation below the water line.
Above ground, the building's steel framework rose 792 feet--very
tall for its day--and its wind bracing was highly developed.
High-speed express and local elevators were also used in this
building, which instantly became a symbol of the vitality of New
(HT, 5/97, p.24)(HNPD, 2/27/99)(WSJ, 5/6/99,
1913 The New York Highlanders
American League baseball team officially adopted the “Yankees" name.
Newspapers have begun calling them the “Yanks" as early as 1904.
Fans had earlier called them “the Americans" due to their league
(ON, 6/09, p.11)
1913 The eldiario/La Prensa
Spanish newspaper began publishing.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.A17)
1913 Ebbets Field at Sullivan
Place in Flatbush became the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until
(WSJ, 10/12/99, p.A24)
1914 Feb 13, The American
Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as ASCAP, was
founded in New York City.
(HN, 2/13/98)(AP, 2/13/98)
1914 Feb 26, New York Museum of
Science and Industry was incorporated.
1914 Jun 11, Gerald Mohr, actor
(Christopher-Foreign Intrigue), was born in NYC.
1914 Jul 28, Foxtrot was 1st
danced at New Amsterdam Roof Garden in NYC by Harry Fox.
1914 Jul 29, Transcontinental
telephone service began with the first phone conversation between
New York and San Francisco.
1914 Aug 19, Elmer Rice' "On
Trial," premiered in NYC.
1914 Oct 28, Jonas Salk, US
physician and virologist, was born in NYC. He developed the first
safe and effective vaccine against polio.
(HN, 10/28/98)(AH, 10/04, p.15)
1914 Nov 2, Victor
Herbert's "Only Girl," premiered in NYC.
1914 Nov 11, Howard Fast,
screenwriter (Rachel & the Stranger, Spartacus), was born in
1914 Dec 8, "Watch Your Step,"
the first musical revue to feature a score composed entirely by
Irving Berlin, opened in New York.
1914 Dec 15, The New York Stock
Exchange reopened under restrictions that specified minimum prices.
It had closed for 4 1/2 months due to the war.
(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.C1)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)
1914 The Apollo Theater opened
in Harlem. It was turned into a movie theater in the 1970s and
reopened for live shows in 1983.
(SFC, 8/16/99, p.A3)
1914 Harry Fox introduced the
foxtrot dance in the Ziegfeld Follies.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.B3)
c1914 When WW I began Helena
Rubinstein relocated her Paris beauty salon business to NYC off 5th
(SFEM, 8/23/98, p.29)
1915 Jan 25, Umberto Giordano,
Sardou & Moreau's opera "Madame Sans Gene" premiered in NYC.
1915 Jan 25, The inventor of
the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated transcontinental
telephone service in the United States. Bell placed the first
ceremonial cross-continental call from New York to his old colleague
Thomas Watson in San Francisco.
(SFC, 2/3/97, p.D1) (AP, 1/25/98)(HN, 1/25/99)
1915 Feb 28, Zero "Samuel"
Mostel (d.1977), actor (Fiddler on the Roof), was born in Brooklyn.
1915 Jun 3, Leo Gorcey, actor
(Mannequin, Road to Zanzibar), was born in NYC.
1915 Oct 23, Tens of thousands
of women marched in NYC, demanding the right to vote.
1915 Dec 7, Eli Wallach
(d.2014), American film, TV and stage actor, was born in Brooklyn,
(SFC, 1/14/15, p.E5)
1915 The 38-story Equitable
Building, located at 120 Broadway in the Financial District of Lower
Manhattan, was completed. It was designed by Ernest R. Graham.
1915 The dance craze of 1915
kicked off Broadway's (NYC) true Golden Age.
(WSJ, 3/19/04, p.W12)
1916 Feb 24, Jules Verne's
"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" opened in New York.
1916 Feb 26, Jackie Gleason,
comedian (Ralph Kramden in the Honeymooners), was born in Brooklyn,
1916 May 13, Sholem Aleichem
(b.1859), Yiddish writer (Fiddler on the Roof), died in NY. He was
born as Solomon Rabinowitz (1859) in Russia. His work included
“Tevye the Dairyman," a series of stories published from 1894-1914.
(www.britannica.com)(WSJ, 9/22/07, p.W6)
1916 Apr 22, Yehudi Menuhin
(d.1999), violinist, was born in New York.
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A1)
1916 Apr 23, Lord Dunsany's
"Night at an Inn," premiered in NYC.
1916 Jul 4, Nathan’s Famous Hot
Dogs opened a stand at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and held an eating
contest as a publicity stunt that became an annual event.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A3)
1916 Jul 28, David Brown,
director (Jaws, Planet of the Apes), was born in NYC.
1916 Jul 30, German saboteurs
blew up a munitions pier on Black Tom Island, Jersey City, NJ. 7
people were killed. The explosion shattered windows in downtown
Manhattan and the noise was heard as far away as Maryland. Damages
totaled about $20-25 million. After much legal maneuvering a
commission in 1939 ruled that Germany was guilty of sabotaging Black
Tom and another plant in Kingsland, NJ, and awarded$50 million to
the claimants. In 1953 the new Federal Republic of Germany began
making payments. The last payment was made in 1979.
p.36,77)(http://tinyurl.com/gogm59p)(Econ, 12/19/15, p.40)
1916 Aug 31, Daniel Schorr,
broadcast journalist (CBS), was born in NYC.
1916 Oct 16, Margaret Higgins
Sanger opened the first birth control clinic at 46 Amboy St. in
Brooklyn. She spent 30 days in jail when she opened America's first
birth control clinic. Sanger coined the term "birth control" and
made the cause a worldwide movement. After opening her clinic in
Brooklyn, she was jailed for creating a public nuisance. Born in
Corning, New York, on September 14, 1883, Sanger died in 1966.
(AP, 10/16/97)(HNQ, 9/11/98)
1916 Fiorello LaGuardia was
elected to Congress as NYC representative from the Italian section
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1917 Jan, The 5-member white
Dixie Jass Band from New Orleans led by Nick LaRocca cut its first
jazz records: "Darktown Strutters’ Ball" and "Indiana" for Columbia
Records in NYC.
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.E3)(SFC, 1/19/02, p.D5)
1917 Jan, A fire at the
Kingsland munitions factory in New York destroyed 1.3 million
1917 Feb 20, Kern, Bolton &
Wodehouse's musical "Oh, Boy!," premiered in NYC.
1917 May 28, Barry Commoner,
biologist (Science & Survival), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1917 Jun 30, Lena Horne,
American singer, was born in Brooklyn, NYC. She later appeared in
the films "Stormy Weather" and "Death of a Gunfighter."
(HN, 6/30/99)(MC, 6/30/02)
1917 Oct 27, 20,000 women
marched in a suffrage parade in New York.
1917 Oct 31, Eugene O'Neill's
"In the Zone," premiered in NYC.
1917 Nov 28, Fred and Adele
Astaire debut on Broadway in the Sigmund Romberg revue "Over the
(DT net, 11/28/97)(MC, 11/28/01)
1917 Dec 28, The New York
Evening Mail published a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken on the
history of bathtubs in America.
1917 The Pulitzer Prize was
establishments for achievements in journalism and letters. It was
named after publisher Joseph Pulitzer (d.1911).
(SFC, 12/27/99, p.E3)(HNQ, 1/29/02)
1918 Jan 27, "Tarzan of the
Apes," 1st Tarzan film, premiered at Broadway Theater.
1918 Feb 3, Joey Bishop,
[Gottlieb], talk show host (Joey Bishop Show), was born in the
1918 Feb 14, Sigmund Romberg's
musical "Sinbad," premiered in NYC.
1918 Mar 9, Frank Morrison
Spillane (d.2006), mystery writer [Mickey Spillane], was born in
Brooklyn. His Mike Hammer crime novels later sold over 200 million
copies. His books included “Kiss Me Deadly" and “The Erection Set."
(HN, 3/9/01)(SFC, 6/21/01, p.D5)(SFC, 7/18/06,
1918 Mar 13, Women were
scheduled to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York due
to a shortage of men. When the United States entered World War I,
propagandist George Creel set out to stifle anti-war sentiment.
1918 May 15, The U.S. Post
Office and the U.S. Army began regularly scheduled airmail service
between Washington and New York through Philadelphia.
(AP, 5/15/97)(HNPD, 6/15/99)(HNQ, 4/24/01)
1918 Aug 17, Mort Marshall,
actor (Cully-Dumplings), was born in NYC.
1918 Aug 19, "Yip! Yip!
Yaphank," a musical revue by Irving Berlin featuring Army recruits
from Camp Upton in Yaphank, N.Y., opened on Broadway.
1918 Nov 1, During a
wildcat strike a replacement motorman, behind schedule, was speeding
a Brighton Beach bound train down what is today the Franklin Avenue
shuttle. The train derailed on a curve and hit a tunnel wall on the
approach to the Prospect Park Station. 102 died in a NYC BMT subway
derailment at Malbone Street, Brooklyn.
1918 Dec 19, Robert Ripley
(1890-1949) began his "Champs and Chumps" cartoon series in the NY
Globe. By 1929 the sports series turned into “Ripley’s Believe It or
1918 Dec 20, Eugene O'Neill's
"Moon of the Caribees" premiered in NYC.
1918 Gilda Gray inspired a
dance craze after she performed "The Shimmy" to W.C. Handy's Saint
Louis Blues in a Broadway show.
(ON, 1/03, p.9)
1918 Charley Chapin
(1858-1930), city editor for the Pulitzer's NYC Evening World, faced
financial ruin after living beyond his means. He contemplated
murder-suicide and killed his wife, but lost his nerve and turned
himself in. He was sent to Sing Sing prison where he cultivated
roses. In 1920 he wrote an autobiography.
(WSJ, 3/904, p.D8)
1919 Feb 1, "There she is..."
The first Miss America was crowned on this day, not in Atlantic
City, but in New York City. Edith Hyde was not, the judges found, a
Miss. She was a Mrs. Mrs. Tod Robbins—the mother of two children.
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1919 Feb 5, Aaron Chwatt
(d.2006) was born in NYC. He later established himself as a Borscht
Circuit comic and became known as Red Buttons, comic film and TV
(SFC, 7/14/06, p.B9)
1919 Jun 11, Eamon de Valera,
Sinn Fein leader, arrived in NYC where he lived until 1921 raising
funds for the nationalist cause in Ireland.
(ON, 9/04, p.7)
1919 Jun 26, The New York Daily
News, America's first tabloid, was first published.
(AP, 6/26/99)(SFC, 12/27/99, p.E3)
1919 Oct 7, Fritz Kreisler's
and F. Jacobi's "Apple Blossoms," premiered in NYC.
1919 Oct 23, Sigmund Romberg's
musical "Passing Show," premiered in NYC.
1919 Nov 18, H. Tierney's and
J. McCarthy's musical "Irene," premiered in NYC.
1919 Dec 2, Henry Clay
Frick (b.1849), coal and steel magnate, died in NYC. He partnered
with Andrew Carnegie and built of the largest coke & steel
operation of the time. In 1998 Martha Frick and Symington Sanger
authored “Henry Clay Frick." In 2005 Les Standiford authored “Meet
You In Hell," an account of the rivalry between Frick and Andrew
p.W8)(WSJ, 8/4/07, p.P9)
1919 Dec 8-31, The first round
trip transcontinental flight was made from NYC to SF and back.
(SFEC, 4/25/99, Z1 p.4)
1919 Dec 19, The Thimble
Theatre cartoon strip, by Elzie Segar (1894-1938) of Chesater, Ill.,
made its debut in the New York Journal and featured the characters
Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl, and Ham Gravy, who were the comic's leads for
about a decade. He added Popeye in 1929.
1919 A.P. Giannini of SF formed
the East National Bank in NYC.
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.B1)
1920 Jan 3, The Red Sox sold
Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000, twice the amount of any
previous player transaction. The deal also included a $300,000 loan
secured by a mortgage on Fenway Park, a contractual clause that made
the Yankees owners the Red Sox's landlords.
1920 Jan 13, A NY Times
editorial excoriated Dr. Robert H. Goddard, and reported that
rockets can never fly. In 1969 the NY Times belatedly apologized.
(WSJ, 8/7/03, p.A1)
1920 Apr 3, F. Scott Fitzgerald
and Zelda Sayre were married at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York
1920 Aug 23, M.R. Rinehart and
A. Hopwood's "Bat," premiered in NYC.
1920 Sep 8, New York-to-San
Francisco air mail service was inaugurated. US postal planes began
flying across the country, but these flights took place only in
daylight because pilots relied on visual landmarks to navigate.
1920 Sep 16, A bomb exploded in
front of the Morgan building at 23 Wall St. in NYC at noon on a busy
Thursday. 30 people were immediately killed and 8 soon died from
their wounds. A 16-foot stretch of the Tennessee-marble façade with
pockmarks of the blast was retained as a memorial.
Investigators believed the bombing was carried out by Galleanists
(Italian anarchists), a group responsible for a series of bombings
the previous year. Ron Chernow described the incident in his book
"The House of Morgan." No one was charged but Prof. Paul Avrich, in
his book "Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background," later held
that Mario Buda, an Italian immigrant, was the culprit.
p.B1)(SFC, 9/22/01, p.A3)(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.E4)(WSJ, 8/18/07, p.P8)
1920 Oct 1, Walter Matthau
(d.2000), actor, was born as Walter Matuchanskayasky in NYC to
(SFC, 7/3/00, p.C2)
1920 Oct 12, Construction began
on Holland Tunnel connecting NJ and NYC.
