CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina
S E C T
I O N
1 9 3
3 --- 1 9
*Please note this is a work in progress. New
researched information will be added periodically.
1 9 3 3
1) The American Museum of Natural History Planetarium
Authority was established by the State of New York 1933.
2 Grand Central Parkway opens, from Kew Gardens to the
Nassau County Line.
3) .King Kong, the motion picture, premiered in New York,
March 2, 1933. *(afp.com)
4) General Electric Building at 30 Rockefeller Center was
built in 1933. * (t.a.)
5) Brooklynite Lena Horne begins her career as a chorus girl
at Harlem's Cotton Club . * (nyct)
6) Heywood Campbell Broun, author born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
founded the Newspaper Guild in 1933 and became its first
president. * (docb)
7) Jewish Labor Committee 175 E. Broadway, N.Y.C.
established 1933. * (ajyb)
8) Heywood Campbell Broun from Brooklyn, N.Y. He was a
founder of the American Newspaper Guild and its first
president from 1933 until his death. * (c.e.)
9) Eleanor Roosevelt, American humanitarian born in NYC. In
1933 she held the first press conference ever held by a
Presidents' wife. She started in 1935 a daily Column "My
Day" syndicated in many newspapers.* (c.e.)
10) Olga Samaroff, American Pianist and educator. She
founded the Layman's Music Course Inc. in 1933. * (c.e.)
1 9 3 4
1) Cole Porter's Anything Goes opened at the Alvin Theatre
in New York City. The show ran for 420 performances. *(a.com)
2) Fiorello La Guardia is elected to his first of three
terms as mayor. * (NYCT)
3) The Bronx County Building (1934) located at 161st St. and
Grand Concourse, by Joseph H. Freedlander and Max Hausle, is
a modern courthouse. * (NY Guide)
4) Apollo Theater at 253 West 125th Street, (7th and 8th
Ave) in Harlem, first introduced its world-famous Amateur
Night in 1934, which launched the careers of legendary
artists like Ella Fitzgerald.
5) The Apollo Theatre changes ownership and blacks are
allowed in the audience; Bessie Smith sings the blues on
opening night. * (nyct)
6) In 1934, the Mutual Broadcasting System was created to
serve the increasing number of radio stations on the air at
that time. During the 1940s, two additional radio networks
were founded, the DuMont Network (1946) and the Liberty
Broadcasting System (1949). They played an important role in
the broadcast industry of their time, but later bowed to the
giant networks and
their well-established affiliates.* (tvhbk)
7) 1934 - The first college basketball game at the Garden is
played, between the University of Notre Dame and New York
8) Henry Miller, an American author born in NYC. Miller's
first publication and perhaps best known works "Tropic of
Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939). * (c.e.)
9) Micheal Joseph Quill, American labor leader. IN 1934 he
helped to organize the "Transport workers Union of America."
10) The New School for Social Research is at 66 West Twelfth
St. just east of Sixth Ave. Here, in 1934, was organized the
University in Exile, its teachers being drw=awn from the
brilliant political and religious exiles from Nazi Germany.
This unique institution is now the school's Graduate Faculty
of Political and Social Science. * (ajtg)
1 9 3 5
1) East River Drive construction begins.
2) Porgy & Bess" opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre,
running for 16 weeks, followed by a three month road tour,
October 10, 1935. *(afp.com)
3) The nation's first public housing project opens at Avenue
A and East 3rd Street. * (nyct)
4) The Frick Museum at 1 East 70th Street, New York City,
first opened as a museum in 1935. It was built in 1913 by
Carere & Hastings. The Building housing the Frick Collection
is a fine example of how people of extreme wealth lived in
N.Y.C. in the early part of this century. * (Museums)
5) Alfred Drake, American singer, actor, and director, b.
New York City, originally named Alfred Capurro. Drake first
appeared on stage in 1935 in The Mikado. * (Bartleby)
6) Alcoholics Anonymous at 475 Riverside dr in New York City
was founded in 1935. * (t.a.)
7) Hofra University in Hempstead, N.Y. was founded in 1935.
8) In 1935 Gerard Hordijk, an artist and painter, made his
first trip to New York City where he exhibited at the
contemporary Arts Gallery, painted the N.Y. Sky-line, and
drew the dancers at Balanchine's American Ballet School at
their daily practice. * (Hollanders)
9) Conference on Jewish Relations, Inc. (1935) 1841 Broadway
N.Y.C. * (ajyb)
10) Kirsten Flagstad. In 1935 she made her debut at the
Metropolitan Opera, New York as Sieglinde in Wagner's Die
Walkure and was soon acclaimed as the greatest living
Wagnerian soprano.* (c.e.)
11) Muriel Rukeyser, American poet born in NYC. Her first
volume of poems "Theory of Flight" appeared in 1935. * (c.e.)
12) Maxwell Anderson's play Winterset opens on Broadway.
Written in a poetic form, the play is based on the
Sacco-Vanzetti case. * (t.a.a.)
1 9 3 6
1) Opening a new era of Arterial Access. The Triborough
Bridge opened on July 11, 1936 at a cost of $60.3 million.
2) Life Magazine is founded. * (nyct)
3) The Children's Hour, a play by Lillian Hellman (1936) It
was Hellman's first Broadway success. * (Benet's)
4) Marymount Manhattan College in New York City was
founded in 1936. * (t.a.)
5) The American Labor Party was organized in New York by
Labor Leaders and Liberals in 1936 primarily to support
Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and the men favoring it in
national and local elections. * (c.e.)
6) Riker's Island penitentiary opens.
