CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina

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*Please note this is a work in progress. New researched information will be added periodically.

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1) The Statue of Liberty, a gift to the United States from France, is dedicated in New York Harbor. This colossal statue standing in New York Harbor has come to symbolize all that is good in America to millions of people around the world.

2) The first settlement house in the United States was established by Stanton Coit on New York's Lower East Side in 1886.

3) 1886: March 8 .The first ferry terminal at St. George opens combining a rail connection in the same building allowing for a fast transfer to points on the south shore.

4) 1886: March 27. Richmond County Advance begins publication.

5) Victor Herbert an Irishman by birth was first "cellist" at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1886. * (NYS History) Vol: V

6) C) Huntington Crescent Club (Yachting Div.)--Huntington, Long Island, New York. Organized 1886. * (L.I. Sound)

7) In 1886 Stanton Coit and Charles B. Stover following the example of Toynbee Hall, London, established the Neighborhood Guild ( later University Settlement) in New York. "To cultivate friendly relations between the educated and the uneducated and thus uplift the latter." * (Concise)

8) The Cosmopolitan Magazine was founded by Schlicht & Field in 1886.

9 ) AMITYVILLE: Louden Hall, Division av. a sanitarium was established in 1886. Capacity, 75. Private. * (Polk's)

10)The tuxedo jacket made its debut in the US-1886. The tail-less dress coat, introduced in England, was worn for the first time in America at the Tuxedo Club in New York. Most of the guests at the club were shocked by its informality, but the tuxedo jacket eventually became more popular than the tailcoat.

11) International order of King's Daughters and Sons : An organization formed in New York City, early in 1886, as a distinctly spiritual force. * (n.i.e.)

12) Steve Brodie, gained fame by allegedly jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge July 23, 1886. * (c.e.)

13) George Bird Grinnell, American naturalist and student of India life was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He organized the first Audubon Society and was an organizer in 1886. * (c.e.)

14) Christopher Grant La Farge, architect in 1886 formed an architectural firm with his classmate George Lewis Heins. He became noted for his architectural designs notably his plans for the Cathedral of St. John The Divine in NYC, the Catholic Chapel at West Point, NYC's first subway system and NY's Zoological Park.

15) Joseph M. McMahon born in NYC was ordained in 1886. He served at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1886-1901 when he founded "Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He founded the Catholic Library Reading Circles (later merged with the Catholic Library Association).

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1) The Jewish Theological Seminary, the first institution of Conservative Judaism, is founded in New York.

2) National Association of Naval Veterans. A patriotic society organized in New York City in January, 1887, having for its chief purpose the preservation of the traditions and memories of the United States Navy during the Civil War. *(n.i.e.)

3) Pratt Institute. A coeducational school for manual and industrial training, in Brooklyn,N.Y., established in 1887 by Charles Pratt.
*(N.I.E.)

4) On the Evening of January 19th, 1887 a few civic minded men living in the Village of Inwood, which was then called, Westville, got together in a cottage owned by Mr. And Mrs. Edward Rhinehart on Lord Avenue, to organize a Fire Company for the village. These men organized and named the first fire fighting unit in Inwood, the Electric Hook and Ladder Company.

 5) Douglaston Yacht Squadron of the Douglaston Club__Douglaston, Long Island, New York. Organized in 1887. * (L.I. Sound)

6) On April 18, 1887, Harlem Hospital was opened. The physical plant consisted of a leased, three-story wooden building, located at the foot of East 120th Street and the East River in New York City, with 54 beds. * (charter)

7) Scribner's Magazine was first published in January 1887.

8) Joseph Hofmann, Polish-American pianist. He toured Europe as a child prodigy, making his American debut in 1887 at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City. . He composed under the pseudonym Michel Dvorsky and was the first professional performer to make recordings of his performances. * (Bartleby)

9 ) Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Sacrament at the southeast corner of Seventy-first Street, in Manhattan was organized 1887. * (Bwy)

10) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, at 1211 Avenue of the Americas,in New York City was founded 1887. *(t.a.)

