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February 25th in NYC History

Posted: Feb 25, 2013 | 3:03 PM

1643:  Dutch colonist attacked Native Americans in Lower Manhattan and in Maspeth, Queens

In Manhattan, the Native Americans in Manhattan were slaughtered.

Some Dutch attacks involved torching the Natives' Longhouses that were home to clans of sixty men, women and children in the middle of the night.

In Maspeth, the Natives drove the Dutch back to Manhattan.

Some of the Dutch attacks were over tax disputes.  They wanted the natives to provide discounted beaver pelts in exchange for living in Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Nederlands, ancestral Native lands.  The Natives didn't have a concept of real estate ownership and real property taxes.

We go over these attacks and the related cultural misunderstandings/scams in my Financial District tour, Colonial New York City tour, and Nieuw Amsterdam tour (New Amsterdam Tour).

1644:  The Dutch Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam) colony granted conditional freedom to a group of African slaves.

1873:  Great opera tenor Enrico Caruso born.  He died in 1921.

We go by his home, the Ansonia, on my Upper West Side tour.

1949:  Actor, author, and longtime former SNL writer Jack Handey born.

1950:  Your Show of Shows premiered on NBC.  This innovative program evolved the variety show vaudeville format with the introduction of sitcom.  It starred Sid Ceasar and Imogene Coca.  The writers included Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Neil Simon.  Simon wrote the play Laughter on the 23rd Floor and Brooks produced My Favorite Year about working on it.  Reiner stated that the show inspired The Dick Van Dyke Show.


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