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NYC Pinterest: http://tinyurl.com/qaqgx9q The tri-state area around NYC was
inhabited by the Lanape Indians prior to the arrival of Europeans.
(WSJ, 12/3/98, p.A20) 1524 Apr 17,
Giovanni da Verrazano, Florentine navigator, reached present-day New
York Harbor. He explored from Cape Fear to Newfoundland and
discovered New York Bay and the Hudson River. He was later eaten by
(TL-MB, p.12)(HN, 4/17/98)(SFEM, 11/15/98,
1609 Sep 3-4, Henry Hudson
discovered the island of Manhattan. The exact date is not known.
1609 Sep 12, English
explorer Henry Hudson sailed his ship, the Half Moon, into the river
that later took his name. Hudson sailed for the Dutch East India
Company in search of the Northwest Passage, a water route linking
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
(AP, 9/12/97)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.28)
1609 Henry Hudson gave brandy
to the local Indians and their chief passed out. The place was
renamed "Manahachtanienk," meaning "where everybody got drunk."
Authorities say that "Manhattan" came form an Indian word meaning
(SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.8)
1610 Jun 10, The 1st Dutch
settlers arrived from NJ to colonize Manhattan Island.
1626 May 4, Dutch explorer
Peter Minuit (~1594-1638), director-general of New Netherlands,
bought Manhattan Island for 60 guilders (about $24 in 1839 dollars)
worth of cloth and buttons. Minuit conducted the transaction with
Seyseys, chief of the Canarsees, who were only too happy to accept
valuable merchandise in exchange for an island that was actually
mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks. The Sixty guilders were
valued at approximately $1,060 in 2013. The site of the deal was
later marked by Peter Minuit Plaza at South Street and Whitehall
5/4/97)(HN, 5/4/98)(WSJ, 11/19/99, p.W10)
1626 Nov 25, Peter Minuit,
director general of the Dutch West India Co., bought Manhattan
Island for about $24 in beads and other trinkets.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1626 The first known African
slaves, 11 young men from the Congo River basin, appeared in New
(SFC, 2/7/00, p.A4)
1628 The Reformed Protestant
Dutch Church was established by settlers in New York. In 1867 it
became the Reformed Church of America.
(SFEC, 4/20/97, Par p.18)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A11)
1630 Jul 12, New Amsterdam's
governor bought Gull Island from Indians for cargo and renamed it
Oyster Island. It later became Ellis Island.
1630 Staten Island was acquired
by Dutch settlers. [see 1659]
(WSJ, 11/19/99, p.W10)
1638 Aug 9, Jonas Bronck of
Holland became the 1st European settler in the Bronx.
1642 Feb 25, Dutch settlers
slaughtered lower Hudson Valley Indians in New Netherland, North
America, who sought refuge from Mohawk attackers.
1645 Aug 9, Settlers in New
Amsterdam gained peace with the Indians after conducting talks with
1647 May 11, Peter Stuyvesant
(37) arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland.
The one-legged professional soldier was sent from the Netherlands to
head the Dutch trading colony at the southern end of Manhattan
Island. Stuyvesant lost a leg in a minor skirmish in the Caribbean
(ON, 4/00, p.1)(AH, 10/04, p.74)(AP, 5/11/08)
1647 Nov 10, The all Dutch-held
area of New York was returned to English control by the treaty of
1648 Oct 4, Peter Stuyvesant
established America's 1st volunteer firemen.
1650 Sep, Peter Stuyvesant
traveled from New Amsterdam to Hartford, Conn., to negotiate
boundaries for their colonies.
(ON, 4/00, p.1)
1652 Jun 27, New Amsterdam (now
NYC) passed the 1st speed limit law in US.
1653 Feb 2, New Amsterdam --
now New York City -- was incorporated.
1653 Peter Stuyvesant, governor
of New Netherland, ordered a wall built to protect the Dutch
settlers from the Indians. The wall gave New York’s Wall Street its
(WSJ, 10/9/97, p.A16)
1654 Aug 22, Jacob Barsimson,
the 1st Jewish immigrant to US, arrived in New Amsterdam.
1655 Apr 26, Dutch West Indies
Co. denied Peter Stuyvesant's desire to exclude Jews from New
1655 Peter Stuyvesant launched
an offensive against Swedish soldiers who had seized control of the
fur trade along the Delaware. In his absence Indians attacked New
Amsterdam and took dozens of hostages.
(ON, 4/00, p.2)
1655 The first slave auction
was held in New Amsterdam.
(SFC, 10/19/98, p.D3)
1656 Feb 22, New Amsterdam was
granted a Jewish burial site.
1656 Mar 13, Jews were denied
the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam.
1657 Jun 1, 1st Quakers arrived
in New Amsterdam (NY). (MC, 6/1/02)
1657 Settlers in Vlissingen
(later Flushing, Queens, NY) signed a declaration of religious
freedom called the Flushing Remonstrance.
(SSFC, 4/17/05, Par p.12)
1658 Aug 12, The 1st US police
corps formed in New Amsterdam.
1658 A night watchman kept a
lookout for Indian attacks.
(WSJ, 11/3/98, p.A20)
1659 Cornelius Meylin, patroon
of Staten Island, wrote in his recollections that Staten Island was
acquired in 1630 in exchange for "kittles, axes, Hoos, wampum,
drilling awles, Jews Harps and diverse small wares."
(WSJ, 11/19/99, p.W10)
1660 Oct 15, Asser Levy was
granted a butcher's license for kosher meat in New Amsterdam.
1662 John Bowne (34) was
arrested in Vlissingen (later Flushing, Queens, NY) on orders from
Gov. Peter Stuyvesant for aiding and abetting an “abomination”
(Quakerism). In a hearing 19 months later Bowne invoked a 1657
declaration of religious freedom called the Flushing Remonstrance.
(SSFC, 4/17/05, Par p.12)
1664 Mar 22, Charles II gave
large tracks of land from west of the Connecticut River to the east
of Delaware Bay in North America to his brother James, the Duke of
York and Albany. The entire Hudson Valley and New Amsterdam was
given to James.
(AP, 3/22/99)(ON, 4/00, p.2)
1664 Jul 23, 4 British ships
arrived in Boston to drive the Dutch out of NY.
1664 Aug 28, Four English
warships under Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into New Amsterdam.
450 English soldiers disembarked and took control of Brooklyn, a
village of mostly English settlers.
(ON, 4/00, p.2)
1664 Sep 5, After days of
negotiation, the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam surrendered to
the British, who would rename it New York. The citizens of New
Amsterdam petitioned Peter Stuyvesant to surrender to the English.
The "Articles of Capitulation" guaranteed free trade, religious
liberty and a form of local representation. In 2004 Russell Shorto
authored "The Island At the Center of the World," a history of New
York's Dutch period.
(HN, 9/5/98)(ON, 4/00, p.3)(WSJ, 3/16/04, p.D6)
1664 Sep 8, The Dutch formally
surrendered New Amsterdam to 300 English soldiers. The British soon
renamed it New York.
(AP, 9/8/97)(ON, 4/00, p.3)
1665 Jun 12, England installed
a municipal government in New York, formerly the Dutch settlement of
1667 Jun 21, The Peace of Breda
ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664-67) and saw the Dutch cede
New Amsterdam [on Manhattan Island] to the English.
(WUD, 1994, p.961)(HN, 6/21/98)
1672 Peter Stuyvesant died on
his farm in NY. In 1959 Henry H. Kessler and Eugene Rachlis authored
"Peter Stuyvesant and his New York." In 1970 Adele de Leeuw authored
(ON, 4/00, p.3)
1673 Aug 9, Dutch recapture NY
from English. It was regained by English in 1674.
1674 Feb 9, English reconquered
NY from Netherlands.
1674 Feb 19, Netherlands and
England signed the Peace of Westminster. NYC became English.
1674 Nov 10, Dutch formally
ceded New Netherlands (NY) to English. [see 1664]
1686 The NYC Charter of this
year incorporated the rights of the 1664 New Amsterdam "Articles of
(WSJ, 3/16/04, p.D6)
1697 The British implemented a
policy of mortuary segregation for slaves and relegated their dead
to a 5-6 acre plot at the marshy tip of Manhattan.
(SFC, 2/7/00, p.A4)
1699 A wooden wall on the
northern edge of New Amsterdam, built for protection from the
Indians, was destroyed by the British.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1702 Lord Cornbury, Queen
Anne's cousin, was made governor of New York and gave Trinity
Church some land.
(SFEC, 1/10/99, p.A13)
1712 Apr 7, There was a slave
revolt in New York City. A slave insurrection in New York City was
suppressed by the militia and ended with the execution of 21 blacks.
[see Jul 4]
(HN, 4/7/97)(HNQ, 6/10/98)
1712 Jul 4, Twelve slaves were
executed for starting a slave uprising in New York that killed nine
whites. [see Apr 7]
(HN, 7/4/98)(PCh, 1992, p.278)
1714 Nov 11, A highway in Bronx
was laid out. It was later renamed East 233rd Street.
1725 Nov, William Bradford, an
English-born Quaker, established the New York Gazette. The site at
81 Pearl was later taken up by a Chinese restaurant.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1730 Apr 9, The 1st Jewish
congregation in US formed the synagogue, "Sherith Israel, NYC."
1731 Aug 7, William Cosby
arrived in New York to assume his post as Governor for the New York
1733 Nov 5, John Peter Zenger
(b.1697), German-born immigrant, published the 1st issue of the New
York Weekly Journal. Zenger, the partner of William Bradford, had
left the Gazette to form the rival New York Weekly Journal. Attorney
James Alexander hired Zenger in order to publish anonymously his
criticism of NY Governor William Cosby.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)(ON, 11/04, p.9)
1734 Oct 22, NY Gov. William
Cosby ordered the hangman and whipper of NY to burn 4 back issues of
the New York Weekly Journal.
(ON, 11/04, p.9)
1734 Nov 17, John Zenger was
arrested for libel against NY colonial governor William Cosby.
Zenger was later acquitted.
(ON, 11/04, p.9)
1735 Aug 5, A NY jury acquitted
John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal of seditious libel.
1736 Mar 10, NY colonial Gov.
William Cosby died. George Clarke became the new governor.
1736 The 1st NYC almshouse was
built on the site later taken by City Hall.
(Arch, 7/02, p.)
1741 A slave revolt in New York
caused considerable property damage but left people unharmed. Rumors
of a conspiracy among slaves and poor whites in New York City to
seize control led to a panic that resulted in the conviction of 101
blacks, the hanging of 18 blacks and four whites, the burning alive
of 13 blacks and the banishment from the city of 70. In 2005 Anne
Farrow, Joel Lang and Jennifer Frank authored “Complicity: The North
Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery,” which included a
chapter on the 1941 NYC slave revolt.
12/18/96, p.A25)(SSFC, 10/2/05, p.F3)
1743 The first botanical survey
of the NYC area was done by Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776). The
Scotsman later served two terms as the colonial governor of the
province of New York.
1744 The New York Gazette
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1750 Mar 5, The 1st American
Shakespearean production, was an "altered" Richard III in NYC.
1751 Feb 25, The 1st performing
monkey exhibited in America was in NYC.
1754 Jan 4, Columbia University
was founded as Kings College in NYC. [see July 7]
1754 Jul 7, King's College in
New York City opened under a Royal Charter. 8 students and one
professor met in the vestry of Trinity Church. The school was
renamed Columbia College 30 years later. [see Jan 4]
(AP, 7/7/97)(WSJ, 10/15/03, p.A20)
1756 Mar 17, St. Patrick's Day
was 1st celebrated in NYC at Crown & Thistle Tavern.
1762 Mar 17, 1st St Patrick's
Day parade was held in NYC.
1765 Oct 7, Delegates from nine
of the American colonies met in New York to discuss the Stamp Act
Crisis and colonial response to it. This "Stamp Act Congress" went
on to draft resolutions condemning the Stamp and Sugar Acts, trial
without jury and taxation without representation as contrary to
their rights as Englishmen.
(AP, 10/7/97)(HN, 10/7/98)
1765 Oct 19, The Stamp Act
Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and
1765-1915 In 2002 Michael Henry Adams authored
"Harlem Lost and Found "An Architectural and Social History:
(SFC, 6/10/02, p.D5)
1766 St. Paul’s Chapel was
built. In 2001 it was Manhattan’s oldest church.
(WSJ, 9/14/01, p.W13)
1768 Apr 5, 1st US Chamber of
Commerce formed in NYC.
1768 Oct 30, 1st Methodist
church in US was initiated at Wesley Chapel, NYC.
1774 Apr, NYC patriots dumped
18 chests of tea off Murray’s Wharf.
