( Updated 4 / 4 / 2004 )

Encouraged by Urban League editor Charles S. Johnson, writer Zora Neale Hurston moves from Washington, D. C. to New York.

Jan 1
Metropolitan Opera stars Lucrezia Bori and John McCormack make their radio singing radio debuts.

Jan 5
James Gleason and Richard Taber's Is Zat So? has its premiere in New York City.

Jan 28
Temperatures in New York City plunge to 2 degrees below 0 F, lowest here for this date.

Feb 21
The New Yorker magazine begins publication.

Feb 24
The explosive thermite is first used to break up an ice jam, at Waddington.

Mar 7
The Rochester Bureau of Municipal Research study of various forms of municipal government across the country is made public. A charter for a council/city manager government will be drafted as a result.

Apr 6
Having just moved into new quarters, Crane and Franzheim's new Guild Theatre at 243-259 West 42nd Street, the Theatre Guild holds a housewarming. Their old home, the Garrick, reverts to Shubert management.

Apr 7
George Eastman resigns as president of Kodak.

Apr 13
The "music photo drama" Siegfried has its American premiere at Rochester's Kilbourn Hall.

Apr 14
Actor Rod Steiger is born in Westhampton.

Apr 18
Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace Gilbert dies in Rochester, at the age of 85.

Apr 23
Temperatures in New York City climb to 84 degrees F, highest here for this date.

The scheduled seasonal startup of Manitou Beach trolley service along Lake Ontario north of Rochester does not take place.

May 13
The site of Rochester's old Main Street Liberty Pole is marked by a tablet.

May 31
Living Theatre founder-producer Julian Beck is born in New York City

Zora Neale Hurston's "Spunk" is printed in Opportunity.

Jun 3
Actor Bernard Schwartz (Tony Curtis) is born in New York City.

Jun 8
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's The Garrick Gaieties opens at New York's Garrick Theater, starring Sterling Holloway and Romney Brent. Songs include "Sentimental Me". It runs for 14 performances, returns next year.

Jun 23
A Council-Manager Charter is introduced in the Rochester Common Council.

Jun 25
A woman named Alta Pease is killed when she falls from a 13th-floor window of New York City's Belmont Hotel.

Jul 28
Rochester's Common Council adopts the Council-Manager Charter.

Aug 1
Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer buy the Modern Library from Boni and Liveright.

Aug 14
Honeoye Falls entrepreneur Ben Peer runs the annual Sons of Italy Field Day at Holley, donating his share of proceeds to a fund to build an American Legion hall in H-F.

Aug 25
The Manitou Beach trolley line is put on the market. Service is never resumed.

Hurston enters Barnard College, it's only black student. Her article "The Hue and Cry about Howard University", dealing with the denigration of negro spirituals, is published in The Messenger, a Harlem journal published by A. Philip Randolph.

Sep 21
Rudolf Friml's operetta The Vagabond King, based on a 1901 stage version of Huntly McCarthy's novel If I Were King, in turn based on the life of poet François Villon, opens at New York's Casino Theatre.

Oct 3
Novelist-essayist Eugene Luther Vidal, Jr. (Gore Vidal) is born in West Point.

Oct 10
Author Janet Flanner (Genet) begins writing the Letter from Paris for the New Yorker.

Oct 13
Playwright Frank Gilroy is born in New York City. ** Comedian Leonard Alfred Schneider (Lenny Bruce) is born in Mineola. ** Jed Harris and Leonard Blumberg's Broadway production of Weak Sisters opens; it will receive weak reviews.

Oct 16
Jed Harris gives his first interview, to a reporter for the New York World.

Nov 3
Rochester voters approve the new city-manager government.

Nov 22
Composer-conductor-French-horn player Gunther Schuller is born in New York City.

Nov 24
Columnist-author-talk show host William F. Buckley is born in New York City.

Nov 26
Pianist Eugene Istomin is born in New York City.

Dec 3
George Gershwin's Concerto in F has its premiere in New York City.

Dec 8
The Marx Brothers open at New York's Lyric Theatre in The Coconuts. ** Actor singer-dancer Sammy Davis Jr. is born in New York City.

Dec 9
Actress and Post Cereal fortune heir Nedenia Hutton (Dina Merrill) is born in New York City.

