January 31st in NYC History
Founder, Puzzler, Entertainer, Baseball Legend, Writer, Composer, Actress and Comedian born, Inventor died, Lockerbie Justice denied.
Posted: Jan 30, 2013 | 10:57 PM
by Jared Goldstein
1752: Gouverneur Morris, a founder of our nation, Senator, proponent of Federal power, and proponent of New York and New England secession, born.
1841: Puzzle King and Chess expert Sam Loyd born in Philadelphia, but he grew up, made his career and lived in NYC. He died in Brooklyn in 1911.
Some accounts state he was born on January 30th.
1892: NYC born comedian, singer, songwriter and radio star Eddie Cantor born, as Edward Israel Iskowitz, to Russian immigrants.
1919: Jackie Robinson, who made history in 1947 as the Brooklyn Dodger who integrated major league baseball, was born in Georgia. He died in 1972.
1923: Writer Norman Mailer born.
We go by his old home during Brooklyn Heights tours.
1937: Happy Birthday to the East Village's Philip Glass, Composer.
We go by his townhouse on East Village tours.
1937: Actress Suzanne Pleshettte born.
1954: Edwin Armstrong the great but beleaguered inventor died. He was born 1890.
1977: Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan born.
1984: Bishop John J. O'Connor of Pennsylvania succeeded the late Terrence Cardinal Cooke to head the New York Catholic Archdiocese.
1994: Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA's Sinn Fein party, is finally granted a visa allowing him into New York to attend a peace conference.
1995: George Abbott, the legendary Broadway director died at 106.
2001: A Scottish court convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie; the flight was bound for New York.
The Scottish court would soon commute this sentence for 'compassionate grounds' as Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had cancer and was asserted to have only weeks left to live, even though the medical evidence was skimpy. It is suspected that oil and other interests, such as selling arms, were behind the scheme.
Al-Megrahi returned to a hero's welcome in Libya. He lived another three years in his villa. He served about eight years in prison for 270 counts of murder. He died at 60 in May 2012.
Most of his victims were college students heading home for Christmas. They would be in their forties today.