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Dec 2nd in NYC History

Posted: Dec 2, 2012 | 2:55 AM
1657:  Nieuw Amsterdam City Council prohibits tavern-keepers from selling liquor to patrons in exchange for household goods.  More below all the entries.

1867:  Charles Dickens returns decades later for another American Tour.

 Dickens loved NYC, but he mostly came to enforce his intellectual property copyrights.  US (New York) publishers would blatantly publish Dickens' novels without any royalties to him.  Dickens' efforts helped reform intellectual property abuses in the United States.

New Yorker readers loved Dickens, too.  Families from NYC and Brooklyn (taking the ferry) camped out in freezing blizzard conditions to attend his reading at Steinway Hall on December 2nd.  Scalped tickets went for $20.

On occasion, Dickens described New York's women as being the most beautiful in the world, and admired their colorful clothing.  Now most New Yorkers wear black or dark clothing.

Jane Marx says that it is because we are so over-stimulated.

Dickens also on occasion described the Five Points neighborhood (Irish Lower East Side) as having the worst conditions on the planet.  This is ironicsince horrific urban conditions are described as "Dickensian."

Dickens credits Washington Iriving's "Sketchbooks" from the 1830s as being an inspiration for Dickens' "Christmas Carol."

1900:  Aaron Copland born.

1923:  Legendary American soprano Maria Callas born.

1925:  NYC hockey joins the NHL, National Hockey League.

1939:  LaGuardia Airport's first flight.  It went to the Second City, Chicago, the windy city. 

LaGuardia has been voted again America's worst airport.   1939 is old for once-pioneering airports.  The airport is on tight real estate, which is not appropriate for contemporary larger and large jet liners, so it is a National Airport.  Relatively minor weather problems close the short runways, causing national delays.  

Jazz musicians, such as Louis Armstrong, located in and around Corona, Queens to be between LaGuardia National and Idlewild/JFK International airports. 

Louis Armstrong's home is a museum.  Queens offers great jazz, art, and media museums in unique settings, often among
breath-taking parks, and diverse international cuisine at good prices.  Let's go on a Queens tour, or several.

The origin of LaGuardia Airport was due to a fit a few years before.  Mayor LaGuardia's air ticket stated NYC, but it landed at the airport in New Jersey, the airport serving NYC.  LaGuardia refused to disembark until the plane flew to a postal airport in Brooklyn.  He vowed to build a NYC airport in New York City.

1949:  Rocky Marciano fights in NYC his first time.

1967:  Neil Cohalan, the Knick's first basketball coach, the great Manhattan College coach (1930-1942), and winner of awards in that college's undergraduate track, football, basketball, and baseball died.

1977:  Racing Fraud!  Chinzano, the four-year-old champion horse who was declared dead, was actually renamed and won a September Belmont Track race by a 57-1 longshot.

1978:  Brooklynites' Ballads are a hit - Barbra Streisand's and Neil Diamond's ballad "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" hits number one.

1997:  Massachusetts buddies turned Villagers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Good Will Hunting debuts.

2010:  The House voted to censure Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., for financial and fundraising misconduct

You can't drink your wife's kitchen:

What a wild town:  Angry housewives, whose possessions kept disappearing or being stolen by their husbands, prevailed on the politicians. 

It was bad enough that the hubbies were drinking during almost all their time off, spending all their families' income on booze, and often returning home violently drunk, but they would trade in their wives' kitchen tools, figuratively drinking their wives' possessions that they stole from them. 

(Such behavior probably inspired the Prohibition of alcohol in 1920, when women got the vote.  In addition, drinking was associated with moral poverty and the then shocking ethnics, such as the growing Irish population. 

Shortly after, in 1924, America had enough with these
increasing ethnics, and mostly cut immigration off in 1924 until 1965. 

Prohibition was rooted in women's rights as well as anti-immigrant bias.  I discuss this on East Village tours and Ethnic Heritage tours.  Speakeasies are discussed on East and West Village tours. 

(Ironically, prohibition empowered and enriched ethnic mafia-mobs, Jewish, Italian, and Irish among them to supply the hooch.  It also glamorized law-breaking.  Prohibition would be repealed in 1933. 

In the Roaring Twenties drinking was naughty fun.  In the Depression 1930s it was like a necessity. 

I have a Jewish Gangsters Tour.  

Even more tangentially, In the 19th Century, Macy's shocked the retail world, by no longer trading anyone's goods, but accepting cash only for the marked price.   No more haggling or trading. I discuss this sometimes on my Seaport tour and my early American Tours Downtown. )

more about today in history


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