(WSJ, 10/16/02, p.D8)
1774 Aug 6, Mother Ann Lee,
founder of the Shaker Movement, arrived in NY.
1774 Aug 28, Mother Elizabeth
Ann Seton, the first American-born saint and the founder of the
Sisters of St. Joseph, was born in New York City. She was canonized
(AP, 8/28/97)(HN, 8/28/98)(RTH, 8/28/99)
1774-1781 The British army occupied Manhattan,
Staten Island and western Long Island for 7 years. In 2002 Richard
M. Ketchum authored "Divided Loyalties," an account of the
Revolutionary spirit in NY; Barnet Schecter authored "The Battle for
New York," and Judith L. Van Buskirk authored "Generous Enemies," an
account of interactions between loyalists and rebels during the war.
(WSJ, 10/16/02, p.D8)
1775 Jan 25, Americans dragged
cannon up hill to fight the British at Gun Hill Road, Bronx.
1776 Jul 10, The statue of King
George III was pulled down in New York City.
1776 Aug 29, General George
Washington retreated during the night from Long Island to New York
1776 Sep 6, The Turtle, the 1st
submarine invented by David Bushnell, attempted to secure a cask of
gunpowder to the HMS Eagle, flagship of the British fleet, in the
Bay of NY but got entangled with the Eagle’s rudder bar, lost
ballast and surfaced before the charge was planted. Sergeant Ezra
Lee released the bomb the next morning as a British barge
approached. The British turned back and the bomb soon exploded. A
month later the turtle was lost under British attack as it was being
transported on a sailboat.
(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.14)(Arch, 5/05, p.36)
1776 Sep 11, An American
delegation consisting of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Edward
Rutledge met with British Admiral Richard Lord Howe to discuss terms
upon which reconciliation between Britain and the colonies might be
based. The talks were unsuccessful. In 2003 Barnet Schecter authored
“The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American
1776 Sep 15, British forces
occupied New York City during the American Revolution. British
forces captured Kip's Bay, Manhattan, during the American
(AP, 9/15/97)(HN, 9/15/99)
1776 Sep 20, American soldiers,
some of them members of Nathan Hale’s regiment, filtered into
British-held New York City and stashed resin soaked logs into
numerous buildings and a roaring inferno was started. A fourth of
the city was destroyed including Trinity Church. The events are
documented in the 1997 book "Liberty by Thomas Fleming."
(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.14)(WSJ, 9/14/01, p.W13)
1776 Sep 21, Nathan Hale was
arrested in NYC by the British for spying for American rebels.
(SFC, 9/20/03, p.A2)
1776 Sep 21, NYC burned down in
the Great Fire 5 days after British took over.
1776 Sep 22, American Captain
Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy with no trial by the British in New
York City during the Revolutionary War. He was considered as one of
the incendiaries of the burning of NYC. Hale was commissioned
by General George Washington to cross behind British lines on Long
Island and report on their activity. His last words are reputed to
have been, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my
(AP, 9/22/97)(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.14)(HN,
1776 Oct 12, British Brigade
began guarding Throgs Necks Road in Bronx.
1776 Oct 18, In a NY bar
decorated with bird tail, a customer ordered a "cocktail."
1776 Oct 18, At the Battle of
Pelham Col. John Glover and the Marblehead regiment collided with
British Forces in the Bronx.
1776 Nov 16, British troops
captured Fort Washington on the north end of Manhattan during the
(AP, 11/1697)(MC, 11/16/01)
1776 A New York tavern keeper
mixed a rum and "cocktail." The name was derived from rooster
feathers used as ornaments for glasses.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1777 May 12, The 1st ice cream
advertisement appeared in the Philip Lenzi NY Gazette.
1778 Aug 31, British killed 17
Stockbridge Indians in Bronx during Revolution.
1778 Benjamin Tallmadge, under
orders from George Washington, organized a spy network in NYC, the
heart of the British forces. The code name for the group was Samuel
Culper and it became known as the Culper Gang.
(MT, Fall/99, p.6)
1778 Robert Edwards, a Welsh
buccaneer, or his son supposedly leased 77 acres of prime land to
Trinity Church on a 99-year lease. The land later included what
became Wall street. The land was supposed to revert to his
descendants but that didn't happen. The case was to go to court in
(SFEC, 1/10/99, p.A13)
1789 U.S. President. Washington
stayed at 3 Cherry Street in New York while the national capital was
1783 Apr 3, Washington Irving
(d.Nov 28, 1859), essayist, author, historian, biographer,
attorney/lawyer, American writer (Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Rip
Van Winkle), was born in New York City.
(DTnet, 11/28/97)(HN, 4/3/98)
1783 Jun 1, Last British troops
sailed from New York. (MC, 6/1/02)
1783 Dec 4, Gen. George
Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in NYC.
In 2003 Stanley Weintraub authored "General Washington's Christmas
(AP, 12/4/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)(WSJ, 12/10/03,
1785 Jan 11, Continental
Congress convened in NYC.
1787 Oct 27, The first of the
Federalist Papers, a series of 77 essays calling for ratification of
the U.S. Constitution, was published in a New York newspaper. The
essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay were
written under the pseudonym “Publius” and later published as "The
(AP, 10/27/97)(WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1787 Erasmus Hall School opened
(SFC, 1/21/02, p.A21)
1787 Ephraim Brasher, a
goldsmith living in the Cherry Hill district of NYC, began minting
gold doubloons, valued at $15, as currency for the new United
States. In 1947 the film The Brasher Doubloon” was made based on a
detective by novel Raymond Chandler. In 2011 a Brasher doubloon was
sold for $7.4 million.
(SFC, 12/15/11, p.A1)
1788 Mar 7, Alexander Hamilton
published his Federalist Paper 65 in the New York Packet. It
discussed the subject of impeachment.
(USAT, 9/14/98, p.4A)
1788 Sep 13, The Congress
of the Confederation authorized the first national election, and
declared New York City the temporary national capital. The
Constitutional Convention authorized the first federal election
resolving that electors (electoral college) in all the states will
be appointed on January 7, 1789. The Convention decreed that the
first federal election would be held on the first Wednesday in
February of the following year.
(AP, 9/13/97)(HN, 9/13/00)
1789 Feb 4, Electors
unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president
of the United States and John Adams as vice-president. The results
of the balloting were not counted in the US Senate until two months
later. Washington accepted office at the Federal Building of New
York. His first cabinet included Thomas Jefferson, Alexander
Hamilton as first secretary of the Treasury, Henry Knox, and Edmund
(A & IP, ESM, p.10)(WSJ, 3/12/97, p.A18)(AP,
1789 Mar 4, The Constitution of
the United States, framed in 1787, went into effect as the
first Federal Congress met in New York City. Lawmakers then
adjourned for the lack of a quorum (9 senators, 13 representatives).
In 2006 Robert V. Remini, historian of the US House of
Representatives, authored “The House.”
(WUD, 1994, p.314)(AP, 3/4/98)(HN, 3/4/98)(SC,
1789 Apr 1, The U.S. House of
Representatives held its first full meeting, in New York City.
Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first House
1789 Apr 6, The first US
Congress began regular sessions at Federal Hall on Wall Street, NYC.
(HN, 4/6/98)(MC, 4/6/02)
1789 Apr 23, President-elect
Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the
Franklin House, in New York. George Washington was inaugurated at
Federal Hall and lived at 3 Cherry Street in New York City. In 1790,
with construction on the new federal capital underway, the
government was moved temporarily to Philadelphia, where Washington
served out his two terms. He is the only president who never resided
in the White House.
(AP, 4/23/97)(HNPD, 12/22/98)
1789 Apr 30, George Washington
was inaugurated and took office in New York as the first president
of the United States. He took his oath of office on the balcony of
Federal Hall on Wall Street and spoke the words “So help me God,”
which all future US presidents have repeated. The oath as prescribed
by the Constitution makes no mention of God of the Bible.
(AP, 4/30/97)(HN, 4/30/98)(SSFC, 1/18/09,
p.W4)(AH, 4/07, p.31)
1789 Sep 2, The US Congress
created a permanent institution for the management of government
finances. The Treasury Department, headed by Alexander Hamilton, was
created in New York City and housed in Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl
1789 Sep 13, Start of the US
National Debt as the government took out its first loan, borrowed
from the Bank of North America (NYC) at 6 percent interest.
1789 Sep 25, The First Federal
Congress of the United States, meeting in NYC, proposed to the state
legislatures twelve amendments to the Constitution. The first two,
concerning the number of constituents for each Representative and
the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified.* Articles three
through twelve, known as the Bill of Rights, became the first ten
amendments to the US Constitution and contained guarantees of
essential rights and liberties omitted in the crafting of the
original document. 14 copies were hand written and 13 were sent to
the individual states.
1789 Nov, The U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, the oldest federal
court in the United States, convened in New York, a few weeks ahead
of the Supreme Court.
1790 Jan 8, President
Washington delivered the 1st "State of the Union" address in NYC.
1790 Feb 1, The US Supreme
Court convened for 1st time in Royal Exchange Building, New York
City, the nations temporary capital.
1790 Mar 21, Thomas Jefferson
(46) reported to President Washington in New York as the new US
Secretary of state.
1790 Aug 2, The enumeration for
the first US census began. It showed that 3,929,326 people were
living in the US of which 697,681 were slaves, and that the largest
cities were New York City with 33,000 inhabitants; Philadelphia,
with 28,000; Boston, with 18,000; Charleston, South Carolina, with
16,000; and Baltimore, with 13,000. Census records for Delaware,
Georgia, New Jersey, and Virginia were lost sometime between 1790
1790 Dec 6, Congress moved from
New York City to Philadelphia.
1791 Dec 17, NYC traffic
regulation created the 1st 1-way street.
1792 May 17, Stock traders
signed the Buttonwood Agreement in New York City at the Tontine
Coffee House Company near a Buttonwood tree, where business had been
transacted in the past. 24 merchants formed their exchange at Wall
and Water Streets where they fixed rates on commissions on stocks
and bonds. This later developed into the New York Stock Exchange. A
market crash and almost total halt in credit, trading and liquidity
prompted the Buttonwood Agreement under the influence of Alexander
Hamilton. The organization drafted its constitution on March 8th,
1817, and named itself the "New York Stock & Exchange Board."
(WSJ, 3/24/97, p.A19)(HN,
1797 Jan 1, Albany became the
capital of New York state, replacing New York City.
1799 Sep 1, Bank of Manhattan
Company opened in NYC. It was the forerunner to Chase Manhattan.
1800 Sep 7, The NYC Zion AME
Church was dedicated.
1800s The new York Times
established a charity called the New York Times’ 100 Neediest Cases
1801 Nov 16, The 1st edition of
New York Evening Post was published. Alexander Hamilton helped found
the paper and served as editor.
1803 Dewitt Clinton (1769-1828)
began serving his 1st term as Mayor of New York City and continued
to 1807. His 2nd term as mayor was from 1808-1810 and again from
1803 In NYC the
industrial district surrounded the Collect Pond. It got so polluted
that the Common Council called for it to be filled and the process
was begun in this year.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.47)
1806 A catalog of the plants at
Elgin Botanical Garden was published. This was the first botanical
garden in NYC and was located at what later became Rockefeller
(WSJ, 7/7/98, p.A14)
1806 NYC Mayor DeWitt Clinton,
having read the work of Englishman Joseph Lancaster, formed the New
York Free School Society to found Lancastrian schools.
(ON, 3/06, p.10)
1808 John Randel Jr., the
secretary, surveyor and chief engineer for New York City’s street
commissioners, and his colleagues began drafting and executing the
street grid plan for Manhattan.
1810 Ephraim Basher (b.1744),
NYC silversmith, died. He marked his pieces “EB” inside a square or
(SFC, 1/30/08, p.G4)
1811 Oct 11, The first
steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, was put into operation between
New York City and Hoboken, N.J.
1811 Manhattan adopted a street
grid that allowed the island to be developed over time. It planned
for a sevenfold expansion.
(Econ, 6/21/14, p.59)(Econ, 7/2/16, p.12)
1811-1887 Thomas Brooks, a New York City
craftsman. He made Victorian furniture in the Renaissance Revival
and Rococo Revival styles. His firm Thomas Brooks & Co. existed
(SFC, 6/30/99, Z1 p.7)
1812 Jun 16, City Bank of New
York came into existence. A group of merchants had taken the first
steps towards setting up a new bank in 1811 to help New York compete
with rivals Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore. In 1976, under the
leadership of CEO Walter B. Wriston, First National City Bank (and
its holding company First National City Corporation) was renamed
1812 The small Bank of America
was founded in NYC.
