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    New York Almanac -> April

    New York City in APRIL

    Easter Parade in New York 1900
    Fifth Avenue Easter Parade, 1900.

    In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it
    You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade. -
    Irving Berlin

    This Month: ....Average monthly temperature in April : 55°

    ... the Yankees and Mets gear up for another winning season of classic American baseball on opening day. Get ya peanuts hear! .....meanwhile, check out the latest concept cars coming down the assembly line at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

    ....and watch for loads of bees attracted to Fifth avenue as bonnet-topped ladies join New York's Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue ...

    April 1

    ...the town's first Sunday school "for the teaching of adult colored women" is opened by the Quakers in New York City in 1811 ....

    April 2

    ...a small fleet of sailboats constitute what is the first Staten Island ferry service, introduced this day in 1713. Almost immediatley residents begin complaining about late or infrequent service ...

    Boss Tweed
    April 3

    Boss Tweed, depicted in a Thomas
    Nast cartoon that helped expose the
    the 19th century Tweed Ring.


    April 3

    ...corrupt Democratic party leader Boss Tweed is born this day in 1823 at No. 1 Cherry Street ....

    April 4

    ...sporadic violence and looting is reported this day in 1968 with the news that civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. has been assasinated in Memphis, Tennessee...

    April 5

    ...street magician David Blaine begins one of his earliest stunts, "Buried Alive" this day in 1999 entombed in a plastic coffin underneath a 3-ton tank of water. Over the span of 7 days, almost 80,000 New Yorkers come to see if Blaine will survive the ordeal. He does.

    April 6

    ...excluded from schools, not allowed to own land, and forbidden to strike "a Christian or a Jew", a group of slaves ignite the Negro Riot this day in 1712 on Maiden Lane, running rampant through town with swords, guns and hatchets. Six New Yorkers are killed and six injured. A militia finally quells the riot, resulting in the hanging of 21 slaves.

    April 7

    ...New York mobster "Crazy" Joe Gallo is celebrating his 43rd birthday when his gunned down at Umberto's Clam House on Mulberry Street in Little Italy this day in 1972. Although the Colombo or Genovese gangs are fingered in the slaying, Crazy Joe's demise remains a mystery to this day...

    April 8

    ...the whole city is buzzing with the news that the partly decomposed body of Langley Collyer has been found weeks after his older brother, Homer, was found dead in their garbage-strewn Harlem brownstone. It takes workmen weeks to clear out tons of newspapers, bundles of cardboard and other junk the Collyer brothers had accumulated during their lifetimes...

    April 9

    ...the Brooklyn Dodgers play their first game in Ebbets Field which opens this day in 1913....Mae West starts a scandal in 1928 when she opens tonight on Broadway in "Diamond Lil" at the Royale Theater. The plot surrounds a gay nineties Bowery sexpot, a role which the actress later reprises in the Hollywood film sensation, "She Done Him Wrong" co-starring a young Cary Grant.

    safety pin patent
    April 10


    April 10

    ...New York City mechanic and inventor Walter Hunt files a patent for the safety pin this day in 1849. He later sells the rights to his invention for a whopping $400 ...

    April 11

    ....the first Sunday law is passed in Dutch New Amsterdam this day in 1641. It striclty forbids "Amusement, Drunkeness, frequenting Taverns or Tippling Houses, Dancing, playing Ball, Cards, Tricktrack, Tennis, Cricket or Ninepins, going on pleasure parties on a Boat, Cart or Wagon before, between or during the Divine Service..."

    April 12

    ...a latter-day Radio City Music Hall known as The Hippodrome opens this day in 1905 as the city's largest theater on Sixth Avenue, between 43rd and 44th Streets. The cavernous showplace is able to seat an astounding 5,300 people who come to see lavish spectacles and musical extravaganzas complete with circus animals, diving horses, and 500-member choruses. Later converted to a movie house, the once-opulent Hippodrome is torn down in 1939.

    April 13

    ....a mob is marching on Columbia University this day in 1788 after rumors circulate that medical students are using cadavers for medical instruction purchased from local body snatchers. Hundred run rampant through laboratories and offices destroying medical schools and specimens. Later, the incensed mob turn their attention to neighborhood doctors.

