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Old New York History

Read about one of the darkest days in the city's history: the New York City Draft Riots...

In Search of the Average New Yorker (Coronet Magazine, 1941)

A well-known writer consulted many different sources about that rarest of species, the New Yorker - he came away with these many different replies:

- from Amazon:

"Yeah. New Yorkers are suckers, all right. They think they are so much smarter than anybody else, but they're the biggest suckers of them all."


Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (Coronet Magazine, 1956)

An exceptional article about Fiorello LaGuardia (1882 1947), who is remembered to have been one of the great mayors of New York City (1934 - 1945). Written by a fellow who knew him well, you get a sense of his energy, humor and strong sense of civic duty:

"At exactly midnight on January 1, 1934, Fiorello H. LaGuardia took the oath of office as Mayor of New York City. At exactly one minute after midnight, he ordered the arrest of the most notorious gangster in town: Lucky Luciano. This jet-propelled momentum never let up during the next 12 years."

The article is composed of a series of anecdotes that clearly illustrate his humanity, making you feel somewhat at a loss for never having known him yourself.

Even today, LaGuardia's memory is so revered that New Yorkers conveniently forget that he was a Republican.

Click here to read about the NYC air-raid wardens of W. W. II...


VE-Day in New York (Philadelphia Record, 1945)

"New York City's reaction was a snowstorm of wastepaper that cascaded from buildings as the people shouted and sang in the streets. Others openly wept and prayed on sidewalks... News of the surrender spread like wildfire on Wall Street and set off an all morning celebration by jubilant downtown workers who left their jobs."


One Tough New York City Cop (Collier's Magazine, 1941)

"Few Times Square tourists recognize Johnny Broderick, but New York mobsters cringe at the mention of his name. Meet Broadway's one-man riot squad in his own bailiwick, where the lights are brightest."

The words and deeds of Johnny Broderick were so widely known that visiting politicians would request that he take charge of their security details and the broadcasting moguls wanted to make radio shows celebrating his daring-do. His round-house punch was known far and wide; cops like this one do not come along too often.


The Quarantined New Yorker (Pathfinder Magazine, 1932)

"New York has a strange exile. She is now in her sixties, this woman has been isolated on North Brother Island, way up the East River, for 17 years and must spend the rest of her life there."


One Year in the Life of NYC (Literary Digest, 1937)

"Within twelve months time the following things happen in New York":

One hundred thousand New Yorkers are born.
Five thousand of them die.
Twelve thousand New Yorkers die in car accidents.
Sixty thousand New Yorkers are married.
1,350 New Yorkers commit suicide etc., etc., etc.,


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