1920 Nov 1, Eugene O'Neill's
"Emperor Jones," premiered in NYC.
1920 Nov 10, George Bernard
Shaw's "Heartbreak House," premiered in NYC.
1920 Dec 24, Enrico Caruso gave
his last public performance, singing in Jacques Halevy's "La Juive"
at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
1920 NYC extended its subway
from Manhattan to Coney Island.
(SFEC, 7/26/98, Z1 p.8)
1920-1925 Izzy Einstein and Moe Smith served as
Prohibition agents in New York City for five years, often resorting
to zany measures to put the pinch on speak-easy owners. From 1920 to
1932, the manufacture and sale of liquor was illegal in the United
States, but the clandestine traffic of liquor was plentiful. The job
of enforcing the law fell on 1,550 "Feds." Izzy and Moe, with their
imagination and good humor, managed to take the credit for 20
percent of all Prohibition cases that came to trial in New York
City. While their ruses and disguises earned them much success and
notoriety, they also led to them being fired in 1925.
1920-1990s In NYC 5 mob organizations dominated
the Mafia. The Lucchese Cosa Nostra was founded by Gaetano Lucchese.
In 1998 Ernest Volkman published "Gangbusters: The Destruction of
America’s Last Great Mafia Dynasty."
(SFEC, 8/9/98, BR 9 p.4)
1921 Feb 2, Airmail service
opened between New York and San Francisco.
1921 Feb 5, The New York Yankee
owners released plans for a new Yankee Stadium. Huston and Ruppert
had purchased a lumberyard site in the Bronx from William Waldorf
Astor for $600,000.
1921 Feb 14, The Literary
Review faced obscenity charges in NY for publishing "Ulysses" by
1921 Feb 22, An air mail plane
left San Francisco at 4:30 a.m., landing at New York (Hazelhurst
Field, L. I., N. Y.) at 4:50 p.m. on February 23.
1921 Mar 31, Albert Einstein
lectured in NY on his new theory of relativity. [see Apr 2]
1921 Apr 2, Prof. Albert
Einstein lectured in NYC on his new theory of relativity. [see Mar
1921 Apr 10, Chuck Connors,
actor (Rifleman, Branded, Cowboy in Africa), was born in Brooklyn,
NY. He later auditioned for the Chicago Cubs with Fidel Castro and
played for them for a while.
1921 May 29, Clifton James,
actor (Buster & Billie, David & Lisa), was born in NYC.
1921 Oct 5, The World Series
was broadcast on radio for the first time. By series' end, the NY
Giants had beaten the NY Yankees five games to three in the
1921 Oct 25, Bat Masterson
(b.1853) died in NYC.
1921 Nov 2, Eugene O'Neill's
"Anna Christie," premiered in NYC.
1921 Nov 3, Milk drivers on
strike dumped thousands of gallons of milk on New York City streets.
1921 Frankart Inc. began
business in NYC and continued to the 1940s. The company made
mass-produced lamps, ashtrays, bookends and vases.
(SFC, 1/14/09, p.G2)
1922 Jan 27, Elizabeth Cochran
(1864-1922), renowned American journalist who had written under the
pen name of Nellie Bly, died in NYC.
1922 Feb 7, John Willard's "Cat
& the Canary," premiered in NYC.
1922 Feb 27, G.B. Shaw's "Back
to Methuselah I/II" premiered in NYC.
1922 Mar 9, Eugene O'Neill's
"Hairy Ape," premiered in NYC.
1922 Mar 13, George Bernard
Shaw’s "Back to Methusaleh V," premiered in NYC.
1922 Mar 20, Carl Reiner,
comedian (2000 Year Old Man, Dick Van Dyke Show), was born in the
1922 Apr 4, Elmer Bernstein,
movie music composer (Robot Monster), was born in NYC.
1922 May 5, Construction began
on Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
1922 Jul 15, 1st duck-billed
platypus was publicly exhibited in US at a NY zoo.
1922 Jul 18, A fire began at
the Manufacturers Transit Company’s 7-storey warehouse on Jane St.
in Greenwich Village, NYC. Explosions erupted and newspapers called
it “the Greenwich Village Volcano." 2 firemen were killed. A final
eruption destroyed 2 houses on Jul 23. Assistant fire chief
“Smokey Joe" Martin (d.1945) directed the fire fighting efforts.
(ON, 4/03, p.8)
1922 Aug 2, Carroll O'Connor,
actor (All in the Family, Heat of the Night), was born in NYC.
1922 Aug 28, The first-ever
radio commercial aired on station WEAF in New York City (the
10-minute advertisement was for the Queensboro Realty Company, which
had paid a fee of $100).
(HFA, '96, p.36)(AP, 8/28/97)
1922 Sep 1, A NYC law required
all "pool" rooms to change their name to "billiards."
1922 Oct 14, The 1st automated
telephones began service at the Pennsylvania exchange in NYC.
1922 Oct 22, Parsifal Place was
laid out in Bronx. It was named after a knight in Wagner's Opera.
1922 Oct 31, Karel & Josef
Capek's "World We Live In," premiered in NYC.
1922 Nov 13, Black Renaissance
began in Harlem, NY.
1922 Nov 13, George Cohan's
musical "Little Nellie Kelly," premiered in NYC.
1922 Nov 28, Capt. Cyril Turner
of the Royal Air Force gave the first public skywriting exhibition,
spelling out, "Hello U-S-A. Call Vanderbilt 7200" over New York's
Times Square. 47,000 called.
(DT internet 11/28/97)
1922 Dec 21, Paul Winchell,
ventriloquist (Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smith), was born in NYC.
1922 Walter Berndt premiered
his comic strip "Smitty" in the New York Daily News. It was about an
office boy and his annoying kid brother named Herby, who made his
own debut in 1930.
(SFC, 7/8/98, Z1 p.3)
1922 The play "Abies' Irish
Rose" began in New York City and ran for 2,327 performances over the
next 5 years.
(SFC, 12/28/99, p.C4)
1922 The New York Philharmonic
made its first radio broadcast from the old Lewisohn Stadium in
(WSJ, 11/13/97, p.A20)
1922 The New York Giants
defeated the NY Yankees for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1922 The New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE) expanded its first building at 10 Broad St. to
include 11 Wall St.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.D2)
1922 Samuel I. Newhouse
(1895-1979) bought the financially troubled Staten Island Advance
newspaper. The Newhouse family expanded the operations into a major
communications conglomerate. As of October 2014, it was ranked as
the 44th largest privately held company in the United States
according to Forbes.
1923 Mar 5, Laurence Tisch
(d.2003) was born in Brooklyn. In 1946 his parents entrusted him
with $125,000 to invest. He and his brother grew it to billions
through their Loews conglomerate.
(SSFC, 11/16/03, p.A29)
1923 Mar 13, Lee de Forest
demonstrated his sound-on-film moving pictures in NYC.
1923 Mar 14, Diane Arbus
[Nemerov] (d.1971), photographer, innovator (Vogue and Harper's
Bazaar), was born in NYC. In 1984 Patricia Bosworth authored: "Diane
Arbus: A Biography."
1923 Mar 31, The first U.S.
dance marathon, held in New York City, ended. Alma Cummings (32) set
a world record of 27 hours on her feet. 6 younger male partners
(AP, 3/31/98)(WSJ, 6/1/05, p.B1)
1923 Apr 7, The Workers Party
of America in NYC became an official communist party.
1923 Apr 7, The 1st brain tumor
operation under local anesthetic was performed at Beth Israel
Hospital in NYC by Dr K. Winfield Ney.
1923 Apr 15, American inventor
Lee De Forest (1873-1961) premiered 18 short films made in Phonofilm
at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. Phonofilm recorded sound
directly onto film.
1923 Apr 18, The first baseball
game was played in Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth hit a three-run homer
as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-1. The stadium was called the
House that Ruth built. In 2011 Robert Weintraub authored “The House
That Ruth Built: A New Stadium, the first Yankees Championship, and
the Redemption of 1923."
(AP, 4/18/98)(WSJ, 10/12/99, p.A24)(Econ, 5/7/11,
1923 Jun 12, Harry Houdini
freed himself from a straight jacket while suspended upside down, 40
feet (12 m) above ground in NYC.
1923 Jun 23, Air mail service
between SF and NYC was boosted with 50 new Douglas airplanes.
(SFC, 6/22/01, WBb p.8)
1923 Sep 11, ZR-1 (biggest
active dirigible) flew over NY's tallest skyscraper, Woolworth
1923 Sep 28, William Windom,
actor (Farmer's Daughter, Murder She Wrote), was born in NYC.
1923 Oct 29, "Runnin' Wild,"
which introduced the Charleston dance, opened on Broadway.
1923 Dec 2, Maria M. Callas
(d.1977), opera singer (Norma, Traviata, Medea, Lucia, Tosca), was
born in NYC.
1923 Dec 28, George Bernard
Shaw's "St. Joan," premiered in NYC.
1923 The Webster Apartments
opened in NYC as a residence for single, working women only.
(WSJ, 8/31/04, p.A1)
1923 The New York Yankees
defeated the NY Giants in the World Series 4 games to 2.
(SFC, 10/16/99, p.C1)
1924 Feb 12, George Gershwin’s
groundbreaking symphonic jazz composition "Rhapsody in Blue"
premiered at Carnegie Hall with Gershwin himself playing the piano
with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra.
(AP, 2/12/98)(HN, 2/12/01)(MC, 2/12/02)
1924 May 16, Frank F.
Mankiewicz, columnist (Perfectly Clear), was born in NYC.
1924 May 30, The Rivoli Theater
in Manhattan opened with a new air-conditioning system developed by
Willis Carrier. This followed 3 successful installation in Texas.
(ON, 8/07, p.11)
1924 Jun 24, The Democrats
began their convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden. They
were lured there by newspaper mogul Herbert Bayard Swope’s
fundraising offer of $205,000. US Democrats offered Mrs. Lena Jones
Springs (d.1942) for vice presidential nomination, the first woman
considered for the job, for her party work in South Carolina.
(HN, 6/27/98)(SFC, 1/31/07, p.G6)
1924 Jun 24, The US political
conventions were first broadcast nationally by radio. The democrats
settled on John W. Davis after 103 ballots. He was then defeated
soundly by Calvin Coolidge.
(WSJ, 7/22/96, p.A12)(WSJ, 8/9/96, p.A11)
1924 Jul 1, A regular
transcontinental airmail service formed between NYC and SF.
1924 Jul 25, Estelle Getty,
actress (Sophia Petrillo-Golden Girls), was born in NYC.
1924 Aug 5, The comic strip
"Little Orphan Annie" by Harold Gray (d.1968) made its debut in the
NY Daily News. Daddy Warbucks was her millionaire guardian. Leonard
Starr took over the strip in 1979. Her image was updated in 2000 by
cartoonist Andrew Pepoy. [see Oct 5]
(AP, 8/5/97)(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.C12)(SFC, 6/12/00,
1924 Sep 2, The Rudolf Friml
operetta "Rose Marie" opened on Broadway and ran for 558
performances. Producer Arthur Hammerstein ordered that it be written
for singer Mary Ellis (1897-2003).
(AP, 9/2/99)(SFC, 2/3/03, p.B4)
1924 Sep 3, L. Stallings &
M. Anderson's "What Price Glory?," premiered in NYC.
1924 Oct 5, 1st Little Orphan
Annie strip appeared in NYC Daily News. [see Aug 5, 1924]
1924 Nov 27, The 1st Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in New York's Herald Square.
(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.C12)(
1924 Nov 30, Shirley Chisholm
(d.2004), first African-American congresswoman (1968), was born as
Shirley St. Hill in NYC.
(SFC, 1/3/05, p.A3)
1924 Dec 1, George and Ira
Gershwin's musical "Lady Be Good," premiered in NYC.
1924 Dec 12, Edward I Koch,
Mayor-D-NYC, 1977-89, judge on TV’s People's Court, was born in NYC.
1924 Dec 29, Milton Berle
(d.2002), comedian, at 16 made his debut at Loew’s State Theater in
Times Square for $600 per week.
(SFC, 3/28/02, p.A15)
1924-1968 Robert Moses (1888-1981), master
builder, shaped New York City during this period.
(WSJ, 5/1/02, p.D7)(SSFC, 5/5/02,
1925 Feb 8, Kaufman's &
Berlin's "Cocoanuts," premiered in NYC.
1925 Feb 21, The first issue of
the New Yorker magazine, founded by Harold Ross, hit the newsstands,
selling for 15 cents a copy. Raoul Fleischmann provided the
financial backing. The top hatted character Eustace Tilley appeared
on the cover of the first issue and every anniversary issue. In 1999
Mary F. Corey published "The World Through a Monocle: The New Yorker
at Midcentury." In 2000 Ben Yagoda authored "About Town: The New
Yorker and the World It Made." In 2000 Ranata Adler authored "Gone:
The Last Days of the New Yorker."
(AP, 2/21/98)(SFEC, 6/27/99, BR p.4)(SFEC,
2/20/00, BR p.5)(SSFC, 6/20/04, p.M1)
1925 Jun 2, NY Yankee Lou
Gehrig began his 2,130 consecutive game streak.
1925 Jul 13, Will Rogers, an
Oklahoma cowboy, who had been standing in for W.C. Fields in the
"Ziegfeld Follies," impressed the critics.
1925 Dec 3, "Concerto in F," by
George Gershwin, had its world premiere at New York's Carnegie Hall,
with Gershwin himself at the piano.
