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Feb 28 in New York City History - Five acclaimed actors, a director, and an artist born, and more.

Posted: Feb 27, 2013 | 11:44 PM

1903:  Vincente Minnelli, sometime New Yorker, the stage and film director who worked at Radio City and co-designed the Rainbow Room before moving on to Hollywood where he would sire Liza Minelli with the help of Judy Garland, born.  His is the only Oscar-winning family of father-mother-daughter.


1906:  "Bugsy" Siegel the glamorous, murderous gangster who founded Las Vegas as a gambling oasis, born in Brooklyn.  He was born Benjamin Siegelbaum to poor Russian Jewish immigrants.  He died at 41.



1907:  Milton Caniff, the "Rembrandt of Comic Art," who penned Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon, born in Ohio.  He moved to make his career in NYC in 1932.



1915:  Zero Mostel, the actor, comedian, and singer who made Tevia famous in Fiddler on the Roof, born.

We go by his high school, Seward Park, on Lower East Side History tours.


1939:  Tommy Tune, actor, dancer, singer, theatre director, producer, and choreographer, born.  He directed and choreographed eight Broadway shows, and won a Tony Award.


1940:  The first televised college basketball games were televised.  

W2XBS (the experimental station that was later to be NBC/RCA) broadcasted the Pittsburgh-Fordham and Georgetown-NYU games from Madison Square Garden in New York.  NYU won.  Fordham lost.

In those days college hoops were bigger than the NBA.  

Television was demonstrated for the first time in 1939 at the World's Fair by David Sarnoff (see yesterday's post).  Sarnoff's use of basketball was like his pioneering of radio for entertainment by using a Jack Dempsey boxing match in Jersey City to goose adoption.

Let's go on a Madison Square Garden tour of its four sites.


1948:  Bernadette Peters, Broadway actress and singer, born.



1948:  Mercedes Ruehl, Academy, Tony, and Obie Awards winner, born in Queens.


1957:  Actor John Turturro born in Brooklyn.


1958:  Gilbert Gottfried, actor, voice-actor, and comedian, born in Brooklyn.


2007:  Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., the Pulitzer winning Presidential historian and CUNY professor, died at 89.

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