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November 28th in New York History - John Lennon's last performance at Madison Square Garden, Lucy in the Sky, Skywriting, Up the River, Terror from the Sky.

Posted: Nov 27, 2012 | 8:19 PM
by Jared Goldstein

1797:  'Spacious, airy, excellent Hudson river views, an easy escape from the city!'  The State prison opens in Greenwich Village, and it is a penal failure. Fed up, the State will replace this leaky gaol with Sing Sing, thirty-five miles north along the Hudson.  'Send them up the river.'

1914:  The New York Stock Exchange resumed bond trading after a four month suspension due to the panics associated with the outbreak of WW1.  Stocks remained closed to trade for another month.

1922: Captain Cyril Turner of Britain brings Sky-Writing to the USA above Times Square
.   He writes "Hello U.S.A." over a gawking lunch crowd.

1925:  (MSG 3) The third Madison Square Garden opens at 49th St and 8th Ave after costing $5.5 million and taking less than a year to build.  It was the worst or second worst MSG.  MSG2 was by Stanford White.   MSG 3  will host boxing great Joe Louis, the Rangers, the Knicks, Dog Shows, Circuses, the setting for the Manchurian Candidate, and the last 'Birthday Song' Marilyn Monroe ever sang (to John Kennedy, "Mr. Prez-i-dent" in 1962).  Pictures below*.

But on November 28, 1925 over 15,000 watched a bike race.

1951:  1st City-wide Air-Raid Drill.  Nuclear terror during Cold War heights.  The city goes silent and people hole up in shelters.

1949:  Happy Birthday to "Late Show with David Letterman" Bandleader Paul Schaffer.

1957:  Tony Perkins stars in the debut of the Broadway play Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel
, which was written at the Hotel Chelsea.  We visit there on Literary New York Tours.

1962:  Happy Birthday to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart.

1964:  The Shangri-las of Queens go to number 1 with "Leader of the Pack."

1967:  Sports impresario dies
.  Douglas Hertz brought dog racing to the US through Staten Island, owned the football Yankees, managed Heavyweight champions Jack Johnson 1912-1915 and Jersey Joe Walcott in the 1930s.

1974:  John Lennon's Last Concert Performance at Madison Square Garden with Elton John.  His first in years.

They performed 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' 'I saw Her Standing There,' and 'Whatever Gets You Through the Night.' 

The first song was a hit for John and the Beatles and then for Elton John as a cover.  The second was a Beatles' "Paul song," and it was John making peace with his friend, rival, and frenemy.  The third:  It was to settle a bet.  

John Lennon experienced self-doubt and watched the pop charts with dread and jealousy.  It had been a few years since he had a #1. 

In addition, he had spent a few years apart from Yoko, and he was pretty much spinning out of control.  Whatever you say about her bad impact on her performing with him and other musicians performing with John, she was his guardrail for sobriety.

Elton John and John Lennon collaborated on Elton's cover of John's 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'  Elton returned the favor by singing the high notes on Whatever Gets You Through the Night's chorus.  

Lennon worried that this, too, was not going to hit #1.  Elton bet him it would hit #1.  If the song went to #1, then Lennon would have to perform with Elton.  Lennon hadn't performed in years.  The song went to #1 and the rest is history.

The tawdry Tawana Brawley hoax and false allegations begin.  It is beyond me how Al Sharpton has any legitimacy.


"Thank you for that wholesome rendition!"

JFK, RFK, and MM at the after-party.  Jackie Kennedy was home.

Was there an after-after party?  She was sewn into that dress with the beads.  If this were a code era motion picture we'd hear the dress rip and see the beads bounce up and down and roll on the floor.

More about today in history


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