On this day, January 30th, 1971, New York artist Carole King’s album Tapestry is released. One of her 25 solo albums, Tapestry held the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sold 24 million copies worldwide. King was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn. She began playing the piano and singing by the time she was eight years old. King would go on to write and perform dozens of chart hits throughout the 1960’s with her former husband, Gerry Goffin. Among the hits they co wrote together are, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. Goffin and King met while attendingQueens College where she also befriended Neil Sedaka and Paul Simon.
On this day, January 29th, 1845, “The Raven” is published in the New York
Evening Mirror. It is the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar
Allan Poe. The New York Evening Mirror was a weekly publication that
concentrated on arts and literature in addition to local news. Poe worked for
the paper as a critic until February, 1845 a month after “The Raven”is
On this day, January 28th, the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977 buries New York State. Upstate New York,Buffalo, Syracuse, and Watertown are the most affected with 10 feet of snow accumulated in some areas.
On this day, January 27th, 1895, songwriter and screenwriter, Harry Ruby is born in New York City.
Ruby became a writer after an unsuccessful career in baseball. He then toured the vaudeville circuit and met writing partner Bert Kalmar. They went on to write music and screenplays for Broadway musicals and films. Ruby’s best friend was Groucho Marx and appeared several times on Marx’s television show, You Bet Your Life.
On this day, January 26th, 1934, the Apollo Theater reopens in Harlem, New York City. Upon reopening, the Apollo began its well known amateur nights, promoting itself as a place, “where stars are born and legends are made”. Just a few of the artists who got their start at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Diana Ross & The Supremes and Mariah Carey among many others.
On this day, January 25th, 1881, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company of New York, Ltd. The telephone company is licensed to sell phones in Greece, Turkey, South Africa, India, Japan and other Asian countries.
On this day, January 24th, 1862, writer Edith Wharton is born in New York City. Born Edith Newbold Jones, she was a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, short story writer as well as a gardener and internior designer. Born into a well to do family, it is said that the saying, “keeping up with the joneses” refers to her father’s family. Much of Wharton’s writing focuses on social issues and in 1905 she wrote, The House of Mirth about old New Yorksociety. Another well known work of hers is The Age of Innocence which she had written in France. The Age of Innocence won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921, making Wharton the first woman to win the award.
On this day, January 23rd, Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the United States’ first female doctor. She is awarded her MD by the Geneva Medical College of Geneva, New York. Blackwell was born in Bristol, England but sailed for America with her family when she was eleven years old. After settling in to the new country, her father, Samuel Blackwell set up a Sugar Refinery in New York City. Blackwell made the decision to enter into medicine after a close friend died of an unknown painful disease. It was her friend’s opinion that a female doctor may have been able to make her more comfortable. Blackwell was the first registered doctor in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, she also became an advocate for the education of female doctors.
On this day, January 22nd, 1957, George P. Metesky, New York City’s “Mad Bomber” is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut. He is charged with planting more than 30 bombs. Metesky terrorized NYC for over a decade by planting bombs in movie theaters, terminals, libraries, phone booths, offices and restrooms of public buildings. Some of his targets were Grand Central Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, Radio City Music Hall and the New York City Subway. Over the years he planted 33 bombs of which are known, 22 exploded injuring 15 people. After his arrest he was brought up on 47 charges. Metesky was found legally insane and committed to a state mental hospital after being deemed incompetent to stand trial.
On this day, January 21st, 1908, New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance. The ordinance made it illegal for women to smoke in public. The law was quickly enforced and women who were caught smoking in public were arrested. After only two weeks however, the mayor overturned the ordinance.
On this day in Old New York
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