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May 16th in NYC History

Posted: May 16, 2013 | 2:40 AM

1624:  Happy Birthday, Nieuw Amsterdam / New Amsterdam.  30 families from Holland settled on Governor's Island, then called Nutten Island.  These were the first immigrants of 2000 that would arrive and settle in Lower Manhattan.

Let's go on my Nieuw Amsterdam tour aka New Amsterdam Walking Tour. 

1801:  The greatest Secretary of State, William Henry Seward, born.  He kept Europe out of the Civil War and got the US to purchase Alaska from Russia for a pittance.  See March 30th.  He was nearly assassinated during the series of attacks associated with the Lincoln Assassination.  He was also Governor of New York State and Senator.  

We see Seward's controversial sculpture on Madison Square Park tours, or Flatiron District walking tours.

1882:  T
he first woman on the editorial board of The New York Times, Journalist Anne O'Hare McCormick, born. She died 1954.

Excellent baseball player and
controversial  and contentious and

sometimes very successful
New York Yankees Manager,

Billy Martin born. 

He died in 1989.

1966:  Bob Dylan's album, "Blonde on Blonde," released.

We experience some Bob Dylan history on Greenwich Village walking tours.  I frequently conduct these as private walking tours.

1977:  A helicopter collapsed on the Pan Am Building's rooftop helipad, killing several passengers expecting a five minute ride to JFK airport.  A chopper blade fell, killing a pedestrian on the streets

Landing helicopters on top of buildings in the middle of crowded Manhattan is soon cancelled, and such service will then be relegated to the water's edge.

Here's a personal story from the excellent Tour Guide, Harry Matthews:  "I was walking up Madison Avenue at the time. I later learned that a woman waiting at a bus stop I had passed a few minutes earlier was one of the victims. There but for fortune..."

The Pan Am Building is now one three Met Life towers in New York City.  We experience this one on Grand Central walking tours.

1990:  "Muppets" creator

Jim Henson died at 53
He was born in 1936.


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