October 3rd in NYC History:
Posted: Oct 3, 2012 | 3:44 AM
1900: Thomas Wolfe the great American writer of "Look Homeward Angel," which he wrote at the Chelsea Hotel, was born. He also wrote in Brooklyn. He would only live to 37.
1910: NYC welcomes Mayor Gaynor back to City Hall weeks after an assassin shot him in the neck.
1925: America's last intellectual, writer Gore Vidal was born.
1936: John Heisman, football great and Downtown Athletic Club Director, dies at 68. The DAC's trophy for the best college football player is renamed for Heisman.
I was there for Doug Flutie's initiation.
1951: NYC's three professional Baseball teams are alone in a race for the division championships and then the World Series Championship!
At the bottom of the 9th inning, Bobby Thompson's "Shot Heard Around the World," a three run homer, wins the National League Pennant for the Giants against the Dodgers after both teams ended the season tied for first place.
Radio announcer Russ Hodges shouted "The Giants win the pennant!" "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" Until he lost his voice! Inside the Polo Grounds: bedlam as fans flooded the field. Thomson took bow after bow. People in New York City made so many phone calls after Thomson’s homer that New York Telephone nearly lost service in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
My father who loved the underdog, befriended the Dodger's pitcher for that game, Ralph Branca.
Later the Yankees will beat the Giants for the World Series.
Baseball in NYC in the 1940s and 1950s: triumphs, rivalries, and then heartbreak when 2/3 of the teams exported to California.
1951: Yankee great and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield born. When he joined the Yankees in 1981, his $23 million contract was the highest in baseball history. The Yankees owner George Steinbrenner thought he was signing for $16M and spent the next ten years deriding him, even getting suspended from baseball by contracting a crime figure to dig the dirt out on Dave to force him to leave the Yankees.
1954: Racial huckster, media pundit, and political candidate Al Sharpton born. As a youth he was a talented precocious civil rights preacher. In the 1980s he was a divisive figure with dubious tactics.
I cannot forgive him for his slurs against Steven Pagones during the Tawana Brawley fiasco.
1965: At the Statue of Liberty President Lyndon Johnson signs an immigration bill eliminating immigration quotas from different nations, enabling Chinese to become the fastest growing immigration group in NYC for decades, with Dominicans closely following.
1967: Folk singer Woody Guthrie died in New York at 55. His guitar 'killed fascists.' He wrote and sang: "This land is your land, this land is my land / From California, to the New York Island ... This land was made for you and me."
I once did a tour for a (very conservative) high school chorus that refused to sing that song at a national monument. They said they didn't know it well enough.
1990: Charlotte Boyle Clune, the freestyle swimmer who set four world records and eight American ones from 1917-1921, died at age 91.
1992: On Saturday Night Live musician Sinead O'Connor ripped a photo of Pope John Paul II during a performance to protest the Catholic Church's enabling pedophilia.
The ensuing controversy pretty much ruined her career while the church kept a steady course.
I saw her perform at 'BobFest,' the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Tribute concert, at Madison Square Garden a couple of weeks later. She sang a bit; the crowd booed her; she sang louder, and then left the stage after being booed off.