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Posted: Jan 30, 2013 | 10:57 PM
by Jared Goldstein

January 31st in NYC History

Founder, Puzzler, Entertainer, Baseball Legend, Writer, Composer, Actress and Comedian born, Inventor died, Lockerbie Justice denied.

1752:  Gouverneur Morris, a founder of our nation, Senator, proponent of Federal power, and proponent of New York and New England secession, born.

1841:  Puzzle King and Chess expert Sam Loyd born in Philadelphia, but he grew up, made his career and lived in NYC.  He died in Brooklyn in 1911.

Some accounts state he was born on January 30th. 

1892:  NYC born comedian, singer, songwriter and radio star Eddie Cantor born, as Edward Israel Iskowitz, to Russian immigrants

1919:  1919, Jackie Robinson, who made history in 1947 as the Brooklyn Dodger who integrated major league baseball, was born in Georgia.  He died in 1972.

1923:  Writer Norman Mailer born.

We go by his old home during Brooklyn Heights tours.

1937:  Happy Birthday to the East Village's Philip Glass, Composer.

We go by his townhouse on East Village tours.

1937:  Actress Suzanne Pleshettte born.

1954:  Edwin Armstrong the great but beleaguered inventor died
.  He was born 1890.

1977:  Saturday Night Live's Bobby Moynihan born.

1984:  Bishop John J. O'Connor of Pennsylvania
succeeded the late Terrence Cardinal Cooke to head the New York Catholic Archdiocese.

1994:  Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA's Sinn Fein party, is finally granted a visa allowing him into New York to attend a peace conference.

George Abbott, the legendary Broadway director died at 106.

2001:  A Scottish court convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie; the flight was
bound for New York

The Scottish court would soon commute this sentence for 'compassionate grounds' as Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had cancer and was asserted to have only weeks left to live, even though the medical evidence was skimpy.  It is suspected that oil and other interests, such as selling arms, were behind the scheme. 

Al-Megrahi returned to a hero's welcome in Libya.  He lived another three years in his villa.  He served about eight years in prison for 270 counts of murder.
  He died at 60 in May 2012. 

Most of his victims were college students heading home for Christmas.  They would be in their forties today.

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Posted: Jan 30, 2013 | 1:44 AM
by Jared Goldstein

January 30th in New York City History

Iron ships, FDR, Hal Prince, Carole King, Kiss, Hostages, Murderer.

1862: The iron sided ship "Monitor" was launched from Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  She defeated many wooden Confederate wooden ships leading up to her duel with the iron clad "Merrimac" in March of that year.

This led to the end of wooden ships.

The Brooklyn Navy yard was the start of most of the Navy's great ships.

1882:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, bornHe died 1945.

1912:  Historian Barbara Tuchman born in NYC.

1928:  Broadway producer and director Hal Prince born in NYC.

1942: Songwriter and singer Carole King of NYC born.

1973:  (and now for something completely different) Gene Simmons leads Kiss' first performance in Queens bedecked in makeup.

1981:  T
wo million New Yorkers celebrated and honored the 51 freed U.S. embassy hostages who had been held captive in Iran for 444 daysLower Broadway was showered in yellow ribbons and tickertape.

In that time, the hostage crisis was counted off daily in the news.  Whole shows were devoted to the crisis, such as the one that became Ted Koppel's Nightline

Some argue that the Reagan election campaign negotiated with the Iranians to delay President Carter's freeing the hostages past the election to ensure a Reagan victory as part of their "October Surprise" scheme

Investigators also believe that the October Surprise team was used again by the Reagan administration to trade embargoed US arms to the Iranians for Americans that the Iranians continued capturing.  Unlike Carter's hostage crisis, the Reagan hostage crisis was hardly noted.

The gouged arms profits from a desperate Iran were diverted from the Iranian deals to arm the embargoed Contras fighting the Communist Nicaraguan Government.  Iran kept seizing more US hostages to continue getting what they wanted, weaponry to fight their war with Iraq. 

