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) Julia Richman High School, named for a principal and teacher in New York's public schools and the first woman to be appointed
district supervisor in New York City's school system. Miss Richman is credited with the establishment of the first P.T.A., in New York and with the setting up of the first classes for mentally deficient children. Miss Richman was the first president of the Y.W.H.A.* (c.e.)

2) Woolworth Building, Original owners: Frank W. Woolworth and the Irving Trust Company. Architect: Cass Gilbert. Engineer: Gunvald Aus Company. opened April 24, 1913. The Woolworth Building is unusual among skyscrapers for having been financed in cash. Its owner, Frank W. Woolworth, who in 910 commissioned architect Cass Gilbert to design a Gothic-style skyscraper to soar above City Hall Park on a full-block site on Broadway between Park Place and Barclay Street. Height: 792 feet Cost: $13.5 million.

3) 1913 Trolley line inaugurated from 59th Street, Manhattan, to Queens Boulevard (formerly Hoffman Boulevard), Forest Hills.

4) April 5,1913. Ebbets Field, new $1,000,000 baseball park, formally opened with game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. *

5) The New York World publishes the first crossword puzzle. * (nyct)

6) The new Grand Central Terminal opens .

7) In 1913, the Regent Theater, the first movie palace, was built at 116th Street and Seventh Avenue.

8) Engine Company 42 The Bronx was organized on November 27, 1913 *FDNY

9) An exhibition of American and European modern art was held in the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City in 1913. At this show Americans got their first look at the revolutionary work of such artists as Matisse, Picasso, etc. * (Benet's)

10) Actor's Equity Association of 165 W. 46th street in New York was founded 1913. * (t.a.)

11) Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, was founded in 1913. * (t.a.)

12) 132-142 West 37th street was completed in 1913, as part of the A.E. Lefcourt Projects, builder & operator. * (nyt)

13) Booth Theater, 222 W 45th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues was completed in 1913. Architect Henry B Herts.

14) Longacre Theater at 220 W 48th Street, between Broadway & 8th Avenue was completed in 1913.

15) Sam S Shubert Theater, at 225 W 44th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues, was completed in 1913. Architect Henry B Herts

16) Victor Herbert, former president of "The Friendly Sons founded the Glee Club in 1913. * (NYS History)

17) The world's first movie palace - the Regent Theater - is erected at 116th Street and Seventh Avenue in 1913. * (nyct)

18) Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith at 212 Fifth Ave., N.Y.C. was established in 1913.* (ajyb)

19) Cass Gilbert, American architect. Gilbert became widely known with the Woolworth Building (1913) N.Y. Among Gilbert's other conspicuous works are the New York Life Insurance Company Building and the Federal courts Building, N.Y., the U.S. Treasury Annex, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce etc. * (c.e.)

20) The Rockefeller Foundation was established in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller Sr. with the general purpose of promoting "The well being of mankind through-out the world. * (c.e.)

21) Bela Schick, American pediatrician. He devised (1913) the Schick test a skin test to determine susceptibility to diphtheria. * (c.e.)

22) On November 4, 1913, Milchel was elected mayor thus becoming the youngest mayor in the city's history. * (epic)

23) Longacre Theater: 220 W 48th Street between Broadway & 8th Avenue. It was Completed 1913. Designed by Architect Henry B Herts. * (jd)

24) Cort Theater: 138 W 48th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues. Completed 1913. Architect Thomas W Lamb. * (jd)

25) Palace Theater:1564 Broadway between 46th & 47th Streets. Completed 1913. Architect Kirchoff & Rose. * (jd)

26) Sam S Shubert Theater: 225 W 44th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues. Completed 1913. Architect Henry B Herts. * (jd)

27) John Purroy Mitchel born in NYC was appointed collector of the Port of N.Y. by President Wilson in 1913. * (docb)

28) The Jamaica Transfer Station and yard was erected in 1913 at a cost exceeding $3,000,000. It includes 12 passenger tracks and five wide p latforms. The Station and Office Building is a six story brick-concrete-steel structure. Over 60,000 passengers pass through this station on an average for every day of the year.* (jama)

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1) Upon her appointment Jan. 1, 1914, Katharine Bement Davis became not only the Department of Correction's first female commissioner but also the first woman to head any major municipal agency in the city's history. Dr. Davis --Katharine held a Ph.D. in political economics from the University of Chicago, the first earned by a woman .

2) In 1914, the borough's main thoroughfare, the Grand Concourse, was completed; it had been inspired by Paris' great boulevard, the Champs Elysées.

3) New York seamstress Mary Phelps Jacob makes the first brassiere. * (nyct)

4) 1914- First nickelodeon theater opens.

5) 1914-ASCAP American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers formed.

6) The International Garden Club was founded by Mrs. Charles Frederick Hoffman in 1914.

