October 20th in New York City's History - Happy Birthday, New-York City! Origin of the 'Big Apple,' and more great stuff!
Posted: Oct 20, 2012 | 6:14 PM
1664: Choosing surrendering over dying, the former Dutch Nieuw Amsterdam Council takes an oath of allegiance to their new English rulers in renamed New-York City. In exchange, they kept their property, local customs and religions, rule of law, and international trade -- unique to the British Colonies of the East Coast. This transformation to English rule would not be complete for a few decades as locals switched sides for a generation, and Dutch New Yorkers, Knickerbockers, ostentatiously held onto their culture for over a hundred years.
1859: John Dewey, the greatest American philosopher of his day, was born. He championed learning by doing and was a proponent of democracy. "Control of government must be redeemed from the special interests which have usurped it and restored to the people." He authored 1000 published works and was a professor at Teachers College of Columbia University. He died in 1952. He had an amazing life, which was chronicled in this New York Times obituary.
1874: Charles Edward Ives, avant-garde composer, who gained international renown, before American, was born. In 1954, he died New York City.
1899: The USA keeps the America's Cup. The New York Yacht Club's Columbia sweeps the Shamrocks 3:38.09 to 3:44.43 in New York Harbor. I love their building on 44th Street. It reminds me of ships and the sea.
1920: Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence published, later winning her the Pulitzer Prize. It chronicles the Victorian era of old New York society.
1923: Kentucky Derby winner Zev, jockeyed by Earle Sande, decisively defeats Papyrus, the Epsom Derby winner, at Belmont Park. Zev garners $80,000 and a $5000 gold cup. The horse probably got a big apple. That metonymy is the origin of New York City being known as the Big Apple. It was later picked up by Jazz musicians, echoing New York City as the big prize or the big pay day, since we are the largest market in the USA.
1931: Baseball Hall of Famer and NY Yankees great Mickey Mantle was born in Oklahoma.
1932: The NY Giants' 8-time All-Pro, Hall of Famer, star defensive tackle Roosevelt Brown, Jr. is born in Virginia. Rosey played for the Giants from 1956-63. Later he coached and scouted for years for the Giants.
1947: McCarthey's House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence in the motion picture industry, ruining writers' lives for having youthful idealism.
1953: Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez born. He was key in the Mets' 1986 World Series victory. There were some funny Seinfeld moments with Hernandez in the 1990s.
1964: 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, died at 90 in New York City. As conservative as Hoover was in government, he personally was a charitable man who was an active volunteer and humanitarian.
1968: JFK's widow Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on a Greek island, becoming Jackie O.
Onassis' Olympic Tower, across from Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis' church St Patrick's Cathedral, is a good place to find a restroom, and, sometimes, a Hellenic Museum.
2000: Triple agent, Ali Mohamed, who was a member of Al Qaeda and the US Special Forces' anti-terrorism units, pleaded guilty in
New York Federal Court of the Southern District for helping with planning the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa that killed over 200.
2010: Brooklyn and Manhattan's Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse and several other magazines, died.