1925 Dec 8, Sammy Davis Jr,
singer, dancer and actor (Ocean's 11, Candy Man), was born in NYC.
(SFC, 9/9/00, p.A21)(MC, 12/8/01)
1925 Dec 28, George and Ira
Gershwin's musical "Tip-Toes," premiered in NYC.
1925 Georgia O’Keeffe created
her painting "New York Street With Moon."
(WSJ, 1/02/00, p.A20)
1925 A.P. Giannini of SF bought
the Bowery National Bank in NYC.
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.B1)
1925 Izzy Einstein and Moe
Smith served as Prohibition agents in New York City for five years,
often resorting to zany measures to put the pinch on speak-easy
owners. From 1920 to 1932, the manufacture and sale of liquor was
illegal in the United States, but the clandestine traffic of liquor
was plentiful. The job of enforcing the law fell on 1,550 "Feds."
Izzy and Moe, with their imagination and good humor, managed to take
the credit for 20 percent of all Prohibition cases that came to
trial in New York City. While their ruses and disguises earned them
much success and notoriety, they also led to them being fired in
1925 Aaron Streit, an Austrian
immigrant, founded Streit’s kosher matzo factory in Manhattan’s
lower East Side.
(SSFC, 4/17/11, Par p.4)
1925 AT&T founded Bell Labs
as its research and development subsidiary at 463 West Street, New
York. By this year the company had achieved a virtual monopoly on
local telephone service. Frank B. Jewett was the first president of
Bell Labs and continued to 1940. In 2012 Jon Gertner authored “The
Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation."
1925-1929 Alfred Stieglitz operated the Intimate
(WSJ, 2/6/00, p.A16)
1926 Feb 1, Land at Broadway
& Wall Street sold at a record $7 per sq. inch.
1926 Feb 26, Dark Street in the
Bronx was renamed Lustre Street.
1926 Mar 7, The first
successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversation took place,
between New York City and London.
1926 Apr 16, The new Book of
the Month Club sent out its 1st selection: "Lolly Willows or
The Loving Huntsman" by Sylvia Townsend Warner. It went to nearly
5,000 members who had joined the Club, which had just been
established in New York City.
1926 Jul 21, Washington
Roebling (b.1937), the man who supervised the building the Brooklyn
Bridge after it was begun by his father, died in Trenton, NJ.
(Econ 7/1/17, p.76)
1926 Aug 3, Tony Bennett,
singer, was born in Queens, NY.
1926 Aug 6, Warner Bros.
premiered its "Vitaphone" sound-on-disc movie system in New York
with a showing of "Don Juan" featuring music and sound effects.
1926 Aug 23, Silent film star
Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31. World-wide hysteria
and a number of suicides followed his death.
(AP, 8/23/97)(HN, 8/23/98)
1926 Oct 3, The NY Yankees
defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st game of this years’
baseball World Series.
(SFC, 9/28/01, WB p.6)
1926 Nov 8, George Gershwin's
musical "Oh, Kay," premiered in NYC.
1926 Nov 23, Noel Coward's
"This Was a Man," premiered in NYC.
1926 Nov 29, W. Somerset
Maugham's "Constant Wife" premiered in NYC.
1926 Mae West opened her "Sex"
comedy-drama show on Broadway. Police closed it down after 41 weeks
and West was arrested along with the 17-member cast. West served 8
days in jail.
(SFC, 6/24/02, p.D2)
1927 Mar 1, Harry Belafonte,
calypso singer (Buck and the Preacher), was born in Harlem, NYC.
1927 Mar 2, Babe Ruth signed a
3-year contract with the New York Yankees for a guarantee of $70,000
a year, thus becoming baseball's highest paid player.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1927 Mar 31, William Daniels,
actor (Dr Mark Craig-St Elsewhere, 1776), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1927 Apr 7, Secretary of
Commerce Herbert Hoover was on hand for the first inter-city (DC to
Manhattan) transmission by telephone of video imagery. Hoover’s
image and voice were transmitted across telephone lines.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1927_in_television)(AH, 4/07, p.14)
1927 Apr 21, Robert Brustein,
dean, Yale School of Drama, was born in NYC.
1927 May 25, Robert Ludlum, spy
novelist (Bourne Identity), was born in NYC.
1927 Jun 8, Jerry Stiller,
comedian (Frank Constanza-Seinfeld), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1927 Jun 13, Aviation hero
Charles Lindbergh was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York
1927 Jul 10, David Dinkins,
first African-American mayor of New York City, was born.
1927 Jul 29, Bellevue Hospital
in NY installed the 1st iron lung.
1927 Aug 21, The 4th
Pan-African Congress met in NYC.
1927 Sep 12, Sigmund Romberg's
musical "My Maryland," premiered in NYC.
1927 Sep 20, NY Yankee Babe
Ruth hit his record 60th HR of season off Tom Zachry. [see Sep 30]
1927 Sep 30, Babe Ruth hit his
60th homerun of the season off Tom Zachary in Yankee Stadium, New
York City, to break his own major-league record. [see Sep 20]
(AP, 9/30/97)(HN, 9/30/98)
1927 Nov 3, Rodgers' &
Hart's musical "Connecticut Yankee," premiered in NYC.
1927 Nov 12, New York’s
underwater Holland Tunnel officially opened. It connected NY to New
Jersey. [see Nov 13]
(HN, 11/12/98)(MC, 11/12/01)
1927 Nov 13, The Holland Tunnel
opened to the public, linking New York City and New Jersey beneath
the Hudson River. [see Nov 12]
(TMC, 1994, p.1927)(AP, 11/13/97)
1927 Nov 22, George Gershwin's
"Funny Face," premiered in NYC.
1927 Dec 4, Duke Ellington
opened at the Cotton Club in Harlem.
1927 Dec 27, The musical play
"Show Boat," with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar
Hammerstein the Second, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York.
(WSJ, 2/27/97, p.A15)(SFC, 5/15/97, p.E4)(AP,
1927 Dec 28, George Kaufman and
Moss Hart's "Royal Family," premiered in NYC.
1927 The Mae West play "Sex"
caused a scandal. Her "Sex" comedy-drama show on Broadway in 1926
and Police closed it down after 41 weeks. West was arrested along
with the 17-member cast and served 8 days in jail.
(SSFC, 4/15/01, DB p.35)(SFC, 6/24/02, p.D2)
1927 Herbert Asbury wrote "The
Gangs of New York." The book established the Five Points district as
the mythic slum.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.46)(SFC, 7/29/98, p.A19)
1927 The Cranford Rose Garden
was established in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a $15,000
donation from engineer Walter V. Cranford. His firm built many of
Brooklyn’s subway tunnels.
(WSJ, 6/21/06, p.D10)
1928 Jan 7, William Peter
Blatty, author and director (The Exorcist), was born in NYC.
1928 Jan 9, Judith Krantz,
author (Scruples, Princess Daisy, Dazzle), was born in NYC.
1928 Jan 9, Eugene O'Neill's
"Marco Millions," premiered in NYC.
1928 Jan 13, The first
television station appeared in NYC.
(SSFC, 9/6/15, p.F3)
1928 Jan 20, Martin Landau,
actor (Mission Impossible, Tucker, Space 1999), was born in
1928 Feb 24, In its first show
to feature a Black artist, the New Gallery of New York exhibited
works of Archibald Motley.
1928 Mar 13, Rudolph Friml's
musical "Three Musketeers," premiered in NYC.
1928 Apr 9, Mae West's NYC
debut in a daring new play "Diamond Lil."
1928 May 10, WGY-TV in
Schenectady, New York, began regular television programming.
1928 Jun 17, Fox Movietone News
covered the first night of a NY dance marathon at the Manhattan
Casino and took a close-up of the feet of "Shorty" George Snowden.
When asked "What are you doing with your feet," Shorty replied, "The
Lindy." The Lindy Hop was born in black communities in Harlem, New
York in the United States from about 1927 into the early 1930s from
four possible sources: the breakaway, the Charleston, the Texas
Tommy, and the hop. Four couples remained when the dance marathon
was forced by the Health Commissioner to end after 16 days, on July
3. The eight finalists were awarded an equal portion of the $1000
prize at the Savoy Ballroom on Friday, July 6, 1928.
1928 Aug 9, Bob Cousey, Hall of
Fame basketball player and coach of the Boston Celtics, was born in
1928 Aug 14, The "Front Page"
of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur premiered in NYC.
1928 Aug 27, 16 people died in
NYC’s 2nd worst subway accident.
1928 Sep 20, Joyce Brothers,
pop psychiatrist ($64,000 question winner), was born in NYC.
1928 Nov 4, Arnold Rothstein
(46), US mobster, was shot to death at the Grand Hotel in NYC. In
2005 Nick Tosches authored “King of the Jews," a biography of
(SSFC, 6/12/05, p.B6)
1928 Nov 8, George and Ira
Gershwin's musical "Treasure Girl," premiered in NYC.
1928 Nov 18, Walt Disney’s
"Steamboat Willie," starring Mickey Mouse, premiered at the Colony
Theater in NYC. It was the first successful sound-synchronized
(TMC, 1994, p.1928)(AP, 11/18/97)
1928 Nov 26, Philip Barry's
"Holiday," premiered in NYC.
1928 Dec 13, George Gershwin's
musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie
Hall in New York. The debut was performed by the New York
Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Walter Damrosch.
(AP, 12/13/98)(MC, 12/13/01)
1928 Herbert Asbury authored
"The Gangs of New York." In 2002 it was made into a film.
(SFC, 12/30/02, p.D1)
1928 The NY Philharmonic merged
with the NY Symphony.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.A1)
1928 Gene Autry recorded "That
Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" written with Jimmy Long in NYC. The
success of the record won Autry a contract with Columbia Records and
a role in the weekly "National Barn Dance" radio show.
(SFC, 10/3/98, p.A14)
1928 John Ringling, circus
entrepreneur, purchased some 2,300 artifacts of the Cesnola
collection from the NYC Metropolitan Museum at an auction.
(AM, 7/97, p.70)
1928 A.P. Giannini of SF bought
the small Bank of America in NYC. He then wrapped his East Coast
Banks under the corporate parent Transamerica Corp. with New York
banker Elisha Walker as CEO.
(SFC, 4/14/98, p.B1)
1929 Jan 17, The first Popeye
character appeared in the Thimble Theater cartoon strip by Elzie
Segar (1894-1938) of Chesater, Ill.
1929 Jan 26, Jules Feiffer,
cartoonist (Passionella), author (Little Murders), was born in NYC.
1929 Aug 3, Bethel Leslie,
entertainer (Capt Newman MD, Rabbit Trap), was born in NYC.
1929 Aug 27, Ira Levin, author
(Rosemary Baby, Boys From Brazil, This Perfect Day), was born in
1929 Aug 29, John Jacob Raskob
(1879-1950), former General Motors executive, announced the
construction of the world’s tallest building, the Empire State
(ON, 12/08, p.10)
1929 Oct 1, In NYC demolition
began of the Waldorf-Astoria to make way for the new Empire State
(ON, 12/08, p.11)
1929 Oct 9, G. Kaufman's and R.
Lardner's musical "June Moon," premiered NYC.
1929 Oct 23, First
transcontinental air service began from New York to Los Angeles.
1929 Oct 24, Black Thursday,
the first day of the stock market crash, began the Great Depression.
Dow Jones was down 12.8%. Stock values collapsed and 13 million
shares changed hands as small investors frantically tried to sell
off their holdings. Thousands of confused investors and brokers were
ruined and banks, which had also invested heavily in the market,
failed when they could not produce enough cash on demand for angry
depositors. The 3 cent Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported the crash along
with a story on the trial of a former banking superintendent for
taking a $10,000 bribe for not inspecting some insolvent banks.
(HN, 10/24/98)(HNPD, 10/29/98)(SFEC, 7/11/99,
p.D9)(AH, 10/04, p.15)
1929 Oct 29, The DJIA dropped
11.7%. "Black Tuesday" was the worst day of the market crash as
panicked survivors dumped 16 million shares on the market. Clerical
workers stayed up all night to find that $30 billion in paper value
had been wiped out in one day. Prices collapsed amid panic selling
and thousands of investors were wiped out as America's Great
Depression began. On Wall street prices plunged $14 million. By mid-
November $30 billion of the $80 billion worth of stocks listed in
September were been wiped out. Stocks continued to slide until 1932,
but the fear caused by the crash made Americans unwilling to buy or
invest and the economy slowly worsened into the Great Depression. In
1994 daily trades average 200-300 million shares. In 1954 John
Kenneth Galbraith authored “The Great Crash." In 2001 Maury Klein
authored "Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929."
(SFC,10/17/97, p.B2)(HNPD, 10/29/98)(HN,
10/29/98)(WSJ, 10/26/01, p.A20)(WSJ, 7/19/08, p.W6)
1929 Nov 7, The Museum of
Modern Art in New York City opened to the public.
(AP, 11/7/97)(WSJ, 3/24/98, p.A20)
1929 Nov 12, In NYC the cap was
put on the framework of George Ohrstrom’s building at 40 Wall
Street, establishing its height at 925 feet.
(ON, 12/08, p.11)
1929 Nov 16, In NYC the Daily
Building Report announced that the final height of the new Chrysler
Building would be 1,046 feet.
(ON, 12/08, p.11)
1929 Dec 5, The 1st US nudist
organization, American League for Physical Culture, was began in
1929 Dec 11, John Jacob Raskob
(1879-1950), former General Motors executive, announced a 102-story
design for his Empire State Building.
1929 Dec 24, Mary Higgins
Clark, author (Cry in the Night, Stillwatch), was born in Bronx, NY.