    A militia is finally called to quell what later becomes known as the Doctor's Riot resulting in eight killed and many more wounded. Weeks later, the state legislature passes a law strengthening penalties against the tomb raiders. The law makes an exception for hanged criminals, upon whom dissection for medical research is still allowed ...

    April 14

    ...the entire city is in mourning this day with the news of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912.

    April 15

    ...Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player in the major leagues when he joins the Brooklyn Dodgers this day in 1947. On road trips, Jackson receives death threats, and several teams threaten not to play against the Dodgers. He was never permitted to stay at the same hotels or eat in the same places as his white team members. Two years later, Robinson is the National League's Most Valuable Player and later helps the Brooklyn Dodgers win their first World Series championship in 1955.

    April 16

    ...The Contrast is America's first home-grown stage comedy performed at the John Street Theatre in New York City this day in 1787. The play's theme centers around the contrast between American down-home dignity and effite British foppery. The play is later published in book form, a copy of which is bought by President George Washington.

    April 17

    ...Shea Stadium opens this day in 1964 and in a bizarre "blessing" is christened with Dodgers’ Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, as well as Giants’ Holy Water from the Harlem River at the location where it flowed passed the Polo Grounds. Amen....

    April 18

    ...this day in 1872 the Bloomingdale brothers open the East Side Bazaar at 56th Street and Third Avenue. They later move uptown to 59th Street and Lexington to established one of the city's early "department stores" catering to the city's elite with imported European fashions and "gents furnishings". By the 1920's, Bloomingdale's occupies an entire city block.

    April 19

    ...the 7th Regiment headquartered at its armory on 66th Street and Park Avenue, march off to Washington, DC this day in 1861 responding to President Lincoln's call to guard the nation's capitol against Confederate invasion.

    kinetoscope image
    April 20


    April 20

    ...the first kinetoscope parlor opens in New York CIty this day in 1884 heralding the first ever "moving picture" show. Thomas Edison's newest invention eventually leads to the kinetograph, the world's first motion picture camera ...

    April 21

    ...paupers are buried in what was once a Potters Field in Madison Square. Today in 1884 its reopens as Madision Square Park ...the hit musical Annie based on the cartoon strip Little Orphan Annie opens tonight in 1977 at the Alvin Theater and goes on to play for 2,377 performances....

    April 22

    ...the New York World's Fair opens this day in Flushing, Queens in 1964.

    April 23

    ...this day in 1785, Samuel Fraunces sells his tavern after 23 years in business catering to the likes of George Washington and other early American patriots during and after the Revolutionary War...

    April 24

    ...a gothic-spired "Cathedral of Commerce", the Woolworth Building opens this day in 1913.

    April 25

    ...with the help of maverick cop Frank Serpico, a scandal is about to errupt with tales of crooked cops and extortion splattered across the front page of the New York Times this day in 1970. The story leads to the appointment of the Knapp Commission to investigate widespread police corruption...

    April 26

    ...the anti-war movement reaches fever pitch when thousands of students boycott classes this day in 1968. Thousands more planning to march through the streets tomorrow in protest against America's continued involvement in the Vietnam War....

    April 27

    ...baseball legend Babe Ruth, diagnosed with terminal cancer, bids farewell at a special ceremony at Yankee Stadium this day in 1947.

    Central Park
    April 28


    April 28

    ...the future of Central Park is in the hands of landscape architects Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux when their entry is selected as the official design for landscaping a large swath of mid-Manhattan as a playground for New Yorkers this day in 1858 ...

    April 29

    ...after months of performances in Greenwich Village, the musical Hair opens on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre tonight in 1968. The first "nude" musical, the show goes on to play for 1,844 performances .... Yankee owner George Steinbrenner lets Yogi Berra go after only 16 games this day in 1985 and rehires BIlly Martin for his fourth stint at managing the Bronx Bombers ...

    April 30

    ...shy and withdrawn military man George Washington delivers his first inaugural address this day in 1789 before a joint session of Congress assembled at Federal Hall on Wall Street in the nation's new capital. The newly-elected president talks in a halting, low voice that exhibits what one observer can only describe as "manifest embarrassment..."

    --> May


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