On this day, February 10th, 1893, James Francis Durante was born in Brooklyn, New York. Durante, better known as Jimmy Durante was a pianist, comedian and actor who was popular from the 1920s until the 1970s. Durante’s long career landed him roles in Broadway plays and theater, radio shows and movies. Durante died at his California home at the age of 87 in 1980.
On this day, in 1870, the Young Woman's Christian Association (NYC Branch) was founded, though the Organization had a presence in the city to some degree since 1858. This was done by the consolidation of two other competing organizations into the YWCA by Grace Hoadley Dodge (May 21, 1856 - December 27, 1914).
The YWCA acts as a movement made up of women, to foster economic and social change. The YWCA is independent from the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) though some local entities are combined, and members of both umbrella organizations. There is also a varying degree, nation-wide and world-wide between member entities, of the significance of Christianity in their programs.
On this day, Samuel Tilden, who fought Tammany Hall, and in 1876, was the first person (of two, the other being Al Gore in 2000) to lose the Presidential Election in spite of winning a majority of the popular vote, was born. From 1860 until his death on August 4, 1886, Tilden owned 15 Gramercy Park South, now used by the National Arts Club.
Tilden is perhaps best remembered however for being the original benefactor of the New York Public Library(NYPL). He left $7 Million in a trust to establish a library (though the court eventually reduced it to $3 Million). The trust was combined with The Astor and Lenox Libraries, to form what is now the NYPL. In fact, Tilden's name appears on the front of the Library.
On this day, January 5th, Herbert Bayard Swope Sr. is born in St. Louis, Missouri.
Swope would go on to become an editor, journalist and close member of the Algonquin Round Table,New York’s inner circle of critics, actors and writers. Swope spent most of his career at the New York World newspaper. He was the first and three time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting.
Swope was also inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1979. An avid croquet player, Swope would host the games at his home in Great Neck, Long Island. According to the United States National Croquet Association, he is attributed with popularizing the game here in the US.
On this day, January 4th, 1865, the New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street. The first location of the Exchange was in a rented room at 40 Wall Street for $200.00 a month. That location was destroyed by the Great Fire of New York in 1835 and the Exchange moved temporarily.
It wasn’t until 1863 that the search for permanent headquarters was underway and during that year the New York Stock & Exchange Board changed to its current name. In 1865, they moved to a more permanent location
On this day, January 3rd, 1870, construction begins on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country, designed by John Augustus Roebling. It was completed in 1883 and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. The bridge got its official name from a letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. It was previously called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge as well as the East River Bridge.
Another important feature of the Brooklyn Bridge is the pedestrian crossing which allows strollers and bicyclists to take in views of the city.
On this day, January 2nd, 1965, the New York Jets signed quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000.00.Namath was the quarterback for the University of Alabama.
On this day, January 1st, 1898, New York, New York annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The hotly debated issue narrowly passes in a vote bringing Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx together. Staten Island joins the City on January 25th.
On this day, April 8th, 1730, the First Synagogue in NYC, and in what is now the US, was consecrated. It was the Congregation Shearith Israel, which was founded in 1654. Until 1730, the Congregation met in rented quarters.
The first location was on Mill Street, now South William Street. A second Mill Street location, followed, after over 100 years on Mill Street, they moved to Crosby Street.
The Congregation is now on Central Park West, since 1896.
On this day, April 7th in 1927, AT&T demonstrates Television in New York City. This was the first distance transmission in the United States. From Washington, D.C. to New York, an image of Secretary of State, Herbert Hoover was transmitted. The picture was described as being quite good, and was 2X3". When the picture was enlarged to 2X3' it was not very clear. Later that day, other people were shown on television including a vaudeville comedian, A. Dolan.
On this day in Old New York
A Daily Feature where we focus on a historical event related to NYC that occurred on this day.
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