11) William Russell Grace in 1897 established the Grace Institute for the education of dressmakers, domestic servants and office girls. * (docb)

12) National Association of Naval Veterans: A patriotic society organized in New York City in January, 1887, having for
its chief purpose the preservation of the traditions and memories of the United States Navy during the Civil War.

13) Edgar Evertson Saltees, American author born in NYC. His most notable work includes "Mr. Incoul's Misadventure in 1887. * (c.e.)

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1) The Tower Building, New York City's first skyscraper, is constructed at 50 Broadway.

2) Congregation B'nai Jeshurun was founded at Tompkinsville as the first Jewish congregation on Staten Island

.3) Teacher's college, An institution in New York City for the training of teachers and school administrators, founded in 1888, and made a part of the educational system of Columbia University (q.v.) in 1898, taking academic rank with the schools of law, medicine, and applied science. * (n.i.e.)

4) The company of Thomas F. Madigan, successor to Patrick F. Madigan, of 2 East 54th Street near Fifth ave, was established in 1888. Autograph letters of Celebrities, Manuscripts and Historical Documents bought and sold. * (Blue)

5) On October 8 , 1888 Thomas Edison files the first of several patent caveats for his kinetograph, a motion picture device . * (nyca)

6) Fourteenth Ward Industrial School at 256-258 Mott Street in Manhattan was built in 1888 for the Children's Aid Society, this striking example of Victorian Gothic architecture was designed by Vaux & Radford. * (Museums)

7) Richard Morris Hunt, American Architect In New York City he founded the first American studio for training young architects, and he was one of the organizers of the American Institute of Architects, of which he became president in 1888. His Tribune Building in New York was one of the first elevator buildings * (Bartleby)

8) The Players' Club was organized in 1888, to promote social intercourse between the different members of the dramatic profession. This club was founded by Edwin Booth, who left the house, with its furniture and pictures, to the association.

9) 1888 New York's first ticker-tape parade.

10) The Blizzard of 1888 in New York City was called the most famous blizzard in American History. * (epic)

11) Arpad Geyza Charles Gerster, american surgeon. A pioneer in aseptic surgery, he wrote the first American manual on the subject (1888) and taught at New York Polyclinic and at Columbia (from 1916). * (c.e.)

12) The first modern steel skeleton structure is erected.* (berea)

13) 1888-1889 Thomas O'Conor Sloane born in New York City invented a self-recording photometer and other devises. *(docb)

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1) The first electric elevators by Otis Brothers are installed in a NewYork Building.

2) The original Madison Square .Garden, built in 1889, housed an 8,000-seat auditorium -- by far the country's largest.

3) The first telephone came to Richmond Hill in 1889, which was 13 years after the telephone itself was invented. The No. 1 subscriber was J. W. VanWicklen, the first postmaster of Richmond Hill, who secured a hookup with a telephone line in East New York.

4) Alfred Tredway White builds one of the earliest public housing complexes in America in Brooklyn Heights, New York. *(wtv.org)

5) 1889: June 13 The first bridge from Staten Island to New Jersey is opened.

6) A collegiate institution for women, situated in New York City, and affiliated with Columbia University (q.v.). Barnard College proper was organized in 1889. *(n.i.e.)

7) The first postmaster of the newly established Inwood post office opened February 25, 1889, was Mr. J. B. Crosby, who held that position through World War I.

8) The Stuyvesant Yacht Club___organized in 1889, incorporated on April 27, 1890. * (L.I. Sound)

9) Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club___Larchmont, New York. Organized in 1889. * (L.I. Sound)

10) Morris Yacht and Beach Club___City Island, New York. Organized in 1889.

11) German Hospital of Brooklyn, St. Nicholas ave and Stanhope. Est'd 1889. Capacity, 125. Private. (German Hospital Society). * (Polk)

12) The United Service Club was organized in 1889 for the promotion of military science. Membership is limited to military and naval officers.

