Sept 25th in NYC History - Happy Birthday Bill of Rights, Jews of NYC, Rothko, Red, Michael, Will, and Barbara.
Posted: Sep 25, 2012 | 12:34 AM
1654: The first Jews of North America, refugees from the Portuguese inquisition in Brazil, arrive in Nieuw Amsterdam. Some of their descendants are still prominent in NYC.
1789: In NYC, the first capitol of the USA, 12 Amendments to the Constitution are presented to the United States, 10 of which become the Bill of Rights.
The first two did not pass then. The original first amendment would have allowed by today, 6000 members of the House of Representatives (which is fine with me). The original 2nd amendment regarded Congressional pay, which was eventually passed 203 years later as the 27th Amendment.
1866: Jerome Park the first posh socially acceptable Thoroughbred racing track opens in what is now the Bronx. It is this kind of money that attracted the best horses to compete for the best prizes. Ask me on tour how this relates to NYC first being called The Big Apple.
1903: Mark Rothko painter (died in 1970).
1905: Red Smith, the sportswriter who made the sports pages thoughtful, was born. He won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, the first for a sports writer.
In 1949, columnist Walter Winchell wrote:
"Red Smith was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore…'Why, no,' dead-panned Red. 'You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.'"
Smith died in 1982. I met him a couple of years before he died in his lovely home in Martha's Vineyard when my parents paid a visit.
1927: Knicks great Carl Braun born in Brooklyn. He was a forward who averaged over 14 points per game over 740 games in 12 seasons from 1947-61, for seven of those years he was the leading scorer. He missed two seasons for military service. During his last two seasons as a player, he was also coach!
1929: Happy Birthday Barbara Walters.
1933: Multi-talented writer Ring Lardner dies at 48. He wrote sports, columns, a hit Broadway show ("June Moon" with George Kaufman), sketches and lyrics for the Ziegfeld Follies.
1944: Happy Birthday, Michael Douglas ("Wall Street"). It is also Catherine Zeta-Jones, his wife's birthday (1969).
1968: Happy Birthday, Will Smith ("Men in Black" and "Hitch").
1973: Willie Mays bades farewell to the Mets and American Baseball. The Mets went on to first place in the NL East against the Montreal Expos 2-1.
1975: Bob Considine dies in NYC at 68. He wrote biographies of Dempsey, Toots Shor, and Babe Ruth. He covered sports for four NYC newspapers and was syndicated in 105 others.
1979: "Evita," the hit musical, opens on Broadway.
1996: The New York Yankees begin their late 20th Century dynasty when they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers to the clinch the American League East, their first division title since 1981. Over the next five years, they will win four World Series championships.