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Dec 4th for NYC - Washington pro Democaracy pro Football & Jim Thorpe; Bernard King & Bdays; Terry Anderson freed

Posted: Dec 4, 2012 | 2:25 AM

Washington wishes his Revolutionary Officers farewell.

1783:  George Washington bids farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern, dashing any hopes for a dictatorship or junta, and fostering the development of the first constitutional democracy

A few weeks after Washington liberated New York City from brutal British Occupation, he set into motion his retirement from the military, squelching any authoritarians' hopes for a military dictatorship led by the popular Washington. He used his authority to encourage the development of modern democracy.

"With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable."
 - George Washington, Dec. 4, 1783

Fraunces Tavern still looks like this inside.

More about Fraunces and his tavern below.

1920:  Professional Football comes to NYC.

Jim Thorpe, the greatest athlete of all time, plays
for the Canton Bulldogs versus the Buffalo All-Americans.  Despite his talent they lose 7-3 in front of 15,000 at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.

Canton Bulldog's Jim Thorpe (#20) brings down one of the Buffalo's players.   

1949:  Their last game, the football Yankees
lose in the first round of the championships.

Bernard King: I like how this picture blocks the view of his knee, which was often bandaged in the late 1980s.

1956:  New York Knick, NJ Nets, and Tennessee Basketball great Bernard King born in Brooklyn.  In the mid-1980s he led the league in scoring nearly 33 points per game.   

1975:  Hannah Arendt, philosopher and sociologist of Nazism's 'banality of evil' died in NYC.

1981:  Warren Beatty's Reds premiered. The film will earn 12 Oscar nominations; Beatty wins for Best Director of the film he also wrote and starred in the film about John Reed. 

We visit Reed's wonderful address on my Greenwich Village tours.

1991:  Terry Anderson, Associated Press correspondent, released after nearly seven years in captivity in Lebanon
.  He was the longest-held Western hostage there.  More about Reagan's hostage crises and their links to the Iran-Contra Scandals below.

1997:  The Lion King debuts on Broadway.  In 2012, fifteen years and going strong.


Lillian Russell (singer),

Brooklyn and ABC's
Marisa Tomei (actress) 1964,

Johnny Lyon (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes),

Cassandra Wilson (jazz singer),

(media mogul, clothing designer, Nets team owners, rapper) 1969.
Fred Armisen
(Saturday Night Live player) 1966, and

Tyra Banks (model and tv star) 1973

Fraunces was a popular tavern-keeper.  In 1776, he served the British Officers in the main room, giving them attentive service, and then reporting what he learned to the revolutionary Continental Army Officers in the back dining room. 

In 1789, Fraunces would become Washington's Steward, while Thomas Jefferson established the Department
of State and Hamilton the Department of the Treasury in the Tavern. 

They agreed on two things: Loving Fraunces Tavern and hating Aaron Burr.

I love taking folks around here on Downtown tours and Financial District tours. 

In August 2010 I did a private tour for a lady, first time visitor, from Montanna.  She kept exclaiming: "Everything is so old!"  I was mystified, since so much has been lost to real estate development, 'urban renewal,' and fires, and since Europe and Asia have much older sites.  The New Church at Oxford is from the 1400s.  Then I realized,
Montanna didn't start being rapidly developed until 1909, about 385 years after my city started.

George Washington is one of my favorite historic figures, and I created a 3-hour tour from the Brooklyn Bridge to Fraunces Tavern, "George Washington's NYC." 

My pride of that GW's NYC tour is the site of the
original Presidential Mansion.  You'd be surprised where it is, why the mansion was destroyed, and how it is marked. 

Reagan's hostage crises and ties to scandals, a blueprint for unaccountable governance:

American hostages in Lebanon, much less touted that the ones that were taken in Iran, were the inspiration for the Arms for Hostages deal that metastasized into the Iran-Contra Scandal.  The Reagan Administration traded arms to Iran, which was illegal, to release the hostages in Lebanon.  As hostages were released, more were taken, and so the arms sales increased, as well as gifts to Iranian leaders.  

The Reagan Administration then decided to mark up the arms' prices.  The profits from the illegal arms sales were diverted to 'the Contras,' who were trying to overthrow
the Nicaraguan Communist government.  This was also illegal, since the U.S. was banned from supporting 'the

Journalists and whistleblowers have stated that the US'
secret planes supplying 'the Contras' arms weren't just flying back empty, but filled with drugs to fund even more illegal activities.   

Arms sales, drugs, a secret parallel government using secret cash profits to spend illegal budgets without Congressional approval or oversight to pursue its own policies, Iran-Contra suggests a pattern or template of Executive action that countries, including the US, have used since World War II for covert actions.  Even so, Iran-Contra is not taught in high school History classes.

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