October 18ths in NYC History - Old Timey Sports, Affairs of State, and TeleComm. And some Justice.
Posted: Oct 18, 2012 | 12:17 AM
1831 Thomas Hunter, founder of Hunter College, the first women's school in 1870 (renamed in his honor in 1914) was born in Ireland. When he immigrated here he was a destitute refugee.
1842: NYU Professor Samuel Morse lays New York City's first telegraph cable between the Battery and Governor's Island, the longest used military base in the US. Even so, the was shortly cut by a ship's anchor.
1851: Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick.
We walk his streets on Greenwich Village Tours, Highline and Meatpacking District Tours, Downtown Tours, Wall Street Tours, and South Street Seaport tours.
1862: James Creighton, the first professional baseball player, the pitcher for the Brooklyn Excelsiors in the early 1860s, died at 21.
1867: Alaska joins the United States from Russia thanks to New York's William Seward, the greatest Secretary of State in US history, not just because of that, but he kept France and England out of the Civil War. Seward was also Governor and Senator.
1891: The six-day bike race begins inside Madison Square Garden. The winner peddled over 1466 miles (equivalent to somewhere in Nebraska), winning the $2000 prize before thousands. This event would last fifty years, until WW2.
1892: Long distance telephone service between Chicago and New York began.
1898: US takes control over Puerto Rico from the declining Spanish Empire. After World War 2, a huge migration of US territory Puerto Ricans seeking industrial work led them to settle in New York City in time for its de-industrialization.
In 1975, Puerto Rican nationalist terrorists will bomb the Fraunces Tavern, killing six.
There are many Puerto Ricans in New York City. I celebrate their connection with poetry and community gardening, as well as keeping Jewish culinary culture alive in my East Village Community Gardens Tour, my Lower East Side Tours, and my Lower East Side Jewish Tours.
1900: Brooklyn wins the National League Pennant championship away against Pittsburgh 6-1, dominating the series 3-1, best of five.
1919: William Waldorf Astor, Business and Political leader, and grandson of John Jacob Astor, died.
1925: The New York Giants play their first home football game at the Polo Grounds. They lost to the Philadelphia Yellow Jackets 14-0. The Giants would play there until 1957 after which they moved to San Francisco.
1931: Edison, the man who lit the Great White Way, lit the first indoor and outdoor electric Christmas trees, and lit department store windows, who used motion picture technology to titillate and entertain the Broadway Theater District masses at the turn of the century, died. He also founded the first municipal power company, Edison Electric, which lives on as ConEd, the source of the steam coming from the streets. He also founded what would become General Electric.
1961: Jazz great and Lincoln Center treasure Wynton Marsalis celebrates his birthday today.
1961: West Side Story, the musical film starring Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno about gang life and death and love in San Juan Hill, premieres in New York City. Impoverished San Juan Hill was demolished to make way for wealthy Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, whose tickets were mostly unaffordable to the former residents. The Maestro, Leonard Bernstein used the condemned neighborhood as the set for the film.
1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrested for drug possession in London by a zealot. 7 ounces of hashish. John plead guilty to prevent Yoko's deportation. The relevance to New York City: Senator Jesse Helms and President Richard Nixon would later use this to attempt Lennon's deportation from the USA when they lived in NYC.
1977: Mr. October, Reggie Jackson leads the Yankees to the World Series with three homers against the L.A. Dodgers 8-4 at Yankee Stadium. He did well in the rest of the series as well. This ended a Yankees World Series drought since 1962.
2001: The African Embassies Bombers of 1998 were convicted in New York. This was supposed to happen on 9/11/01, but the WTC attacks closed Downtown for weeks, delaying the proceedings.
Coincidence? Probably, but Al Quaeda is aware of their trials, and they try to stage distractions for jail breaks.
A few years before, their comrades stabbed a guard there in the eye to attempt the same thing. The guard was damaged but unbowed. He attended their trial, walking in on his own.
Al Qaeda jail breaks don't happen at the Federal Courthouse, but they do happen in South Asia and the Middle East.
I don't get to discuss these details much, but they are covered in my unique World Trade Center Deep History Tour.
2007: Yankees manager Joe Torre rejects the team's offer for a new one-year contract, following his leading them to winning four world series in 11 years. Maybe they should have offered him a better contract?