York Almanac ->
New York City in MAY
Ahh, spring : street
fairs and green
....Average monthly temperature in MAY : 62°
...the mother of all street fairs, the Ninth
Avenue International Food Festival
stretches through Hell's Kitchen from 37th to
57th Street featuring foods from every corner of the earth
as well as local fare. Bring the kids....
if you even if you don't know much about art, you'll take
a liking to the annual Washington
Square Outdoor Art Exhibit held on Memorial Day
weekend, featuring more than 200 local and international
artists exhibiting their work around Washington Square Park...
...after a one year and 45 days
under construction, the Empire
State Buildiing officially opens in 1931. It is the
world's tallest building with 6,500 windows, 73 elevators
and 1,860 steps to the top floor....
...with his coordination and speed deteriorated in recent
weeks, "Iron Horse" Lou
Gehrig benches himself after playing 2,130 consecutive
games for the Yankees this day in 1939. He watches from
the bullpen for several weeks, but never again returns to
the game after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), the deadly disease later named for him
Two Gun Crowley in
his hospital bed after
his dramatic arrest.
...in the little village of Fordham north of Manhattan,
a Jesuit college (total enrollment: 6) opens today in 1841
to eventually become Fordham
Minuit arrives at Manhattan this day in 1626 to oversee
the governing of New Amsterdam and famously buys the island
from the Algonquin Indians for beads & trinkets worth
about $24. (with real estate prices having since climbed
... this day in 1891 the Music Hall is a new building for
the performing arts on West 57th Street. The hall
is later renamed for industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and
is now the place where everyone asks how to get to (hint:
the humanity. Flammable hydrogen ignites within the
dirigible Hindenburg which immediately explodes in flames
over Lakehurst, New Jersey this day in 1937 killing 36 passengers
and crew ...
..."Give up and come out with your hands up. We
have the building surrounded!.." Cops try to coax
cop killer and bank robber Francis
"Two Gun" Crowley from his 90th Street hideout
this day in 1930 when the 19-year-old suddenly straps two
pistols to his waist and two to his legs, goes to the window
and starts firing.
Cops return fire with a thousand rounds of bullets blasting
the apartment to shreds. When the smoke clears, Crowley
is found alive with four gun shot wounds and months later
faces the electric chair at Sing Sing . Final words? "Give
my love to my ma..." Crowley's life later forms
the basis for the film "White Heat" starring Jimmy
...New Amsterdam's first Italian settler is a crew member
aboard the wrecked Dutch ship King David this day
in 1635. Pietro Cesare Alberto swims ashore to meet and
marry a local Dutch girl, later raising seven children on
a farm in Brooklyn ...
Hat Riot breaks out on Wall Street this day in 1970
as hundreds of construction workers arrived on Wall Street
to disrupt a student protest against the Vietnam war. Workers
continue on to City Hall before the rampage ends two hours
later. More than 70 people are injured, including four policemen.
Place Riot erupts this night between fans of popular
actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready. As Macready
walks on stage in the role of Macbeth, an unruly bunch of
Forrest fans pelt the actor with rotten eggs, potatoes and
old shoes. The melee eventually spills out onto the streets
where militia shoot right into the crowd. 22 are killed
and almost 40 injured in one of New York's deadliest riots
to date ...
Woodhull lets loose this day at New York's Apollo Hall:
"If the very next Congress refuses women al the
legimate results of citizenship, we shall proceed to call
another convention expressly to frame a new constitution
and a erect a new government ...WE MEAN TREASON!...WE ARE
PLOTTING REVOLUTION!. We will overthrow this bogus republic
and plant a government of righeousness in its stead!
Avenue El, Manhattan's last elevated line closes this
day in 1955....and to the dismay of New York graffiti artists
the transit authority introduces graffiti-proof subway trains
this day in 1989 ....
...founder of New York City's Yiddish Art Theater and
author of many humorous works adapted for the stage, (most
notably, the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" ) Sholem
Aleichem is mourned by thousands at the news of his
passing this day in 1916 ...