Dec 11
Broadway producer Jed Harris marries Anita Greenbaum in a civil ceremony at New York's City Hall.

Dec 18
A fire destroys Batavia's Pioneer Sheds and 85 automobiles.

The Subtreasury Building on Wall Street becomes Federal Hall National Monument, to commemorate the spot where Washington took his oath of office as president. ** The old Madison Square Garden is torn down and replaced by Cass Gilbert's headquarters for the New York Life Insurance Company. ** Emery Roth and Carrère and Hastings 40-story Ritz Tower apartment building at 109 East 57th at Park Avenue is completed. ** State senator James John Walker defeats incumbent mayor John F. Hylan in a Democratic primary and goes on to defeat Republican Frank D. Waterman and Socialist Norman Thomas. He will serve 1926-1932, winning re-election once. ** Ernest Jarvis, future contractor of Loews movie palaces, and a cousin of Senator Jacob Javits, camps out in front of the dean's office at Columbia University until he is accepted into its engineering school. ** The New York stock market sets record high closings 59 times this year, a record not to be equaled until 1964. ** Future chairman of the New York Stock Exchange Henry Miller Watts Jr. graduates from Harvard University. ** Richard F. Walsh is elected president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local No. 4, in Brooklyn. ** High-profile lawyer Simon H. Rifkind receives his LL. B. degree from Columbia. ** The New York World journalist Alexander Cameron Sedgwick joins The New York Times to cover local news. ** Future New York Times Book Review editor Francis Brown earns a bachelor's degree in science from Dartmouth College. ** Mount Sinai Hospital publishes the first American textbook on thoracic surgery. ** WEAF premieres the Victor Hour a program of classical music. ** The Americans team enters the National Hockey League. ** Actor-writer George Abbott brings a script he's written with poet John V. A. Weaver to young producer Jake Horowitz, who decides to change his name to Jed Harris and to produce the play, Love 'Em and Leave 'Em. ** Zora Neale Hurston submits two stories, "Black Death" and "Spunk", and a poem, "Color Struck", to Opportunity. Wins two second places. At awards dinner she meets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and novelists Carl Van Vechten, Annie Nathan Meyer and Fannie Hurst. She goes to work for Hurst, first as a secretary, then as just a chauffeur and companion, Also works for Barnard College founder Meyer as an occasional domestic. "Spunk" is printed in Alain Locke's The New Negro.

Fillmore Glen, near Moravia, becomes a state park. ** The village of Warsaw purchases the Wyoming County Agricultural Society fairgrounds. During the Depression it will be turned into a village park as a work project. ** Perry's Commodore Hotel is built by popular subscription after local interests raise $100,000. ** Geneva's electric trolley service is shut down. ** The Appalachian Trail Conference is formed, to coordinate the building of the trail. ** The Great Lakes steamer T. P. Phelan, berthed in Toronto, is sold to the Buffalo Sand & Gravel Corporation. She's converted to a sandsucker over the winter and renamed for one of the owners, Howard S. Gerken. ** Irondequoit's St. Paul Boulevard Fire Association builds a stationhouse on Cooper Road. ** Albany's North Pearl Street, dead-ending at Pleasant Street on its north end, is extended through into the city's North End neighborhood. Builder Eddie Carey constructs ten new houses along the cut-through. ** Albert H. Baker is elected Monroe County Sheriff. ** Buffalo's Huff Feeding Corporation's piggery closes and the Buffalo City Dump is relocated to the site. ** Large trees are transplanted to along Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda, the process supervised by L. P. A. Eberhardt.

Clubwoman Kate Fisher McCool has the monument "Herald of the Dawn" erected in Grandview Cemetery, in honor of her mother Alice Fisher and husband Daniel McCool. ** Alice Monteith Gould sells her Main Street restaurant to Mary Sweetland. It will later be named the Berry Patch.

Il Popolo Republican is formed in the city to draw local Italians to the Republican Party. Paul Napodana leads the organization for many years. ** The city adopts the city-manager plan of government. ** An Italian Business Men's Association is formed. ** A deluxe Browncroft bus line is established. ** The Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E) constructs a headquarters building, at 89 East Avenue. ** Early radio pioneer Lawrence G. Hickson, owner of the Hickson Electric Company, sets up a transmitter in the back of his store. He builds studios in the Seneca Hotel. The station takes its initials from his store - WHEC.


