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December 17th in NYC History

Posted: Dec 17, 2012 | 1:08 AM
by Jared Goldstein

1831:  Samuel Ruggles establishes NYC's private Gramercy Park maintained at the expense of the neighborhood, in exchange for exclusive keys. 

In that era NYC had many private parks, and fewer public ones.  The private parks got sold off, and the public ones were, too.  Tompkins Square park lost around 1/3 of its space.

1835:  Canal Street's ditch blown up to stop the Great Fire from spreading
.  It already claimed the New York Stock Exchange.    

1929:  New York born and New York Times columnist (based out of Washington, DC) William Safire born.  He died in 1929.

1930:  Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse and several other magazines, born in Brooklyn.  He died on Oct. 20th 2010.  I think I have a firmer profile of him on that date.

1933:  The football Giants make it to the first NFL Championship game, but they lose to da Bears 23-21 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. 1945:  Happy Birthday, Chris Matthews.  Ha!

1954:  For the fourth time, New York's Baseball teams get both Most Valuable Player awards.  Willie Mays of the Giants for the National League, and Yankee Catcher Yogi Berra wins the American League MVP.  This will happen for three more years in a row! 

New York also got both MVPs for the 1936, 1941, and 1951 seasons. 

Besides having legendary players, we also had at least three home teams in that era, so that stacked the decks, too, besides big city cash contracts.  It was an amazing time to be a baseball fan in NYC.

1969:  Tiny Tim married Miss Vicky on the Tonight Show in front of 50 million.

1989:  "The Simpsons" premiers on Fox.  I have more great pictures from a rare episode in which they visit NYC and the original World Trade Center below.

1991:  The Federal Southern District Court of NY held that sampled music must be licensed.

1992:  Colonel Ben Johnson, Columbia's sprinter who set the 60-yard dash record in 1938, died at age 78.

(Bad day for Columbia and NYU track.)

1992:  Howard Cann, NYU's athletic star in football, basketball and track, as well as coaching, died.   He led the Violets' hoops scoring all the way to the 1920 AAU nationals, as well as winning the shotput that year at the 1C4A championships.  He served as NYU's football coach for a year while being hoops coach from 1923-58.

(This fish eye view reminds me a little of the beginning of Fritz the Cat.)

Homer is illegally parked in the plaza between the Twin Towers.


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