1813 Oct 29, The Demologos, the
first steam-powered warship, was launched in New York City.
1815 Nov 15, John Banvard,
painter of the world’s largest painting (3 mile canvas), was born in
1817 The New York Stock and
Exchange Board (NYSE) was formalized and established its first
quarters in a rented room at 40 Wall St.
(SFC, 4/23/98, p.D2)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1818 Feb 7, The first
successful U.S. educational magazine, Academician, began publication
in New York City.
1818 Henry Sands Brooks began
H. & D.H. Brooks & Co. in mostly rural Manhattan. It became
a key military supplier during the Civil War. A 2nd store opened in
1928 and operations grew to the well known chain known as Brooks
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R40)(SFC, 6/29/01, p.A8)(NW,
1819 May 21, The 1st bicycles
(swift walkers) in US were introduced in NYC.
1819 Aug 2, The first parachute
jump from a balloon was made by Charles Guille in New York City.
1821 Feb 12, The Mercantile
Library of City of NY opened.
1821 Feb 21, Charles Scribner,
was born. He founded the New York Publishing firm which became
Charles Scribner's Sons and also founded Scribner's magazine.
1821 Mar 14, African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church founded in NY.
1821 Jun 21, African Methodist
Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church was organized in NYC as a national
body. [see Mar 14]
1823 Apr 3, William Macy "Boss"
Tweed, New York City political boss, was born.
1824 Nov 16, NY City's Fifth
Avenue opened for business.
1825 Mar 2, The 1st grand opera
in US sung in English was in NYC.
1825 Nov 29, 1st Italian opera
in US, "Barber of Seville," premiered in NYC and was welcomed by the
legendary librettist for Mozart (and friend of Casanova), Lorenzo
DaPonte, who was Professor of Italian at King's (later Columbia)
1825 Mordecai Noah attempted to
establish a Jewish state called Grand Island near Buffalo. No one
came to the grand opening ceremony. At this time there were about
1000 Jews living in Manhattan.
(SFC, 5/20/99, p.E1,8)
1825-1861 In 2001 Catherine Voorsanger (d.2002 at
51) edited "Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825-1861" to
accompany a show by the same name.
(SFC, 1/4/02, p.A27)
1826 Lord & Taylor opened
as a dry goods store in NYC. English-born Samuel Lord had started a
dry goods business in New York in 1824 and opened the original store
that would become Lord & Taylor in 1826, on Catherine Street in
what is now Two Bridges, Manhattan.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_%26_Taylor)(SFC, 8/29/19, p.D1)
1826-1833 The Hawk and Buzzard newspaper subsisted
largely on gossip.
(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.12)
1827 Feb 7, Ballet (Deserter)
was introduced to US at Bowery Theater in NYC.
1827 The first edition of New
York's Freedom's Journal was published by John Russworm and Samuel
(SFEC, 1/31/99, DB p.28)
1829 Cornelius Vanderbilt
(1794-1877), NYC-based entrepreneur, began his own line of
steamboats and rapidly branched out to trans-oceanic shipping and
(ON, 6/12, p.2)
1829 Utopian reformers opened
the Hall of Science in a disused downtown Manhattan church, across
the street from Tract House, the headquarters of a new Christian
(SSFC, 9/8/02, p.M2)
1829-1833 Walter Bowne served as mayor of NYC.
(SSFC, 4/17/05, Par p.12)
1830 Sep 9 Charles Durant flew
a balloon from New York City across the Hudson River to Perth Amboy,
1831 Mar 19, The first recorded
US bank robbery occurred at the City Bank, in New York. Some
$245,000 is stolen.
1831 Jul 4, James Monroe, 5th
President of the United States, died in New York City at age 73,
making him the third ex-President to die on Independence Day.
(AP, 7/4/97)(HN, 7/4/98)(IB, Internet, 12/7/98)
1831 The New York City Marble
Cemetery on Manhattan's Lower East Side was established.
1832 Nov 14, The first
streetcar -- a horse-drawn vehicle called the John Mason -- went
into operation in New York City.
1832 Nov 26, Public streetcar
service began in New York City. The fare: 12 1/2 cents.
1833 Sep 3, The first
successful penny newspaper was published. Benjamin H. Day issued the
first copy of "The New York Sun". By 1826, circulation was the
largest in the country at 30,000. New York’s population was over
250,000, but its 11 daily newspapers had a combined circulation of
1833 Sep 4, Barney Flaherty
(10) answered an ad in "The New York Sun" and became the first
newsboy, what we now call a paperboy.
1833 Oct 2, The NY Anti-Slavery
Society was organized.
1833 The NY Mechanics Institute
opened to encourage the mechanical arts.
1833 The McKesson Corp. began
as a drugstore in NYC.
(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.B1)
1834 Mar 22, Horace Greeley
published "New Yorker," a weekly literary and news magazine and
forerunner of Harold Ross' more successful "The New Yorker."
1834 Jun 2, The 5th national
black convention met in NYC.
1834 Jul 4, NYC Mayor Cornelius
W. Lawrence presided over the laying of the cornerstone for the
Astor House hotel, designed by Isaiah Rogers. Construction took four
years and cost around $400,000.
1834 Nov 25, Delmonico's, one
of NY's finest restaurants, provided a meal of soup, steak, coffee
& half a pie for 12 cents.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.6)
1834 New York and New Jersey
made a compact over Ellis Island, then a 3-acre site that held that
the surrounding submerged land belonged to New Jersey. By 1998 the
island was 27.5 acres due to landfill and its ownership was under
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A2)
1834-1888 Currier and Ives lithographs were
manufactured in New York and formed a sweeping pictorial record of
mid-19th century America. When he first opened his shop, Nathaniel
Currier had just finished an apprenticeship in lithography, an
18th-century printing process involving making images from inked
stones. When an 1835 fire destroyed much of old New Amsterdam,
Currier rushed a lithograph of the disaster into print. Ruins of the
Merchant's Exchange, NY (shown above) sold briskly and launched
Currier's career in pictorial journalism. In 1852, Currier hired
bookkeeper and lithographer James Ives, making him a business
partner in 1857. Together the two men built Currier and Ives into
the most successful lithography house of their time and left a
legacy of more than 7,000 prints that document the humor, political
climate, current events and sentiments of mid-19th-century American
1835 May 6, The 1st edition of
NY Herald was priced at 1 cent. The Herald specialized in crime with
an emphasis on murder. James Gordon Bennett was the Scottish-born
steward of the Herald. Within a few years of the 1936 Jewett murder
case, a coalition of clergymen, financiers and rival editors waged a
"Moral War" against Bennett and his newspaper
(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.12)(SFEM, 8/6/00, p.45)(MC,
1835 Dec 16, A fire in New York
City destroyed property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. Beginning
in a store at Pearl and Merchant (Hanover) Streets, it lasted two
days, ravaged 17 blocks (52 acres), and destroyed 674 buildings
including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and
the South Dutch Church. 13 acres were scorched. 23 of the city’s 26
fire-insurance companies were forced into bankruptcy.
(HN, 12/16/98)(WSJ, 9/14/00, p.A24)(WSJ, 9/4/02,
1835 Oct 29, In NYC Tammany
Hall radicals lit candles with the new self-igniting friction
matches, known as loco-focos, and continued to nominate their own
ticket and formulate their program. The radical urban wing of the
Democratic Party, which emerged in New York in opposition to Andrew
Jackson‘s banking policies, thus became known by the nickname
Loco-Focos. Also known as Equal Rights men, the Loco-Focos fought
those financial interests aided by the regular Democratic Party in
applying for bank and corporation charters from the
legislature. They also advocated hard money, elections by
direct popular vote, direct taxes, free trade, abolition of
monopolies and Jeffersonian strict construction. They got the name
Loco-Focos from an incident that occurred at a party primary meeting
in Tammany Hall. After party regulars pushed through a ticket over
the objections of the Equal Rights men, the radicals refused to
vacate the hall. To get them to leave, the party regulars turned out
the gas lights.
1835 The New York Sun hired
Richard Adams Locke, a Briton, as editor. He soon wrote an anonymous
series about a new telescope and observations of the moon that
included the mention of vast forests, fields of poppies and lunar
animals. Circulation soared to 19,360. In 840 he admitted to writing
the moon hoax series. In 2008 Matthew Goodman authored “the Sun and
the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling
Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York.”
(WSJ, 11/7/08, p.A15)
1836 Apr 9-10, Helen Jewett, a
prostitute in a Thomas St. bordello in Manhattan, was murdered. Her
boyfriend, Richard P. Robinson (17), a clerk for a local merchant
and engaged to a woman of good pedigree, was tried for the murder
but acquitted. In 1998 Patricia Cline Cohen published "The Murder of
Helen Jewett," an account of the story.
(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.W6)(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.12)
1836 Jun 1, In NYC the doors of
the luxurious Astor House hotel opened to the public. It was a near
copy on a grander scale of the earlier, fashionable Trement House in
Boston, also designed by Isaiah Rogers.
1836 Jun, Richard P. Robinson
was found not guilty of the murder of Helen Jewett by a jury after
10 minutes of deliberation.
(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.12)
1837 Feb 13, There was a riot
in NY over the high price of flour.
1837 May 31, Astor Hotel opened
in NYC. It later became the Waldorf-Astoria. John Jacob Astor bought
up foreclosed properties during the financial bust. He later sold
them for a 10-fold profit.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)(MC, 5/31/02)
1838 Apr 22, The English
steamship "Sirius" docked in NYC after a record Atlantic crossing.
1838 Apr 23, The British
steamship "Great Western" arrived in NYC on its maiden voyage
from Bristol, England, just hours after the retrofitted steamship
Sirius, which had departed Cork on April 4. The Great Western
crossed the Atlantic in a record 15 days and 12 hours.
(ON, 8/07, p.7)
1838 Oct 24, Joseph Lancaster
(b.1778), English educator, was fatally injured by a runaway
horsedrawn carriage in NYC.
1841 Mar 27, The first U.S.
steam fire engine was tested in New York City.
1841 Apr 10, The NY Tribune
began publishing under editor Horace Greeley (1811-1872). The
abolitionist newspaper editor founded The New York Tribune with
support from powerful political friends. Under Greeley's direction,
The Tribune took a strong stand against slavery, the South and slave
owners in the years leading up to the Civil War. The Tribune and
Greeley also crusaded against liquor, gambling, prostitution and
capital punishment. One of the founders of the Republican Party,
Greeley was also an eccentric who dabbled in many of the fads of his
(HNPD, 2/3/99)(WSJ, 10/26/00, p.W12)(AP,
1841 Nov 16, Life preservers
made of cork were patented by Napoleon Guerin in NYC.
1841-1846 Capt. Robert E. Lee, Army engineer,
worked on strengthening the defenses of New York Harbor and Fort
(AH, 2/06, p.20)
1842 Feb 15, The 1st adhesive
postage stamps in US were made available by a private delivery
company in NYC.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)
1842 Charles Dickens published
his description of the Five Points district of New York City in
"American Notes for General Circulation."
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.46)
1842 Hugh Hardman established
the Hardman Piano Co. in NYC. Leopold Peck joined the company in
1880. The company’s name changed to Hardman, Peck & Co. when
Peck became a partner in 1890.
(SFC, 9/5/07, p.G5)
1843 Oct 13, The Jewish
organization B'nai B'rith was founded in New York City.
1843 The population grew to
350,000 and 16 day policemen kept order.
(WSJ, 11/3/98, p.A20)
1844 Jun 26, Julia Gardiner and
President John Tyler were married in New York City.
1845 Jan 29, Edgar Allan Poe's
poem "The Raven" was first published, in the New York Evening
Mirror. [see 1846]
1845 Mar 26, Joseph Francis
patented a corrugated sheet-iron lifeboat in NYC.
1845 Jul 14, Fire in NYC
destroyed 1,000 homes and killed many.
1845 A real police department
(WSJ, 11/3/98, p.A20)
1845-1855 Some 1.5 million people left Ireland and
many of them made New York City their home. The 2003 film "Gangs of
New York" depicted their struggle.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.49)
1846 Jun 19, The New York
Knickerbocker Club played the New York Club in the first baseball
game at the Elysian Field, Hoboken, New Jersey.
1846 Jun 27, New York City and
Boston were linked by telegraph wires.
1846 Edgar Allan Poe published
his poem "The Raven" in a New York newspaper. [see Jan 29, 1845]
(SFEM, 1/25/98, p.67)
1846 Grace Church, at Broadway
and 10th in NYC, was designed by James Renwick. In 2003 high
maintenance costs forced the church to accept commercial billboard
(WSJ, 9/12/03, p.W17)
1846 In NYC Holy Communion
Episcopal Church was constructed at 6th Ave and 20th St. It was
designed by Richard Upjohn of Boston and was the 1st asymmetrical
Gothic church in America. It was sold to a drug rehab center in the
1970s and later became the Limelight dance club under Peter Gatien.
