October 22nd in New York City's History - Revolution realigns, Indoor and outdoor spectacles, 'our' Shah arrives for treatment
Posted: Oct 22, 2012 | 1:48 AM
1776: The British squeeze George Washington's main forces from Manhattan to White Plains. A small garrison remained at Fort Washington at the top of Manhattan island.
1883: The original Metropolitan Opera House opened at Broadway and 39th Street with a performance of Faust for 3000. The venue is designed to showcase the Gilded Age's nouveau riche, who were shut out of the Academy of Music. The acoustics and sight-lines left something to be desired.
The Opera's enormous sets later were to be stored in NJ, tying up tunnel traffic before the operas.
The Met's current Lincoln Center home is gigantic enough to house the operas' sets without massive traffic jams. Lincoln Center continues as an extravagantly luxurious showcase for the wealthy. This is ironic, considering that it was built on the slum clearance of San Juan Hill. The condemned streets were used as the Maestro of Lincoln Center's set for West Side Story. You can see a picture of this at the bottom of this page.
Meanwhile, about a half mile to the south:
1883: The National Horse Show, the world's first indoor equestrian event, premiers at Madison Square Garden.
1887: John Reed, the radical writer of Ten Days That Shook the World, which gloried the Soviet Revolution, was born. The United States gave him a one-way ticket to the USSR, and kept his passport here for our safekeeping. He would die in 1920. His life inspired the film Reds.
We see where he lived
on my Greenwich Village Tour and my Literary New York Tour.
1903: Curly Howard, the most popular of the three stooges, the one with the shaven head, originally Jerome Lester Horwitz was born in Brooklyn. "N'yuk- n'yuk-n'yuk!" and "Wooo-wooo-wooo!" are his best known catch phrases. He died in 1952.
1910: Belmont Park hosts the first international aerial tournament for airplanes, including races and Ralph Johnstone's altitude record of nearly 2 miles high.
1938: Christopher Lloyd, who played Jim on "Taxi,"
and the professor in the "Back to the Future" movies, was born.
1939: Ebbet's Field hosts the first televised Football Game - Brooklyn's (Football) Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 23-14. The live crowd of around 13,000 exceeded the viewing audience.
1939: Tony Roberts, New York based Actor, born. He is a regular on Broadway, and I saw him hailing a cab there. He was in many Woody Allen films. Here he is as Alfie Singer's best friend in the beginning of Oscar-winning Annie Hall.
1952: Actor Jeff Goldblum born this date.
'I forgot my mantra.'
1962: Mayor Robert Wagner establishes the nation's highest minimum wage rate: $1.50/per hour.
1967: Mendacious Comedian Carlos Mencia born.
1979: President Carter reluctantly allowed the deposed Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment.
Carter was in a difficult position. The Shah was a brutal dictator, which countered Carter's human rights policies. Iranian revolutionaries had already invaded the US Embassy before and the situation continued to be volatile.
On the other hand, powerful forces lined up behind the Shah, since he was our brutal oil dictator, and our other ones were nervous that the US couldn't be trusted to back them if needed.
Days later, the Iranians seized dozens of American hostages for over a year, costing Carter's re-election.
Robert Parry asserts that some of the people who pressured Carter to take in the Shah, also pressured the Iranians to keep the hostages longer so as to deny Carter the so-called "October Surprise," ensuring his election defeat, and providing Reagan with a victory before taking office. In addition, some of those negotiating behind the scenes with Iran to delay the release of hostages were profiting and developing the networks that evolved into the Iran-Contra conspiracy.
1992: Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcaster Red Barber died at 84 in Florida. He announced for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1939-53, and then the Yankees 1954-66.