7) Elmer Rice, his first play, On Trial (1914). Rice's first major contribution to the American stage was The Adding Machine (1923). *
(Bartleby)

8) Henry W. Frauenthal, Founder of the New York Hospital for Joint Diseases: In 1914 he wrote and published a "Manual of Infantile Paralysis." * (EOJK)

9) Marcus M. Marks, President of the Borough of Manhattan, New York 1914-16). In 1914 he established three public markets in New York and in 1915 initiated the "Day-light Saving" movement. * (EOJK)

10) Bo Sho Mills, Inc.352 Classon Ave. Brooklyn, N.Y. was incorporated in 1914. Sweater Coats & Juvenile Angora Sets. * (1928DS)

11) National Foreign Trade Council, Inc. at 1270 Avenue of the Americas, in New York City was established in 1914. * (t.a.)

12) Elmer Rice, American dramatist born in NYC. His first play "On Trial" was in 1914. Rice's first major contribution to the American stage was "The Adding Machine (1923)

13) Vedder Van Dyck's (bishop of Vermont) first assignment as a Priest was in charge of the missions on Long Island, N.Y., at Farmingdale, Seaford, and Hicksville from 1914-1917. * (Hollanders)

14) Bronx County, the 62nd and last county of New York State is established in 1914.* (nycc)

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1) A subway fire January 8, 1915 that injured hundreds when the tunnel filled with smoke - resulted in the creation of Rescue Company 1 on January18, 1915. The country's first heavy rescue unit, Rescue 1 was outfitted with the most advanced equipment available, like Draeger Smoke Helmets and tools to release victims trapped beneath heavy debris.

2) Among the many reforms that Commissioner Davis initiated was the creation of the New York City Patrol Commission in December, 1915, becoming its first chairperson.

3) New Yorkers gathered at the Astor Theater in Times Square for the first public viewing of 3-D films on June 10, 1915. (newsday)

4) The Queensboro line from the Grand Central Station via the East River Tunnel to Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, was opened in June, 1915, and extensions thereafter were made to it. * (NYS History) Vol. I

5) Kips Bay Boys' Club, a Philanthropic Society in co-operation with the Children's Aid Society was organized in 1915, and incorporated in 1922. * (Blue)

6) The first transcontinental telephone line, New York to San Francisco, opened in 1915. * (Concise)

7) In 1915 Gertrude Vanderbilt formed the "Friends of the Young Artists" to give youthful talent in this country an opportunity to show its work under a system without juries or prizes. * (Museums)

8) James Van Der Zee, American photographer, The son of Ulysses S. Grant's maid and butler, Van Der Zee opened his first studio in Harlem, New York City, in 1915. * (Bartleby)

9) The Denishawn Dance School was founded in 1915 in New York City by dancers Ruth St. Denes and Ted Shawn. * (fff)

10) 42-46 West 38th street was completed in 1915. A.E. Lefcourt Projects, builder & operator. * (nyt)

11) 1915, A new city flag is dedicated, marking the 250th anniversary of the English takeover of New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1664. * (nyct)

12) Alexander Kohut Foundation 3080 Broadway, N.Y.C. was established in 1915. * (ajyb)

13) Alfred A. Knopf born in NYC. After working 1912-1914, for the Doubleday Page Publishing Company he founded (1915), his own firm Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. which had a continued existence until 1960. * (c.e.)

14) At 466 Grand St. is the Henry St. Settlement's Playhouse, once famous as the Neighborhood Playhouse. Organized by Lillian D. Wald in 1915 for the purpose of staging productions of the settlement's dramatic groups, it branched out into professional production under the leadership of Alice and Irene Lewisohn. The Playhouse saw the American premieres of The Dybbuk and of James Joyce's Exiles. * (ajtg)

15) City adopts new flag. Catskill Water Works supply city water. 1915 * (nyccc)

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1) New York City passes the first U.S. urban zoning law.

2) Margaret Sanger and Ethel Byrne open the first United States birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. It is shut down ten days later and the women are tried and imprisoned. *(wtv.org)

3) 1916 Nathan and Ida Handwerker establish their now-famous Coney Island hot dog stand. * (nyct)

4) New York State was the first State in the union to require annual registration for licensed and practicing dentists. * (NYS History) Vol: V.

5) 1916 Schaefer Brewery on Kent Avenue, established. * (Greenpoint)

6) Mr. Samuel Segal (former New York City policeman) invented the first jimmy proof locks in 1916. * (inventors)

7) Breeders, Davies & Nagle Hospital & Lab'y Animal House (Largest shippers of animals for Medical & Scientific Research in the world) at 551 W. 42nd St, New York, N.Y. was established in 1916. * (1935MD)

8) The first major urban polio epidemic took place in the summer of 1916 in New York City. * (fff)

9 ) St. Joseph's College in Brooklyn, N.Y. was founded 1916.

10) Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. 810 Seventh Avenue in New York City was established in 1916. * (t.a.)

11) David Mannes, American violinist and educator born in New York City with his wife, founded the Mannes Music School in 1916. * (c.e.)

12) Andrew Freeman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, is a unique old folks' home founded in 1916 by Andrew Freedman, subway contractor and one-time owner of the New York Giants. Freedman's will set up a home for "aged and indigent gentlefolk...of culture and refinement." Guests live in attractive apartments and are well cared for. Freedman bequeathed his entire fortune of several million dollars to this home, erected in 1925. * (ajtg)

13) Allan G. Newman's The Hiker, representing a soldier marching, is part of a Spanish-=American War Monument on the esplanade of Borough Hall. The monument was erected in 1916.