In 2001 it was closed by federal agents due to heavy drug use.
(WSJ, 3/22/02, p.W17)
1846 Trinity Church, a Gothic
Revival-style building, was constructed at Broadway and Wall St.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)
1846 New York newspapers
collaborated to share costs for reporting on the Mexican war. This
collaboration led to the formation of the Associated Press in 1848.
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.143)
1846 Alexander Turney Stewart
(d.1876), Irish-born entrepreneur, opened the 1st US dept store in
1846 NYC abandoned the
Lancastrian school system in favor of direct teacher to student
instruction in its tax supported schools.
(ON, 3/06, p.10)
1847 Nov 22, In New York, the
Astor Place Opera House, the city's first operatic theater, was
1847 City College, later known
as City Univ. of New York (CUNY) was founded in Harlem.
(Econ, 1/21/06, p.29)
1848 May, The Associated Press
was formed in NYC.
1848 Jun 10, The 1st telegraph
link between NYC & Chicago was established.
1848 Aug 19, The New York
Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.
1848 In Brooklyn NY Antoine
Zegera set up the 1st macaroni factory in the US.
(SFC, 7/31/99, p.C3)
1848 John Jacob Astor (b.1763),
America’s richest man, died. The fur and real estate magnate had a
value in 1999 dollars totaled $78 billion. In 2001 Axel Madsen
authored "John Jacob Astor: America’s First Multimillionaire.
(HN, 7/17/98)(WSJ, 1/11/98, p.R18)(SFEC, 5/23/99,
Par p.7)(WSJ, 3/2/00, p.W10)
1849 Apr 10, Walter Hunt
(1796-1859), a mechanic, patented the safety pin in NYC. He sold
rights for $400 to pay off a $15 debt. Hunt’s other inventions
included a new stove, paper collar, ice-breaking boat, fountain pen
and nail-making machine. In 2016 the safety pin gained prominence in
Britain as a sign of solidarity with immigrant and minority
populations facing a reported surge in hate crimes after the Brexit
vote. The symbolism of the pin extended to the US following the
election of Donald Trump.
7/14/99, p.3)(SFC, 4/1/00, p.B4)(AFP, 11/13/16)
1849 May 10, A mob destroyed
Astor Place opera house in NYC and 22 people were killed. Edward
Z.C. Judson (Ned Buntline) was convicted of leading the riot and was
sentenced to a year in prison. In 2007 Nigel Cliff authored “The
Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth-Century
(PCh, 1992, p.450)(WSJ, 4/28/07, p.P8)
1849 Jul 22, Emma Lazarus,
American poet, was born of Sephardic Jewish parents in NYC. Her
poem, "The New Colossus," is inscribed on the base of the Statue of
(HN, 7/22/98)(SFEC, 4/30/00, BR p.2)
1849 The High Bridge was built
as an aqueduct to carry water to Manhattan.
(USAT, 1/16/04, p.10A)
1849 The Pfizer drug company
was founded by Charles Pfizer and cousin Charles Erhart in Brooklyn.
(SFEC, 8/27/00, p.B4)
1849 Rufus Porter, founder and
first editor of Scientific American, proposed an aerial locomotive
to carry up to 100 passengers from New York to California in three
days. He built a 700-foot model but a rowdy crowd destroyed its
hydrogen gas bag before it could be launched.
(SFC, 10/11/14, p.C1)
1850 Jul 19, Margaret Fuller
(b.1810), America’s first foreign correspondent, died aboard the
Elizabeth, along with her husband and child, as the ship slammed
into a sandbar less than 100 yards from Fire Island, NY. In 2012
John Matteson authored “The Lives of Margaret Fuller.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Fuller)(SSFC, 1/29/12, p.F4)
1850 George Foster, a reporter
for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, compiled his reports on the
seedy corners of the city in "New York by Gas Light."
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.46)
1850 Directors of the Brooklyn
released 8 pair of sparrows imported from England. They did not
thrive and director Nicolas Pike acquired 50 more pair and released
them in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery 1853.
(AH, 6/02, p.39)
1850s The African-American
community of Seneca Village was razed to make way for Central Park.
The village had 264 frame houses, 3 churches, 2 cemeteries and a
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.62)
1851 Jan 27, John James Audubon
(b.1785), wildlife painter and conservationist (Audubon Society),
died. He was buried in NYC. In 2004 Duff Hart-Davis authored
"Audubon's Elephant," and account of his 12 year sojourn to Europe
to oversee the production of "Birds of America." In 2004 William
Souder authored “Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making
of the Birds of America.” In 2004 Richard Rhodes authored “John
James Audubon: The Making of an American.”
(HNQ, 7/15/01)(WSJ, 3/26/04, p.W6)(SSFC, 6/20/04,
p.M6)(SSFC, 10/17/04, p.M6)
1851 Aug 12, Isaac Merritt
Singer was granted a patent on his lockstitch sewing machine. He
formed I.M. Singer & Co. in New York City and soon began selling
machines for $100 each. In 4 years he expanded to Scotland becoming
the first American int’l. company.
(AP, 8/12/97)(SSFC, 11/7/10, p.N1)
1851 Sep 18, The first edition
of The New York Times was published as the New-York Daily Times. It
was founded by Henry J. Raymond, Republican Speaker of the NY State
Assembly, and banker George Jones as a conservative counterpoint to
Horace Greeley's Tribune.
(AP, 9/18/97)(SFEM, 1/16/00,
1851 John Kiehl opened an
apothecary at Third Ave. and 13th Street in Manhattan to sell
potions, lotions and remedies such as to cure baldness and enhance
virility. He also sold a get-rich essence called Money Drawing Oil.
In 1999 the firm did some $40 million in business with just freebies
and word of mouth advertising.
(F, 10/7/96, p.76)(WSJ, 12/29/99, p.B1)
1852 Mar 13, A familiar symbol
of the United States, Uncle Sam, made his debut as a cartoon
character in the New York Lantern.
1852 J.P. Morgan’s NYC
residence was completed on the corner of 37th St. and Madison Ave.
(WSJ, 6/8/06, p.D8)
1852 Frank Leslie's Weekly,
later often known in short as Leslie's Weekly, was founded. The
American illustrated literary and news magazine continued
publication to 1922.
1853 Jul 14, Pres. Franklin
Pierce opened the 1st industrial exposition in NY. Some 4,000
exhibitors gathered for a trade show at the New York Crystal Palace
(later Bryant Park).
(WSJ, 9/14/00, p.A24)(MC, 7/14/02)
1853 Heinrich Steinweg founded
his piano dynasty in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street three years
after arriving to the US from Germany. His story is told in "The
Steinway Saga: An American Dynasty" by D.W. Fostle. He later
designed a piano with a heavier internal mechanism that needed to be
balanced by fatter keys and thus set the standard 48-inch wide
(WSJ, 6/2/95, p.A-9)(WSJ, 11/4/97, p.A1)(Econ,
1854 May 30, Vermont
native Elisha Graves Otis (1811-1861) unveiled his invention, the
safety elevator at the New York World's Fair. Audiences gasped as
Otis, riding on the hoist's platform, dramatically ordered the
lifting rope cut. Instead of falling, the car locked safely into the
elevator shaft. Prior to the 1850s there was no existing market for
passenger elevators because there was no safety mechanism in the
event of a cable break. In 1852 Otis was a master mechanic working
at a bedstead factory in Yonkers, N.Y., when he built a hoisting
machine with two sets of metal teeth at the car's sides. If the
lifting rope broke, the teeth would lock into place, preventing the
car from falling. Otis never realized the potential of his
invention. His sons built the Otis Elevator Company, enabling the
skylines of cities throughout the world to be transformed with
(HNPD, 5/30/99)(ON, 5/05, p.12)
1854 In NYC teacher Elizabeth
Jennings Graham (1827-1901) helped desegregate public
transportation. She filed a lawsuit after being thrown off a
streetcar that barred black riders. Her case was decided in her
favor in 1855, and it led to the eventual desegregation of all New
York City transit systems by 1865.
(SFC, 3/8/19, p.A6)
1854 Stephen Hedges of NYC
patented his convertible chair, a half round table hinged to a half
(SFC, 7/8/98, Z1 p.3)
1854 A US naval surgeon at the
Brooklyn Navy yard perfected the manufacture of ether.
(Econ 7/15/17, p.26)
1855 May 5, NYC regained Castle
Clinton. It would be used for immigration.
1855 Sep 27, George F.
Bristow's "Rip Van Winkle," 2nd American opera, opened in NYC.
1855 Dr. Philip Cammann of NYC
improved the design of the Laennec stethoscope by adding rubber ear
pieces and rubber tubing to conduct the sound. [see 1826]
(ON, 9/00, p.11)
1856-1929 The Children's Aid Society and The New
York Foundling Hospital sponsored Orphan Trains that relocated
homeless New York children to adoptive homes in the sparsely
populated West and Midwest. Needy children were chosen for
relocation and if they were not true orphans, a release for
placement was obtained from the remaining parent or guardian. The
train route was chosen and the children, after being given new
clothing, boarded the train accompanied by the society's agent.
Advance notice was placed in local newspapers and a screening
committee was responsible for matching the orphans with prospective
families. When the train arrived, the orphans were displayed in a
church or other public building and if an agreeable match was made,
the child was left with his or her new family. Those not selected
would reboard the train for the next stop. It was up to the agent to
keep tabs on adopted children, and if they were not determined to be
happy and well-treated, they would be removed and, hopefully,
adopted by a new family. While this procedure was risky and many
children were placed in abusive situations, Orphan Train sponsors
believed that youngsters placed with western families had a better
chance than those living on the streets of New York. In the 75 years
of the Orphan Trains, between 150,000 and 200,000 children were
1857 Mar 23, Elisha Otis
installed the first modern passenger elevator in the 5-story
Haughwout and Co. building at 488 Broadway in New York City.
1857 Aug 24, The New York
branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. failed, sparking the
Panic of 1857. The sharp but short 1857-58 financial crash in the US
was touched off by the failure of the New York branch of the Ohio
Life Insurance and Trust Company. Over speculation in real estate
and railroad securities fed the panic. Financial crashes spread to
Liverpool, Glasgow, Paris, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Vienna.
(AP, 8/24/07)(WSJ, 9/28/95c, p.A-18)(Econ,
1857 Oct 6, The American Chess
Association organized. The 1st major US chess tournament was held in
NYC. [see Oct 10]
1857 Oct 10, The American Chess
Association formed (NYC). [see Oct 6]
1857 Dec 8, 1st production of
Dion Boucicault's "Poor of NY."
1857 Landscape architect
Frederick Law Olmstead and architect Calvert Vaux won the
competition to develop NYC's Central Park.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T5)(NG, 5/93, p.9)(SFC, 4/5/04,
1857 The state’s Republican
governor created a rival police force in NYC to undercut the
criminally affiliated Democratic Mayor, Fernando Wood. The court
ruled in favor of the governor.
(WSJ, 8/2100, p.A14)
1957 The New York Currier &
Ives partnership was formed.
(WSJ, 12/19/00, p.A19)
1858 Apr 28, NYC commissioners
approved the “Greensward” plan for Central Park. Frederick Law
Olmstead (1822-1903), the recently selected park superintendent, and
landscape architect Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve
and expand the park. Olmstead and Vaux brought in George Waring, an
expert on farm drainage, who raised low lying areas and installed a
network of underground pipes to ensure that the grass would drain
freely. The park had first opened in 1857, on 770 acres of city
owned land. Construction began in 1858 and was completed in 1873.
The initial budget for the new park was $1.5 million.
1858 Jul 20, An admission of 50
cents was charged for the first time at the All Star baseball game
between New York and Brooklyn.
(WSJ, 10/15/98, p.B8)
1858 Aug 23, "Ten Nights in a
Bar-room," a play about the tragic consequences of consuming
alcohol, opened in New York.
1858 Oct 18, The play "Our
American Cousin" by Tom Taylor premiered at Laura Keene's theater in
1858 Oct 27, Theodore
Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States who was the namesake
of the "Teddy" bear, was born in New York City in a townhouse at 28
East 20th Street. Today a reconstruction of the house is a National
Historic Site and open to the public. The 26th president of the
U.S., Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919. He wrote the 4-volume "The
Winning of the West."