Jan 23
Eugene O'Neill's The Great God Brown premieres in New York City.

Jan 31
U. S. Army photographers, with the cooperation of Eastman Kodak, drop flash powder bombs over Rochester, enabling them to take the first night aerial photographs.

Jed Harris's production of George Abbott's Love `Em and Leave `Em opens on Broadway.

Feb 22
Broadway showman Earl Carroll throws a party at his Seventh Avenue theater.

Feb 23
A young lady bathes nude in a tub of champagne at Carroll's party. ** The Rochester Printing Company, owner of the Democrat and Chronicle, buys the Rochester Herald and shuts it down.

Mar 3
Poet James Ingram Merrill is born in New York City to Charles Merrill (co-founder of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith) and Mrs. Merrill.

May 13
Actress Bea Arthur is born in New York City.

May 30
Sex change pioneer Christine Jorgensen is born in New York City.

The artists' colony of Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs, begins receiving its first guests.

Jun 28
Film director and actor Melvin Kaminsky (Mel Brooks) is born in Brooklyn.

A monument is erected at Caledonia to the Scots pioneers of the area. ** Trolley service in Hornell is discontinued.

Jul 9
Nathaniel Hawthorne's daughter Rose dies, in Hawthorne, New York.

Aug 13
Singer Anthony Benedetto (Tony Bennett) is born in New York City.

Aug 21
A replica of John Hancock's Boston house is dedicated in Ticonderoga as the headquarters of the New York State Historical Association.

Ghost Train opens at Broadway's Eltinge Theater, Happy go Lucky at the Liberty; both flop. Abie's Irish Rose is a success at the Republic.

Sep 16
Broadway has it's Broadway premiere at the Broadhurst Theater.

Nov 12
The temperature in New York City drops to 26 degrees F, a record low here for this date.

Nov 15
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) premieres, beaming a radio program including the New York Symphony, singer Mary Garden, the Vincent Lopez Orchestra, comedian Will Rogers and the vaudeville team of Weber and Fields, to an audience of 12,000,000 people. The cost is $50,000.

Nov 16
Temperatures in New York City drop to 26 degrees F, the lowest here for this date.

Nov 25
Playwright Murray Schisgal is born in New York City.

Dec 27
Depot Square in the Bronx is renamed Botanical Square; Latkin Square is named for the first U. S. Jewish soldier to die in World War I.

Starrett & Van Vleck's Downtown Athletic Club on West Street is built. ** Three tabloids - the Daily News, the Daily Mirror, and the Evening Gazette - capture a combined readership of 1,500,000. ** Two members of the Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York purchase land (later Gaelic Park) at Broadway and 240th Street in the Bronx. ** Mark Koenig becomes starting shortstop for the New York Yankees. ** The New York Rangers hockey team is founded. ** 100,000 people march in the annual Brooklyn-Queens Day parade, an offshoot of the Sunday school movement - also known as Rally Day or Anniversary Day. ** The approximate date Russell and Walter Cory's 13-story building for the Squibb pharmaceutical company is built by Turner Construction Company. It will be bought by the Jehovah's Witnesses and carry their Watchtower sign. ** Writer Zora Neale Hurston leaves domestic service for Fannie Hurst; the two remain friends. ** Mayor James J. Walker is inaugurated.

Dunkirk's American Locomotive Company halts production. ** A program of erecting historic markers along highways is established by law to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution. ** B. F. Skinner graduates from Hamilton College. ** Pulmonary disease expert Dr. Norman Plummer gets his degree from Cornell University Medical School. ** A Mighty Wurlitzer organ is installed in Tonawanda's new Riviera Theatre. ** A clock in the bank at 130 South Main Street in Canandaigua is dedicated. ** When Schoellkopf Station 3-C goes into service on the Niagara Falls power grid, Powerhouses No 1 and 2, are put on standby status.

The state creates a Board of Water Supply to supervise the replacement of the Hudson River as a source for Albany's water. ** The clubhouse of the Wolfert's Roost Country Club, formerly the home of Joseph "Fritz" Emmett, is destroyed by fire. A new clubhouse will be built on the site.

