Dec 11th in NYC History
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 | 3:26 AM
1809: New York City's Mayor, Dewitt Clinton, opens the city's first public school, on Henry Street, the site of today's P.S. 2 in the Lower East Side.
1816: Indiana became the 19th state. It started as a US Territory in Federal Hall in 1789 when NYC was the American Capitol.
1882: Fiorello H. La Guardia, the great Depression-era mayor of New York City for three consecutive terms, was born.
Fiorello Laguardia, NYC's first Italian and Jewish Mayor, and perhaps its best, is born in Greenwich Village in an impoverished Italian neighborhood. He worked as an Ellis Island interpreter in seven languages. You can visit where it happened on Ellis Island tours.
He grew up in another impoverished Italian neighborhood, East Harlem, which I like to visit when I like to eat great Italian food at Rao's and Patsy's, both of which I can tell stories about, but not right now.
LaGuardia did not have a high school degree, but he served 24 years as an elected official, including 12 years as Mayor through the entire Depression.
I believe I already described how he read the funnies to children on the radio during the 1945 newspaper strike. I describe this on my Lower East Side Heritage Tours.
Laguardia was a pioneer of broadcast media in politics. He battled Tammany Hall corruption, which I describe on my Santa and Heritage Tours.
Through his deputy, Robert Moses, he built hundreds of parks, and cleared out slums (with mixed results). I describe this on my LES Heritage Tours and my Community Gardens of the East Village Tour.
America's worst airport is named for him. Back in the day, it was a pioneer of aviation. Previously, I recounted Laguardia's rant that impelled the airport's development.
There is a wonderful statue of LaGuardia on Laguardia Place in Greenwich Village, which I sometimes highlight on Greenwich Village tours.
1925: The third, and previous, Madison Square Garden opens in Hell's Kitchen on the edge of the theater district with a boxing match for almost 17,000. It will limp along through the mid-1960s.
1927: The football Giants win their first NFL Championship, beating the football Yankees at Yankee Stadium 13-0.
1931: Happy Birthday to honorary New Yorker Rita Moreno.
1938: The football Giants win their 3rd Championship, besting Green Bay in front of a record-breaking 38,000 at the Polo Grounds.
1946: UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, was founded.
1946: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donates 18 acres of land in New York City to house the United Nations.
1951: Joe DiMaggio retired from baseball after bringing the New York Yankees to the World Series ten seasons. Say it ain't so, Joe!
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio retires from the NY Yankees, after winning 3 MVPs, and leading them to 10 Pennants and 9 World Series Championships. He averaged .325 with 361 home runs.
1959: Richie Guerin scores 57 points for the Knicks, a record, against Syracuse 153-121 at MSG 3.
1959: Yanks make a good trade involving seven players between them and Kansas City, through which the Yanks garnered Roger Maris, who would then win 2 MVP awards and leading the Yankees through some good seasons for five years.
1961: Langston Hughes' musical Black Nativity debuted on Broadway.
1962: The LoMEx was deemed to be killed before being revived before being killed. See December 7th 1964 for the LoMEx' revival.
1967: Happy Birthday to honorary New Yorker Mo'Nique.
1973: Happy Birthday to Brooklyn's Mos Def, the rapper and actor.
1975: In a four player trade, the Yankees get Doc Ellis, and Willy Randolph, who secures their infield for 13 seasons.
1981: The U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be its 5th secretary-general.
1992: A Nor'easter blows, destroying homes, flooding streets, and halting transportation, causing a state of emergency. I had to walk my dogs and was nearly hit in the head by swinging debris. That is when I realized that wind can be dangerous.
2002: A congressional report found that intelligence agencies before Sept. 11, 2001, were poorly organized, poorly equipped and slow to pursue clues that might have prevented that day's terrorist attacks. Dozens of pages of the report are still classified, the part about other nations' involvement in the 9/11/01 attacks.
2008: Bernard Madoff was arrested for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. He is serving 150 years in prison. This is dwarfed by the mortgage and banking crisis of the same era, but no one has been arrested. Financial manager Bernard Madoff arrested for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that destroyed thousands of people's life savings and ruining charities. He is serving150 years in federal prison.
2010: Bernard Madoff's son dies of suicide. He was under investigation.
More about Today In History
Even more about Today in History