(AP, 10/27/97)(WSJ, 12/18/97, p.A20)(HN,
1858 Oct 28, Rowland Hussey
Macy opened his first New York store at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street
(AP, 10/28/08)(SFC, 6/1/04, p.A1)
1858 Nov 9, NY Symphony
Orchestra made its 1st performance.
1858 Archbishop John Hughes
laid the cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Ave.
(WSJ, 3/15/02, p.W15)
1859 Nov 23, Billy the Kid
(born as Henry McCarty), was born as William H. Bonney (d.1881) in
New York City. He later became a US outlaw. A ballet titled "Billy
the Kid" by Aaron Copland was written in 1938.
(HFA, ‘96, p.42)(WUD, 1994, p.148)(MesWP)(HNQ,
1859 Dec 5, Dion Boucicault's
"Octaroon," premiered in NYC.
1859-1903 Martin and Henry Schrenkeisen
manufactured rockers and other chairs in NYC.
(SFC, 7/20/05, p.G4)
1860 Feb 27, Abraham Lincoln
spoke at the Great Hall of Cooper Union College in NYC: “Let us have
faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end,
dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1860 Mar 11, Thomas Hastings,
architect of the New York Public Library, was born.
1861 Jan 6, NYC mayor proposed
that it become a free city to continue trading with the North &
1861 Feb 19, Pres.-elect
Lincoln traveled through NYC on his way to Washington.
(WSJ, 2/12/04, p.D12)
1861 John Kellum started work
on the Tweed Courthouse, the NYC County Courthouse, on a site that
had been an almshouse from 1797. Leopold Eidlitz took over the job
(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1861 Zouave units, including
the 11th New York, fought at the First Battle of Bull Run (First
Manassas). The 11th New York Zouaves was primarily composed of
firemen. Volunteer Zouave units, based on the highly disciplined
French army units that were in turn based on Algerian units, were
very popular in the years before the American Civil War.
1862 Feb 25, The ironclad
Monitor was commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
1862 Mar 8, Nat Gordon, last
pirate, was hanged in NYC for stealing 1,000 slaves.
1862 In NYC St. Peter’s
Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded at Lexington and 54th.
(WSJ, 4/27/05, p.D10)
1863 Mar 3, President Abraham
Lincoln signed the conscription act compelling U.S. citizens to
report for duty in the Civil War or pay $300.00. 86,724 men paid the
exemption cost to avoid service. The inequality of this arrangement
led to draft riots in New York.
(HN, 3/3/99)(HNQ, 10/18/00)
1863 Apr 13, Hospital for
Ruptured and Crippled in NY became the 1st orthopedic hospital.
1863 Jul 13, Rioting against
the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City; about 1,000
people died over three days. Antiabolitionist Irish longshoremen
rampaged against blacks in the deadly Draft Riots in New York City
in response to Pres. Lincoln’s announcement of military
conscription. Mobs lynched a black man and torched the Colored
Orphan Asylum. The 2003 film "Gangs of New York" focused on this
event. In 2006 Barnet Schecter authored “The Devil’s Own Work,” an
account of the riots. The NY Times borrowed three Gatling guns from
the army to protect its head office.
(WSJ, 3/19/96, p.A-12)(AP, 7/13/97)(HN,
7/13/98)(WSJ, 8/2100, p.A14)(WSJ, 1/18/06, p.D13)(Econ, 9/2/17,
1863 Oct 1, 5 Russian warships
were welcomed in NYC.
1863 Oct 6, The world’s "first
Turkish Bath" opened in Brooklyn.
(SFEC, 11/5/00, pen 2)
1864 Jan 3, John Joseph Hughes
(b.1797), Irish-born Archbishop of the Catholic diocese of NY, died.
1864 Jan 13, Composer Stephen
Foster died in a New York City hospital.
1864 Nov 15, 1st US mines
school opened in the basement of Columbia University, NY.
1864 Nov 25, A Confederate plot
to burn NYC failed.
1865 Jan 4, The New York Stock
Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad
Street near Wall Street in NYC. The Corinthian-style structure would
serve the Exchange until 1903 when more spacious quarters opened at
18 Broad Street.
1865 Jul 13, Horace Greeley
advised his readers to "Go west young man."
1865 The first known baseball
card depicts the Brooklyn Atlantics in a team portrait.
(SFEC, 8/17/97, Par p.2)
1865 Benjamin Altman founded B.
Altman & Co., a big department store at Fifth Avenue and 34th
Street in NYC. It expanded to a chain of stores but filed for
bankruptcy in 1989.
(SFC, 6/11/08, p.G3)
1865 A storm destroyed the
celebrated buttonwood tree where merchants first traded stock.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1866 Feb 26, New York
Legislature established the NYC Metropolitan Board of Health.
1866 Sep 12, The first
burlesque show opened in New York City (NYC). The show was a four
act performance called "The Black Crow", running for 475
performances and made a reported $1.3 million for its producers.
1866 Sep 25, (Leonard W) Jerome
Park opened in Bronx for horse racing.
1867 Jul 2, The 1st US elevated
railroad began service in NYC.
1867 Dec 2, People waited in
mile-long lines to hear Charles Dickens give his first reading in
New York City.
c1867 In NYC restaurateur and
entrepreneur Charles Feltman, who owned a pie wagon at Coney, was
looking for something simple he could prepare and serve in a
confined space. He hit on the idea of putting a hot sausage in a
hard roll. Another version puts Feltman in his German restaurant,
Feltman's Ocean Pavilion, when at some point a sausage ended up
between two slices of bread. Feltman called it a frankfurter, and
cartoonists labeled it a "hot dog."
1867 The New York Bridge Co.
hired John Roebling and his son Washington to build a suspension
bridge across the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn
(ON, 4/01, p.9)
1867 James McCreery
(1826-1903) opened a silk retailing operation in NYC. Within 3 years
he bought a large building on Broadway and expanded with more
departments. McCreery’s close in 1953.
(SFC, 9/5/07, p.G5)
1868 Feb 16, The Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E.) was organized in New York City
by members of the theatrical profession. Later, men in other
professions were permitted to join the social organization. The
letters E.L.K. are repeated in the titles of some of its officers,
such as Esteemed Leading Knight and Esteemed Loyal Knight..
(AP, 2/16/98)(HNQ, 10/15/99)
1868 Sep 8, The NY Athletic
1868 Oct 22, Jacques
Offenbach's opera "Genevieve de Brabant," premiered in NYC.
1868 Susan B. Anthony, the
suffrage leader, put out the first issue of "The Revolution" in New
1869 Apr 8, American Museum of
Natural History opened in NYC.
1869 May 15, Susan B. Anthony
and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage
Association in NYC.
1869 Jul, John Augustus
Roebling, inventor of the steel wire cable and designer of the
Brooklyn Bridge, was killed in a construction accident at the outset
of construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Roebling died of a tetanus
infection from a foot injury. He had earlier completed the first
suspension bridge over the Niagara gorge linking the US and Canada.
His son and partner, Washington A. Roebling, supervised the Brooklyn
Bridge to its completion in spite of a debilitating illness.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(AP, 5/24/97)(HNPD, 5/23/99)(WSJ,
6/10/99, p.A24)(ON, 4/01, p.9)
1869 Dec 14, Nathan Meeker,
agricultural editor of the New York Tribune, wrote a column
appealing to readers of high moral character to join him in building
a utopian community by the South Platte River near the foot of the
Rocky Mountains. He selected 700 of some 3000 applicants and founded
Greeley, Colo., named after his publisher Horace Greeley.
(Sm, 2/06, p.99)
1869 An elevator was installed
in the Equitable Life Assurance Building, under construction in NYC.
(WSJ, 10/17/01, p.A24)
1869 In NYC Hart Island became
the city’s graveyard. The island had also been used as a Union
training camp, a Confederate prison, a yellow-fever quarantine, a
lunatic asylum, a workhouse for aged inmates, a prison for WW II
German soldiers, an antiaircraft missile base, a rehab center for
the homeless and drug addicts, and a driving school for chronic
(WSJ, 8/26/98, p.10)
1869 Marcus Goldman, son of a
German peasant, began to broker credit to diamond and leather
merchants near Wall Street. He later offered a partnership to his
son-in-law Sam Sachs. In 1999 Lisa Endlich published "Goldman Sachs:
The Culture of Success." In 2008 Charles D. Ellis authored ”The
Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs.”
(WSJ, 2/23/99, p.A20)(WSJ, 10/1/08, p.A23)
1869 Henry J. Raymond, founder
of the New-York Daily Times, died of a heart attack in the apartment
of his lover, actress Rose Eytinge.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.17)
1870 Jan 3, Construction of the
Brooklyn Bridge began.
1870 Feb 26, New York City's
first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public. The
tunnel was only a block long, and the line had only one car.
1870 Apr 13, The Metropolitan
Museum of Art was incorporated in New York. The museum opened in
1870 Sep 20, Mayor William
Tweed was accused of robbing the NY treasury.
1870 The Equitable Life
Assurance Building was completed at 120 Broadway in New York City,
NY. At 130 feet (40 m), it is considered by some the world's first
skyscraper and was the first office building to feature passenger
1870 William Marcy Tweed (Boss
Tweed) regained control of the city police from the state.
(WSJ, 8/2100, p.A16)
1870 US Secret Service
headquarters relocated to New York City.
1870 Federal census data of the
southern end of Mulberry St. in New York City showed 39 Italian men
employed as organ grinders.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.49)
1870 Charles Adams of New York
began manufacturing his chewing gum "Charles Adams Gum No 1" in a
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A19)
1870 Frederick August Otto
Schwartz (FAO Schwartz) opened up his 1st NYC store on Broadway
called Schwartz Toy Bazaar.
(WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)
1870-1930 Jeffrey S. Gurock later authored "When
Harlem Was Jewish, 1870-1930."
(SFC, 6/10/02, p.D5)
1871 Oct 27, Boss Tweed
(William Macy Tweed), Democratic leader of Tammany Hall, was
indicted on charges of fraud and grand larceny after NY Times
exposed his corruption. The conviction were overturned but civil
charges sent him to prison.
(MC, 10/27/01)(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1871 Nov 21, Moses F. Gale
patented a cigar lighter in NYC.
1871 Nov 24, The National Rifle
Association was incorporated in NYC, and its first president named:
Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
(AP, 11/24/97)(MC, 11/24/01)
1871 Dec 19, Albert L. Jones
patented corrugated paper in NYC.
1871 In NYC the Black Laborer’s
Union and the Fenian O’Donovan Rossa paraded up Baxter St. to fight
for the 8-hour day.
(SFC, 7/29/98, p.A19)
1872 Feb 20, Metropolitan
Museum of Art, incorporated in 1870, opened in NYC.
1872 Oct 3, Bloomingdale's
department store opened in NYC.
1872 Nov 29, Horace Greeley,
founder of the New York Tribune, died. The daily paper reflected
much of the morality of his New England upbringing and he partnered
a high standard of news gathering with printed arguments and urges
against drinking, gambling, capital punishment and—increasingly in
the 1850s—slavery. The slavery issue and his lifelong desire for
high political office led him away from his political party, the
Whigs, and to the newly emerging Republican Party. He usually sided
with the radical wing of the Republicans, advocating early
emancipation of slaves. Still unsuccessful in state and national
bids, he eventually joined a group of Republican dissenters who
formed the Liberal Republican Party to oppose Grant. While he
received almost 44% of the popular vote, he received only 18% of the
electoral vote, which were cast for other candidates due to his
1872 Dec 26, The 4th largest
snowfall in NYC history reached 18 inches.
1872 Luigi Palma di Cesnola
made his first sale of Cypriot artifacts to the NY Metropolitan
Museum of Art.
(AM, 7/00, p.62)
1872 The Butter and Cheese
Exchange opened in NYC. It later became known as the New York
Mercantile Exchange (Nymex).
(WSJ, 9/28/05, p.C3)
1873 Sep 20, A financial panic
hit the NY Stock Exchange when the high-flying bond dealer, Jay
Cooke, granted too many loans to the railroads. Panic spread to
Europe as London and Paris markets crashed and the New York Stock
Exchange closed for the first time for 10 days. The economy went
into a 6 year depression. Philadelphia banker and newspaperman
Anthony Drexel teamed up with J.P. Morgan to depose a rival bank run
by Jay Cooke. They published allegations to undermine confidence and
cause a run that led to a panic.
(WSJ, 2/27/95, p.A-10)(WSJ, 7/8/96, p.C1)(WSJ,
10/7/98, p.A22)(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.G2)
1873 Oct 20, The P.T. Barnum
Hippodrome featuring the "Greatest Show on Earth," opened in NYC.
1873 Oct 30, P.T. Barnum's
circus, "Greatest Show on Earth," debuted in NYC.
1873 In NYC a long brick
building, 9½ feet by 42 feet, was built on Bedford Street in
Greenwich Village on land used as an alley. Poet Edna St. Vincent
Millay later lived there, as did anthropologist Margaret Mead. It
was dubbed NYC’s skinniest house and in 2010 sold for $2.1 million.
(SFC, 1/14/10, p.A4)
1874 Jan 13, Battle between
jobless and police in NYC left 100s injured.
1874 Mar 22, Young Men's Hebrew
Association was organized in NYC.
1874 Nov 18, Clarence Day,
American writer, was born in NYC. His work included "Life with
(HN, 11/18/00)(MC, 11/18/01)
1874 Nov 19, William Marcy
"Boss" Tweed of Tammany Hall (NYC) was convicted of defrauding city
of $6M and sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.
1874 Jan 1, New York City
annexed the Bronx.
1874 The play "The Two Orphans"
opened in NYC and starred Kate Claxton as the blind girl named
(SFC, 4/21/99, Z1 p.6)
1875 Mar 15, John McCloskey,
Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, was named the first American
cardinal by Pope Pius IX.
1875 Sep 11, 1st newspaper
cartoon strip, "Professor Tigwissel’s Burglar Alarm" appeared in the
New York "Daily Graphics" newspaper.
1875 Dec 4, William Marcy Tweed
(d.1878), the "Boss" of New York City's Tammany Hall political
organization, escaped from jail and fled the country. He went to
Cuba and then Spain were he was identified from cartoons by Thomas
Nast and returned to prison.
(AP, 12/4/97)(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1875 In NYC the Butter and
Cheese Exchange, later known as the New York Mercantile Exchange
(Nymex), was renamed to the American Exchange of New York.
(WSJ, 9/28/05, p.C3)
1875 Jacob Bulova opened a
jewelry shop in the financial district of NYC. It grew to become the
Bulova Watch Co. In 1979 it was purchased by the Loews Corp.
and taken private.
(WSJ, 1/7/07, p.A4)
1876 Jun 22, Nathanael
Herreshoff (1848-1938) sailed his revolutionary catamaran,
Amaryllis, to victory in the New York’s Second Centennial Regatta.
(http://tinyurl.com/lff9e68)(SFC, 9/6/13, p.A12)
1876 Jul 4, Batholdi visited
Bedloe Island, future home of his Statue of Liberty.
1876 Sep 24, Mary Newton (2),
the daughter of US Army Engineer Lt. Col. John Newton, triggered a
huge blast to clear rocks in the Hell Gate channel of the East
River. Newton had been authorized to begin work to deepen the
channel in 1867.
(ON, 2/08, p.8)
1876 Dec 5, In NYC a fire in
the Brooklyn Theater killed 278 people.
1876 E.H. Harriman founded the
Tompkins Square Boys club in new York's Lower East Side.
(WSJ, 3/21/00, p.A24)
1877 Jan 4, Cornelius
Vanderbilt (b.1794), US financier, railroad and shipping magnate,
robber baron, died in Manhattan. His estate at $105 million was
worth more than all the money in the US Treasury. His value in 2007
dollars would be $143 billion. In 2007 Edward J. Renehan Jr.
authored “Commodore: The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt.” In 2009 T.J.
Stiles authored “The first Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius
p.E4)(WSJ, 12/19/07, p.D9)(SSFC, 4/26/09, Books p.1)
1878 Jan 16, Harry Carey Sr.,
actor (Aces Wild, Border Cafe, Air Force), was born in Bronx, NY.
1878 Apr 12, William M "Boss"
Tweed, NYC politician, died in prison.
(MC, 4/12/02)(Arch, 7/02, p.24)
1878 In NYC St. Patrick's
Cathedral was built. Work began in 1858 but was halted during the
Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878
and dedicated on May 25, 1879.
1878 The first American
badminton club was formed in NYC. Its charter limited play to men
and "good-looking single women."
(SFC, 7/3/99, p.B3)
1878 Joseph P. McHugh
(1854-1916) opened his furnishings business, the Popular Shop, in
NYC. In 1884 it moved to 42nd Street.
(SFC, 1/2/08, p.G3)
1879 Feb 12, 1st artificial ice
rink in North America was at Madison Square Garden, NYC. [see May
1879 May 30, Gilmore Garden in
NYC was renamed Madison Square Garden.
1879 May 31, New York's Madison
Square Garden opened its doors.
1879 Jun 16, Gilbert &
Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore" debuted at Bowery Theater in NYC.
1879 Dec 31, Gilbert and
Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," premiered in NYC.
1879 Gen. Luigi Palma di
Cesnola became the director of the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art. He
had served as the American Consul in Lanarca, Cyprus, (1865-1876)
where he collected antiquities and later sold them to the museum.
(WSJ, 4/10/00, p.A44)
1879 The Washington Square
United Methodist Church was built in NYC. In 2004 the congregation
dropped to 60 and it was put up for sale asking $13 million.
(WSJ, 12/29/04, p.B6)
1880 Mar, In NYC the
Metropolitan Museum opened its new building on Fifth Ave. Its crown
jewel was the Cesnola collection of antiquities of Cypriot artifacts
collected by Luigi Palma de Cesnola. Cesnola was named the first
(AM, 7/97, p.68)
1880 Nov 8, Sarah Bernhardt,
French actress, made her US debut at NY's Booth Theater.
1880 Dec 20, NY's Broadway was
lit by electricity. It later became known as "Great White Way."
1880 Thomas Moran painted
"Lower Manhattan From Communipaw, New Jersey."
1880 Henry James, American
writer, authored his novel “Washington Square,” in which he depicts
the insular world of his NYC childhood.
(WSJ, 4/19/08, p.W8)
1880 In NYC the American
Exchange of New York, later known as the New York Mercantile
Exchange (Nymex), was renamed as the Butter, Cheese and Egg Exchange
of New York.
(WSJ, 9/28/05, p.C3)
1881 Jan 22, Ancient Egyptian
obelisk, "Cleopatra's Needle," was erected in Central Park.
1881 Mar 16, Barnum &
Bailey Circus debuted. [see Mar 18]
1881 Mar 18, Barnum and
Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth opened in Madison Square Gardens.
[see Mar 16]
1881 Aug, The Edison Electric
Illumination Co. began building its 1st DC generating plant in
Manhattan. The station was completed in September of 1882.
(ON, 10/04, p.5)
1881 The NYC County Courthouse
was completed. It was declared a NYC landmark in 1984.
(Arch, 7/02, p.25)
1881 The New York Times
predicted that “China cannot borrow our learning, our science, and
our material forms of industry without importing with them the virus
of political rebellion.”
(Econ, 12/3/16, p.72)
1882 Jan 30, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, was born in Hyde
Park, N.Y. He led the country out of the Great Depression and
through most of World War II.
(AP, 1/30/98)(HN, 1/30/99)
1882 Mar 3, New York Steam Corp
began distributing steam to Manhattan buildings.
1882 Mar 25, 1st demonstration
of pancake making was in a NYC Dept store.
1882 Jun 6, An electric iron
was patented by Henry W. Seely in NYC.
1882 Sep 4, Thomas Edison
displayed the first practical electrical lighting system. He
successfully turned on the lights in a one square mile area of New
York City with the world’s 1st electricity generating plant.
(MC, 9/4/01)(WSJ, 9/17/01, p.R6)
1882 Sep 5, The first Labor Day
observance--a picnic and parade--was held in New York City. Matthew
Maguire, a machinist and secretary of the New York City Central
Labor Union, probably first suggested the celebration in 1882 to
recognize the contributions of workers to America. Parades like the
one in Buffalo, New York, around 1900, soon became an important part
of Labor Day festivities. Matthew Maguire, a machinist and secretary
of the New York City Central Labor Union, probably first suggested
the celebration in 1882 to recognize the contributions of workers to
America. Local and regional Labor Day observances spread across the
nation until, on June 28, 1894, the U.S. Congress passed an act
making the first Monday in September a legal holiday.
(AP, 9/5/97)(HNPD, 9/5/98)(HNQ, 9/7/98)
1882 Dec 11, Fiorella H. La
Guardia (d.1947), mayor of New York City, 1934-1945, was born.
(AP, 1/8/98)(WSJ, 12/9/98,
1882 Herbert Spencer
(1820-1903), English philosopher, culminated his visit to the US
with a dinner a Delmonico’s in NYC, at which mostly Republican men
of science, religion, business and government participated. In 2008
Barry Werth authored “Banquet at Delmonico’s: Great Minds, the
Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America.”
(WSJ, 1/9/09, p.A11)
1882 Edison Electric installed
a power grid in Manhattan that wrecked telephone reception.
(SFEM, 1/11/98, p.13)
1883 Mar 24, Long-distance
telephone service was inaugurated between Chicago and New York. [see
Mar 27, 1884]
1883 May 24, The Brooklyn
Bridge, hailed as the "eighth wonder of the world," was dedicated by
President Chester Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland, and
officially opened to traffic. The suspension bridge linking the
boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn became a symbol of America's
progress and ingenuity. The bridge has a span of 1,595 feet with
16-inch steel wire suspension cables fastened to Gothic-style arches
276 feet tall. Civil engineer John Augustus Roebling, inventor of
the steel wire cable and designer of the bridge, was killed in a
construction accident at the outset of construction in 1869. His son
and partner, Washington A. Roebling, supervised the project to its
completion in spite of a debilitating illness. 20 men died during
construction and many suffered from caisson disease, later known as
the bends, while working in pressurized air chambers under the
river. In 2017 Erica Wagner authored “chief Engineer: Washington
Roebling, the Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge.”
(HNPD, 5/23/99)(ON, 4/01, p.9)(AP, 5/24/08)(Econ
1883 May 30, 12 people were
trampled to death in New York City when a rumor that the recently
opened Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing triggered a
1883 Jun 16, The New York
Gothams admitted both escorted and unescorted ladies to the baseball
park free in the 1st ladies’ day game against the Cleveland Spiders.
NY won, 5-2. The club was founded by farming magnate John B. Day and
manager Jim Mutrie. The franchise name was reportedly changed to the
NY Giants in 1885.
(HNQ, 12/21/01)(AP, 6/16/03)(SSFC, 3/30/14, p.L7)
1883 Oct 22, The original
Metropolitan Opera House in New York held its grand opening with a
performance of Gounod's "Faust."
1883 Nov 13, J. Marion Sims
(b.1883), American physician and a pioneer in the field of surgery,
died in NYC. He known as the "father of modern gynecology" for work
to develop a surgical technique for the repair of vesicovaginal
fistula, a severe complication of obstructed childbirth. Sims used
enslaved black women, unanesthetized, as experimental subjects in
the development of this surgical breakthrough. In 2018 a statue of
Sims in Central Park was removed and relocated to Brooklyn's
1883 Oscar Wilde’s first play,
“Vera,” flopped in NYC. It was inspired by the 1878 shooting of a
repressive general of the Russian Czar by revolutionary Vera
(SFC, 9/24/08, p.E1)
1883 Joseph Pulitzer assumed
command of the New York World newspaper with a circulation of
15,000. 4 years later it increased to 350,000. Pulitzer purchased
the paper from financier Jay Gould.
(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.14,16)(HNQ, 1/29/02)
1883 Benjamin Moore and his
brother Robert opened their Moore Brothers paint company in
Brooklyn, New York. In 2000 the Benjamin-Moore company was acquired
(Econ, 4/26/14, p.75)(http://tinyurl.com/krygbda)
1884 Mar 27, The first
long-distance telephone call was made, between Boston and New York
City. [see Mar 24, 1883]
(AP, 3/27/97)(HN, 3/27/98)
1884 Apr 21, Potters Field
reopened as Madison Square Park in NYC.
1884 Jun 10, William E. Eldred
of Brooklyn, NY, was granted a US patent for a new way to open and
close the legs of a folding table.
(SFC, 1/30/08, p.G4)
1884 Jun 16, America's 1st
roller coaster began operating at Coney Island, NYC. It hit a top
speed of 6 mph.
(MC, 6/16/02)(Econ, 6/28/03, p.30)
1884 Jul 3, The 1st Dow Jones
average included 11 stocks: Chicago & North Western, Union
Pacific Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, Missouri Pacific, Lake
Shore, Louisville & Nashville, New York Central, Pacific Mail,
St. Paul, Western Union, and Northern Pacific preferred.
1884 Aug 5, The cornerstone for
the Statue of Liberty was laid on Bedloe's Island in New York
(THC, 4/10/97)(AP, 8/5/97)
1884 The New-York Daily Times
refused to support James G. Blaine and endorsed Democrat Grover
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.18)
1884 A large part of the
Cesnola collection of Cypriot antiquities of the Metropolitan Museum
was sold to Gov. Leland Stanford of California.
