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November 27th in NYC History - Happy Birthday Brooklyn!  1st Macy's Parade 1924 with "man-eating lions." The late great Penn Station.  Stones MSG. MVPs.

Posted: Nov 26, 2012 | 11:03 PM

1646:  Brooklyn is born!  The Dutch West India Company grants the village of Brooklyn a municipal form of government.  It is named for Breuklen, "Broken Land," a Dutch village with similarly hilly terrain.

1746:  Robert Livingston "The Chancellor" who helped write the Declaration of Independence was born.  Livingston is standing in the middle in front of the desk.

Columbia named one of its first dormitories after him, an early alum from the Kings College days before the Revolution.  Here is what Jack Kerouac wrote about living there:
"One great move I made was to switch my dormitory room from Hartley Hall to Livingston Hall where there were no cockroaches and where b'God I had a room all to myself, on the second floor, overlooking the beautiful trees and walkways of the campus and overlooking, to my greatest delight, besides the Van Am Quadrangle, the library itself, the new one, with its stone frieze running around entire with the names engraved in stone forever: "Goethe ... Voltaire ... Shakespeare ... Molière ... Dante." That was more like it. Lighting my fragrant pipe at 8 P.M., I'd open the pages of my homework, turn on station WQXR for the continual classical music, and sit there, in the golden glow of my lamp, in a sweater, sight and say, "Well, now I'm a real collegian at last."
You won't find Livingston Hall on a map of Columbia University.  Even though he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he did not write a two million dollar check like Ira Wallach did, for whom the dorm was renamed in the 1980s.

Hamilton Hall, Hartley and Livingston to the right.  Campus by McKim Mead and White.

1910:  New York's Pennsylvania Station opens.  Not only is it a McKim Mead & White architectural masterpiece, but it is an engineering marvel, connecting New York City to the mainland under the mighty Hudson River.
53 years later it will be destroyed.  56 years later it will be a combination of ugly office building and the new Madison Square Garden.  We'll see some of that in the entry for 1969 Rolling Stones.
More pictures at the bottom.

1924:  The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but back then it had a more transparent name: 'the Big Christmas Parade.' 
It featured the Central Park Zoo's animals, billed to include "simpering apes, capering clowns, and mastodonic pachyderms who could lift a taxi in their trunks and toss it about in the air." 

All this to welcome Santa Claus and display their new holiday windows.  The parade route went from Harlem to Macy's.

1927:  Giants earns the football league title after defeating the Chicago Bears 13-7 at the Polo Grounds.

1942: Rangers trade Bob Pratt to Toronto.  The following season Pratt wins the National Hockey League Most Valuable Player Trophy.

1942:  Jimi Hendrix of Greenwich Village bornWe see his Electric Lady Studios on my tours of wonderful Greenwich Village.

Jimi Hendrix on his 27th Birthday with Keith Richards backstage at the Rolling Stones' first concert at Madison Square Garden.

1947:  Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, the New York Yankee's centerfielder, wins the American League Most Valuable Player award
, edging out Boston's Ted William by one point. In 1957, Williams will lose by one point to Yankee Mickey Mantle.  That Boston NYC baseball rivalry.

1955:  The NY Giants football team closes its stay at the Polo Grounds after 31 seasons
, tying with the Cleveland Browns at 35.

1969:  The Rolling Stones play Madison Square Garden.  Janis Joplin, Ike & Tina Turner open for them.  Cost: $8.  Experience: priceless. 

They played above where the great Penn Station was from 1910-1963.  See towards the bottom.
More of this concert's pictures at the bottom.

1974:  George Steinbrenner, the legendary, controversial and longtime Yankees owner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy for making illegal contributions to the Nixon campaign. Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn will suspend Steinbrenner 16 months.

1990:  MTV banned Madonna's Justify My Love video

2005:  $10 million bat-mitzvah at the Rainbow Room features Aerosmith, 50 Cent, Don Henley (Eagles), Kenny G, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, and $1000 gift bags.  It was hosted by David H. Brooks who made a fortune from manufacturing body armor for the military.  He also made a fortune from insider trading, tax evasion, and robbing his company, according to a 2007 indictment. 

The following pictures are what it was like to enter the building at 7th Ave and 32nd Street, passing over the carriage transom, through the commercial arcade hallway, down the stairs into the waiting room, down to the concourse to the tracks by 8th Ave.

Take a free tour of Pennsylvania Station.  I did and it was wonderful.  The guide has so much passion. 

Where all that soaring steel and light is became the stage for a prince of darkness Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones in 1969.

More about this day


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