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October 30th in NYC History

Posted: Oct 28, 2012 | 5:11 PM
by Jared Goldstein

1768:  North America's first Methodist Church, the Wesley Chapel is dedicated at the present John Street Methodist Church.  They moved from a barn by the seaport where they worshiped since 1766.  This church was the birthplace of the United Methodist Church in 1784, and about 20 years later, the African Methodist Church, New York City's first Black congregation.  Their present church is Mother Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Harlem.

I love to show these churches on tours of the American Revolution, and Black History tours.  Peter Williams, AME founder, has a compelling story.  This church was spared the defilement of the British occupation of New York City churches from 1776-83, and they were an early friend of President George Washington in 1989.

1938:  Orson Wells' one hour radioplay of his War of the Worlds on CBS causes a national panic with people taking to the streets, preparing their last meals, and hallucinating alien and Nazi invaders, despite four disclaimers through the show.

Such is the power of mass media hysteria, which has happened all around the world in several other instances.  In Africa a radio program precipitated a sudden genocide.

1956:  The Dodgers Stadium property, Ebbets Field, is sold to a real estate developer, who plans to build (what was to become) an ugly and crime ridden public housing project on the site.

1973:  Tom Seaver pitches his way his second time to a Cy Young award.  The first was in 1969, and the last was to be 1975.

1989:  New York Post sportswriter and editor from 1926-74 Leonard Cohen died at 87.


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