13) Kingston Avenue Hospital (Health Dept), in Brooklyn, at Kingston av. and Fennimore. Est'd 1889. Capacity, 500. Public. * (Polk's)

14) Williamsburgh Hospital, Bedford avenue and S. 3rd. in Brooklyn was established in 1889. Capacity, 90. Semi- private. * (Polk's)

15) The Hardenbergh/Rhinelander Historic District consists of six row houses and one "French Flats" building constructed in 1888-89 for the Estate of William C. Rhinelander to the Northern Renaissance Revival style designs of architect Henry J. Hardenbergh. Located at the northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and East 89th Street, these buildings are characteristic of the
residential development of the Carnegie Hill-Yorkville area that had been spurred by transportation and street improvements in the late nineteenth century. * (nyclc)

16) 1889 New York--first major strike by street railway workers.

17) The Hotel Vendome 1889: This was located at Forty-first Street and Broadway. The opening day was October 1, 1889. * (FTW)

18) Sons of the American Revolution, a national patriotic organization founded in New York in 1889 by a union of the "Sons of Revolutionary Sires and Certain Members of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution. * (c.e.)

19) The Wall Street Journal begins publication.

20) Jane Cunningham Crolly founded the Sorosis club for Women in 1868 and the Women's Press Club of NYC in 1889. * (c.e.)

21) The Washington Bridge, extending from One Hundred and Eighty-first Street and Tenth Avenue on the west to Aqueduct Avenue on the east, is one of the most notable structures crossing the Harlem, both in appearance and in form of construction. The two main spans are parabolic steel arch structures, each of six parallel ribs. These ribs are built up of immense voussoirs of steel, forming sections analogous to the ring-stones in a masonry arch. These sections are constructed in the form of an "I" beam, the flanges of the beam being made up of a number of plates, while the web is a single piece. They are each 13 feet in depth. The ribs rest on steel pins, 18 inches in diameter, placed at the springing point of the arch, and supported on pillow blocks carried by the abutments. The arches spring from granite piers, which are carried up to the level of the floor system. This floor is supported by latticed posts resting on the arched ribs, and is a little higher than the crown of the arches. The principal dimensions of the bridge are as follows: Total length, 2375 feet, made up of the two steel arches, each 510 feet long, the eastern approach of four masonry arches making 342 feet, and a solid fill between granite walls about 325 feet long, and the western approach of three masonry arches 277 feet long, and a solid fill as on the east side of about 411 feet. The clear height of the main arches above high water is 133 feet. The roadway, which is paved with asphalt, is 50 feet wide and the sidewalks each 15 feet. The piers rest on caissons which are carried down to solid rock. There are 40,000 cubic yards of dressed granite and gneiss, and about 14,750,000 pounds of iron and steel in the structure. The commissioners appointed to build the bridge asked for competitive designs, and offered prizes for them__$1500 to the best, and $1000 to the second best. The first prize was won by C.C. Schneider, and the bridge was built on almost the lines shown in his design. The bridge was two years in building, and was opened to the public use in 1889. It cost $2,851,684. *(borobx)

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1) The first Baptist Church of Freeport, L.I., was organized in 1890 when the congregation met in a hall.

2) "How the Other Half Lives" by Jacob Riis is first published, which exposes the living conditions in the slums of New York city. He also founded the second oldest settlement house in NYC named for him in 1901. * (c.e.)

3) Colonial Dames Of America, Society of. A women's patriotic society, organized in New York City in 1890, incorporated in 1891. This
society was the first organization of women to be founded for patriotic purposes. * (Heritage)

4) Louis Auster of Brooklyn, who owned candy stores at Stanton and Cannon Streets, then another at Third and Avenue D, made the first Egg Creams in 1890.