... Mayor Jimmy Walker shows his support for the repeal
of Prohibition when he organizes a day-long Beer
Parade this day in 1932. An estimated 100,000 people
turn out to cheer the legalization of beer with one toddler
holding a sign reading "My daddy had beer, why can't
...condemning the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments as
blatant injustices to women, in 1869 Susan B. Anthony and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National
Woman Suffrage Association this day in New York City...
...America has its first revolutionary in Captain
Jacob Leisler after he defies King William III's harsh
colonial policies and seizes control of Manhattan. Following
an armed skirmish with British troops, Leisler and followers
are tried for treason and are hanged and beheaded this day
in 1691 ...
...this day in 1792 at the Merchants' Coffee House at the
corner of Wall and Water Streets, two dozen stockbrokers
sign the Buttonwood
Agreement named after a buttonwood tree under which
business has been transacted in the streets for lo these
many years. The agreement lists rules for securities transactions
which lays the foundation for the New York Stock Exchange
...America has its first commuter aerial tramway this day
Roosevelt Island Tramway opens in 1976 connecting Roosevelt
Island with Manhattan...
Freed, popular DJ at New York's WABC radio station and
the man responsible for inventing the phrase "rock
'n roll" is arrested for bribery in the radio payola
scandal this day in 1960. Freed says payments he received
from record companies were for "consultation,"
not as an inducement to play their records. He's later found
guilty of two counts of bribery and fined $300...
...New York illustrator Norman
Rockwell has the first of one of many successful cover
paintings published in the Saturday Evening Post this day
in 1916, "Boy with Baby Carriage"...
cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this years
fashions says New York screenwriter and playwright
Lillian Hellman who is being forced to testify at the The
House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings in Washington
DC this day in 1952 ....
...Samuel Wood publishes "The Cries of New York"
a children's picture book with a variety of popular ditties
this day in 1814.. A sample from a clam vendor:
Here's clams, here's clams, here's clams today
They lately came from Rockaway,
They're good to eat, they're good to fry.
They're good to make a clam pot pie!
York Public Library opens on Fifth Avenue today in 1911.
One of the first New Yorkers to arrive files a request slip
at 9:08 a.m., and receives his book six minutes later. The
title? N. I. Grot's Nravstvennye idealy nashego vremeni,
(Ethical Ideas of Our Time) a study of Nietzsche and Leo
...Spanning the East River at a cost of $18 million, the
Bridge is the world's longest suspension bridge when
it opens this day in 1883. Almost 2,000 vehicles and more
than 150,000 people make the inaugural crossing ...
photo of the Brooklyn Bridge
under construction, 1881.
... with 330-foot spires dwarfing neighborhood FIfth Avenue
mansions and boasting a gleaming white Pieta three times
larger than Michelangelo's, St.
Patrick's Cathedral is formerly dedicated this day in
...New Yorker George
Willig (aka "the human fly") makes headlines
this day in 1977 when he takes 3 1/2 hours to climb the
south tower of the World Trade Center. He's promptly arrested,
but a popular outcry fo his release prompts Mayor Abraham
Beame to fine him $1.10, one cent for each of the skyscraper's
110 stories ...
...according to local lore, he will stomp his wooden leg
on the floor and roar at the New Amsterdam assembly whenever
it opposes him. The notorious peg-leg Peter
Stuyvesant is inaugurated as Director-General of New
Netherland this day in 1647....
The first all-color talking feature is Warner Bros.' On
With The Show! starring Betty Compson and Joe E. Brown
which premieres at the NYC's Winter Garden Theatre this
day in 1929 ...
...The New York World newspaper puts on a promotion stunt
this day in 1910 involving a train and an airplane racing
between Albany and New York City. Pilot Glenn Curtiss takes
the $10,000 prize ...
...the first ever auto accident is documented this day
in 1896 when a Duryea Motor Wagon driven by Henry Wells
collides with a bicycle ridden by Evylyn Thomas of NYC.
...considered the top hotel in the country when it
opens its doors today in 1836, the behemoth Astor
House Hotel on Vesey and Barclay Streets introduces
new innovations to the industry including a gas-lit ballroom,
individual room keys - and free soap ....