William Rippey opens a luncheonette on Jackson Street. ** Trolley service is discontinued. ** Burt Welch's Bur-wel Garage is built on Russell Place, in the area destroyed by last year's fire. Rochester's Werner and Spitz are the contractors.

The Chamber of Commerce expands its building on St. Paul and Mortimer. ** Democratic politician and newspaper editor Clement G. Lanni switches affiliation to the Republicans, because of President Woodrow Wilson's veto of the Immigration Bill. ** The city annexes the Andrews Farm, Genesee Valley Park and abandoned lands of the Erie Canal, increasing its own size to 34.76 square miles. ** An Irondequoit bus line is begun running from St. Paul and Ridge to Clifford and Culver, to link Rochester withtwo Irondequoit trolley lines. ** A bus feeder line is established on Glide Street for the benefit of the Emerson streetcar line. ** Seabreeze Amusement Park gets a carousel. ** The Rochester Homeopathic Hospital changes its name to Genesee Hospital and adds a north wing. ** The Memorial Art Gallery opens an addition, donated by Mr. and Mrs. James S. Wadsworth. ** The height of the Sibley Mercantile Building is doubled to 12 stories and it's renamed the Sibley Tower Building.


( Updated 7 / 5 / 2004 )

The Honeoye Falls American Legion, the only one in Monroe County, holds its first meeting.

Jan 7
Commercial radio telephone service between New York and London begins.

Jan 15
The first trans-Atlantic radio telephone call out of Rochester is made.

Jan 19
Rochester's Fire Department is now completely motorized.

Jan 27
Temperatures in New York City drop to 1 degree blow 0 F, lowest here for this date.

Writer Zora Neale Hurston leaves New York City to collect folklore in the South.

Mar 1
Singer-actor Harry Belafonte is born in New York City. ** The gas-powered steel tow boat Tender #6 is launched at the American Boiler Works in Erie, Pennsylvania, for sale to New York State.

Mar 5
Irish opposition leader Eamon de Valera arrives in Rochester from Ireland, to visit his mother.

Mar 11
U. S. Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher is born in Mt. Vernon. ** New York City's 6,214-seat Roxy Theatre (The Cathedral of the Motion Picture) opens. Love of Sunya with Gloria Swanson is the first film to play there. ** Sound films are shown in Rochester for the first time.

Mar 15
The Geneseo Baptist Church is destroyed by fire.

Mar 16
New York State Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan is born.

Mar 22
The Norwich Sun prints an interview with Nuel Stever, a former boatman on the Chenango Canal.

Apr 6
Jazz saxophone player Gerald Joseph "Gerry" Mulligan is born in New York City.

Apr 14
A convention of physicians and surgeons meets at Rochester's Medical School.

Apr 19
Actress Mae West is sentenced to ten days on New York City's Welfare Island jail for performing in her own play Sex, deemed obscene.

Apr 20
Temperatures in New York City rise to 90 degrees F, highest here for this date.

May 13
Folksinger Fred Hellerman of The Weavers is born in New York City.

May 17
Oswego trolley service is discontinued.

May 20
Aviator Charles A. Lindbergh takes off on his solo flight to Europe in the Spirit of St Louis.

May 21
Lindbergh reaches Paris.

May 25
Author Robert Ludlum is born in New York City.

Jun 4
Aviator Clarence D. Chamberlain, his trans-Atlantic flight delayed by the lawsuit of would-be co-pilot Lloyd Bertraud, takes off from Long Island's Roosevelt Field in the Columbia, a plane designed by Giuseppe Ballanca. He carries the plane's owner, businessman Charles A. Levine, as a passenger, the first to cross the Atlantic.

Jun 6
The Columbia lands in a field near Eisleban, Germany, 100 miles short of Berlin, its goal. Chamberlain sets a record of 3,911 miles in 43 hours, 300 miles more than Lindbergh.

Jun 13
Lindbergh is given New York City's first ticker tape parade.

Jul 4
Playwright Neil Simon is born in New York City.

Aug 15
"Judge" Elbert Henry Gary, president of U. S. Steel, dies in his New York City Fifth Avenue apartment at the age of 80.

Aug 22
15,000 people gather in New York City's Union Square in a death vigil for Sacco and Vanzetti. The two are executed, in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

An inspection run is made on Rochester's new subway system.