This is known as the Iran-Contra Affair, which is a template for covert operations: getting untraceable income to circumvent Congress' control over the budget and foreign affairs, as well as avoiding public oversight, and creating a secret government hiding and acting within the official government.

Manhattan lawyer Joel Steinberg is convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his adopted daughter Lisa.  The horrific case gained national attention.  He was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, but is released for good behavior in 2004 when Lisa would have been 23.

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Posted: Jan 29, 2013 | 1:54 AM

January 29th in NYC History

1798:  The Park Theater, America's
first building built solely for theatre,
opened on Park Row with Shakespeare's "As You Like It."

The New York Evening Mirror published "The Raven," by then local man, Edgar Allen Poe.  The poem was enthusiastically received.

1874:  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. born.

1923:   "Paddy" Chayefsky, playwright,
novelist, and three-time Academy Award winning screenwriter born in the Bronx.  He died in 1981 in NYC.

1936:  The Baseball Writer's Association of America elects the first five to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth

1958:  They met in NYC:  Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward wed in Las Vegas.

1962:  Greenwich Village's Peter, Paul, and Mary signed by Warner Brothers.

1968:  New York City's pride, actor Edward Burns born.

The Lower East Side's pride, entertainer Jimmy Durante died at 86.

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Posted: Jan 27, 2013 | 10:39 PM
by Jared Goldstein

January 28th in NYC History

"Romeo and Juliet" premiered in New York at The New Theater on Nassau Street.

1832:  Inventor John Stevens, "Father of the American Railroad," published a vision for an elevated railroad.  It was to be held up by twelve-foot high wooden posts.  It was intended for crowded New York City (in today's Lower Manhattan / Financial District).  He would not live to see it, among several of his other transportation visions which included a national rail system and steamboats, made in America. 

His final years were on an estate in New Jersey's Hoboken, NYC's little brother, which became one of the world's great transportation nodes for rail and boat shipping across the Hudson River from NYC.  His property is where the Stevens Institute of Technology is based, named for his family of inventors, industrialists, and benefactors.

Let's go on a Hoboken Tour.  Much history in one-square-mile less than $3 and 20 minutes from Manhattan.

1912:  'New York School' abstract action painter Jackson Pollack born in Wyoming.

1936:  Actor Alan Alda born in NYC.

1974:  Muhammad Ali prevails over
Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden after a unanimous 12-round decision.
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Posted: Jan 27, 2013 | 1:26 AM

January 27th in NYC History

  Electric Light Musical Dance H-Bomb

1851:  John James Audubon, the a
rtist and naturalist famous for illustrating "Birds of North America" died at the age of 65 on his estate at 155th Street; he is buried in the adjacent Trinity Cemetery, land that was once part of his property. 

Adubon's original paintings are at the New-York Historical Society. 

We visit there on Upper West Side Tours.  We sometimes visit Trinity Cemetery on NYC Santa Claus Tours, and on secret museums tours.

1880:  Thomas Edison patented his electric incandescent lamp, making it possible to have electric light in homes.

1885:  Musical theatre composer Jerome Kern born in NYC. He died 1945.

1918:  Tarzan the Apeman, the first Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan movie opens on BroadwayThe 1932 version was produced in Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester, NY.

We go there on the Croton NYC Drinking Water tour.

1922:  Investigative and adventure journalist Nellie Bly died at 57.

1948:  Dancer and director Mikhail Baryshnikov born in Latvia.

1950:  In a speech at the Waldorf Astoria, Nobel
prize-winning scientist Dr. Harold Urey ignited the Cold War's arms race
when he warns of the dangers of letting the Soviet Union outflank the United States in developing a hydrogen bomb. Days later, President  Truman ordered the H-Bomb's development.

1959:  Liberal firebrand television news anchor Keith Olbermann born.

2010:  J.D. Salinger, reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye," died in N.H. at 91.

