January 9th in NYC History - 12 facts:
Posted: Jan 8, 2013 | 11:01 PM
1808: NYC's first public works project: filling in Collect Pond with landfill from a flattened Broadway, drained by a canal where Canal Street is. Unemployed and hungry laborers threatened riot unless they got work.
This area is becoming a park. It was a parking lot for the courts (next to Civil and Family Courts, across from The Tombs, Criminal Court). Cars occassionally fell into the pond's sinkholes. It is nice that we are working with nature rather than against it, and it against us.
1854: The Astor Library opened at Lafayette Place, where the Public Theater is now.
It had more books than the Library of Congress.
This semi-public library was a forerunner of the NY Public Library. Washington Irving was the president and chief librarian.
1875: Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Sculptress, Patron of the arts, and founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art, born. She died in 1942. We explore some of her heritage sites on our Greenwich Village tours.
1903: The roots of the Yankees planted by the New York Businessmen who bought Baltimore's American League franchise for $18,000, moved them to upper Manhattan, renamed them the Highlanders, and then the NY Yankees in 1913.
1928: Popular author Judith Krantz born in New York City.
1941: Joan Baez, singer and activist born in Staten Island.
1942: Joe Louis defended his championship , knocking out Buddy Baer at 2:56 into the first round. Louis donated his $47,000 prize to the Navy Relief Fund, poignant since the attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base was a month earlier.
1946: Harlem Renaissance writer Countee Cullen died at 42.
1950: Rock singer David Johansen, from the New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter, born.
1954: Neil Smith, the Ranger's GM and President of their 1994 Stanley Cup Championship team, born in Toronto.
2006: "The Phantom of the Opera" became the longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing "Cats," which ran for 7,485 performances.
2006: Howard Stern goes to satellite radio. In 2005, he signed a $500 million exclusive broadcast deal with Sirius Satellite Radio's subscription-based radio service .