History

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‘Tartan Day’ Celebration on Ellis Island This Weekend to Feature Captain Kidd and the Hangman’s Noose

Last modified April 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

The 14th annual Tartan Day celebration is jigging its way to Ellis Island this weekend – time to bust out the bagpipes! This year’s theme has been built around the nefarious Scot, Captain Kidd, a pirate who has significant ties to New York City. Aye. Presented by the Clan Currie Society – one of the county’s leading […]

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Courtesy of Getty Images

In Defense of the Tenement Housing Stock (Or, Why BuzzFeed is Wrong About Blaming the Bricks)

Posted April 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

Normally I would consider the source, but given the number of readers BuzzFeed has, this article about the buildings destroyed in the East Village Explosion deserves a prompt and unwavering response. Two young men – Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Ismael Locón Yac – lost their lives. Residents lost their possessions and while there is no comparison, the Lower East […]

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Television on St. Mark's, ca. 1977

Today in LES History: Television Debuts at CBGB on the Bowery

Last modified April 1, 2015 at 12:42 am

On this day in… 1974 – The seminal rock/punk/alternative band Television began their Sunday night residency at CBGB, a former Bowery dive bar where band members built a stage for their debut performance. Here is an excerpt from a piece that NYU professor Bryan Waterman wrote last year on the fortieth anniversary of the event… Although […]

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Igor Sikorsky, Photo: Wikipedia

Today in LES History: Helicopter Pioneer Igor Sikorsky Immigrates to the Neighborhood

Posted March 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

On this day in… 1919 – 30-year old, Russian-born aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky immigrated to the Lower East Side, where he taught fellow émigrés mathematics. Sikorsky designed the world’s first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft and the first airliner, as well as America’s first practical helicopter, utilizing a rotor configuration design still used today. Today in LES […]

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Photo: Daily News

Today in LES History: Senator Barack Obama Makes a Campaign Stop at Cooper Union

Posted March 27, 2015 at 8:12 am

On this day in… 2008 – Campaigning Illinois Senator Barack Obama took the stage at Cooper Union’s Great Hall. The then-presidential hopeful gave a speech about the economy, and proposed an additional $30 billion stimulus package to help during the downturn. Obama was introduced by Mayor Bloomberg. The event was highly symbolic, as Cooper Union […]

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Photo: Ephemeral NY

Today in LES History: Forerunner of Con Edison Receives its Charter from the State

Posted March 26, 2015 at 8:11 am

On this day in… 1823 – The New York Gas Light Company received its charter from the State Legislature. Headquartered at 102 Centre Street, the utility was tasked with replacing the whale-oil street lamps which were common since the 1760s. Their reach was the territory south of Grand Street. The advent of electric lighting in […]

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Ratner's ghost signage, Photo: David Bellel

The Return of Ratner’s on Delancey Street

Last modified March 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

Well, sort of. Construction at the former Sleepy’s mattress center on Delancey Street uncovered some classic ghost signage. Of course, this location was previously the home of Ratner’s, the long-running kosher dairy restaurant that folded over a decade ago. Shadows of the once-illustrious red neon are now clearly visible, thanks to the removal of the […]

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Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911, Photo: WIki

Today in LES History: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Kills 146 Garment Workers

Posted March 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

On this day in… 1911 – The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire claimed the lives of 146 garment workers, predominantly teenage girls from the Lower East Side. Today, as has been tradition the last decade, the Chalk Project (courtesy of Street Pictures) fans out across the neighborhood to scrawl names of the fallen outside their former […]

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Today in LES History: Biggie is Arrested for Assault Outside the Palladium

Posted March 24, 2015 at 8:10 am

On this day in… 1996 – reports surfaced that rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Chris Wallace) and his friend Damian Butler were arrested for assaulting two autograph seekers after a performance by Faith Evans (Biggie’s then-wife) outside the former Palladium night club, 126 East 14th Street. The fans “had words” with the rapper before heading off […]

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mother-cabrini

Today in LES History: Mother Cabrini Leaves Italy to Begin Charity Work in NYC

Posted March 23, 2015 at 8:10 am

On this day in… 1889 – Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (July 15, 1850 – December 22, 1917) left her native home in Italy to begin charity work in New York City. She arrived in Little Italy on March 31, where she immediately began raising money and recruited volunteers to assist Italian immigrants. Against all odds, […]

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