We see several spots from "Catcher in the Rye on Upper West Side tours and Central Park tours.

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Posted: Jan 26, 2013 | 11:33 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Happy India Day!

Happy INDIA Day!

Jan. 26th  1950

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Posted: Jan 26, 2013 | 11:28 PM
by Jared Goldstein

January 26th in NYC

Frank Costello 1/26/1891 - 2/18/1973

1929 Dramatist, social commentator, and Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer is born in the Bronx.

1934:  Sam Goldwyn buys rights to The Wizard of Oz

1955: Great Yankee nine-time champion Slugger Joltin' Joe DiMaggio elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1961:  The Great Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Hall of Famer NY Ranger Great.

1962 Lucky Luciano dead,

1979:  Nelson Rockefeller died in the saddle.

1979...Former Vice President and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, 70, dies suddenly of a heart attack at his Manhattan townhouse.

1988...Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" makes its Broadway debut.
The longest-running show in Broadway history, opened at the Majestic Theater in New York.

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Posted: Jan 24, 2013 | 10:07 PM

Jan 25th in NYC History - 

1776:  Congress authorized the nation's first national memorial, for General Richard Montgomery who died at the Battle of Quebec, and it has been in NYC at St Paul's Chapel since 1788.  Here is an adaptation of a piece in History.com:

"When word of his death reached Philadelphia, Congress voted to create a monument to Montgomery's memory and entrusted Benjamin Franklin to secure one of France's best artists to craft it. Franklin hired King Louis XV's personal sculptor, Jean Jacques Caffieri, to design and build the monument.  ... In 1788, it was installed under the direction of Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant [who redesigned St Paul's interior, the first national capitol on Wall Street, and later Washington DC].  [It is] beneath the portico of St. Paul's Chapel, which served as George Washington's church during his time in New York as the United States' first president in 1789, and where it remains to this day.  Montgomery's body, which was originally interred on the site of his death in Quebec, was moved to St. Paul's in 1818.'
We see the General Montgomery Memorial on my Colonial NYC Tour and my World Trade Center tours.

1890:  New York World's pioneering investigative reporter

Nellie Bly triumphantly returned to New York after traveling around the world in 72 days
, faster than Jules Verne's fictional 80 days.

1915:  Alexander Graham Bell made the first transcontinental telephone call from New York to San Francisco.

1947:  Brooklyn-born Al Capone died
at 48.

1959:  The Jet Age for the begins in the USA from New York to Los Angeles.  
American Airlines flew the new Boeing 707.

1972:  Brooklyn Democratic Congressional Representative Shirley Chisholm declared her candidacy for Democratic candidate for President of the the U.S.  Four years after becoming the first black woman in Congress, she was the the first African American woman to seek a major party's presidential nomination.

1981:  Singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and pianist Alicia Keys born (and raised) in Manhattan.  Her given name: Alicia Augello Cook.

1986:  The USS Intrepid designated as a national landmark.   It is the home of the National Sea, Air, and Space Museum.

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Posted: Jan 24, 2013 | 4:03 PM
by Jared Goldstein

Testimonial about my John Lennon NYC Tour

" We loved your tour! You were fantastic and made our trip so special. It was so fun walking around in NYC with you. ...  Jared. Do you have ANY idea how good you are?  Fabulous, actually....Your brains ...blew both me and Robert completely away... "

                                                                 - K.S. from Massachusetts

This tour was a surprise gift for her beloved who loves John Lennon.  I had fun, too!

Here is what she said in my TripAdvisor review:

Jared's tour "Walking in the footsteps of Lennon"”

Reviewed January 20, 2013

My boyfriend and I got a tour from Jared over Christmas 2012, while we stayed in NYC.

My guy adores all things John Lennon, and Jared did a terrific job of designing a personal tour for us with the theme "Walking in the footsteps of Lennon."

Jared is an expert in all things NYC, including John Lennon.

We trecked around the City and stopped at all of Lennon's old haunts and got a thoroughly enjoyable and informative
experience that was well worth the money.

