Congratulations to Patrick for getting the correct answer first!
On February 18, 1933, former Heavyweight Champion of the World James J. Corbett died at his home in Bayside, Queens. Known as “Gentleman Jim”, Corbett faced some of the most legendary fighters of turn-of-the-century boxing, including Tom Sharkey, Bob Fitzsimmons, and Jim Jeffries. But he is best known for ushering in the era of Queensbury Rules boxing with his defeat of bare-knuckle champion John L. Sullivan. He retired in 1903 and bought a house in Bayside where he lived until his death at the age of 66.
On February 17, 1933, Newsweek magazine began publication under the direction of Thomas J.C. Martyn. Though not an experienced journalist, Martyn had become invaluable to Time magazine because of his political knowledge and proficiency with languages. After resigning from the magazine he started his own and Newsweek would eventually become an eminent and recognizable publication. But the success was not immediate and Martyn sold his shares at a loss in 1937. The magazine would eventually cease printing and become a solely digital publication in 2012.
Congratulations to Kernan Bell for getting the correct answer first!
On February 15, 1918, dancer Vernon Castle was killed in an airplane accident. Together with his wife Irene, Castle had become an enormously popular ballroom and theatre dancer. Performing on Broadway, in vaudeville, and in silent movies, Vernon and Irene Castle collaborated with musical masters such as Irving Berlin and James Reese Europe. When World War I broke out, Vernon Castle got his pilot’s certificate and joined the Royal Flying Corps, completing over 300 combat missions. Over Benbrook Field in Fort Worth, Texas, he crashed to the ground to avoid collision with another plane during a routine training flight and died from his injuries. He was 30 years old.
February 14th, in honor of the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., is National Ferris Wheel Day! Ferris created his first wheel for the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. New York’s most famous wheel is, of course, the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. But there have been on-again/off-again plans for a new and enormous wheel on Staten Island, providing breathtaking views of the harbor for some time. Let us hope this comes to fruition before too many more National Ferris Wheel Days have passed.