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October 17th  New York City History - Lots of Yankees and Mets - Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra go from Yankees to Mets taking mirthful wisdom with them.  Little Augie, the last Lower East Side gang captain.

Posted: Oct 17, 2012 | 2:39 AM

1683: The Colony of New York's first legislature is elected, as has already happened in neighboring colonies

1859:  Impressionist Painter Frederick Childe Hassam born.  He died in 1935.

1915:  A Brooklyn Heights writer, Arthur Miller born.

1919:  The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was created.  Later they became the anchor tenant for Radio City, with 30 Rock being the RCA building. 

Radio City was soon to be renamed Rockefeller Center. 

RCA'a subsidiary NBC is still an anchor of Rockefeller Center. 

General Electric, which kind of founded RCA, took over RCA and NBC, and the RCA Building now is labeled GE. 

RCA's leader, David Sarnoff, realized the connection between technology and mass media, and the connection between entertainment creating demand for technology.

1927:  Little Augie, the last Lower East Side Gang Captains, gunned down while talking with his body guard Legs Diamond in front of 103 Norfolk St.  In better days (for him), Little Augie led a Jewish gang of toughs who edged out the Bowery Boys, the Dead Rabbits and the Gophers.

1930:  Happy Birthday, Jimmy Breslin, author and columnist.  I am honored, after being mortified 20 years ago, to have been chronicled by Breslin in a Newsday column.  I am trying to dig it up.

1948:  Margot Kidder, star of 1979's Superman as Lois Lane, born.
  I love pointing out her penthouse apartment on tours of Central Park.

Charles Van Doren, the young and attractive Columbia University professor and quiz-show wiz was  arrested for lying about his cheating on the popular TV show Twenty One.  It was an era of embarrassments for Columbia.

1960:  The Yankees let their Manager Casey Stengel go at age 71 after leading them to seven World Series and ten pennants in twelve years
.  The Yankees won the following two years.

Stengel remarked that he had been fired for turning 70, and that he would "never make that mistake again." 

A couple of years later, he will manage the new New York Mets which enjoyed some awful seasons with his sayings, such as:
  • "I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before."
  • "I got one that can throw but can't catch, one that can catch but can't throw, and one who can hit but can't do either."
  • 'Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?'

Stengel is the only person to have played for or managed all four of New York City's modern baseball teams.

1960:  New York City is awarded a National League expansion team.  In 1962 that team was the New York Mets.

1963:  Saturday Night Live's Norm Macdonald born.

1964:  Yankees fire Yogi Berra after managing one season.  His team won the Pennant and went to the seventh game of the World Series against St. Louis which won.  The Yankees hired their Manager instead. 

The Yankees would not win the World Series again until 1977.

Berra went on to coach the New York Mets for eight seasons, including their 1969 improbable World Series win, and managing them through their improbable 1973 Pennant.  "It ain't over until it's over."

1966:  The greatest loss of firefighters in NYC history until the 9/11/01 attacks on the World Trade Center:  Twelve firefighters died when the floor of a building 23rd Street and Broadway collapsed during a fire

1975:  Albert Shanker and the NYC Teacher's Union helps save the city from bankruptcy by investing $150 million in municipal bonds from their retirement fund.

1978:  Catfish Hunter leads the Yankees to win the World Series 6-2.  They beat the Dodgers 7-2 in Los Angeles.  The Yankees were the first team to win the series after losing the first two games.


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