November 10th in NYC History
Posted: Nov 10, 2012 | 11:37 PM
1791 The City Council appoints two fire wardens for each ward and provides them with "wands, caps and speaking trumpets."
1902...The cornerstone is laid for the New York Public
Library building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, the former site of the
Croton Reservoir. The melding of the Astor, Lennox and Tilden
libraries, the facility opens in 1911.
George Bernard Shaw's play Heartbreak House premieres at the Garrick Theatre in New York City.
1932: Roy Scheider, Actor, born. Died in 2008
1938Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" on network radio.
1968Tracy Morgan, Actor ("30 Rock," "Saturday Night Live"), turns 44. Next year, I'll tell you about the time my tour bus gave him a surprise.
Birthplace: Bronx, New York,
1969"Sesame Street" debuted on PBS. There should be a Tracy Morgan Muppet. Next year I'll tell you about my twenty year un/successful quest to get to Sesame Street.
Here's a less subjective depiction of the history and importance of Sesame Street:
1975The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution equating Zionism with racism.
1999Kiernan Shipka, Actress ("Mad Men"), turns 13
2001Bush addresses the United Nations regarding terrorism,
2007...Most of Broadway goes dark due to a strike by the stagehands' union. The strike lasts for 19 days, leaving most shows closed during the always-busy Thanksgiving weekend.
2007Author Norman Mailer died at age 84.
Mailer, 84, gained fame over nearly six decades of work, writing dozens
of books including “The Naked and the Dead” and “The Executioner's
NY1's Budd Mishkin filed the following report.
You could argue that there was no bigger name on the American
literary scene for the second half of the 20th century than Norman
Mailer wrote non-fiction and novels, plays and screenplays, poetry and articles for all types of magazines.
"[He was] a fierce writer — look at the amount he has turned out,
huge,” said author and friend Jimmy Breslin.
“And the ideas he gave his
country, the nation, those pages that he wrote, read them now, they are
filled with sparks flying out at you, as if from a fire.”
"No matter what kind of night he had, what kind of drinking he did,
who he was with, how late he stayed up, the next morning he was ready
for work and was in shape somehow,” said author Gay Talese, who
befriended Mailer in the late fifties.
Through the years, Mailer became almost as well known for his image,
and what many saw as a combative personality. He was married six times,
had nine children, and had public confrontations with writers and
feminists. The story goes that he once even stuck his second wife with a
pen knife at a party, though she declined to press charges.
"But I don't see that as prevailing over the man who had so many
things that made him human, some quirky and demonic, but most life
affirming and loyal to his friends and caring about and helping people,”
Talese says that unlike many writers, Mailer socialized with all types of people.
“Mailer went up and down the social register. He was down there with
pimps and prize fighters,” he said. "When you were around him, you
didn’t think he was ever looking over your shoulder to see who was in
the room who was more important than you. He was a very egalitarian
In 1969, Mailer ran for mayor with Jimmy Breslin as his running mate
for City Council president. Breslin says he initially thought the idea
would fade, but Mailer was serious.
"He had gone to a fat farm Upstate, where you drink water for four
days or something, and he came down ready for a fight. He was going to
run, so we went and did it,” said Breslin.
He grew up in Brooklyn, went to Harvard, fought in WWII, and then
spent the next sixty years in the spotlight, mostly for his work and
occasionally for what happened away from his work. What made him tick?
"The desire to be somebody and do something and to leave quite a bit
for what comes after, just a sense of life, taking life — don't sit
there and let it pass you by,” said Breslin.
Mailer did not let life pass him by.
- Budd Mishkin
The following info on Mailer's 1969 NYC mayoral campaign is courtesy of Wikipedia:
1969, at the suggestion of Gloria Steinem, his friend the political
essayist Noel Parmentel and others, he ran unsuccessfully in the
Democratic Party primary for Mayor of New York City, allied with
columnist Jimmy Breslin (who ran for City Council President), proposing
the creation a 51st state through New York City secession.
Mailer took stands on a wide range of issues, from opposing "compulsory
fluoridation of the water supply" to advocating the release of Black
Panther Party leader Huey Newton, decentralization was the overriding
issue of the campaign. Mailer "foresaw the city, its independence
secured, splintering into townships and neighborhoods, with their own
school systems, police departments, housing programs, and governing
philosophies."Their slogan was "throw the rascals in".
was endorsed by libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, who "believed
that 'smashing the urban government apparatus and fragmenting it into a
myriad of constituent fragments' offered the only answer to the ills
plaguing American cities," and called Mailer's campaign “the most
refreshing libertarian political campaign in decades.” He came in fourth
in a field of five. Looking back on the campaign, journalist and
historian Theodore White called it "one of the most serious campaigns
run in the United States in the last five years. . . . [H]is campaign
was considered and thoughtful, the beginning of an attempt to apply
ideas to a political situation."
Politics, Norman Mailer StyleBy Dan KnappAugust 4, 2011After
Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1966 California gubernatorial election
opened doors for celebrities with political aspirations, the late
award-winning novelist and essayist Norman Mailer launched his bid to be
the 104th mayor of New York City in 1969.
Materials documenting Mailer’s quixotic run for mayor – including
press clippings, handwritten drafts of speeches, annotated appearance
schedules, candid photographs taken on the political trail, campaign
buttons and more than four hours of audio recorded during public
appearances – are held in the USC Libraries Special Collections.
Also in the collection is an unedited manuscript of campaign manager Joe Flaherty’s book Managing Mailer, which documents the highlights and mistakes witnessed during the campaign.
Urged to enter the mayoral race by friends, Mailer – who had just won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for The Armies of the Night – entered the Democratic Party primary as a “left-conservative” with a provocative platform of succession.
Outraged by a report that stated New Yorkers at that time paid nearly
$14 billion annually in income tax yet received only $3 billion in
funds from the federal government, Mailer and his running mate for City
Council president – author and newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin –
campaigned with the platform of seceding from the state of New York and
forming a 51st state.
The Naked and the Dead author said one of his first acts as
mayor would be a community-wide referendum on the question of seeking
statehood for the city.
Mailer and Breslin hoped to capitalize on the wave of antiestablishment sentiment with the slogan “Vote the Rascals In.”
Other radical ideas included the creation of a monorail circling
Manhattan that would have eased gridlock on city streets; legislation
that would have halted any form of mechanical transportation – including
elevators – on one Sunday each month to lessen air pollution; and the
legalization of gambling in the city and the conversion of famed Coney
Island into an East Coast gambling destination.
Many of the duo’s colleagues in the press questioned Mailer and
Breslin’s sincerity in seeking the two most powerful offices in The Big
Apple because of their iconoclastic way of campaigning and
On June 17, 1969, New Yorkers cast their ballots for mayor. Mailer
came in fourth in a field of five candidates with just 41,000 votes.
Following his defeat, Mailer returned to his role as celebrated author and produced books such as St. George and the Godfather, Marilyn: A Biography, Ancient Evenings, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, Harlot’s Ghost and The Executioner’s Song, which led to his second Pulitzer. His final novel, The Castle in the Forest, was published shortly before his death. (Copies of the books also are available in the USC Libraries Special Collections).
Three decades after the election loss, Mailer told New York Magazine
that, “I was so naïve, I thought I was going to win! For me, it was a
religious venture. I thought God had chosen me because I had been a bad
man, and I was going to pay for my sins by winning and never having an
easy moment ever again.”
2012: Jared the NYC Tour Guide does his first tour since Super Storm Sandy in late October.