5) The Brooklyn Dodgers win their first National League pennant. 1890 * (BTL)

6) 1890 The first electric trolley begins running in Brooklyn. * (BTL)

7) The "Maine", the first first-class battleship built in the American navy yard, (Brooklyn) was launched there in 1890. * (NYS History)

8) The New York Water Color Club was founded in 1890. * (NYS History) Vol: V

9) Brooklyn Training School and Home for Young Girls, 1483 Pacific. Est'd 1890. Capacity, 75. * (Polks)

10) St. Peters' Home (Working Girls), 110 Congress. in Brooklyn was established in 1890. * (Polk's)

11) The Copper House was built in 1890 at Shore Road & 88th street in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York (now part of N.Y.C. * (fff)

12) George Washington Cullum , was born in New York City. He is best known for his monumental compilation "Biographical Register of the Officer's and Graduates of the United States Military Academy, published in 1890. * (Generals)

13) In 1890 the city granted the first charter to experiment with horseless trucks. * (epic)

14) George Gunton American economist, he founded in 1890, in association with the Rev. Heber Newton, The Institute of Social Economics." in NYC.

15) The U. S. S. "Maine" is launched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, destined to precipitate a war between the United States and Spain by its sinking in the Harbor of Havana, Cuba, in 1898. * (berea)

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1) Carnegie Hall, the foremost musical center of the country was completed.Walter Damrosch suggested construction of
the hall to Andrew Carnegie. Among the Jewish musicians and conductors who made their first appearance here were Harold Bauer, Bronislaw Hubermann, Joseph Lhevinne, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Joseph Szigeti and Vladimir Horowitz.

2) Journalist introduces the term "skyscraper" * (sky-tl)

3) Wiley G. Overton appointed first "colored" policeman in Brooklyn, March 5, 1891.

4) The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club was organized under that name in 1891 and incorporated in 1892. William J. Newman, who had headed up the Douglaston Yacht Club, became the first Commodore of the new organization. * (L.I. Sound)

 5) Hempstead Harbour Club____Glen Cove, New York. Organized in 1891.

6) Little Sisters of the Assumption, The Superior at 246 East 15th street was established in New York, May, 1891, and Incorporated under Laws of New York, January 2, 1892. * (Blue)

7) The opening of the Education Alliance, which provided gyms, club space, lectures, classes and later plays and concerts for the mainly Jewish population in its environs. * (Gaslight)

8) Bushwick Hospital, in Brooklyn, cor. Howard av. and Monroe. Est'd 1891. Capacity, 40. Private. * (Polks)

9) the First Baptist Church at the northwest corner of Seventy-ninth Street, in Manhattan was organized in 1891. * (Bwy)

10) Coark Board Patent to be issued on pure corkboard was granted to John T. Smith of Brooklyn, New York on July 14, 1891. * (fff)

11) Built in 1891-95, the Fourteenth Regiment Armory, located in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, is an outstanding example of a late nineteenth-century National Guard armory in New York City. Designed in the castellated style by William A. Mundell, a Brooklyn architect who also designed buildings in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island * (nyclc)

12) Bedford Park Congregational Church, 2988 Bainbridge Avenue (a.k.a. 301 East 201st Street), The Bronx. Built 1891-92; Edgar K. Bourne, architect. * (nyclc)

13) Daughters of the Revolution, a patriotic Society organized in New York City August 20, 1891. *(Century)

14) Charles Henry Parkhurst, american clergyman and reformer. In 1891 he became president of the Society for the Prevention of Crime. His exposure of the corruption of the Police Department of New York City led to its investigation by a committee of the State Legislature, Lexow Committee and defeat of Tammany Hall in 1894.

15) Society Of Colonial Dames of America : A women's patriotic society, organized in New York City in 1890, incorporated in 1891, and having for its purposes the collection of manuscripts, traditions, relics and mementos of Colonial and Revolutionary times, and the commemoration of the success of the Revolutionary War. * (n.i.e.)

16) John Randolph Dos Passos, American lawyer. Dos Passos was a pioneer in the organization and development of the Modern Trust Company and in 1891 helped to organize the American Sugar Refining Co. (the "Sugar trust") for H.O. Havemeyer. * (c.e.)

Continue on Page 13: ( 1892-1899)                                                                    Return to Table of Contents 1800s

 

 

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