1929 Dec 30, Cole Porter's
musical "Wake Up & Dream," premiered in NYC.
1929 The 37-story Daily News
building, designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, opened on
42nd Street in Manhattan. It became a model for the fictional Daily
Planet in Superman movies. The NY Daily News vacated the building in
(WSJ, 8/29/07, p.B6)
1929 The Eisenberg Sandwich
Shop opened in NYC.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1929-1946 Alfred Stieglitz operated his art
gallery: An American Place.
(WSJ, 2/6/00, p.A16)
1929-1939 Berenice Abbott spent ten years
photographing New York City as it changed. She received funding from
the WPA from 1935 to 1939 and selected 305 photos for the New Deal
project. The complete work was compiled by Bonnie Yochelson and
published in 1997: "Berenice Abbott" Changing New York."
(WSJ, 12/4/97, p.A20)
1930 Jan 20, Charles Lindbergh
arrived in New York, setting a cross country flying record of 14.75
1930 Jan 22, In NYC
construction began on the Empire State Building. The building opened
on April 1, 1931, a month ahead of schedule.
(ON, 12/08, p.12)
1930 Jan 25, New York police
routed a Communist rally at the Town Hall.
1930 Feb 18, Richard Rodgers'
& Lorenz Hart's "Simple Simon," premiered in NYC.
1930 Feb 19, John Frankenheimer
(d.2002), Hollywood film director (Birdman of Alcatraz, The Train),
was born in NYC.
(SSFC, 7/7/02, p.A23)(MC, 2/19/02)
1930 Feb 21, Marc Connelly's
"Green Pastures," premiered in NYC.
1930 Feb 26, "The Green
Pastures" opened at Mansfield Theater.
1930 Feb 26, Manhattan, NYC,
installed the 1st red and green traffic lights.
1930 Mar 3, Bert Lahr ("The
Wizard of Oz") and Kate "God Bless America" Smith starred as "Flying
High" opened at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. The show had a
run of 45 weeks at what is now the most famous black entertainment
theatre in America.
(HC, Internet, 3/3/98)
1930 Apr 8, John Reardon,
baritone (Falke-Die Fledermaus), was born in NYC.
1930 Apr 14, Philip Barry's
"Hotel Universe," premiered in NYC.
1930 May 4, Roberta Peters,
operatic soprano (NY Met), was born in NYC.
1930 May 11, Stanley Elkin,
author (George Mills), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
(HN, 5/11/02)(MC, 5/11/02)
1930 Jun 7, NY Times agrees to
capitalize the n in "Negro."
1930 Jul 13, David Sarnoff
reported in NY Times that "TV would be a theater in every home."
1930 Aug 3, James Komack,
writer, director, actor (Courtship of Eddie's Father), was born in
1930 Aug 4, Michael Cullen
introduced King Kullen in Queens, NYC, the 1st US supermarket.
(SFC, 8/4/05, p.C1)
1930 Aug 6, In NYC state
Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater (b.1889) dined at a West
45th Street steakhouse with a group of friends that included a
showgirl. Crater had earlier withdrawn $5,150 from a pair of bank
accounts. He was last seen at 9:15 p.m., climbing into the cab.
Crater had been recently appointed by Gov. Franklin Roosevelt to the
NY Supreme Court. In 2004 Richard J. Tofel authored “Vanishing
Point," an account of Tammany Hall and Crater’s disappearance. The
1947 film “The Judge Steps Out," starring Alexander Knox, was
inspired by the case. Evidence in 2005 suggested that several men
killed the judge and buried him under the Coney Island Boardwalk in
Brooklyn. [see Sep 1]
1930 Sep 1, NY World reported
the disappearance of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater. He was
last seen leaving a restaurant on August 6, 1930 and entering a
taxi. Crater was officially declared dead “in abstentia" in 1939,
and his case, Missing Persons File No 13595, was officially closed
1930 Sep 8, NYC public schools
began teaching Hebrew.
1930 Sep 24, G. Kaufman &
M. Hart's "Once in a Lifetime," premiered in NY.
1930 Oct 14, Singer Ethel
Merman stuns the audience when she held a high C for sixteen bars
while singing "I Got Rhythm" during her Broadway debut in Gershwin's
1930 Oct 17, Jimmy Breslin,
columnist and novelist (NY Post, News, Newsday), was born in Queens,
(HN, 10/17/00)(MC, 10/17/01)
1930 Nov 17, Musical "Sweet
& Low" with Fanny Brice premiered in NYC.
1930 Nov 18, The musical
"Smiles" with Bob Hope and Fred Astaire premiered in NYC.
1930 Dec 8, Cole Porter's
musical "NYCers," premiered in NYC.
1930 Dec 9, Buck Henry,
screenwriter and comedian (SNL, Get Smart), was born in NYC.
1930 The Chrysler Building,
designed by William van Alen, was completed.
(SFC, 7/7/98, p.B3)(WSJ, 5/6/99, p.A24)
1930 The McGraw-Hill Building
on 42nd St., designed by Raymond Hood, was completed.
(WSJ, 5/6/99, p.A24)
1930 The last farm in NYC, at
Broadway and 213th Street, disappeared.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1930s Abraham Bluestein
(d.1997), editor, reporter and self-proclaimed anarchist, edited the
Vanguard and The Challenger.
1931 Jan 6, Edgar Laurence
Doctorow (E.L. Doctorow), novelist (World's Fair, Ragtime), was born
1931 Feb 7, US opera, "Peter
Ibbetson," by Deems Taylor premiered at Met Opera NYC.
1931 Feb 14, Vic Morrow, actor
(Combat, Roots, Twilight Zone the Movie), was born in Bronx, NY.
1931 Apr 1, In NYC the Empire
State Building opened a month ahead of schedule. A dirigible mast
established the height at 1,250 feet above street level.
(ON, 12/08, p.12)
1931 Apr 26, New York Yankee
Lou Gehrig hit a home run but was called out for passing a runner,
the mistake ultimately cost him the home run crown.
1931 May 1, New York City's
102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. A 3,000 man
construction crew completed the building in one year and 45 days. It
was designed by the firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon and financed by
John J. Raskob, a former GM executive.
(SFC, 2/24/96, p.A13)(AP, 5/1/97)(HT, 5/97,
1931 Jun 23, Wiley Post and
Harold Gatty flew in a single-engine plane, the Winnie Mae, from New
York on a round-the-world flight and returned to New York on July 1
after 8 days, 15 hrs, and 51 min., a new world record.
(AP, 6/23/97)(ON, 12/03, p.10)(NPub, 2002, p.12)
1931 Jul 11, Tab Hunter, actor,
was born in NYC, the son of Charles Kelm and Gertrude Gelien. In
2005 he authored “Tab Hunter Confidential," co-written with Eddie
(www.filmbug.com/db/279434)(SFC, 11/7/05, p.C3)
1931 Aug 21, Babe Ruth hit his
600th HR as the Yanks beat Browns 11-7.
1931 Sep 17, The 1st LP record
was demonstrated by RCA Victor in NYC. The venture failed.
1931 Oct 3, The comic strip
Dick Tracy first appeared in the New York News. [see Oct 4]
1931 Oct 4, The comic strip
"Dick Tracy," created by Chester Gould, made its debut. [see Oct 3]
1931 Oct 24, The George
Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was
officially dedicated. It opened to traffic the next day. A
second lower deck was added in 1962.
1931 Oct 25, The George
Washington Bridge, linking New York City and New Jersey, opened to
traffic. It was completed at a cost of $59 million and 12 lives. The
US Post Office featured a commemorative stamp. It was described as
the most beautiful bridge in the world.
1931 Oct 26, Eugene O'Neill's
"Mourning Becomes Electra," premiered in NYC. He adopted the
Aeschylus "Oresteia" trilogy to a New England family, the Mannons,
in the days just after the American Civil War. The three parts were
called "Homecoming," "The Hunted" and "The Haunted."
(WSJ, 5/16/97, p.A16)(SFEC, 5/30/99, DB p.37)(MC,
1931 Dec 25, New York's
Metropolitan Opera broadcast an entire opera over radio for the
first time: "Hansel und Gretel" by Engelbert Humperdinck.
1931 Dec 26, The Pulitzer
Prize-winning musical play "Of Thee I Sing" opened on Broadway.
1931 In NYC the new Waldorf
Astoria at 301 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan was completed. The
47-story, 190.5 m (625 ft) Art Deco landmark was designed by
architects Schultze and Weaver. In October 2014 it was announced
that the Anbang Insurance Group of China had purchased the Waldorf
Astoria for US$1.95 billion, making it the most expensive hotel ever
1931 Gertrude Vanderbilt
Whitney (d.1942) founded the Whitney Museum in her New York
Greenwich Village townhouse. In 2000 Flora Miller Biddle authored
"The Whitney Women and the Museum They Made."
(WSJ, 4/10/00, p.A44)
1931 Nicholas Murray Butler
(1862-1947), presidential advisor and president of Columbia Univ.
(1902-1945), won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the
Briand Kellogg Pact (1929), a treaty that denounced war as an
instrument of national policy. In 2006 Michael Rosenthal authored
“Nicholas Miraculous," a biography Butler.
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)(WSJ, 1/25/06, p.D10)
1931 A NYC gangland war ended
with the assassinations of warring gang leaders Salvatore Maranzano
and Joseph Masseria. Lucky Luciano took over the Masseria
organization and Joseph Bonanno (d.2002), age 26, took over the
Maranzano operations. Luciano organized a "Commision" to resolve
internal mob disputes.
(SSFC, 5/12/02, p.A23)
1931 NYC mobster Frank Costello
by this time was raking in $25 million from his 25,000 slot
(Econ, 7/10/10, SR p.10)
1931 Frederick August Otto
Schwartz (FAO Schwartz) moved to uptown NYC to its flagship Fifth
Avenue store. In 1986 it moved across the street.
(WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)
1932 Jan 12, Philip Barry's
"Animal Kingdom," premiered in NYC.
1932 Feb 17, Irving Berlin's
musical "Face the Music," premiered in NYC.
1932 Apr 2, Aviator Charles A.
Lindbergh and Dr. John F. Condon turned over $50,000 in ransom to an
unidentified man in a New York City cemetery in the Bronx, in
exchange for Lindbergh's kidnapped son. The infant, however, was not
returned, and was found dead the following month.
(AP, 4/2/97)(HN, 4/2/98)
1932 Apr 4, George Bernard
Shaw's "Too True to be Good," premiered in NYC.
1932 May 14, There was a "We
Want Beer!" parade in NY.
1932 Jun 15, Mario M. Cuomo,
(Gov-D-NY, 1982-94), was born in NYC.
1932 Jul 9, The Dow Jones
Industrial Average closed at 41.63, down 91% from its level exactly
3 years earlier. Trading volume for the day was 235,000 shares.
(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.W1)
1932 Sep 1, New York City Mayor
James "Gentleman Jimmy" Walker resigned following charges of graft
and corruption in his administration.
1932 Sep 9, The steamboat SS
Observation exploded in NYC East River and 71 were killed.
1932 Sep 10, The Independent
City Owned Rapid Transit Railroad (IND) opened in NYC.
1932 Oct 22, George Kaufman's
and Edna Ferber's "Dinner at 8," premiered in NYC.
1932 Oct 2, The NY Yankees won
the World Series against the Chicago Cubs in 4 games.
1932 Nov 22, Robert Vaughn,
actor (Napolean Solo- Man from UNCLE, Hamlet, Superman), was born in
1932 Nov 29, Cole Porter's
musical "Gay Divorcee," premiered in NYC.
1932 Dec 27, Radio City Music
Hall was opened in New York City. The new acoustics proved
unpopular. In 2002 Emily Thompson authored "The Soundscape of
Modernity," a look at the early era of modern acoustics.
(HFA, '96, p.44)(AP, 12/27/97)(WSJ, 4/24/02,
1932 Walter Duranty of the NY
Times won a Pulitzer Prize for his series on the Soviet Union. In
2003 a historian argued that the prize should be revoked due to
Duranty's deliberate failure to cover the forced famine in the
Ukraine that killed millions of people.
(SFC, 10/23/03, p.A3)
1933 Jan 8, Charles Osgood,
news anchor (CBS Weekend News), was born in NYC.
1933 Feb 10, The first singing
telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegram Company in New York.
1933 Mar 3, NYC premiere of
1933 Mar 4, The US Federal
Reserve refused to lend and shut its doors. NYC bankers had turned
to the Federal Reserve for funds as failing inland state banks
called in inter-bank deposits.
(Econ, 4/12/14, p.54)
1933 Mar 27, Some 55,000 people
staged a protest against Hitler in New York.
1933 May 20, Danny Aiello,
actor (Moonstruck, Do the Right Thing), was born in NYC.
1933 Jun 29, Roscoe "Fatty"
Arbuckle (46), US actor (Keystone comedies), died at the Park
Central Hotel in NYC.
6/29/08, DB p.58)
1933 Jul, The Friends of New
Germany (FONG) was established in NYC with assistance given by the
German consul in NYC. It took over the membership of two older
pro-Nazi organizations in the United States, the Free Society of
Teutonia and Gau-USA.
1933 Oct 2, Eugene O'Neill's
comedy "Ah, Wilderness," premiered in NYC.
1933 Dec 4, Jack Kirkland's
"Tobacco Road," premiered in NYC.
1933 Dec 17, In the first world
championship football game, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York
Giants, 23-21, at Wrigley Field.
