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October 12th in New York City's History

Posted: Oct 11, 2012 | 8:54 PM
1792:  New York City's and the world's first Columbus Day celebration for the 300th anniversary of his 'discovering' a short cut to what he thought was India.


1912:  Alice Childress, the writer, playwright, and actress who was raised in Harlem and featured at the Public Theatre, was born.  She died in 1994.


1915: 
Addressing a New York audience, Dutch-American former President Teddy Roosevelt criticizes Americans who identify themselves by dual-nationalities, attacking "hyphenated-Americanism."  Was this a dig at Italian-Americans on Columbus Day?


1932:  Dick Gregory, a comedian who made it in Greenwich Village and in the world of civil rights activism, born.


1935:  Luciano Pavarotti, the great opera tenor born.  He died in 2007.


1944:  Bobby Soxers go wild for 'Young Blues Eyes' Frank Sinatra rioting at the Paramount Theater.


1947:  Chris Wallace, Fox Broadcast journalist born.


1960:  Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev disrupted the U.N. General Assembly session by banging his shoe on the desk.


1968:  Greenwich Village's Hugh Jackman born.


1971: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" opened on Broadway.  It was their first major production.


1975:  The New York Giants open their only season at Shea Stadium for 60,000 while Giants Stadium is under construction.  They lose to Dallas.  Shea also hosted the Yankees as their stadium underwent renovations.  The Jets continued playing there along with the Mets, making Shea home to four pro teams in two sports for a year.


1978:  Punk rocker, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols allegedly murders his girlfriend, local Nancy Spungeon, in the Chelsea Hotel.  He dies of a heroin overdose before his trial.


2000:  Al-Qaeda suicide bombers in an explosives-laden boat rammed into the USS Cole destroyer in Yemen's Gulf of Aden, killing 17 sailors.


The investigation by FBI Counter-Terrorism expert John O'Neill, 'the man who knew,' was stymied by US Ambassador Bodine who felt that O'Neill's investigation into the terrorist attack in Yemen meant recognizing that there are terrorists in Yemen, which might offend the Yemeni government, whose security forces were already working with O'Neill to counter the terrorists linked with al-Qaeda.

This absurd situation partly led to O'Neill, a leading Osama bin Laden counter-terrorism expert, leaving the FBI. 

Weeks before the 9/11/01 attacks on the WTC, O'Neill became Chief of Security for the World Trade Center's management, Silverstein Properties.  O'Neill's network told him that an attack on the WTC was imminent, but he did not have the details.

After alerting the military to the attacks on the WTC, O'Neill helped rescue pre-school children and showed people to safety.  He died in the collapse of WTC 2 in his 31st floor office.  After chasing bin Laden for nearly ten years, bin Laden caught up to O'Neill.

The lack of response by the Clinton and Bush2 administrations is said to have emboldened Al-Qaeda.  Barbara Bodine then joined the Bush administration's effort to manage Iraq during the US occupation, then she was replaced.  Now she is in academia.

What might have been if O'Neill had been allowed to do what he did best?

I explore such questions in my unique tour: The World Trade Center Deep History Tour. ©

2007:  Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the Nobel Peace Prize for addressing global warming.


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