14)1916 :Zoning Ordinance establishes “setback” guidelines (unrestricted for 1/4 of lot) and use zones (commercial, residential, industrial) to provide access to light on the street and rationalize/ segregate uses in the city * (stl)

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1) On April 6, 1917 Congress voted for War and the President signed a resolution declaring that hostilities existed between the U.S. & Germany. In the port of New York City at the time were 18 German ships, five of them anchored off w. 135th street. The vessels were seized by 600 customs agents. The U.S. flag was raised on them. It was the first Act of War. * (epic)

2) Abraham Levy, who died in World War I while serving on board the USS President Lincoln on October 1, 1917, is said to have been the first Staten Island soldier to die in World War I. The Abraham Levy Memorial Park, a playground on the corner of Jewett and Castleton Aves., memorializes him.

3) By 1917, the first Pennsylvania Railroad train - the Federal Express service between Washington and Boston - went over the Hell Gate Bridge, completing the first uninterrupted rail service between the two cities.

4) The Seventh Avenue Line began by operating shuttle trains between Times Square and the Pennsylvania Terminal on June 3, 1917; and on July 1, 1918, trains began running regularly from Times Square to South Ferry and to Williams and Wall Street station via Park Place. * (NYS History) Vol. I

5) The Lexington Avenue Branch, from One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street, at Mott Avenue, to Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Avenue, was opened June 2, 1917, and extended to Woodlawn, April 15, 1918. * (NYS History) Vol. I

6) The West Farms Division of the White Plains Road Line began operations, first to Two Hundred and Nineteenth Street, on March 3, 1917, and then continued through to East Two Hundred and Forty-first Street, on December 13, 1920. * (NYS History) Vol. I

F) American Horse Shows Association, Inc. 220 E.42nd street in New York City was established in 1917.

G) Jewish Community Centers Association (JCC) of North America, 15 E. 26th Street in New York City was established in 1917.

H) A steel net is strung underwater across the Narrows to stop U-boats; all German ships in New York Harbor are taken over by Customs; (1917) * (nyct)

I) Asa Philip Randolph American labor leader. In 1917 he organized a small union of elevator operators in N.Y. Randolph won recognition for the "Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (1925) and pay increases and shorter hours. * (c.e.)

j) John Joseph Burke born in NYC founded the National Catholic War Council to co-ordinate Catholic war activities. * (docb)


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1) A new typewriting speed record was established by Margaret B. Owen in New York City, when she typed 170 words a minute with no errors, October21, 1918. *(afp.com)

2) To ease growing traffic congestion, New York City installs the first semaphore, a crude electric traffic signal borrowed from railroad technology, to aid police officers directing traffic. The device is installed in a control tower at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. *nyca

3) Early in August, the so-called "H" system of the subway line was opened. This consisted of the newly-constructed Lexington Avenue, or East Side, trunk line, and the Seventh Avenue or West Side Line, with the Forty-second Street cross tie, between the Grand Central Station and Times Square, thereafter operated as a shuttle to permit passengers to exchange, west to east and vice-versa. * (NYS History) Vol. I

4) March 31, 1918. daylight savings law goes into effect in Brooklyn. *


5) Broadhurst Theater at 235 W 44th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues was completed in 1918. Architect Herbert J Krapp * (jd)

6) Plymouth Theater at 236 W 45th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues was completed in 1918. The architect was: Herbert J Krapp. * (jd)

7) The first election in which the women of New York were given the right to vote was a special one on March 5, 1918 to fill the vacancies in 4 congressional districts of greater New York. * (NYS History)

8) Foreign Policy Association at 470 Park avenue So. in New York City was established in 1918.

9 ) American Jewish Congress at 15 E. 84th street in New York City was established in 1918. * (t.a.)

10) A new express company known as the American Railways Express Company was organized in 1918 by the Adams American Southern and Wells Fargo Companies. * (NYS History)

11) David Mannes, American violinist and educator born in NYC inaugurated free concerts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1918. * (c.e.)

12) Rosa Ponselle, American operatic soprano. She made her debut (1918) at the Metropolitan Opera New York, in Verdi's "La Forza Del Destino." * (c.e.)

13) In 1918 the flu killed more New Yorkers; 12,562 in New York City and 20,000 in New York State, than any plague in the city's history. In relative numbers it was by no means the most deadly epidemic. IN 1832, 1849, 1854 and 1866 when the population was smaller, cholera killed proportionally more. * (c.e.)

14) The Brooklyn Jewish Center, 667 Eastern Parkway, is one of the two oldest synagogue-centers in the U.S. Founded in 1918, its million-dollar structure has been a Brooklyn landmark since 1920. The first synagogue in Brooklyn with complete facilities for cultural, social, educational and athletic activities, its program set the pattern for the establishment of other large synagogue-centers in Brooklyn. * (ajtg)

Continue on Page: 4  (1919-1925)



 

 

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