1934 Jan 17, Shari Lewis,
ventriloquist, puppeteer (Lamb Chop), was born in Bronx, NY.
1934 Feb 16, Thousands of
Socialists battled Communists at a rally in New York’s Madison
1934 Feb 20, The opera "Four
Saints in Three Acts" by Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson premiered
and became the longest running opera in Broadway history. It was
centered on St. Teresa of Avila and St. Ignatius and ran to 4 acts
that included 30 saints. It has been called "a surrealist American
folk opera." In 1997 Anthony Tommasini wrote Virgil’s biography:
"Virgil Thompson: Composer on the Aisle." In 1999 Steven Watson
authored "Prepare for Saints: Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, and
the Mainstreaming of American Modernism.
(WSJ, 2/1/96, p.A-16)(WSJ, 7/16/96, p.A9)(BS,
5/3/98, p.13E)(WSJ, 3/10/99, p.A20)(SFEC, 3/28/99, BR p.2)(MC,
1934 Mar 17, Thousands of
blacks battled the police in New York in protest of the Scottsboro
1934 Mar 26, Alan Arkin, actor
(Catch 22, In-Laws, Simon, Wait Until Dark), was born in NYC.
1934 Aug 27, Arlen, Ira
Gershwin & Harburg musical premiered in NYC.
1934 Sep 9, G. Kaufman and M.
Hart's "Merrily We Roll Along," premiered in NYC.
1934 Sep 19, Bruno Hauptmann
was arrested in New York and charged with the kidnap-murder of the
1934 Sep 24, 2500 fans saw Babe
Ruth's farewell Yankee appearance at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees
lost to the Boston Red Sox, 5-0.
1934 Nov 20, Lillian Hellman's
"Children's Hour," premiered in NYC.
1934 Nov 21, The Cole Porter
musical “Anything Goes," starring Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney,
premiered at New York's Alvin Theatre.
(HN, 11/21/00)(AP, 11/21/04)
1934 Larry King, talk show
host, was born in Brooklyn as Lawrence Harvey Zeigler to
(WT-NWA, 7/01, p.43)
1934 Lena Horne (1917-2010)
made her Broadway debut in “Dance With Your Gods."
(SFC, 5/10/10, p.C4)
1934 John's Pizzeria on
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1934 The Tavern on the Green
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1934 John Astor lured Fernand
"Pete" Petiot to the St. Regis in NYC. Petiot had invented the
Bloody Mary (vodka and tomato juice) at Harry’s NY Bar in Paris in
the 1920s. The name was changed to the Red Snapper for a decade and
then back to Bloody Mary.
(SFC, 1/19/02, p.D4)
1935 Feb 26, New York Yankees
released Babe Ruth. He signed with Boston Braves.
1935 Mar 7, In an effort to
reduce street noise, the city of New York revoked the licenses of
all organ grinders .
1935 Mar 19, Renee Taylor,
actress (Jack Paar Show, Mary Hartman, Nanny), was born in NYC.
1935 Apr 8, Adolph Ochs
(b.1858), publisher of the New York Times, died.
1935 Jun 3, The French liner
Normandie set a record on its maiden voyage, arriving in New York
after crossing the Atlantic in just four days, 11 hours and 42
1935 Jul 2, Gilbert Kalish,
pianist, professor (SUNY Stony Brook), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1935 Jul 17, Diahann Carroll,
actress, was born in NYC, as Carol Diann Johnson.
1935 Jul 26, Bill Bailey
(1910-1995) and several seamen boarded the German passenger ship
Bremen in New York harbor and ripped the Nazi flag from its mast
before a crowd of some 5,000 people. The group battled 100
detectives, 150 uniformed police and 25 mounted police and members
of the ship’s crew to get to the flag.
1935 Sep 11, Charles Norris
(b.1868), former NYC chief medical examiner and forensic pioneer,
died. He and toxicologist Thomas A. Gonzales (1878-1956) were
instrumental in developing forensics as an extension of clinical
medicine in which information derived from study of the dead was
applied to benefit the living. Their combined efforts between 1918
and 1954 represent the epitome of the application of scientific
expertise to medicolegal investigation of deaths in America. In 2010
Deborah Blum authored “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth
of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York."
(http://tinyurl.com/yz82jfc)(SSFC, 3/21/10, p.F7)
1935 Oct 10, "Porgy and Bess"
debuted at the Alvin Theater on Broadway in New York City. George
Gershwin composed the music based on a 1925 novel by Dubose Heyward.
(SFEM, 10/5/97, p.4)(AP, 10/10/97)
1935 Oct 20, Jerry Ohrbach,
actor (Law & Order, Dirty Dancing), was born in Bronx, NYC.
1935 Nov 16, Richard Rodgers'
and Lorenz Hart's musical "Jumbo," premiered NYC.
1935 A NYC work crew shoveling
snow into a manhole discovered a large alligator inside and beat the
reptile to death.
(SSFC, 3/6/05, p.M5)
1935-1945 Arthur Fellig, a photographer known as
Weegee, roamed New York City and shot the underbelly of the city. A
1997 book: "Weegee’s World" shows his work.
(WSJ, 12/4/97, p.A20)
1936 Jan 28, Alan Alda,
[Alphonso D'Abruzzo], actor (Hawkeye Pierce-M*A*S*H), was born in
1936 Apr 11, Rodgers' &
Hammerstein's musical "On Your Toes," premiered in NYC.
1936 May 2, Michael Rabin,
violinist (In Memorium), was born in NYC.
1936 May 3, Joe DiMaggio made
his major-league debut as NY Yankee and got 3 hits.
1936 May 14, Bobby Darin
(d.1973), singer (Mack the Knife), was born in the Bronx as Walden
1936 May 27, Louis Gossett Jr.,
actor (Officer & Gentleman, Deep), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1936 May 29, Arlene McQuade,
actress (Rosalie-Goldbergs), was born in NYC.
1936 Jun 18, In NYC mobster
Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano (1897-1962) was found guilty on 62 counts of
compulsory prostitution. On July 18 Luciano was sentenced to 30 to
50 years in state prison. He was released and deported to Italy in
1936 Jul 9, David Joel Zinman,
composer, conductor (Balt Symphony-1983), was born in NYC.
1936 Jul 11, Triborough Bridge
linking Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens opened.
1936 Jul 25, The 115 acre
Orchard Beach opened in the Bronx.
1936 Nov 24, Noel Coward's
"Tonight at 8:30," premiered in NYC.
1936 Dec 22, Hector Elizondo,
actor (American Gigolo, Young Doctors in Love), was born in NYC.
1936 Aaron Douglas, a Harlem
Renaissance painter, created his work "Into Bondage."
(SFC, 1/16/98, p.D1)
1936 Joe DiMaggio (21) began
playing center field for the New York Yankees. He played with the
Yankees until his retirement in 1951.
(WSJ, 3/9/99, p.A1)(HNQ, 9/25/00)
1936 The New York Yankees
defeated the NY Giants for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1937 Apr 5, Colin Powell,
American Army general and assistant to the president, was born in
Bronx New York.
(HFA, '96, p.28)(HN, 5/5/97)
1937 Apr 8, Seymour Hersh,
award winning investigative reporter (NY Times), was born.
1937 Apr 28, The 1st animated
cartoon electric sign was displayed in NYC.
1937 May 12, George Carlin
(d.2002), comedian, was born in the Bronx.
1937 May 13, Judith Somogi,
conductor, was born in NYC.
1937 Jul 28, Peter Duchin,
pianist, bandleader (Peter Duchin Orch), was born in NYC.
1937 Nov 4, The Clifford Odets
play "Golden Boy" opened at the Belasco Theatre in NYC.
1937 Nov 23, John Steinbeck's
"Of Mice & Men," premiered in NYC.
1937 Dec 21, Jane Fonda,
actress (Barbarella, Klute), physical fitness fanatic, Vietnam
Protestor, was born in NYC.
1937 Dec 22, The NYC Lincoln
Tunnel opened to traffic.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)(MC, 12/22/01)
1937 Dec 29, Mary Tyler Moore,
actress (Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People), was born in Brooklyn.
1937 The New York Yankees
defeated the NY Giants for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1937 NYC handed out 11,787
taxicab licenses at $10 each. No more were handed out until 1996,
when another 400 were sold.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.30)
1938 Jan 6, Bronze memorial
statue of Henry Hudson was erected in Bronx.
1938 Jan 16, The Benny Goodman
Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert featured an outstanding solo by
saxophonist Lester Young. Goodman performed at Carnegie Hall along
with Count Basie, Harry James, Lester Young, Gene Krupa, Johnny
Hodges, Lionel Hampton and 17 others. The concert was recorded and
in 2000 Columbia issued a remastered edition of the performance.
(WSJ, 8/29/96, A11)(WSJ, 1/12/00, p.A20)
1938 Feb 4, The Thornton Wilder
play "Our Town" opened on Broadway.
1938 May 22, Richard Benjamin,
director, actor (Goodbye Columbus, He & She), was born in NYC.
1938 May 31, Peter Yarrow,
(Peter, Paul & Mary-Puff the Magic Dragon), was born in NYC.
1938 Jun 22, US boxing champion
Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in the first round of their
heavyweight rematch at New York City's Yankee Stadium. Schmeling had
won their first fight in NYC on June 19, 1936.
1938 Jul 10, Howard Hughes and
the "Yankee Clipper" began the 1st passenger flight around the world
flight from NYC. [see Jul 14]
1938 Jul 14, Howard Hughes
landed at Floyd Bennet Field in NY with a crew of four after flying
around the world in 3 days, 19 hours, and 17 min., a new record.
(Hem., 2/96, p.44)
1938 Jul 19, Richard Jordan,
actor (Dune, Old Boyfriends, Gettysburg), was born in NYC.
1938 Aug 3, George Memmoli,
actor (Earl-Hello Larry), was born in NYC.
1938 Sep 1, Alan Dershowitz,
attorney (Claus Von Bulow, OJ Simpson), was born in NYC.
1938 Sep 21, A Category 3
hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing
widespread damage and claiming up to 800 lives. Winds hit 183 MPH in
New England. The storm hit Long Island and Connecticut and caused
$308 million in damage.
(AP, 9/21/97)(WSJ, 5/31/06, p.B1)(Econ, 11/3/12,
1938 Sep 23, A time capsule, to
be opened in the year 6939, was buried on the grounds of the World's
Fair in New York City. The capsule contained a woman's hat,
man's pipe & 1,100' of microfilm. [see Apr 30, 1939]
Westinghouse coined the term "time capsule" when it buried a torpedo
shaped vessel at the 1939 NY fair.
(AP, 9/23/98)(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.D4)(MC, 9/23/01)
1938 Oct 8, G. Kaufman &
Moss Hart's "Fabulous Invalid," premiered in NYC.
1938 Oct 15, Robert Sherwood's
"Abe Lincoln in Illinois," premiered in NYC.
1938 Oct 22, Chester Carlson
and Otto Kornei performed the 1st successful test of their
photocopier at Astoria, Queens, NYC. They used powdered ink and an
electrical charge to create the first photocopy. The reproduced page
said: "10-28-38 Astoria." Carlson tried to sell the machine to IBM,
RCA, Kodak and others, but they were not impressed.
(HN, 10/22/00)(ON, 11/04, p.7)
1938 Nov 11, Mary Mallon, also
known as “Typhoid Mary," died of a stroke on North Brother Island.
She had been quarantined there since 1915 after spreading typhus for
years while working as a cook in the New York area.
(AH, 2/06, p.26)
1938 Nov 24,Clifford Odets'
"Rocket to the Moon," premiered in NYC.
1938 Dec 7, Philip Barry's
"Here Come the Clowns," premiered in NYC.
1938 Dec 30, Joseph Bologna,
actor (Citizen Cohn, My Favorite Year), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1938 Dec, In NYC Barney
Josephson (1902-1988), a former shoe salesman, opened Café Society
at 2 Sheridan Square, as a European style cabaret. ''The wrong place
for the right people'' was its slogan. In 1940 he opened an
uptown branch on East 58th Street. By 1950 both versions were gone.
In 2009 Terry Trilling Josephson, his 4th wife, published his memoir
“Café Society: The Wrong Place for the Right People," based on taped
(WSJ, 4/6/09, p.A13)(http://tinyurl.com/dbhdjw)
1938 Lucienne Block (d.1999 at
90) created her wall mural "The Evolution of Music" in NYC. She was
the daughter of composer Ernest Bloch and apprenticed under muralist
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.C3)
1938 Gabriel Almond (d.2002),
political scientist, titled his dissertation "Plutocracy and
Politics in New York City." It was published in 1998.
(SSFC, 1/5/03, p.A27)
1938 The musical "Great Lady"
was choreographed by George Balanchine and featured Jerome Robbins
(d.1998 at 79) in his first Broadway performance.
(SFC, 7/30/98, p.A10)
1938 The Cloisters, a branch of
the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art, opened in Upper Manhattan. It
was made possible by a grant from John D. Rockefeller Jr.
(Econ, 6/15/13, p.83)
1938 NY Times publisher A.H.
Sulzberger urged Pres. Roosevelt not to name a Jew to the Supreme
Court for fear of exacerbating anti-Semitism.
(WSJ, 5/26/04, p.A8)
1938 Topps was founded as a
tobacco and gum wholesaler by the 4 Shorin brothers in Brooklyn. Its
first bubble gum cards, Hocus Pocus magic Photos, came out in 1948.
Topps baseball cards were introduced in 1951.
(WSJ, 7/8/06, p.A5)
1938 Hans G. Knoll, Germany
immigrant, founded the Knoll furniture company in NYC. In 2010 Brian
Lutz authored “"Knoll: A Modernist Universe."
