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) On June 20, 1941, Samuel Jesse Battle, by then a Lieutenant in the NYPD's Sixth Division in Harlem, was named by Mayor LaGuardia, to fill the remainder of Gehrig's unexpired term running to January, 1950. He became the first Black commissioner of NYC Correction. (NYCH)

2) 1941 The first department of physical medicine and rehabilitation in the United States is established at NYU. *(NYU)

3) 1941 - The first contract for advertising on a commercial FM radio station began on W 71 NY in New York City. *(a.com)

4) Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. is the first black member of the City Council; then the first black member of Congress, representing Harlem. * (nyct)

5) The Junior Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street in New York City was established in 1941. * (Museums)

6) American Committee of Jewish Writers, Artists and Scientists, Inc. at 119 W. 57 Street, New York, New York, was established 1941.

7) Jewish Socialist Verband of America at 175 E. Broadway, N.Y.C. was established in 1941. * (ajyb)

8) Ort Trade School one of the two in the U.S. and in New York City. Here more than 5,000 persons have learned such trades as radio and television, machine shop, costume jewelry, architectural and mechanical drafting. The school was established in 1941 to provide free vocational training to Jewish refugees, displaced persons and other newcomers as a means of helping them adapt themselves to the American way of Life. * (ajtg)

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1) The largest housing development of the time, Parkchester, in the Bronx, was undertaken by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Completed in 1942, it housed forty thousand residents and had parks, playgrounds, sculptures, convenience stores, and movie theaters.

2) Frank Sinatra, made his first appearance at the Paramount Theater on Dec. 30, 1942.

3) Alfred Kazin from Brooklyn, N.Y. an American literary critic. Kazin's first book of criticism was "On Native Grounds" published in 1942. * (Benet's)

4) American Geriatrics Society, 770 Lexington Ave, New York was founded 1942. *( t.a.)

5) Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), 30 Cooper Square in New York City was founded in 1942. * (t.a.)

6) Committee for Economic Development, 477 Madison avenue, New York was founded in 1942. * (t.a.)

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1) "Oklahoma!" opened on Broadway, March 31, 1943. *(afp.com)

2) The U. S. Merchant Marine Academy situated at Kings Point, New York on the north shore of L.I. was dedicated on September 30, 1943.

3) Rent control is established as a war-time measure. * (nyct)

4) American Council for Judaism, Inc. at 201 E. 57 st. N.Y.C. established 1943. The purpose of this organization Seeks to advance the universal principles of a Judaism free of nationalism, and the national, civic, cultural and social integration of Americans of Jewish faith.* (ajyb)

1944

1) Chapel of the Sacred Heart, Rikers Island, First services, Christmas Eve, Rev. Anthony N. Glaser, S.J. Catholic Chaplin, Dec. 25, 1944.

2) Harvey, a play by Mary Coyle Chase, about a six-foot rabbit invisible to all except Elwood P. Dowd, opened at the Forty-Eighth Street Theatre in New York City, 1944. (AFP.com)

3) Jerome Robbins, an American choreographer and dancer, born in NYC, The first ballet he choreographed, Fancy Free (1944) * (Bartleby)

4) National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at 12 W. 21st street New York City was founded 1944. * (t.a.)

5) Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City was founded in 1944.

1945

1) United Nations Headquarters, based in New York City at 42 E. 48thStreet at First Avenue was created in 1945 as an instrument of world peace and unity.

2) On July 28, 1945, a B-25 Bomber, blinded by foggy conditions crashed into the 78th and 79th floor of the Empire State
Building, causing three separate fires within the building and killing fourteen people.

3) 1945: Gimbels Sells The First Ball-Point Pen. On October 29, 1945, more than 5,000 excited shoppers crammed into Gimbels Department Store on West 33rd Street in Manhattan to see the latest innovation: the ball-point pen. (Newsday.com - C. Blair)

4) Elizabeth Hardwick, American critic, essayist and editor. Her first book was "The Ghostly Lover" (1945) Her first essays were first published in the New York Review of Books, where she has been an editor for many years. * (Benet's)

5) Children's Book Council, 568 Broadway, in New York City was founded in 1945. * (t.a.)

6) The first eye bank in the United States, Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, Inc., was founded in New York City in 1945. * (bartleby)

7) Charles Christopher Parker Jr. American musician and composer. He formed a quartet which made (1945) the first bop, or bebop, records and thus became the leaders of the Bop movement in Jazz. * (c.e.)

1946

1) Annie Get Your Gun opened on Broadway, May 16,1946. *(afp.com)

2) The Iceman Cometh, a play by Eugene O'Neill, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York City, October 9,
1946. *(afp.com)

3) The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. was founded in 1946. * (t.a.)

4) Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. 371 E. Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, N.Y. was established in 1946. * (t.a.)

5) National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 733 Third Avenue in New York City was established in 1946.

6) Consultative Council of Jewish Organizations at 386 Fourth Ave., N.Y.C. was established in 1946. * (ajyb)

7) Jewish Librarians Association (1946) 40 W. 68 Street N.Y.C. * (ajyb)

1947

1) Jackie Robinson Breaks Baseball's Color Barrier. On April 15, 1947,JackieRobinson made history by becoming the first
African-American to play in a major league baseball game. (newsday.com)

2) The Institute of Industrial Medicine is established. *(NYU)

3) The first of Louis Stanton Auchicloss, an American novelist, short-story writer, essayist and biographer many novels was "The
Indifferent Children" (1947) * (Benet's)

4) International Council on Educational Exchange was founded in 1947. * (t.a.)

5) School of Visual Arts in New York City was founded in 1947.

