Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Category Archives: Almanac

It Happened Today in New York City

On August 17, 1667, Colonel Sir Francis Lovelace was appointed second governor of the New York province, succeeding Richard Nicolls. Though it would take time for Lovelace to assume full control, he got right to work, fortifying the city, and organizing the militia. But his greatest contribution was the purchase of Staten Island from the …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 28, 1902, Rabbi Jacob Joseph of the American Orthodox Congregation died in New York City. Born in Lithuania, Rabbi Joseph had come to America in 1888 to accept the position of Chief Rabbi and unite Jewish American congregations (with little success as it turned out). He was active in establishing Etz Chaim Yeshiva …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 23, 2002, playwright-composer-lyricist Clark Gesner died of a heart attack at the Princeton Club in New York City. Most famous for the musical You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Gesner also composed extensively for television, writing hundreds of works for children’s shows such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company. The 1998 Broadway …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 22, 1932, Broadway impresario and Follies producer Florenz Ziegfeld died of a heart attack at the age of 65. Known as “the glorifier of the American girl”, Ziegfeld produced his famous Follies at various theatres in the city, most notably the New Amsterdam of 42nd Street. Later, he served as producer of the …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 21, 1667, the Treaty of Breda was signed, ending the second Anglo-Dutch War. The English had offered to return New Netherland to the Dutch in exchange for their sugar factories in Suriname. The Dutch refused and kept the South American colony, which remains Dutch-speaking to this day. The agreement was formalized and, due …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 19, 1967, the movie Up the Down Staircase premiered. Based on Bel Kaufman’s semi-autobiographical novel about an idealistic young teacher in a grim and gritty high school, the movie was the first film to be shot on location under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting. In the Golden …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 17, 1967, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane died of a liver ailment. Famous for his bebop and hard bop innovations and his great love of improvisation, Coltrane collaborated frequently with Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. He was also profoundly religious and used many spiritual themes in his music. But hard drinking and heroin use …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 16, 2002, the Irish Hunger Memorial opened in Battery Park City. In the shadow of the World Trade Center, the memorial’s centerpiece is an actual farm house from County Mayo, depicted with no roof to reflect the practice of English landlords burning the thatch roofs of tenant farmers who couldn’t pay their rent. …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 10, 1902, the Interborough Rapid Transit Co. was founded by August Belmont II. The signed agreement obligated the company to maintain and operate the railroad for 50 years, with an option to renew the lease for an additional 25. Over a century later, the IRT is part of the largest (and 7th busiest) …

Continue reading

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 4, 1817, unskilled workers broke ground for the construction of the Erie Canal. Under the orders of newly elected Governor DeWitt Clinton, the project began under a shadow of widespread skepticism. Known at first as “Clinton’s ditch”, the canal ultimately served to create a quick and easy trade route between the markets of …

Continue reading