(SSFC, 7/11/10, p.L1)
1939 Jan 6, Alfred Lion
recorded his first Blue Note session with boogie-woogie and blues
pianists Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis. He had just founded the
jazz label in New York. He was later joined by his Berlin friend and
photographer Francis Wolff.
(WSJ, 10/3/97, p.A8)(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.W10)
1939 Jan 13, Jacob Ruppert, CEO
of the NY Yankees (1915-39), died.
1939 Jan 21, Wolfman Jack, DJ
(Midnight Special), was born in Brooklyn, NY as Bob Smith.
1939 Jan 25, The cyclotron of
Nebraska-born nuclear physicist John R. (Ray) Dunning (31) produced
nuclear fission for the first time in America in Room 128 of
Columbia University's Pupin Physics Laboratory. Eugene T. Booth was
a member of the experimental team which conducted the first nuclear
fission experiment in the US; the other members of the team were
Herbert L. Anderson, John R. Dunning, Enrico Fermi, G. Norris
Glasoe, and Francis G. Slack.
1939 Feb 15, Lillian Hellman's
"Little Foxes," premiered in NYC.
1939 Feb 20, In NYC the German
American Bund, founded in 1936 to promote Nazism in America, held a
rally at Madison Square Garden drawing 20,000 supporters.
(Econ, 8/19/17, p.20)
1939 Mar 28, Philip Barry's
"Philadelphia Story," premiered in NYC.
1939 Apr 17, S.N. Behrman's "No
Time for Comedy," premiered in NYC.
1939 Apr 30, The New York
World’s Fair, billed as a look at "the world of tomorrow,"
officially opened. NY Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia mandated that the
city's nude dancers cover up during the fair. The cover-up evolved
into the G-string and later the thong. The General Motors exhibit
was titled Futurama. Philo T. Farnsworth premiered his television at
the fair. AT&T presented its first Picture Phone at the World's
Fair. Salvador Dali created a pavilion that was called “Dream of
Venus" and described as the “funny house of tomorrow." In 2000 Miles
Beller authored "Dream of Venus (Or Living Pictures): A Novel of the
1939 New York world’s Fair." National Presto Industries introduced
the home pressure cooker at the fair.
(AP, 4/30/97)(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A8)(SFEC, 4/16/00,
BR p.7)(NYTBR, 2/2/03, p.20)
(www.imdb.com/title/tt0149460/trivia)(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
1939 Jul 4, Baseball's "Iron
Horse," Lou Gehrig (1904-1941), said farewell to 61,808 fans
honoring him with a special day at New York City's Yankee Stadium.
He was suffering from A.L.S. (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a
neurodegenerative disorder that destroys the body's neuromuscular
system. Many now call it Lou Gehrig's disease. He did less than two
years later at the age of 37.
(SFEC, 3/30/97, Par. p.2)(AP, 7/4/97)(IB,
1939 Jul 11, Yanks hosted the
7th All Star Game. McCarthy started 6 Yanks, AL won 3-1.
1939 Aug 17, The film "Wizard
of Oz" opened at Loew's Capitol Theater in NYC.
1939 Aug 21, Clarence Williams
III, actor (Mod Squad, 52 Pick Up, Purple Rain), was born in NYC.
1939 Oct 15, The New York
Municipal Airport was dedicated. It was the largest, most advanced
commercial airport in the world. Its new terminal featured
innovative design that kept arriving and departing passengers
separated on two levels for greater efficiency. It was also
terminals adorned with Art Deco details and fine restaurants and a
rooftop viewing promenade as well as many technological details that
made flying safer and less expensive. On Mar 31, 1940, the new
airport was rechristened LaGuardia Airport after the mayor, who had
been a bomber pilot in World War I and whose interest in aviation
lasted throughout his lifetime, barely a month after it opened.
1939 Oct 18, R. Rodger's &
Lorenz Hart's "Too Many Girls," premiered in NYC.
1939 Oct 25, George Kaufman and
Moss Hart's "Man Who Came to Dinner," premiered in NYC.
1939 Oct 25, The drama "The
Time of Your Life," by William Saroyan, opened in NYC.
1939 Nov 8, The H. Lindsay and
R. Crouse play "Life With Father," based on the book by Clarence
Day, opened on Broadway.
(AP, 11/8/99)(MC, 11/8/01)
1939 Nov 17, Jerome Kern's and
Oscar Hammerstein's "Very Warm for May," premiered in NYC.
1939 Nov 27, The play "Key
Largo," by Maxwell Anderson, opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater
in New York. James Gregory made his Broadway debut.
(AP, 11/27/97)(SFC, 9/19/02, p.A24)
1939 Dec 2, New York's La
Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed
at one minute after midnight. The North Beach Airport opened in
Queens, NYC, with 2 levels for passenger circulation. It was later
(Hem., 5/97, p.70)(AP, 12/2/98)
1939 Dec 6, The Cole Porter
musical comedy "Du Barry Was a Lady" opened on Broadway.
1939 The 92nd St. Y began
having poetry readings.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1939 Philip Hamburger (25),
began writing his Talk of the Town section for the New Yorker
Magazine. In 1999 he published "Friends Talking in the Night: Sixty
Years of Writing for the New Yorker."
(SFEC, 4/4/99, BR p.5)
1939 Arthur Fellig, a
photographer known as Weegee, took a group picture of thousands of
sunbathers at Coney Island.
(WSJ, 3/6/02, p.A14)
1939 Billie Holiday 1st sang
"Strange Fruit," a ballad about lynching in the south, at
Manhattan’s Café Society. The song had been written by Abel
Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher. In 2001 David Margolick authored
"Strange Fruit: Biography of a Song."
(SFC, 3/8/02, p.D18)
1939 Lena Horne (1917-2010)
performed in the Broadway revue “Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1939."
The revue ran for 9 performances.
(SFC, 5/10/10, p.C4)
1939 This year’s NY Yankee
baseball season was covered by Richard J. Tofel in his 2002 book
"The Legend in the Making." The season culminated with a 4th
consecutive World Series championship.
(WSJ, 3/14/02, p.A16)
1939 Erno Laszlo (1891-1973),
Hungary immigrant, opened the Laszlo Institute on Fifth Ave in NYC.
In 1927 he had opened the Laszlo Institute for Scientific
Cosmetology in Budapest.
(Econ, 11/29/03, p.18)
1939 Dorothy Schiff (1903-1989)
bought the New York Post at the urging of her husband, George
Backer. He resigned in 1942 and she took over the paper.
1939 Los Angeles banned
pinball machines after they became considered devices for gambling.
The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of California in 1974.
Pinball was banned beginning in the early 1940s until 1976 in NYC.
1940 Jan 26, The Museum of
Modern Art in New York received works by Botticelli, Raphael and
Michelangelo on loan from Italy.
1940 Feb 7, Walt Disney's 2nd
feature-length movie, "Pinocchio," premiered in NYC.
1940 Feb 25, A hockey game was
televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS, as the
New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 6-2, at Madison
1940 Feb 28, The first
televised college basketball games were broadcast, by New York City
station W2XBS, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York
University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden.
1940 Mar 2, The first televised
intercollegiate track meet was seen by TV viewers in New York City
as W2XBS presented the action live from Madison Square Garden. New
York University won the meet.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1940 Mar 10, 1st US opera was
telecast in NYC: "Pagliacci."
1940 Mar 31, The New York
Municipal Airport, opened in October, 1939, was renamed La Guardia
airport, after the mayor, who had been a bomber pilot in World War I
and whose interest in aviation lasted throughout his lifetime,
barely a month after it opened.
1940 Apr 4, Richard Rodgers'
and Lorenz Hart's "Higher & Higher," premiered in NYC.
1940 Apr 25, Al Pacino, actor
(And Justice For All, Godfather, Scorpio), was born in NYC.
1940 Apr 29, Robert Sherwood's
"There Shall be No Night," premiered in NYC.
1940 May 28, Irving Berlin's
musical "Louisiana Purchase," premiered in NYC.
1940 Oct 9, Otto Kallir, owner
of the Galerie St. Etienne in Manhattan, opened a show featuring the
art work of Anna Mary Moses (77). A reported embellished her name as
Grandma Moses. Three paintings of 34, priced from $20-250, were
sold. Her popularity rose rapidly following a Thanksgiving show at
Gimbels department store.
(ON, 8/20/11, p.11)
1940 Oct 15, Charles Chaplin's
first all-talking comedy, "The Great Dictator," a lampoon of Adolf
Hitler, opened at two theaters in New York with Chaplin and his
wife, co-star Paulette Goddard, making appearances in both
1940 Oct 18, Kaufman's &
Harts "George Washington Slept Here," premiered in NYC.
1940 Oct 25, The musical play
“Cabin in the Sky" opened with an all black cast at the Martin Beck
Theater on Broadway. It featured Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) and
her dance troupe.
1940 Oct 26, Mario Orosco, the
1st victim of NYC's Zodiac killer (survives), was born.
1940 Oct 27, The 1939 New York
World’s Fair officially closed. In 2010 James Mauro authored
“Twilight at the world of tomorrow: Genius, Madness, Murder, and the
1939 World’s Fair on the Brink of War."
1940 Oct 30, Cole Porter
musical "Panama Hattie," premiered in NYC.
1940 Nov 15, NY Midtown tunnel
linking Manhattan and Queens opened to traffic.
1940 Dec 26, J.A. Fields' and
J. Chodorov's "My Sister Eileen," premiered in NYC.
1940 The blues opera "De
Organizer," written by Langston Hughes and James P. Johnson, was
performed in NYC.
(SFC, 12/30/02, p.D3)
1940 The Afro-Cubans Latin jazz
band, formed by Mario Bauza and Frank Grillo, a vocalist known as
Machito, made its debut bear Spanish Harlem.
(SFEC, 9/19/99, DB p.39)
1940s The 3,000-acre Fresh
Kills Landfill opened on Staten Island. It closed in 2001 but was
reopened in Sept. to hold the remains of the World Trade Center.
(WSJ, 9/28/01, p.A1)
1940-1948 The daily left-leaning PM newspaper was
published over this period. Theodor Seuss Geisel drew cartoons for
the paper from 1941-1943.
(WSJ, 8/16/99, p.B9F)
1940-1954 Virgil Thomson worked as the music
critic for the New York Herald-Tribune.
(WSJ, 6/16/97, p.10)
1941 Jan 21, Richie Havens,
folk singer (Here Comes the Sun), was born in Brooklyn.
1941 Jan 24, Neil Diamond,
singer, actor (Jazz Singer), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1941 Apr 1, Lillian Hellman's
"Watch on the Rhine," premiered in NYC.
Apr 1, The first contract for advertising
on a commercial FM radio station began on W71NY in New York City.
1941 Apr 20, Joni Evans,
publisher of Simon & Schuster, Random House, was born in NYC.
1941 May 1,
The motion picture "Citizen Kane," directed and starring Orson
Welles (24), premiered in New York. Randolph Hearst attempted to
bury the film by banning all advertising in his newspapers. One in
five Americans read a Hearst paper at this time. Citizen Kane won an
Academy Award. A PBS special from the American Experience covered
the story in 1996. His biography, "Rosebud: The Story of Orson
Welles" by David Thompson, was published in 1996.
(WSJ, 1/25/96, p.A-16)(TMC, 1994, p.1941)(SFC,
6/9/96, BR p.15)
1941 May 15, Lainie Kazan,
singer, actress (Lust in the Dust, Beaches), was born in Brooklyn.
1941 May 15, Joe DiMaggio
started his 56-game hitting streak. The Yanks lost 13-1. In 2011
Kostya Kennedy authored “56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number
1941 Jul 17, The longest
hitting streak in baseball history ended when the Cleveland Indians
pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby Jr. held NY Yankee Joe DiMaggio, the
Yankee Clipper, hitless for the first time in 57 games. His hitting
streak ended with 56 games.
(www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats3.shtml)(SFC, 3/9/99, p.A10)
1941 Aug 11, Elizabeth
Holtzman, DA (D-Rep-NY, Watergate Committee), was born in Brooklyn.
1941 Aug 12, Jennifer Warren,
actress (Slap Shot, Fatal Beauty, Mutant), was born in NYC.
1941 Sep 10, Stephen Jay Gould
(d.2002), biologist, paleontologist and writer, was born in NYC. His
books included “Time’s Cycle" and “The Panda’s Thumb."
(HN, 9/10/00)(SFC, 5/21/02, p.A6)
1941 Dec 6, NYC Council agreed
to build Idlewild (Kennedy) Airport in Queens.
1941 The New York Yankees
defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1942 Jan 6, The Pan American
Airways "Pacific Clipper" arrived in New York under Captain Robert
Ford. He flew west from New Zealand to avoid Japanese attacks and
became the first commercial pilot to make a round-the-world trip.
The Pacific Clipper was known as a "flying boat." This flight was
31,500 miles and took 209 hours to complete.
1942 Jan 21, Count Basie and
His Orchestra recorded "One O'Clock Jump" in New York City for Okeh
1942 Jan 21, A Bronx magistrate
ruled all pinball machines illegal.
1942 Feb 9, The former French
cruise ship Normandie, launched in 1935, burned in New York Harbor
during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship. It was once
regarded as most elegant ocean liner ever built. In 1947 it was cut
up for scrap. In 2007 John Maxtone-Graham authored “Normandie."
(AP, 2/10/97)(WSJ, 12/8/07, p.W13)
1942 Feb 10, The former French
liner Normandie capsized in New York Harbor a day after it caught
fire while being refitted for the U.S. Navy.