6) James (Albert) Michener American novelist. His first novel was "Tales of the South Pacific (1947) which won a Pulitzer Prize and made into a Broadway musical "South Pacific" (1949). * (Benet's)

7) Elia Kazan American theatrical director and producer. With Cheryl Crawford he founded (1947) the Actors' Studio in New York City. * (c.e.)

8) Arthur Miller, American dramatist born in NYC. His first important work was "All My Sons" (1947). * (c.e.)

9) Richard Wilbur, American poet his first volume of verse "The Beautiful Changes" appeared in 1947. * (c.e.)

10) Captain Jacob Joseph Playground, dedicated by the City of New York in 1947 to the memory of the son of Lazarus Joseph and the great-grandson of the Chief Rabbi. Captain Joseph, a Marine, was killed in action at Guadalcanal during World War II. * (ajtg)

1948

1) In New York City, Idlewild International Airport (later Kennedy International Airport ) first opens.

2) George Balanchine, a preeminent American Choreographer, trained in Russia, and danced for years with Paris's innovative Ballets Russes, becomes the first director of the New York City Ballet.

3) 1948 University Hospital is created through a merger of the New York Post-Graduate Hospital and New York Skin and Cancer Hospital. *(NYU)

4) The first published novel of Norman Mailer, an American writer from Brooklyn, N.Y. was "The Naked and the Dead (1948). * (Benet's)

5) 1948 Rex Harrison takes his first Broadway bows in Maxwell Anderson's Anne of the Thousand Days.

6) American Society of Journalists and Authors, 1501 Broadway in New York City was established in 1948. * (t.a.)

7) The first Tony Awards are presented, named after actress Antoinette "Tony" Perry . * (nyct)

8) Col. David Marcus Memorial Foundation, Inc. (1948) 19 E. 70 Street N.Y.C.* (ajyb)

9) Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc. (1948) 175 E. Broadway, N.Y.C. * (ajyb)

10) Brookhaven National Laboratory Brookhaven, Long Island, S.E. N.Y. opened on January 1, 1948. It is one of the nation's oldest atomic energy testing & research centers.* (c.e.)

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1) "South Pacific" opened on Broadway, April 7,1949. *(afp.com)

2) Paul Bowles, American writer and composer born in Queens, N.Y. His first two books "The Sheltering Sky (1949) a novel, and the short-story collection "The Delicate Prey (1950)

3) Leukemia Society of America at 600 Third Avenue, in New York City was established in 1949. *(t.a.)

4) Arthur Miller's Pulitzer prize winning Death of a Salesman opens on Broadway

5) Office for Jewish Population Research (1949) 386 Fourth Avenue N.Y.C.* (ajyb)

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1) New York City's Port Authority first opens and will become the world's busiest bus terminal.  The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel
opened on May 25, 1950 at a cost of $90million. The 9,117-foot-long tunnel, which remains today the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world, was a success from the very beginning, carrying approximately 41,000
vehicles per day during its first full year of operation in 1951. The crossing was to connect two pieces of Robert Moses' rapidly expanding arterial network: the West Side Highway in Manhattan, and the "Circumferential bypass" (later known as the Gowanus Expressway and the Belt Parkway) in Brooklyn.

2) National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, 475 Riverside Drive in New York City was established in 1950. * (t.a.)

3) National Haym Salomon Memorial Committee, Inc. (1950) 140 W. 42 St., N.Y.C.* (ajyb)

4) United Fund for Jewish Culture (1950) 175 E. Broadway, N.Y.C.* (ajyb)

5) Eileen Farrell, American dramatic soprano, She first appeared in New York City in 1950 at Carnegie Hall. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1960 . * (bartleby)

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 1) Andre Eglevsky, American ballet dancer. After 1951 he became "premier danseur" of the NYC Ballet. * (c.e.)

2)  The Senate Crime Committee which came to be called the Kefauver committee had its first open hearing on the morning of March 12, 1951 in the 3rd floor courtroom of the Federal building on Foley Square in NYC.

3) Edward Roberts Moore born in NYC, served in St. Peter's the oldest NYC parish in 1919-1923, recorded his "Roman Collar" (1951) *(docb)

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1) A small park on Houston Street, between First Ave. and Ave. A. was named Peretz Square. The dedication of Peretz Square on
November 23, 1952, marked the first time in American history that a government had given official recognition to a Yiddish writer.

2) West Side Story" opened on Broadway, September 26, 1957. *(afp.com)

3) New York's Franklin National Bank issues the first credit card. * (NYCT)

4) " The Natural " (1952), was the first novel of Bernard Malamud, an American novelist and short-story writer from Brooklyn, N.Y. * (Benet's)

5) Anheuser-Busch ignited a 100-foot-long, 85-foot-high spectacular atop the Brill Building at 49th and Broadway in November 1952.

6) Lever House is the first of many International Style office buildings on Park Avenue

7) New York's Franklin National Bank issues the first credit card. * (nyct)

8) Frank O'Hara, American poet, art critic and playwright. O'Hara's first interest was in music. His first volume of Poetry, A City In Winter (1952) attracted favorable attention. * (Benet's)

9) Gordon Bunshaft, American architect and chief designer for the architectural firm of Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Bunshaft was responsible for Lever House, Manhattan's first glass-curtain-wall skyscraper (1952)

10) A small park on Houston Street, between First Ave. and Ave. A, was named Peretz Square on the centennial of the birth of Isaac Loeb Peretz. The dedication of Peretz Square on Nov. 23, 1952, marked the first time in American history that a government had given official recognition to a Yiddish writer. The park is in the heart of the old East Side where for two generations Yiddish literature and drama flowered and impressed itself indelibly on the lives and hearts of American Jewry. * (ajtg)

Continue on Page: 8  (1953-1963)


 

 

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