Jared was such a blast to be with. He's funny, unbelievably informed about NYC - not only John Lennon, but also an expert on the architecture and the history, with so
many amusing stories.

Thank you, Jared. You are TERRIFIC!!!

Visited December 2012

Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to write a review, K.S.

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Posted: Jan 23, 2013 | 7:00 PM
by Jared Goldstein

January 24th in NYC History - 2 Memorials, 7 birthdays, and an award

Remembering the four killed in the 1975 Fraunces Tavern Bombing

Frank Connor, 33; 
Harold H. Sherburne, 66; 
James Gezork, 32; and
Alejandro Berger, 28

1862:  Edith Wharton, prize-winning author and writer from Washington Square, bornShe died in 1937.

She was born named Edith Newbold Jones in a Chelsea brownstone.  The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence poignantly depict the Victorian-era the New York society of her upbringing.  Ironically, her parents looked down on writers, but she ended up on the periphery of high society, which gave her a good vantage.  She also wrote about interior decorating trends.

We see where this great New Yorker lived on Greenwich Village tours and we learn why it would horrify her if we called her neighborhood "Greenwich Village."

1915:  Abstract artist Robert Motherwell, of the "New York School" of painters born in Washington.  He died in 1991.

1917:  Ernest Borgnine, who started on Broadway in the 1940s, really started on this date in Connecticut
.  Even though he seemed old in the 1970s, he is still on this side of the earth.

1941:  Brooklyn's singer and songwriter Neil Diamond born.

1949:  John Belushi, of Saturday Night Live fame, born in Illinois.

1966:  Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, formerly HPD (New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development) Commissioner, born.

1974:  Ed Helms, the actor whose fame began on "The Daily Show," was born.

1975:  Fraunces Tavern, a birthplace of American Democracy, was bombed by FALN Terrorists, maiming and injuring fifty, and killing four

The force of the explosion was felt at the top of skyscrapers nearly a half mile away.

Despite Puerto Ricans supporting association with the United States, the FALN in the mid 1970s committed dozens of bombings in New York City and around the United States, which killed and maimed more to wage 'a war' to make Puerto Rico independent. 

The specific terrorists have never been caught, but people supporting the organization have been incarcerated, which put an end to the attacks.  After about 20 years in prison, President Clinton commuted their sentences.

The most common definition of terrorism involves the use of violence against civilians to cause a political change.  This falls under that.  The FALN left a message in a nearby phone booth taking responsibility, and a call was made to the Associated Press in conjunction with the bombing.  Perhaps influential politicians sympathizing with the FALN prevailed upon the President for clemency.  That would be a victory for political-type terrorists.

A more obscure definition of terrorism is asymmetrical warfare.  The use of relatively inexpensive destruction to cause economic damage.  Such attacks are mysterious. 

This applies to the 1920 bombing of Wall Street and both World Trade Center Attacks.  None of them had claims of responsibility, all three wanted to bring down the United States' economy.

In the 2001 case, the 9/11 attacks cost about $500,000 to commit, causing the United States to spend $2,000,000,000,000. (Two Trillion) -- a ratio of 1 dollar to 4 million dollars.  This suggests that the asymmetric-type terrorists got what they want, an expensive open-ended and debilitating war.

Both kinds of terrorism intersected in the fate of Frank Connor's family.  His two grown sons witnessed the 9/11/01 attacks which claimed their cousin, Steve Schlag, who was Frank's God-Son.

(We visit Fraunces Tavern on Colonial tours and Financial District tours.  We explore the different kinds of terrorism on Wall Street tours and World Trade Center tours.  We also explore heroism and remembrance on my National 9/11 Memorial tour.)

1986:  Actress and Comedienne Whoopi Goldberg, from the Chelsea Housing Projects, won a Golden Globe award for her performance in The Color Purple, based on Alice Walker's novel.

1993:  Harlem's Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice and civil rights leader, died in Maryland.
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