1942 Mar 26, Erica Jong [Mann],
poet, novelist (Fear of Flying, How to Save Your Own Life), was born
(HN, 3/26/01)(SS, 3/26/02)
1942 Apr 24, Barbra Streisand,
singer, actress, was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1942 May 18, New York ended
night baseball games for the rest of World War II.
1942 May 29, Kevin Conway,
actor (Flash Point, Cage of Angels), was born in NYC.
1942 Jul 4, Irving Berlin’s
musical review "This Is the Army" opened at the Broadway Theater in
1942 Oct 7, Maxwell Anderson's
"Eve of St Mark," premiered in NYC.
1942 Oct 16, The ballet
"Rodeo," with music by Aaron Copland and choreography by Agnes de
Mille, premiered at New York's Metropolitan Opera House.
1942 Nov 18, Thornton Wilder's
"Skin of our Teeth," premiered in NYC.
1942 Nov 19, Calvin Klein,
fashion designer (Calvin Klein Jeans, CK), was born in Bronx, NYC.
1942 Dec 7, Harry Chapin, rock
vocalist (Taxi, Cat's in the Cradle), was born in NYC.
1942 Dec 30, Five thousand
screaming girls shouted "Frankie! Frankie!" when Sinatra appeared
with Benny Goodman’s band at New York’s Paramount Theater.
(SFC, 5/16/98, p.A13)
1942 Joseph A. Faurot (70),
former NYC detective, died. He introduced fingerprint technology
from London to NYC and the rest of the US.
(ON, 4/04, p.11)
1943 Feb 28, "Porgy & Bess"
opened on Broadway with Anne Brown & Todd Duncan.
1943 Mar 3, F. Ryerson and Cohn
Claues' "Harriet" premiered in New York NY.
1943 Mar 31, The Rodgers and
Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" opened at the St. James Theatre on
Broadway. Celeste Holm sang the show-stopping number “I Cain’t Say
No." Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein hired Agnes de Mille for
the choreography. The original is only on documentary videotape and
the 1954 film was a "bloated mess."
(TMC, 1994, p.1943)(WSJ, 2/5/96, p.A-16)(AP,
3/30/97)(SFC, 7/16/12, p.C4)
1943 May 25, Leslie Uggams,
singer, actress (Leslie Uggams Show, Roots), was born in NYC.
1943 Jun 13, German spies
landed on Long Island, New York, and were soon captured.
1943 Jul 4, Geraldo Rivera, TV
talkshow host, was born in New York City. He became known for his
non-conformity in the subjects he approached.
(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1943 Jul 25, Janet Margolin,
actress (Take the Money & Run, David & Lisa), was born in
1943 Aug 1, Race-related
rioting erupted in New York City's Harlem section, resulting in
1943 Oct 7, Weill's, Perelman's
and Nash's musical "One Touch of Venus," premiered in NYC.
1943 Nov 14, Leonard Bernstein,
the 25-year-old assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic,
made his debut with the orchestra as he filled in for the ailing
Bruno Walter during a nationally broadcast concert.
1943 Dec 2, "Carmen Jones," a
contemporary reworking of the Bizet opera "Carmen" by Oscar
Hammerstein II with an all-black cast, opened on Broadway.
1943 Dec 8, John Van Druten's
"Voice of the Turtle," premiered in NYC.
1943 Dec 19, William De Vries,
surgeon-inventor (Symbion artificial heart), was born in Brooklyn.
1943 Dec 31, NYC's Times Square
greeted Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater.
1943 The NYC Opera was
established by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to bring high culture at low
prices to ordinary New Yorkers. In 2013 the company filed for
(Econ, 10/5/13, p.34)
1944 Apr 3, Tony Orlando,
singer (& Dawn-Tie a Yellow Ribbon), was born in NYC.
1944 Apr 18, The ballet "Fancy
Free," with music by Leonard Bernstein premiered in NYC.
1944 Apr 30, Jill Clayburgh,
actress (Unmarried Woman, Semi-Tough), was born in NYC.
1944 May 3, "Meet Me in St
Louis" opened on Broadway.
1944 May 14, The Latin trio Los
Panchos made its debut in NYC with Alfredo Gil (d.1999 at 84), Jesus
Navarro (Chucho), and Hernando Aviles.
(SFC, 9/17/99, p.D8)
1944 Jun 11, The 1st Serbian
Orthodox cathedral in US, Cathedral of St Sava, was established in
1944 Jun 17, Bill Rafferty,
comedian (Laugh-In, Real People), was born in Queens, NY.
1944 Aug 9, Smokey Bear debuted
as spokesman for fire prevention. The image of "Smokey the Bear" was
created by an artist as the official forest-fire spokesbear. He was
named in 1945 reportedly in honor of Smokey Joe Martin, asst. chief
of the New York City Fire Dept. A real bear from a 1950 New Mexico
fire was pressed into service and lived until 1976 at the Washington
National Zoo. [see 1945]
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.T6)(ON, 4/03, p.9)
1944 Aug 13, In NYC Lucien Carr
stabbed to death David Kammerer following sexual advances by
Kammerer, who had been Carr's Boy Scout Scoutmaster during his
youth. Carr turned himself in and was later sentenced to 20 years,
but served only 2 years in prison at Elmira Correctional Facility in
upstate, NY. Lucien Carr later introduced Allen Ginsberg, Jack
Kerouac and William Burroughs to each other.
1944 Aug 20, "Anna Lucasta,"
opened on Broadway.
1944 Oct 19, The play "I
Remember Mama," by John van Druten, opened at the Music Box Theater
1944 Nov 1, "Harvey," a comedy
by Mary Chase about a man and his invisible friend, a 6-foot-tall
rabbit, opened on Broadway.
1944 Nov, "The Man Who Had All
the Luck," the 1st commercial production by Arthur Miller, closed
after 4 performances.
(WSJ, 5/8/02, p.AD9)
1944 The Philip Yordan (d.2003)
play "Anna Lucasta," 1st produced by the American Negro Theater in
Harlem, moved to Broadway. A film version with an all-white cast was
made in 1949. Another with an all-black cast was made in 1958.
(SSFC, 4/6/03, p.A23)
1944 Adam Clayton Powell
(1908-1972) was elected as a Democrat to the US House of
Representatives, representing the 22nd congressional district, which
included Harlem. He was the first black Congressman from New York,
and the first from any Northern state other than Illinois in the
1944 Allen Ginsberg and Jack
Kerouac met on the campus of Columbia Univ. in NYC. In 2010 Bill
Morgan and David Stanford published the edited letters of Ginsberg
and Kerouac. Bill Morgan authored “The Typewriter Is Holy: The
Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation."
(SSFC, 7/18/10, p.F12)
1944 Some 1.4 million people
gathered in Central Park to celebrate "I am an American Day."
(NG, 5/93, p.23)
1945 Jan 21, Andrew Stein, pres
of NYC council (D), was born.
1945 Feb 14, Gregory Hines,
actor, dancer (White Nights, Taps), was born in NYC.
1945 Mar 6, Rob Reiner, actor,
director (All in the Family, Stand By Me), was born in Bronx, NY.
1945 Apr 19, The Rodgers and
Hammerstein adopted Ferenc Molnar’s "Lilliom" and produced the
musical "Carousel" on Broadway.
(SFEC, 8/25/96, DB p.40)(AP, 4/19/97)
1945 Jul 28, A twin-engine U.S.
Army B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building between the
78th and 79th floors and killed 14 people. The plane’s propellers
severed elevator cables and sent one on a 38-story fall in which the
(SFC, 2/24/96, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/11/97, p.A1)(HT,
5/97, p.26)(AP, 7/28/97)
1945 Aug 14, Alfred Eisenstaedt
shot a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. In 2007
Houston Police Department forensic artist Lois Gibson completed a
detailed investigation and concluded that Glenn McDuffie (80) is the
man in the image, which was published on the cover of Life Magazine
on Aug 27.
1945 Aug 21, Patty McCormack,
actress (Mama, Peck's Bad Girl, Ropers), was born in Brooklyn NY.
1945 Aug 27, Life Magazine’s
issue for VJ-Day featured a photo that Life photographer Alfred
Eisenstaedt made on May 8, VE-Day when he got signalman Jim Reynolds
to pose for a kiss with a nurse on Times Square. That the photo was
posed was denied by Life and Reynold’s role was not verified. Edith
Shain in a letter claimed to be the nurse with documented letters
from Eisenstaedt. In 2007 Houston Police Department forensic artist
Lois Gibson completed a detailed investigation and concluded that
Glenn McDuffie (80) is the man in Alfred Eisenstaedt's Aug. 14, 1945
image of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square.
(WSJ, 8/14/96, p.A14)(WSJ, 8/20/96, p.A11)(AP,
1945 Oct 25, Assistant NYC fire
chief Smokey Joe Martin died. Martin had retired in 1930 after a
46-year fire fighting career.
(ON, 4/03, p.)
1945 Nov 14, H. Lindsay &
R. Crouse "State of the Union," premiered in NYC.
1945 Nov 21, Bummy Davis
(b.1920 as Albert Davidoff), former middleweight boxer turned thug,
died after taking on 2 hoodlums in Brooklyn, NY. In 1951 W.C. Heinz
wrote "Brownsville Bum," an account of the Bummy Davis tragedy for
True Magazine. In 2003 Ron Ross authored Bummy Davis vs. Murder,
(WSJ, 3/5/08, p.D9)(www.ronross.us/reviews.html)
1945 Dec 15, Robert Merrill
(1917-2004) made his debut with the NY Metropolitan Opera.
(SFC, 10/26/04, p.A2)
1945 Dec 27, Arthur Laurent's
"Home of the Brave," premiered in NYC.
1945 Dec, Mrs. Stephen C. Clark
began the tradition of lighting up Park Avenue with Christmas lights
in honor of her son and other New Yorkers who had died in the war.
(WSJ, 11/30/99, p.A24)
1945 Willem de Kooning painted
"Study for Pink Angels" and "Still Life."
(SFC, 6/28/02, p.D1)
1945 Todd Duncan (d.1998 at
95), baritone, became the first black artist to perform with the NY
City Opera as Tonio in "Pagliacci."
(SFC, 3/3/98, p.D8)
1945 William O’Dwyer was
elected mayor. He left the post after 5 years to become the
ambassador to Mexico.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.D4)
1945 The NYC house at 7 Middagh
St. in Brooklyn Heights was among those destroyed to make way for
the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. A group of American and English
artists had lived there from the early 1940s. They included Carson
McCullers, Wystan Auden, Benjamin Britten, Gypsy Rose Lee, Jane and
Paul Bowles and guests such as Salvador Dali. In 2005 Sherrill
Tippins authored “February House," an account of their interactions.
(SSFC, 3/6/05, p.B1)
1945 The US Forest Service
named "Smokey the Bear" as its spokesman to fight forest fires:
"Remember, only you can prevent forest fires." Smokey the Bear was
named after NYC assistant chief Smokey Joe Martin (d.1945). Rudolph
A. Wendelin (d.2000 at 90) served as the "caretaker" of the Smokey
Bear icon. [see Aug 9, 1944]
(SFEC, 9/3/00, p.C8)(ON, 4/03, p.9)
1942 Jan 6, The Pan American
Airways "Pacific Clipper" arrived in New York under Captain Robert
Ford. He flew west from New Zealand to avoid Japanese attacks and
became the first commercial pilot to make a round-the-world trip.
The Pacific Clipper was known as a "flying boat." This flight was
31,500 miles and took 209 hours to complete.
1946 Feb 4, Garson Kanin's
"Born Yesterday," premiered in NYC.
1946 Mar 8, The 1st helicopter
licensed for commercial use was in NYC.
1946 Mar 16, Erik Estrada,
actor (CHiPs, Cross & Switchblade, Lightblast), was born in NYC.
1946 May 16, The Irving Berlin
musical "Annie Get Your Gun" opened on Broadway starring Ethel
Merman as Annie Oakley. The play closed in 1949 after 1,147
(AP, 5/16/97)(SFC, 4/24/99, p.A10)
1946 May 29, Robin Johnson,
actress (Times Square), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1946 Jun 14, Donald Trump, New
York real estate mogul, was born in NYC.
(SSFC, 11/14/04, Par p.30)
1946 Jun 19, The first title
match in boxing to be televised takes place in New York City, as Joe
Louis defeated Billy Conn for the heavyweight championship. Three
NBC TV stations carried the fight.
1946 Jul 2, Ron Silver, actor
(Gary-Rhoda, Dear Detective, Baker's Dozen), was born in NYC.
1946 Oct 23, The United Nations
General Assembly convened in New York for the first time, at an
auditorium in Flushing Meadow.
1946 Nov 20, Lillian Hellman's
"Another Part of the Forest," premiered in NYC.
1946 Dec 12, A United Nations
committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate
offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of U.N.
1946 Dec 14, The United Nations
General Assembly voted to establish the U.N. headquarters in New
York City. The UN adopted a disarmament resolution prohibiting the
(AP, 12/14/97)(HN, 12/14/98)
1946 Dec 23, Highest ridership
in NYC subway history took place with 8.8 million passengers.
1946 Lucius Beebe authored "The
Stork Club Bar Book." The NY Stork Club was owned by Sherman
Billingsley. In 2000 Ralph Blumenthal authored "Stork Club:
America’s Most Famous Nightspot and the Lost World of Café Society."
