....the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, located at 116th Street
and Broadway, opens its doors on this day in 1821, and later
becomes the site of Columbia
...P.T. Barnum's phenomenally popular Baby
Show opens at the American Museum this day in 1855 exhibiting
the oddest looking babies in town. "The fattest and
finest youngster in all the world", twins, triplets
and "other curiosities" vie for the top $100 prize
Valerie Solanas, a troubled writer who had appeared in
Warhol's film "I, A Man:, walks into artist's studio
and shoots Andy
Warhol in the chest this day in 1968. But the pop artist
survives and from his hospital bed muses, I was in
the wrong place at the right time....
...a strong and unseasonable hurricane hits the city this
day in 1825 with "trees prostrated" and ships
wrecks reported off the coast ...
based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book Of Practical
Cats," wins the Tony award for best musical this night
in 1983 and goes on to run for a record 7,485 performances
...Three 50 pound snapping turtles are found in a Bronx,
New York sewage treatment plant today in 1988 as municipal
workers surmise the house pets must have been flushed down
the toilet years ago ...
... with her passing today in 1967 in New York at age 73,
drama critic and sharp-tongued Algonquin Round Table wit
Parker is mourned by the literary world. Responsible
for "Men seldom make passes / at girls who wear glasses",
other famous quips include, "If all the girls who attended
the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit
...America has it's first commercially-produced ice cream
this day In 1786 when a Mr. Hall of Chatham Street in New
York City places an ad in a local paper to tell customers
that he was now in the business of selling ice cream to
the public ....
... following victories at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness,"miracle
wins the Belmont Stakes by a record 31 lengths, taking the
Triple Crown this day in 1973...
Sergio, who jumped into Shea Stadium wearing a "Go
Mets!" sign during the World Series last fall, is released
this day in 1987 three weeks after he began a six-month
term for civil contempt of court...
... this day in 1951 the MTA Lost Property Unit (212-712-4500)
begins auctioning off items returned to them by well-meaning
straphangers. Since then, 10,000 items per year is the average
annual haul and typically includes an assortment of bikes,
violins, dentures, prosthetic legs, crutches, bibles, and
Houdini frees himself from a straight jacket while suspended
upside down, 40 feet above a crowd of gawking New Yorkers,
this day in 1923....
...Mrs. Alexander Hamilton apparently takes up Mr. Hall
on his offer (see June 8) when she entertains
George Washington at her New York home and makes ice cream
the highlight of the dinner party dessert menu this night
...gearing up for war but overun with British Loyalists,
New York is ordered this day in 1776 to "detect and
restrain all internal enemies" by the Continental Congress
which, weeks later, publishes the Declaration of Independence
"General Slocum" wreckage, 1904.
...it's a perfect day for a summer's outing in 1904 when
the steamboat General Slocum catches fire and sinks. On
shore, spectactors watch as more than 1,000 people (mostly
women and children) are left to drown in the East River.
In the grisly
aftermath, bodies wash up along the riverbanks as families
try to identify loved ones in makeshift morgues.
Until 9/11, "New York's Awful Steamboat Horror"
remains the worst recorded disaster in city history...
riot breaks out this day in 1857 when a state-appointed
police force tries to clean up the city's corrupt department.
The tension between the two rival police forces results
in a full-scale melee near City Hall, leaving 52 policemen
injured before a militia is called in to stop the fistacuffs.
Crooked and crafty Mayor Fernando Wood is promptly arrested,
but is released on bail to serve out his term...
...Rocky Marciano successfully defends his heavyweight boxing
title by defeating former champion Ezzard Charles at Yankee
Stadium this night in 1954 ..
...New York has its first highway along the East River when
Drive is dedicated this day in 1940. Much of the FDR
is built on landfill, with the section near Bellevue Hospital
(between East 23rd Street and East 30th Street) filled with
rubble from bombed British cities carried as ballast in
wartime ships ...
baseball is born this day in 1846 at the Elysian Fields
in Hoboken as the New York Nine annihilate the New York
Knickerbockers 23-1 in four innings ...
Funny girl Fanny
Brice makes her big debut at the Ziegfield Follies this
night in 1910 performing her big hit Lovie Joe, and
goes on to appear in 88 performances ...
...The Rolling Stones, raucus rock band and groupie magnets,
file a lawsuit against 14 hotels over a booking ban in New
York this day in 1968, claiming that hotel refusals were
violating their civil rights ...
...more than 70,000 New Yorkers pack Yankee Stadium, and
millions more tune in to the radio this humid night in 1938
for the much-anticipated rematch
between Joe Louis and Max Schmelling which lasts all
of 124 seconds when Schmelling, suffering a major beating,
throws in the towel ...
...following 23 days of beating sun, rain and mud, the first
auto race from New York to Seattle ends this day with
with $3,500 in prize money going to Bert Scott and James
Smith in a 1909 Shawmut ...
...in one of the worst airliine disasters in the city's
history, 113 passengers out of the 124 aboard lose their
lives when extreme wind shear forces Eastern
Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727, to crash land and
explode at JFK airport this day in 1975 ...
...the climax to a lethal
love triangle is about to unfold as Henry Thaw, cuckolded
husband of actess Evelyn Nesbit, shoots famed New York architect
and notorious womanizer, Stanford White, on the roof theater
of Madison Square Garden this evening in 1906. Two murder
trials follow ...
...to promote the sale of war bonds, baseball history is
made this day in a three-way exhibition game between the
New York Dodgers, the New York Yankees AND the New York
Giants this day in 1944. The final score was Dodgers 5,
Yankees 1, and the Giants 0. The game raises more than $50
million for the war effort...
... America has its first case of mutiny when Continental
Army soldier Thomas
Hickey is found guilty on charges that he was part of
a conspiracy of soldiers preparing to defect to the British
in the coming Revolutionary War. As a result, George Washington
signs the order for his execution and Hickey is hanged this
day in 1776 before a crowd of 20,000 New Yorkers ...
...according to Olde New York lore, the statue of St. Paul
climbs down from historic St. Paul's Chapel in lower Manhattan
to walk among New Yorkers this day, marking the Christian
feast of St. Peter and St. Paul...
...featuring the first passenger elevator in New York City,
the 350-foot-high, wood and iron Latting
Observatory on 43rd Street burns to the ground this
day in 1856 ...