7) Anne O'Hare McCormick, journalist. In 1936 she became
the first woman to be appointed to the New York Times
Magazine editorial board. *(docb)
1 9 3 7
1) Look magazine is founded. * (NYCT)
2) The city's first woman to serve as a juror from the
Bronx, was Anne Farley.
3) In 1937 the Guggenheim foundation, with the capacity for
creating a museum, was established and in 1939 it opened a
public showcase at 24 E. 54th Street. * (Fifth Avenue)
4) Queens College, in Flushing, N.Y., was founded in 1937.
5) Jerome Robbins, American choreographer and dancer born in
NYC. He began his career dancing in musical comedy (1937).
His first ballet "Fancy Free" 1944 was expanded into the
musical "On the Town" the same year. * (c.e.)
6) The valuable Bache Collection, housed in the five-story
former home of Jules S. Bache, at 814 Fifth Ave. (62nd St.),
was opened to the public in 1937. All of the works in the
collection are earlier than the 18th century. There are
paintings by Rembrandt, Titian, Botticelli, Goya, Velasquez,
Raphael, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Holbein. * (ajtg)
1 9 3 8
1) First practical, low-voltage florescent lamp marketed
(air-conditioning first used for offices in the late 1920s).
2) On April 23, 1938, The Coast Guard Air Station, Floyd
Bennett Field was established.
3) Protective baseball helmets were worn by batters for the
very first time. * (a.com)
4) Charles F. Carlson invents the xerox process in Astoria,
Queens. * (nyct)
5) Euthanasia Society of America was founded on November 30,
6) The Hastings School of Animation in New York City was
organized in 1938.
7) Charlie Parker, called "Bird," was a world-famous alto
saxophonist and jazz composer. Parker first arrived in New
York City in 1938 or 1939, and soon established himself as
one of jazz's most gifted and influential performers. He
moved into the apartment at the height of his career, having
achieved considerable success and renown as the co-founder
of bebop, the modern jazz style that he and trumpeter Dizzy
Gillispie created in New York City during the mid-1940s * (nyclc)
8) 1938 Uta Hagen makes her Broadway debut in a production
of Chekhov's The Seagull.
9) Erich Leinsdorf, American conductor. He made his debut as
an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera House in
10) Delmore Schwartz, American poet born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
His first work "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" appeared
in 1938.* (c.e.)
11) 1938 First practical, low-voltage florescent lamp
marketed (air-conditioning first used for offices in the
late 1920s) * (stl)
1 9 3 9
1) New York City's La Guardia Airport first opens.
2) Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The first section of the
Brooklyn-Queens Connecting Highway, which connected Meeker
Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Queens Boulevard (NY 25) in
Woodside, Queens, opened to traffic in1939. The next section
of the BQE, a stretch of six-lane elevated highway between
the Williamsburg and Kosciuszko bridges, opened to traffic
3) Television in the United States made its formal debut at
the World's Fair in New York City on Sunday April 30, 1939
with the first
Presidential address on Television by Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The signal was sent by theTelemobile (RCA's mobile
Television van) to the Empire State transmitter and
rebroadcast. * (mztv.com)
4) 1939 Jonas Salk, developer of the first vaccine against
polio, receives his M.D. degree at NYU. *(NYU)
5) William Saroyan, an Armenian-American, whose first
Broadway successes were "My Heart's in the Highlands (1939)
and Time of Your Life. * (Concise)
6) Dorothy Schiff becomes New York City's first female
newspaper publisher, publishing The New York Post. (1939) *
7) United Jewish Appeal, 99 Park avenue in New York City was
founded in 1939.
8) 22,000 are drawn to a Nazi "Americanism" rally at Madison
Square Garden. * (nyct)
9) Columbia University physicists split the atom * (nyct)
10) American Biblical Encyclopedia Society, Inc. Torah
Shelemah 114 Liberty St., N.Y.C.1939 * (ajyb)
11) Dorothy Schiff becomes New York City's first female
newspaper publisher, publishing The New York Post. (1939) *
12) Wallace Kirkman Harrison, American architect. He
designed the Trylon and Perisphere, the symbolizing
structures for the N.Y. World's fair.* (c.e.)
1 9 4 0
1) Queens-Midtown Tunnel. It opened on November 15, 1940,
and was the largest non-Federal project of its time. In
1936, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia created the New York City
Tunnel Authority to construct a twin-tube tunnel that had
been proposed six years earlier between the East Side of
Manhattan and Long Island City, Queens.
2) CBS engineer Peter Carl Goldmark made the first
experimental broadcast of color television from the top of
the Chrysler Building in 1940. (newsday.com- C. Blair)
3) The first blood bank is opened by Dr. Charles Drew.
4) Carson (Smith) McCullers, American novelist and short
story writer, recognized as one of the most talented writers
of her generation. Her first novel "The Heart is a Lonely
Hunter" published in 1940. * (Benet's)
5) Batman makes his first appearance in Gotham City (New
6) Hebrew Literary Foundation, Inc.(1940) 1141 Broadway,
7) February 28, 1940 - Basketball is televised for the first
time ( Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh).
8) Adolph Gottlieb, American painter born in NYC. In the
1940s Gottlieb created "pictographs" primitivistic symbols
set in grid-like pattern. * (c.e.)
9) Columbia university physicists were already building the
world's first atomic furnace, or pile, on the seventh floor
of the Pupen building. On January 20, 1940 the first federal
grant for atomic energy research was awarded to Columbia. *
10) Dr. Simon Baruch Playground, opened in 1940 by the
Department of Parks. The Housing Authority has donated
additional land to be incorporated into the playground. A
bronze bust of Bernard Baruch was unveiled there at the
dedication ceremonies of the Baruch Houses. * (ajtg)
Continue on Page: 7 (1941-1952)