Oct 1
The New Jersey Bell telephone company is formed from South Jersey's Delaware & Atlantic Telegraph & Telephone Company and North Jersey's New York Telephone Company.

Nov 8
Jed Harris's production of Ann Bridgers and George Abbott's Coquette, with Helen Hayes, opens at the Maxine Elliott Theater.

Nov 13
New York City's Holland Tunnel opens.

Nov 30
New York's Genesee River floods, the water reaching 66 inches over the dam at Mount Morris, at 3 PM. By nightfall it is three feet above normal at Rochester's Genesee Valley Park. Around 11:30 the Hemlock water main breaks and inundates five city blocks at the intersection of Culver Road and Harvard Street.

Dec 1
Rochester's subway system begins partial service, between the Winton Road loop and City Hall Station. Cars from the Rochester & Eastern Rapid Railway interurban are used. The first car leaves city hall at 5:40 AM.

Dec 27
Florenz Ziegfeld, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's musical, Show Boat opens at Broadway's Ziegfeld's Theater.

Dec 28
The Jed Harris production of Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman's The Royal Family opens at Broadway's Selwyn Theater.

Fraunces Tavern is refurbished in the style of the late 1700s.** Jazz musician Duke Ellington begins playing at Harlem's Cotton Club. ** The Russian Tea Room opens. ** Pace accounting schools moves their headquarters from the Hudson Terminal Building on Church Street to the new Transportation Building at 225 Broadway. ** The stone arches of High Bridge are replaced with a steel arch. ** 71 theaters present a record 257 productions this year. ** Terre Haute, Indiana, journalism student Will Weng moves to New York City to pursue his master's degree at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ** Wyoming cowboy James King Merritt participates in the Tex Austin rodeo at Madison Square Garden. ** Physicist Isidor Isaac Rabi earns his PhD at Columbia. ** The New York Yankees win the World Series. ** A low deck is built over the east ramp to Grand Central Terminal's Oyster Bar. ** The mother of toddler James Arthur Jones marries Harlem Baptist minister David Baldwin, giving the future author the name James Arthur Baldwin. ** French born philosopher Jacques Barzun graduates from Columbia. ** The New York State Crime Commission reports that the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn has the third highest rate of juvenile delinquencies of any comparably-sized area in the world.

The post of Commissioner of Mental Health is created. ** A mastodon skull is found at Pike. ** Edward Corsi and other state Republican leaders organize the Columbian Republican League to attract Italians to the Party. ** Niagara Falls annexes La Salle. ** The Rensselaer County Historical Society is founded, in Troy. ** Walter L. Greene's painting Thoroughbreds. ** Brockport's Moore-Schafer Shoe Manufacturing Company closes. The Great Lakes Button Company takes over the empty factory. ** The Baldwinsville maintenance shop of the New York State Barge Canal is declared unsuitable, is dismantled and moved to the Syracuse terminal. ** The Garlock family buys the Jared Wilson house (ca. 1829) on Main Street in Canandaigua. They will spend $250,000 refurbishing the home. ** Lackawanna politician-soldier Colonel Jean Baptiste Weber publishes his autobiography. ** A replica of a French and Indian War blockhouse is built at Stillwater, using some of the original timbers. ** Schenectady's Bellvue Dairy opens. ** The swampland around Binghamton's Brandywine Creek is filled in to create the Brandywine Highway.

Thomas E. Broderick is elected town supervisor, serves in the post for 22 years. ** Two portable classrooms are added to Irondequoit High School.

The city retires its fire horses. ** Ridership on the city's Lake Ontario ferries reaches a peak of 88,831. ** Caledonia Street becomes part of Clarissa Street. ** The Rochester, Syracuse, and Eastern Railway trolley converts seven of its cars to lush chair cars, each named for a community along the route. ** Future Xerox Corporation Chairman Joseph C. Wilson, graduates from West High School. ** The congregation of Charlotte's Church of the Master is formed in the Pearson home. ** Thomas E. Broderick becomes Irondequoit Town Supervisor, serves in the post until 1949.

Author Carl Carmer becomes a columnist on the New Orleans Morning Tribune.

© 2002 David Minor / Eagles Byte