(AM, 7/97, p.68)
1885 Jan 27, Jerome Kern,
Broadway composer (Showboat, Roberta), was born in NYC.
1885 Mar 20, Yiddish theater
opened in NY with Goldfaden operetta.
1885 May 19, “Professor” Robert
Emmet Odlum of Washington, D.C., a well named swimming instructor
and author of pamphlets on diving, jumped from Brooklyn bridge. He
entered the water feet first (as was the accepted diving position at
the time) and shattered every bone in his frame from heel to skull.
He was pulled from the river unconscious and died a half hour later.
1885 Jun 17, The French naval
ship Isere arrived in NYC with a cargo of wooden crates containing
the pieces of the Statue of Liberty.
(AP, 6/17/97)(ON, 4/03, p.3)
1885 Aug 11, Joseph Pulitzer’s
NY World announced that $100,000 was raised in US for a pedestal for
the Statue of Liberty.
(ON, 4/03, p.3)
1885 Sep 4, The 1st cafeteria
1885 Oct 10, Mary Newton (12),
the daughter of US Army Engineer under Lt. Col. John Newton
(1823-1895) triggered a 2nd huge blast to clear Flood Rock in the
Hell Gate channel of the East River. Mill Rock Island was formed by
joining two rocks with debris from the demolition. The Flood Rock
detonation held the record as the largest deliberately planned
explosion until the Trinity atomic blast in 1945.
(ON, 2/08, p.10)
1886 Mar 14, The SS Oregon
collided with an unidentified schooner and sank eight hours later
only a few hours from her scheduled arrival in New York City. One
person was drowned during evacuation efforts. It had sailed from
Liverpool on 6 March 1886 with 852 people on board, 647 passengers
and a crew of 205, along with 1,835 tons of cargo and 598 bags of
mail, under the command of Captain Phillip Cottier. In 2019 a bottle
of ale from the ship was used to develop a new brew.
1886 Jun 11, David Steinman,
bridge designer (Hudson, Triborough), was born in NYC.
1886 Jul 23, New York
saloonkeeper Steve Brodie claimed to have made a daredevil plunge
from the Brooklyn Bridge into the East River. However, few
historians believe the jump actually occurred
1886 Oct 28, The Statue of
Liberty on Liberty Island, formerly Bedloe's Island, in New York
Harbor, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated by President
Cleveland. It was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and
originally named Liberty Enlightening the World. It was erected at
the entrance of New York harbor as a symbol of freedom to welcome
immigrants and others from around the world and became a monument to
republicanism and to the amity between the French and American
nations. The 225-ton statue arrived in 214 packing cases in June
1885 and was assembled on an American-built pedestal, the money for
which was largely raised by Joseph Pulitzer. Lady Liberty, holding
up her torch at the entrance of the harbor, remains one of America's
most recognized monuments. Later the poem "New Colossus" by Emma
Lazarus was placed at the base. The island was renamed by Pres.
(WUD, 1994, p.1389)(WSJ, 7/26/96, p.A9)(THC,
4/10/97)(AP, 10/28/97) (HNPD, 10/28/98)(HN, 10/28/98)(MC, 10/28/01)
1886 The 1952 film "Park Row"
was directed by Sam Fuller. It was about 2 newspaper owners in New
York in 1886.
1886 Bloomingdale's department
store in NYC moved to 59th and Lexington Ave.
(SSFC, 9/24/06, p.D2)
1886 Robert J. Horner opened a
furniture shop on West 23rd Street in NYC. In 1914-15 the business
merged with a furniture company owned by George C. Flint and became
Flint & Horner, which grew into a large retail store.
(SFC, 1/16/08, p.G4)
1887 Feb 21, The 1st US
bacteriology laboratory opened in Brooklyn.
1887 Mar 22, Chico Marx,
[Leonard Martin], comedian (Marx Brothers), was born in NYC.
1887 Aug 21, Mighty (Dan) Casey
Struck-out in a game with the NY Giants.
1887 Sep 25, Elizabeth Cochran
(1864-1922), under the pen name of Nellie Bly, managed to get
herself sent to the New York Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s
Island to do an undercover story of conditions there. She spent 10
days there a lawyer from the New York World obtained her release.
Her 2-part story for the recounted her experiences and led to
changes at the asylum.
(ON, 6/20/11, p.12)
1887 Nov 19, Emma Lazarus (38),
US poet ("Give us your tired & poor"), died in NYC.
1888 Aug 17, Monty Wooley,
actor (Pied Piper, Man Who Came to Dinner), was born in NYC.
1888 Oct 16, Eugene O'Neill
(d.1953), Nobel Prize-winning playwright (1936), was born in NYC.
His work includes "A Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "The Iceman
(AP, 11/27/97)(HN, 10/16/00)(MC, 10/16/01)
1888 In New York City the
13-story Tower building was constructed at 50 Broadway.
(HT, 5/97, p.24)
1888 In NYC Katz’s Delicatessen
was founded on the lower East Side. The Jewish deli was still
operating in 2015.
(Econ, 12/12/15, p.79)
1888 Thomas Adams installed the
1st Tutti Frutti machines on the platforms of the elevated trains of
NYC. They dispensed gumballs for a penny.
(WSJ, 7/28/00, p.W13)
1888 A blizzard left snow
drifts as high as 40 feet in NYC and force the NYSE to close for two
(SFC, 10/30/12, p.D2)
1889 Jan 9, A tornado struck
Brooklyn, NY, when Flatbush was farmland. A twister blew through
what are now the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill,
Downtown, Fort Greene and Williamsburg, blowing roofs off houses and
uprooting trees, but killing no one. 14 people were killed by the
tornado in Pittsburg, Pa.
1889 Apr 30, The George
Washington Bridge, linking New York City and New Jersey, opened, the
same day that Washington's inauguration became the first U.S.
1889 Jul 8, Dow Jones & Co.
turned its “Customer’s Afternoon Letter” into a full-fledged
newspaper and co-founder Charles Bergstresser dubbed it the Wall
(AP, 7/8/97)(WSJ, 5/2/07, p.C1)
1889 Sep 23, Walter Lippmann,
journalist, was born in NYC. He was one of the founders of The New
Republic Magazine in 1914. His political writings included "Men of
1889 Nov 14, New York World
reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) was inspired by author
Jules Verne and set out to travel around the world in less than 80
days. She succeeded, making the trip in 72 days.
1889 Nov 27, 1st permit issued
to drive a car through Central Park, NYC, was issued to Curtis P.
1890 Jan 22, Jose Marti formed
La Liga (Union of Cuban exiles) in NYC.
1890 Apr 11, Ellis Island was
designated as an immigration station.
1890 Aug 6, Convicted murderer
William Kemmler became the first person to be executed in the
electric chair as he was put to death at Auburn State Prison in New
York. The electric chair was introduced in New York City.
(AP, 8/6/97)(HN, 8/6/98)
1890 Oct 2, Julius Henry
"Groucho" Marx was a performer for more than 70 years. Although
there is some discrepancy about the exact date, Groucho was most
likely born on October 2, 1890, in New York. He later went on to
host the television quiz show "You Bet Your Life." He began singing
as a boy and then performed wisecracking comedy on stage and screen
with his brothers (Chico, Harpo, Zeppo and Gummo). Groucho also had
radio shows, wrote books and screenplays, and became the most famous
Marx Brother for his mustached, cigar-smoking persona and lines
like, "I sent the club a wire stating, 'please accept my
resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me
as a member.'" "There's one way to find out if a man is honest--ask
him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is crooked." Groucho Marx died in
(HNPD, 10/2/98)(AP, 10/2/97)
1890 Dec 10, The New York World
Building, also known as the Pulitzer Building, was completed in NYC.
It was designed by early skyscraper specialist George Browne Post
and built to house the now-defunct newspaper, The New York World. It
was razed in 1955 for the expanded car ramp entrance to the Brooklyn
(Econ., 3/28/15, p.80)
1890 Dec 18, Edwin Howard
Armstrong, radio pioneer and inventor of FM, was born in NYC.
1890 Dec 31, Ellis Island, NYC,
opened as a US immigration depot.
1890 Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914),
Danish-born author and photographer, published “How the Other Half
Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York.”
1890 Seth Low became president
of Columbia Univ.
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.D11)
1890 Eugene Schieffelin, a
German immigrant, released 40 pairs of European starlings in Central
Park. By 1959 the birds reached the Pacific coast. To honor his new
homeland he had attempted to release every species of bird mentioned
in the plays of Shakespeare.
(AH, 6/02, p.42)
1890 The population of NYC at
this time was about 1.2 million with some 37,000 living in
(WSJ, 8/25/08, p.A11)
1890-1976 Paul Strand, American photographer. He
documented the streets of New York City from 1915-1917 and did early
experiments in photographic abstraction.
(SFEM, 5/31/98, p.13)
1891 Jan 1, An office was
opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of
immigrants coming into the United States.
1891 Feb 22, "Chico" Marx,
actor, comedian (Marx Brothers, Animal Crackers), was born in NYC.
1891 May 5, Carnegie Hall (then
named Music Hall) had its opening night in New York City.
Tchaikovsky was the guest conductor. Musicians, painters, dancers
and actors thrived in two towers built by 19th-century industrialist
Andrew Carnegie just after the hall went up. The Carnegie Towers,
one 12 stories high, the other 16, housed more than 100 studios. In
2010 the city-owned towers were gutted in a $200 million renovation
(AP, 5/5/97)(AP, 8/2/10)
1891 Mar 8, Sam Jaffe, actor
(Gunga Din, Dr Zorba-Ben Casey), was born in NYC.
1891 Madison Square Garden
opened to the public. At the request of architect Stanford White,
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) created a revolving finial to
surmount the tower of White's Madison Square Garden. The
18-foot-high Diana was disproportionately large for White's tower
and that the figure could not revolve in the wind, as intended,
because it was too heavy.
1891 George Jones, banker and
co-founder of the New-York Daily Times, died. Charles R. Miller,
editor of the Times, purchased the paper with investments from a
syndicate of wealthy friends.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.18)
1892 Jan 1, The US Immigration
Service, after two years of construction, opened Ellis Island in New
York Harbor, a new facility for "processing" immigrants. Annie Moore
(15) of County Cork, Ireland, was the 1st person processed. The new
facility replaced Castle Garden, which was closed because of massive
overcrowding and corruption. The money changing concession was later
granted to American Express to end the cheating of immigrants.
Formerly used as a munitions dump and landfill, Ellis Island was
designed, its architects claimed, to handle more than 8,000
newcomers a day. Orderly lines funneled bewildered immigrants past
doctors and officials who examined them for signs of disease. The
physically and mentally ill were refused admittance, forcing
thousands of families to make the difficult decision to return home
with a relative refused entry or push on without them. A final
brusque interview by an immigration official determined whether the
newcomers had already been promised jobs. About 80% of those who
entered Ellis Island received landing cards permitting them to board
ferries for NYC. In the 1890s, 75% of all immigrants entered the US
through Ellis Island. It was closed in 1954.
(AP, 1/1/98)(HNPD, 1/1/99)(AP, 1/1/98)(SFC,
3/21/98, p.E3)(HNPD, 9/18/98)(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T10)
1892 Mar 11, Raoul Walsh,
director (Thief of Baghdad, Battle Cry), was born in NYC.
1892 Mar 15, Jesse W. Reno,
inventor, patented the 1st escalator in NYC.
1892 Aug 27, Fire seriously
damaged New York City's original Metropolitan Opera House, located
at Broadway and 39th Street.
1892 Oct 18, The first
long-distance telephone line between Chicago and New York was
formally opened. It could only handle one call at a time.
1892 Vogue magazine was
first created as a New York weekly journal of society and fashion
1893 Oct 15, The NY Times
declared Coney Island “Sodom-by-the-Sea” for the thrilling rides
that let men and women clutch each other.
(Econ, 9/1/07, p.28)(http://tinyurl.com/39yjht)
1893 The Visiting Nurse Service
was founded as a non-profit group to administer to the city’s
burgeoning immigrant population.
(WSJ, 12/12/01, p.A1)
1894 Apr 19, Jules Massenet's
opera "Werther," premiered in NYC.
1894 Jun 20, George Delacorte,
philanthropist, publisher (Dell Books), was born in NYC.
1894 Aug 16, George Meany, the
first president of the AFL-CIO, was born in New York City.
1894 Sep 4, Some 12,000 tailors
in New York City went on strike to protest the existence of
1894 Oct 29, The opera “Rob
Roy” opened at the Herald Square Theater, NYC. The old Waldorf Hotel
was near Herald Square and soon produced the Rob Roy drink, Scotch
whisky and sweet vermouth.
