York Almanac ->
New York City in December
Christmas at Rockefeller Center
....Average monthly temperature in December : 35° ...
this month, join thousands of holiday revelers at Rockefeller
City Music Hall, South
Street Seaport, the Metropolitan
Museum of Art and other venues around town for getting
into the spirit of Christmas...
get ready for a wild night of partying and revelry on December
31st in Times
Square as the famous ball drops to welcome in another
New Year ...
...Today in Classical Music: Wagner's "Tristan and
Isolde" makes its U.S. premier at the the Metropolitan
...Elvita Adams climbs over the fence and jumps from the
Empire State Building this cold and windy night in 1979
when a sudden gust blows her right back to the 85th floor.
She lands on a ledge fracturing her hip, but is shortly
hauled to safety...
... the Nassau
Street Theatre offers up the first documented musical
ever performed in New York City, "The Beggar's Opera"
premiering tonight in 1750, courtesy of Murray & Kean's
traveling theatrical troupe ...
... still considered a classic of American satire, Washington
History of New York" is published this day in 1809...
... "Prohibition Ends At Last! cries the front page
headline of the New York Mirror as the city erupts
in celebration after an amendment to the Constitution brings
about the repeal of Prohibition this day in 1933...
....New Yorkers wake up to learn that almost 300 people
have perished in the Brooklyn
Theater fire last night after a gas light ignites the
scenery during a performance of The Two Orphans. Some
200 bodies are burned beyond recognition and later buried
in a mass grave in Green-Wood Cemetery...
... amid major fanfare in New York City this day in 1971
McGraw-Hill announces that they plan to publish Clifford
Irving's "The Autobiography of Howard Hughes."
The book is later revealed as one of the most
brazen hoaxes in publishing history when Hughes himself
holds a teleconference to disavow any knowledge of the book
or the author ...
... millions mourn the news that ex-Beatle John
Lennon, on his way home to the Dakota Apartments on
the Upper West Side, is gunned down by deranged gunman Mark
Chapman this night in 1980 ...
...New York's first daily newspaper, American Minerva,
is founded by spelling expert Noah Webster this day
...the warmest day ever in December is recorded this day
in 1946 as the temperature hits 70°...
...from a boat in the East River, a bazooka is fired at
the U.N. this day in 1964, but the shell misses its target
and falls harmlessly into the river. Three Cuban exiles
who are opponents of the Castro regime are taken into custody.....
... An Inside Job: a major heist is underway at The Sentry
Armored Car Company this day in 1982 when unknown thieves
take off with $11.4 million. A year later, 25-year-old security
guard Cristos Potamitis, who claimed he was overpowered
by two men in ski masks, is arrested for the the biggest
cash theft in U.S. history...
...New Yorkers find themselves covered under "a great
fall of snow" this day in 1786....
...the hangout for such A-list stars as Liza Minelli, Andy
Warhol, Truman Capote, and Elizabeth Taylor, glittering
54 is raided by FBI agents this day in 1979, leading
to the arrest of club owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager
on charges of embezzlement ...
... violinist Isaac Stern leads the fight to save the venerable
Hall and arrives triumphantly to cut the ribbon on its
reopening this day in 1986. The ceremony marks the completion
of a $50 million renovation...
... at approximately 9PM on this cold, windy night in 1835,
night watchman William Hayes is patrolling the financial
district when he smells smoke, the first inkling that the
Fire of 1835 has begun to erupt, destroying almost 700
buildings from Bond Street to South Street and from Wall
Street to Coenties Slip...
...British rockers The Rolling Stones are in town this night
in 1999 to celebrate Keith Richards' birthday at New York's
Russian Tea Room. The party later spills out into the street
where Richards steals a guitar from a fan who refuses to
press charges explaining: "It's Keith, man..."
...the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled opens this
day in NYC in 1862 as America's first orthopedic hospital.
To a grateful public in 1940 it is later renamed the Hospital
for Special Surgery ...
....later raided by the vice squad, the infamous and "awful"
Dinner hosted by Herbert Barnum Seeley (grandson of
P.T. Barnum) takes place this night in 1896 featuring a
scantily clad exotic dancer, Ashea Wabe aka "Little
Egypt", performing for about 20 male guests...
...a New York theater is named for a living actress for
the first time when the Ethel
Barrymore Theatre opens on Broadway tonight in 1928
with a production of Kingdom of God, starring (who
else?) Ethel Barrymore...
...Hannah Griffith departs this life today in 1802 and is
buried in Trinity
Church graveyard under a tombstone inscribed:
Morn not for me, my husband dear / I am not dead but sleeping
here / My debts are paid, the grave is free / Prepare yourself
to follow me..."
...a sensational trial erupts around the murder of Elma
Sands who is found lifeless in the Spring Street well
on Broadway this day in 1800, with sweetheart Levi Weeks
standing trial for her murder. Defense counsel include legal
hotshots Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr who acquit Weeks
of all charges. Since then, Sands' ghost is said to haunt
the Soho neighborhood in an apparition of a gray-haired
women covered in a robe of moss and seaweed...
...penned by New Yorker Clement C. Moore in his Chelsea
neighborhood residence, "A Visit from St Nicholas"
(better known today as 'Twas
The Night Before Christmas) is first published this
day in 1823...
... R.H. Macys department store remains open until
midnight tonight in 1867, taking in a record daily haul
of $6,000 from last-minute shoppers...
...under pressure from clergy and reform groups all of New
York's lewd and lascivious nickelodeons and movie houses
are temporarily shut down this day in 1908 ...
... it's a White Christmas after all, as the Blizzard of
'47 roars into town this day packing high winds and dropping
a record 26.4 inches of the white stuff that shuts down
mass transit and forces thousands to trudge home through
..with a Grand Stage measuring a cavernous 66 feet deep
and 144 feet wide, Radio
City Music Hall opens today in 1932...
... the crowd roars as Zero Mostel steps out on the stage
at the Winter Garden Theater to reprise his role as Tevye,
in the first major Broadway revival of Fiddler
on the Roof this night in 1976...
...more than 2,000 New Yorkers are lost to a yellow
fever epidemic that raged throughout the summer - as
the city's wealthy, who have evacuated to the countryside,
start returning home this day in 1795...
...it's the coldest December day on record as the temperature
plunges to a frigid -13° today
...later to become famous around the world, the first ball
welcoming in the New Year drops at midnight in Times Square
this night in 1907. Happy New Year!....