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December 19th in NYC History - Happy Birthday:
Willyburg B,
the American Crisis,
Lindsay's Legacy,

Posted: Dec 19, 2012 | 12:10 AM

1776:  Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay,  "These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.."  Washington had these words read to embolden his troops, many had already fled, but those that remained were so inspired that they crossed the Delaware with him.

1882:  Paul Krichel, the Yankees' Scout from 1920-1957 who signed and/or discovered Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Whitey Ford, Mark Koenig, and Vic Raschi, born in New York.

1903:  The Williamsburg Bridge opens, opening up the Lower East Side's density like a pressure release valve to what was to become 'the Jewish Riviera,' Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

The bridge carries the J and the Z trains, which a young Shawn Corey Carter took to the rough Marcy Avenue projects where he grew up.  He was later named Jay-Z, partially for his train lines.  It also plays a role in many other aspects of NYC culture.

For around 20 years, the bridge was the longest in the world.

1924:  August Belmont, Jr died.  He was a great figure in Thoroughbred Horse racing, who founded Belmont Raceway and
the Belmont Stakes

Belmont is to the right.

Belmont financed the development of New York City's subway,

and he used the same architect, LaFarge to design part of the Cathedral of St John the Divine, which he also financed.  He had good taste in heaven, turf, and under earth.

:  Happy Birthday to Actress Cicely Tyson, who cut her teeth in the Harlem Y's theater.

1968:  Dave DeBusschere joins the NY Knicks as big forward
, with teammates Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, they led the Knicks to great years for over five years.

1974:  NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller sworn in as Vice President, replacing Ford, who replaced Agnew and then Nixon as President.  Ford, accidental President, was lampooned as accident-prone by Chevy Chase.

2000:  The UN Security Council imposes broad sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban leaders unless they closed terrorist training camps and surrendered Osama bin Laden, who was indicted for the African Embassy bombings.       

2000:  Ex-Mayor John Lindsey died at age 79.  

What a mixed legacy of idealism,

enduring aesthetics, fiscal failure...

1980:  Happy Birthday Jake Gyllenhaal,

who puts people to sleep on the subways, but not in the cinemas.

1986: The Mets' World Series parachutist sentenced.


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