"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.,
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...
"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.
In the early Fifties many of the people from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico decided to pack their bags and move to New York City. Overnight, it seemed, a portion of Harlem came to be known as "Spanish Harlem" - where hastily assembled mambo dance halls could be found among restaurants serving the exotic cuisine of the Caribbean. There were also complications that emerged with the new comers that are addressed in this 1955 article:
"Today, however, there is a forceful change taking place, an influence so great that New York City officials have forecast a startling racial shift within a few years and are already making plans for meeting this switch..."
When this article hit the newsstands, W.W. II was in full swing throughout many parts of Asia, Europe and North Africa. America had not yet committed itself to the war, but the grim, far-seeing souls who ran New York City recognized that it was inevitable - and much to their credit, they had been studying the possibility of New York City air raids since 1939.
Another article about wartime N.Y. can be read here...
Who could write an accurate assessment of social New York better than a celebrated Broadway playwright? Exactly; that is why we were so happy to find this essay by Clare Boothe Luce (1903 – 1987) on just that very topic:
"The New York Social Register for 1931 contained about thirty-five thousand names, an increase of fifteen thousand over the Social Register of 1914; and the fourteen social registers of the largest American cities contained more than one hundred thousand names - an increase of over fifty thousand names during the same length of time."
These figures are particularly remarkable when one considers that the social register of exactly one hundred years ago, Longworth's New York Directory, boasted exactly eighteen names."
From Amazon: Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce