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March 24th in NYC History  Birth of the Subway (?), Long Distance, the Escape Artist, Playing the Palace, and more.

Posted: Mar 24, 2013 | 6:27 PM
by Jared Goldstein

1755:  Pride of Jamaica Queens Rufus King a drafter of the US Constitution born in MA, which he represented to the Constitutional Convention.  He spent his final years in Jamaica.

March 24, 1874, Harry Houdini, the Hungarian-born magician and escape artist, was born. Following his death on Oct. 31, 1926

1883...Long distance phone service begins between New York and Chicago.

1887: Fatty Arbuckle born elsewhere he died in NYC.  What a life!  The first millionaire actor, the comic nurtured the careers of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Bob Hope.  He was involved in one of Hollywood's first great scandals.  He was tried three times for the rape and murder of a prostitute that he had nothing to do with.  The scandal ruined his career.  After he finally got a film contract for a movie to be produced in Brooklyn, he said it was the happiest day in his life.  That night, in his mid 40s, he died in his sleep.

1897:  Visionary, kook, influential, Wilhelm Reich born.   It is hard to summarize him and his life.  My favorite theory of his is that sexual repression leads to Nazism, and that focusing the universal energy behind sex could destroy fascism.

1900...Ground is broken in front of City Hall for the Lexington Avenue subway.

1902:  Thomas E. Dewey 47th Governor of NY born.  He lost the Presidential races against FDR and Truman.  I love how the Republicans and Democrats of that era ran the same unsuccessful candidates twice for the Presidency after losing.

1913The home of vaudeville, the Palace Theatre, opened in New York City.

1951Tommy Hilfiger, Fashion designer

1955"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway.

1958Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army in Memphis, Tenn.

1962)Star Jones is an American lawyer, journalist, writer, and television personality. She is known for her former role as a co-host of theABC weekday morning talk show The View from 1997 to 2006.

1977:  Pride of Julliard, Jessica Chastain born.  She lives in NoHo, a neighborhood in Manhattan with her rescued three-legged dog Chaplin and her husband.


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