1894 Nov 18, 1st Sunday
newspaper color comic section published in the NY World.
1894 Nov, Swami Vivekananda
founded the Vedanta Society in NYC. It was the first Hindu
organization intended to attract American adherents.
1895 Jan 31, Jose Marti and
others left NYC for invasion of Spanish Cuba.
1895 Mar 17, Shemp Howard,
comedian (3 Stooges, Bank Dick), was born in Brooklyn.
1895 May 20, The 1st commercial
movie performance was at 153 Broadway in NYC.
1895 May 23, The New York
Public Library had its origins with an agreement combining the
city's existing Astor and Lenox libraries. James Lenox, the son of a
wealthy Scottish merchant, started the NY Public Library.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(AP, 5/23/97)(SFCM, 12/10/00,
1895 May, Newspaper cartoonist
Richard Felton Outcault introduced a new and "distinctly different"
cartoon to the readers of Joseph Pulitzer's New York World. "At the
Circus in Hogan's Alley" set the standard for modern newspaper comic
strips with a zany cast of recurring characters in boisterous plots
printed in a color supplement. Americans loved the cartoon,
especially the character Mickey Dugan, the goofy-looking boy
described as having big ears, a gap-toothed grin and a long yellow
nightshirt. By the summer of 1896, "The Yellow Kid" was so closely
identified with Pulitzer's newspaper that the term "yellow
journalism" was coined to describe the new style of sensationalistic
reporting that characterized the World and many of its competitors.
(HN, 5/18/99)(Econ, 12/22/12, p.129)
1895 Jul 12, Oscar Hammerstein
II, lyricist who worked with Richard Rodgers, was born in NYC.
1895 Oct 22, David Belasco's
"Heart of Maryland," premiered in NYC.
1895 William Randolph Hearst
(1863-1951) bought the New York Morning Journal for $180,000 and
moved from SF to NYC. He soon renamed it the New York Journal. In
2008 Kenneth Whyte authored “The Uncrowned King: The Sensational
Rise of William Randolph Hearst,” an account of Heart’s first three
years in NYC.
(SFEM, 11/8/98, p.16)(SFC, 8/7/99, p.A9)(WSJ,
c1895 Capital flows between
Europe and America reversed with a net credit to America. In 2003
Thomas Kessner authored "Capital City," the story of New York’s rise
to a world financial center.
(WSJ, 4/2/03, p.D8)
1895-1897 Teddy Roosevelt served as the head of
the NYC board of Police commissioners.
(WSJ, 8/2100, p.A16)
1896 Jan 20, George Burns
(d.3/9/96), vaudeville comedian and actor, was born Nathan Birnbaum
in New York City. He hosted radio and television show with his wife
Gracie Allen before going into movies like The Sunshine Boys. "By
the time you're 80 years old, you've learned everything. You only
have to remember it."
(WSJ, 3/11/96, p. A1)(AP, 1/20/98)(HN, 1/20/99)
1896 Feb, Teddy Roosevelt,
Police Commissioner of NYC, closed all the police lodging houses on
the advice of Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914), Danish-born author and
(WSJ, 8/25/08, p.A11)
1896 Mar 17, Adolph Ochs in
Tennessee received a telegram from Harry Alloway that the New York
Times available for acquisition.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.17)
1896 Apr 6, Edgar "Yip" Harburg
(d.1981), lyricist, was born in NYC as Isidore Hochberg. His songs
included "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and "Over the Rainbow."
1896 Apr 14, John Philip
Sousa's opera, "El Capitan," premiered in NYC.
1896 Apr 20, 1st public film
showing in US John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan," premiered in NYC.
1896 Apr 23, The Vitascope
system for projecting movies onto a screen was demonstrated in New
York City. Motion pictures premiered in New York City. It was
developed by Thomas Armat and C. Francis Jenkins and marketed by
(AP, 4/23/97)(HN, 4/23/99)(Sm, 3/06, p.105)
1896 May 26, The Dow Jones
Industrial Average [DJIA] was first published. Charles H. Dow set up
an index of 12 industrial companies that began at 40.94. Of the
current 30 stocks in the Dow Jones, only General Electric was in the
original group. The 12 companies included: The American Cotton Oil
Company, American Sugar Refining Company, American Tobacco, Chicago
Gas, General Electric Co., Laclede Gas Light Co., National Lead,
North American Co., Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Co., U.S.
Leather, U.S. Rubber Co.
(WSJ, 1/8/96, p.C-1)(WSJ, 5/28/96, p.R45)
1896 May 30, The 1st car
accident in NYC occurred when Henry Wells hit cyclist Ebeling Thomas
on the "Western Boulevard" (Broadway).
1896 Jun 7, G. Harpo & F.
Samuelson left NY to row the Atlantic. The trip took 54 days.
1896 Jun 9, The New-York Times
Company was created as a reorganization of the New-York Times
Publishing Company. Old stock was converted on a 5 to 1 basis.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.20)
1896 Aug 13, The New-York Times
Company under Adolph Ochs purchased the New-York Times Publishing
Company. The control of the New York Times has rested with the
Sulzberger and Ochs clans since this year. Adolph S. Ochs purchased
a failing newspaper and turned it into the prestigious New York
Times. Natives of Chattanooga, Adolph and Milton Ochs later
assembled over 2,700 acres along the slopes of Lookout Mountain,
site of the Civil War Battle of Chattanooga, and donated the land
for a Nat’l. Park.
(WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-1)(NH, 8/96, p.78)(HT, 4/97,
p.59) (SFEM, 1/16/00, p.20)
1896 Aug 18, Adolph Ochs (39)
took over the New York Times. He served as publisher until 1935.
(HN, 8/18/00)(SFC, 4/6/01, p.D3)
1896 Aug 19, Adolph Oaks
proclaimed the journalistic principles for the New-York Times: "to
give the news impartially, without fear of favor, regardless of
party, sect or interests involved." He soon launched the "Review of
Books and Arts" and a new "Illustrated Sunday Magazine."
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.22,23)
1896 Aug 29, The
Chinese-American dish chop suey was invented in New York City by the
chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Zone 1 p.2)(SFEC, 1/12/97,
zone 3 p.4)(AP, 8/29/97)
1896 Nov 11, Charles "Lucky"
Luciano, NYC Mafia gangster, was born in Sicily.
1896 "Yellow journalism" was
named after the color comic featuring the Yellow Kid that ran in the
Hearst New York Journal and the Pulitzer New York World.
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.21)
1896 NYC selected William
Temple Hornaday to head a new zoo. It opened in 1899 and Hornaday
bred there a herd of bison.
(ON, 3/02, p.9)
1897 Jan 1, Brooklyn merged
with NY to form the present NYC. [see Jan 1, 1898]
1897 Feb, Adolph Ochs published
for the 1st time his slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print."
(SFEM, 1/16/00, p.23)
1897 Apr 7, Walter
Winchell, American newscaster and newspaper columnist, was born in
(HN, 4/7/97)(MC, 4/7/02)
1897 Jun 15, May Belle Elsas
(d.2003), opera singer and actress, was born in NYC. She changed her
name to Mary Ellis when she joined the Metropolitan Opera at age 18.
(SFC, 2/3/03, p.B4)
1897 Sep 21, The New York Sun
ran its famous editorial that answered a question from 8-year-old
Virginia O'Hanlon: "Is there a Santa Claus?" Francis P. Church
wrote, in part: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as
certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know
that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."
1897 Oct 4, George Bernard
Shaw's "The Devil's Disciple," premiered in NYC.
1897 Oct 24, The first comic
strip appeared in the Sunday color supplement of the New York
Journal called the 'Yellow Kid.' [see May 1895,1896]
1897 Nov 6, Peter Pan opened in
NYC at the Empire Theater.
1897 Dec 12, "The Katzenjammer
Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks,
made its debut in the New York Journal.
1897 Dec 31, Brooklyn, N.Y.,
spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New
1897 Carnegie Hall opened. [see
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.T4)
1897 Teddy Roosevelt, the
police commissioner of NYC, was appointed assistant secretary of war
under Pres. William McKinley, after Col. Frederick Grant, son of
Ulysses S. Grant, turned down the position. In 2012 Richard Zacks
authored “Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean
Up Sin-Loving New York.”
(SSFC, 4/8/12, p.F3)
1897 Col. Fred Grant withdrew
from the Board of Police Commissioners as a protest against the
methods employed by the NY police to gain evidence.
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A2)
1897 Adolph Ochs (1858-1935),
publisher of the New York Times, coined a new motto for the Times
banner: “All the news that’s fit to print.”
(ON, 6/07, p.12)
1897 The first self-propelled
cabs appeared on NYC streets. They were battery powered and required
a long recharge every 25 miles.
(WSJ, 4/6/07, p.W6)
1898 Jan 1, The consolidation
of Greater New York City occurred with the "merger" of Brooklyn and
Manhattan. Before the merger Brooklyn had absorbed Williamsburg,
Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, and New Lots among other towns. The
merger created a city of 3.4 million people. Manhattan, the Bronx,
Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A10)(AP, 1/1/99)
1898 Jan 7, Art Baker, TV host
(You Asked For It), was born in NYC.
1898 Sep 26, George Gershwin,
American composer, was born as Jacob Gershvin in Brooklyn, N.Y. He
wrote many popular songs for musicals, along with his brother Ira,
and is best known for "I Got Rhythm" and "Rhapsody in Blue." His
work included "An American in Paris." As Gershwin was putting
together his famous "Rhapsody in Blue" in 1924, jazz was gaining
widespread popularity. But Gershwin sought to do something new:
"Jazz, they said, had to be in strict time. It had to cling to dance
rhythms. I resolved to kill that misconception with one sturdy
blow." Audiences loved it. He and his brother Ira collaborated in
1934 to create "Porgy and Bess," an opera that explored
African-American culture. Many of its songs have become ingrained in
American popular culture. Just a few years later, when he was only
38, Gershwin died of a brain tumor.
(SFEC, 8/16/98, DB p.37)(AP, 9/26/98)(HNPD,
1898 Sep 30, The city of NY was
established with five boroughs.
1898 In NYC the first int’l.
urban planning conference was held. Horse manure was at the top of
(Econ, 11/26/16, SR p.3)
1898 William Entenmann opened
his first bakery in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. In
1976 Entenmann’s went public.
1898 Frederick Law Olmsted
(d.1903), the architect of Central Park in NYC, was confined to the
McLean Asylum in Waverly, Mass., for dementia. He had earlier
designed the grounds for the asylum.
(WSJ, 5/21/99, p.W5)
1898 Henry Barnet and Katherine
Adams were murdered with mercuric cyanide. Roland Burnham Molineux
(1866-1917), a Manhattan socialite, was convicted in 1899 and sent
to the Sing Sing death house, but was acquitted at a 2nd trial in
1902, due to restrictions on evidence. In 2007 Harold Schechter
authored “The Devil’s Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial
That Ushered in the Twentieth Century.”
(WSJ, 11/1/07, p.D6)
1899 Jan 17, Notorious gangster
Al Capone was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
1899 Jan 23, Humphrey Bogart,
U.S. actor was born. He won an Oscar for African Queen and also
starred in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. [see Dec 25, 1899]
1899 Jan, William Franklin
Miller (36) began offering an investment return of 10% per week to
his neighbors in Brooklyn. Early investors were paid with money
raised from later ones His scheme was exposed after a year by E.L.
Blake, who recognized the swindle after over $2 million was bilked
from tens of thousands. Miller was jailed for 10 years. His method
was made famous 20 years later by Charles Ponzi.
(WSJ, 7/23/99, p.A14)(Econ, 9/2/17, p.59)
1899 Mar 20, Martha M. Place of
Brooklyn, N.Y., became the first woman to be executed in the
electric chair. She was put to death at Sing Sing for the murder of
1899 Jul 7, George Cukor
(d.1983), film director, was born in New York City.
(AP, 7/7/99)(MC, 7/7/02)
1899 Sep 13, Henry H. Bliss
became the first person killed by an automobile, an electric taxi in
(SFC, 10/10/97, p.A21)
1899 Dec 25, Humphrey Bogart,
actor ("Here's looking at you, kid" in Casablanca), was born in NYC.
[see Jan 23, 1899]
1899 Dec 30, The New York Times
listed the most significant advances of the Industrial Revolution.
1st item on the list was friction matches (1827).
(SFEC, 8/13/00, Z1 p.2)
1899 Oscar Hammerstein opened
the Victoria Theater in Times Square. It was later known as the
original Broadway theater.
(WSJ, 3/19/04, p.W2)