(SFEM, 4/16/00, p.47)
1946 A $345 million suspension
bridge, designed by Othmar Ammann, was approved to cross the
Verrazano Narrows between Brooklyn and Staten Island, NYC. The
Brooklyn side would be anchored on Old Fort Hamilton and the Staten
Island side on Fort Wadsworth. Fort Lafayette was cleared to make
room for the Brooklyn tower. In 1960 the rest of Fort Lafayette was
leveled. Rubble was ferried to Staten Island side to facilitate the
construction of the west tower.
(AH, 2/06, p.72)
1946 Jean and Walter Kerr made
their Broadway debut with an adaptation of the "Song of Bernadette"
from Franz Werfel’s novel.
(MC, 3/8/02)(SFC, 1/7/03, p.A22)
1946 Jinx Falkenburg (d.2003)
and husband Tex McCrary pioneered talk radio programming with the
"Hi Jinx" morning show at WEAF in NYC.
(SFC, 8/29/03, p.A28)
1946 A Coast Guard airplane
crashed in the Bank of Manhattan Building.
(HT, 5/97, p.28)
1947 Jan 10, The musical
fantasy "Finian's Rainbow," with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by
E.Y. Harburg, opened on Broadway and ran for 725 performances. It is
the tale of an Irishman who stole a pot of gold and came to the US
to plant it and became rich. Burton Lane (1912-1996) also did "On a
Clear Day You Can See Forever."
(MT, 10/94, p.15)(AP, 1/10/98)(MC, 1/10/02)
1947 Feb 18, Gian Carlo
Menotti's opera "Telephone," premiered in NYC.
1947 Mar 13, The Lerner and
Loewe musical "Brigadoon" opened on Broadway for 581 performances.
(AP, 3/13/97)(MC, 3/13/02)
1947 Apr 10, Brooklyn Dodgers
president Branch Rickey announced he had purchased the contract of
Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals. John Sengstacke, black
publisher of the Chicago Defender, was instrumental in persuading
Mr. Rickey in his decision. In spite of intense pressure and
hostility, Robinson's athletic abilities earned him the Rookie of
the Year Award in 1947.
(AP, 4/10/97)(SFC, 1/12/98, p.A1)(HN, 4/10/01)
1947 Apr 11, Jackie Robinson
played in an exhibition between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New
York Yankees, the first Negro to play in Major league baseball.
Jackie Robinson became the first black to play major league baseball
as he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson
officially broke baseball's color barrier when he put on Dodgers
uniform No. 42 in April 1947. When Jackie Robinson joined the
Brooklyn Dodgers, talented black athletes toiled in relative
obscurity in the Negro leagues despite the exciting caliber of their
play. Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager Branch Rickey first
approached Jackie Robinson in August 1945 to participate in the
"great experiment" of integrating the major leagues.
(TMC, 1994, p.1947)(AP, 4/11/97)(HN,
1947 Apr 16, A lens that
provided zoom effects was demonstrated in New York City.
1947 Apr 19, Murray Perahia,
pianist (Avery Fischer Prize-1975, Grammy 1988), was born in NYC.
1947 May 25, Mitch Margo,
rocker (Tokens-Lion Sleeps Tonight), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1947 Jul 8, Demolition work
began in New York City to make way for the new permanent
headquarters of the United Nations.
1947 Aug 14, Daniele Steel,
author (Remembrance, Zoya, Star, Daddy), was born in NYC.
1947 Sep 20, Former Republican
New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1933-45) died. "The devil
is easy to identify. He appears when you're terribly tired and makes
a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn't grant." He
amassed huge debts in the course of infrastructure improvements that
lasted to the end of the century. In 2002 H. Paul Jeffers authored
“The Napoleon of New York: Mayor Fiorello La Guardia."
9/20/97)(AH, 2/03, p.60)
1947 Sep, Ahmet Ertegun
(1923-2006) and Herb Abramson formed Atlantic Records in New York
City. The new independent record label concentrated on gospel, jazz
and R&B music. The first recording sessions took place in
November. In 2001 Ertegun authored his memoir "What’d I Say."
1947 Oct 10, The Rodgers' and
Hammerstein's musical "Allegro," premiered in NYC.
1947 Oct 29, Richard Dreyfuss,
actor (Jaws, Nuts, Mr. Holland's Opus), was born in Brooklyn, NY.
1947 Dec 3, The Tennessee
Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened on Broadway with
Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Jessica Tandy as Blanche
DuBois and Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski. Brando’s first film was
"The Men" directed by Fred Zinnemann.
(TMC, 1994, p.1947)(SFC, 3/15/97,
p.A19)(SFEM,10/19/97, DB p.11) (AP, 12/3/97)
1947 Dec 26, Heavy snow
blanketed the Northeast, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of
snow in 16 hours. A record 26.4 inches fell and led to 77 deaths.
(AP, 12/26/97)(Econ, 2/18/06, p.28)
1947 Ed Flynn (1891-1953),
depression-era Bronx County machine boss, authored his autobiography
“You’re the Boss."
(WSJ, 10/14/06, p.P10)
1947 "The Heiress," an
adaptation of the Henry James novel "Washington Square," opened on
Broadway. It was adopted by Augustus and Ruth Goetz who also wrote
the 1949 film version screenplay.
(SFC, 10/17/01, p.C3)
1947 Red Buttons (1919-2006)
appeared on Broadway in George Abbott’s musical “Barefoot Boy With
(SFC, 7/14/06, p.B9)
1947 Stuyvesant Town and Peter
Cooper Village were built in NYC with the help of tax breaks to
provide homes for public sector workers and soldiers returning from
WW II. Only whites were allowed until some nasty scenes in the
1950s. In 2006 the MetLife Insurance Co. sold the 80-acre complex to
an investment group, Tishman Speyer and BlackRock, for $5.4 billion.
In 2010 the investment group defaulted and relinquished the
property, estimated at $1.8 billion in value, to creditors.
(Econ, 10/21/06, p.43)(Econ, 10/2/10, p.82)
1947 The New York Yankees
defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1947 Topps Co. of Brooklyn
began wrapping bubble gum in comics and calling it Bazooka. In 2006
the company relaunched Bazooka.
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A19)(WSJ, 7/8/06, p.A5)
1947 The Collyer Brothers were
exhumed from their Harlem Brownstone, which was crammed with 160
tons of scavenged junk and laid with booby traps. In 2003 Franz Lidz
authored "Ghosty Men: The Strange But True Story of the Collyer
Brothers, New York's Greatest Hoarders."
(SSFC, 10/11/03, p.M4)
1948 Feb 28, Mercedes Ruehl,
actress (Lost in Yonkers, Crazy People), was born in Queens NY.
1948 Mar 31, Rhea Perlman,
actress (Zena-Taxi, Carla-Cheers), was born in Brooklyn.
1948 Apr 3, Garrick Ohlsson,
pianist (Intl Busoni winner 1969), was born in Bronxville, NY.
1948 Apr 18, Catherine
Malfitano, soprano (Metropolitan Opera), was born in NYC.
1948 May 18, "Ballet Ballads"
opened at Music Box Theater in NYC for 62 performances.
1948 Jun 14, Lee Wagner, a New
York publisher, launched his TeleVision Guide. It became known as TV
Guide. The Barowski brothers in Philadelphia soon followed with
their TV Digest.
(WSJ, 5/8/98, p.W10)
1948 Jul 1, New York
International Airport at Idlewild, later renamed John F. Kennedy
International Airport, was officially opened.
1948 Jul 1, The fare on New
York City subways doubled from a nickel to ten cents.
1948 Jul 31, "Brigadoon" closed
at Ziegfeld Theater in NYC after 581 performances.
1948 Jul 31, President Truman
helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F.
Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.
(HFA, ‘96, p.34)(AP, 7/31/97)
1948 Aug 16, Famed home-run
slugger George Herman "Babe" Ruth died at age 53 in New York City.
He is credited with turning baseball from a game of speed and skill
to one of power. During a flamboyant major league career that began
as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in 1914 and ended with his
retirement from the Boston Braves in 1935, the Babe hit an
astonishing total of 714 homers, a feat that was not surpassed until
Henry Aaron of the Atlanta Braves broke Ruth’s record in 1974. The
fans loved the warm-hearted Babe Ruth, who had a reputation as a
hard drinker, carouser and womanizer. In 1931, at the height of his
career with the Yankees, Ruth earned $80,000, which made him the
highest-paid ballplayer in history. At a special "Babe Ruth Day"
just two months before his death, the cancer-stricken Babe donned
his uniform for the last time and appeared before a cheering crowd
at Yankee Stadium. In 2006 Leigh Montville authored “The Big Bam," a
biography of Babe Ruth.
(SFC, 10/15/96, p.A19)(AP, 8/16/97)(HNPD,
8/16/98)(WSJ, 5/9/06, p.D6)
1948 Aug 20, The United States
ordered the expulsion of the Soviet Consul General in New York,
Jacob Lomakin, accusing him of attempting to return two consular
employees to the Soviet Union against their will.
1948 Sep 14, A groundbreaking
ceremony took place in New York at the site of the United Nations'
1948 Oct 2, Donna Karan,
fashion designer (Coty Award-1977), was born in Forest Hills, NY.
1948 Oct 2, "Finian's Rainbow"
closed at 46th St Theater NYC after 725 performances.
1948 Oct 6, "Polonaise" opened
at Alvin Theater NYC for 113 performances.
1948 Oct 6, The play “Summer
and Smoke" by Tennessee Williams received its first Broadway
performance at the Music Box Theatre in New York City, in a
production staged by Margo Jones and designed by Jo Mielziner with
Tod Andrews, Margaret Phillips, Monica Boyar and Anne Jackson
(1925-2016). The play ran for 102 performances and, at the time.
1948 Oct 11, The musical comedy
"Where's Charley?," starring Ray Bolger and featuring songs by Frank
Loesser, opened at St James Theater NYC for 792 performances.
(AP, 10/11/98)(MC, 10/11/01)
1948 Nov 23, Dr. Frank G. Back
in NYC patented a lens to provide zoom effects.
1948 Nov 29, The NYC
Metropolitan Opera was televised for the first time as the season
opened with "Othello." It featured Ramon Vinay, Licia Albenese, and
Leonard Warren and was conducted by Fritz Busch
(HN, 11/29/98)(MC, 11/29/01)
1948 Dec 30, The Cole Porter
musical "Kiss Me, Kate" opened on Broadway at the New Century
Theater and ran for 1,077 performances. It was based on
Shakespeare’s "The Taming of the Shrew" and was written by Bella
Spewack (d.1990 at age 91), who helped originate the Girl Scout
cookie. The songs "Too Darn Hot" and "I Hate Men" were featured.
(WSJ, 5/8/97, p.A20)(WSJ, 6/3/98, p.CA1,4) (AP,
1948 Allan Nevins and John
Kraut put together a volume of essays titled "the Greater City: New
York, 1898-1948," to commemorate the 50th anniversary of
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A10)
1948 In NYC a group of young
jazz players gathered at the apartment of Gil Evans on West 55th and
crafted a music that was later tagged as “the birth of the cool."
Miles Davis led the group that also included Gerry Mulligan, John
Lewis and John Carisi. This followed the recent disbanding of band
led by Claude Thornhill (d.1965), in which Gill Evans was an
(WSJ, 7/5/08, p.W12)
1948 Red Buttons appeared on
Broadway in the musical “Hold It."
(SFC, 7/14/06, p.B9)
1948 The New York City Ballet
(WSJ, 11/2/98, p.A32)
1948 Dwight D. Eisenhower, WW
II general, became president of Columbia Univ.
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1948 Oral history was founded
as an academic field at Columbia Univ.
(SFC, 10/28/08, p.B5)
1949 Jan 17, Andy Kaufman,
comedian, actor (Latka Gravas-Taxi), was born in NYC.
1949 Jan 28, NY Giants signed
their 1st black players, Monte Irvin & Ford Smith.
1949 Feb 7, Joe DiMaggio of the
NY Yankees became the 1st $100,000/year baseball player.
1949 Feb 10, Arthur Miller's
play "Death of a Salesman" opened at Broadway's Morosco Theater.
1949 Feb 12, "Annie Get Your
Gun" closed at the Imperial Theater in NYC after 1147 performances.
1949 Mar 23, Sidney Kingsley's
"Detective Story" premiered in NYC.
1949 Apr 7,
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific" opened on
Broadway at the Majestic Theater for 1928 performances.
(AP, 4/7/97)(MC, 4/7/02)
1949 May 11, The 1st Polaroid
camera sold $89.95 in NYC.
1949 Sep 13, The Ladies
Professional Golf Association of America was formed in New York
City, with Patty Berg as its first president.
1949 Oct 4, United Nations'
permanent NYC headquarters was dedicated.
1949 Oct 30, Kurt Weill and
Maxwell Anderson's "Lost in the Stars" premiered in NYC.
1949 Nov 13, Whoopi Goldberg,
[Caryn Johnson], actress (Color Purple, Burglar, Ghost), was born in
1949 Dec 8, Jule Styne's
"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" opened at the NYC Ziegfeld Theater for
1949 E.B. White authored "Here
is New York."
(SSFC, 9/8/02, p.C4)
1949 Emily Genauer (d.2002 at
91) became the chief art critic for the NY Herald Tribune and held
the position to 1966.
(SFC, 9/2/02, p.B6)
1949 The New York Yankees
defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers for the baseball World Series pennant.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.A14)
1949-1951 The City College of New York
(CCNY) basketball team conspired to fix games over these seasons. A
1998 documentary on HBO covered the story.
(WSJ, 3/19/98, p.A16)