1937


January
Painter Reginald Marsh is given a commission by the WPA-TRAP to create a series of nautical murals for New York City's U. S. Custom House rotunda on Bowling Green.

Jan 9
Temperatures in New York City reach 64 degrees F, highest here for this date.

Jan 19
Howard Hughes pilots a plane from Los Angeles to New York in 7 hours and 22 minutes.

Jan 29
Boxer Joe Louis defeats Bob Pastor in New York City.

Feb 5
An exhibit of paintings by Georgia O'Keefe opens in New York City.

Feb 7
U. S. statesman Elihu Root, 92, dies in New York City.

Feb 22
Robert Grant III defeats Ted Edwards in New York City to win the 46th U. S. Racquets Championships.

Mar 3
21,000 fans gather to hear Benny Goodman and his band play at New York City's Paramount Theater.

Mar 5
U. S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull apologizes to Germany for insults made by New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia.

Mar 14
Swastikas are found painted on New York City's Temple Rodeph Shalom.

Apr 7
Charley Thomas, tenor and lead singer of The Drifters, is born in New York City.

Apr 14
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's Babes in Arms opens on Broadway.

Apr 22
Pacifists demonstrate in New York City.

May 8
Novelist Thomas Pynchon is born in Glen Cove.

May 18
14 people are arrested in a New York City insurance fraud scandal.

Jun 8
A 60-pound bulb from Sumatra blooms at the Bronx Botanical Garden, creating a flower eight feet high and four feet across.

Jan 30
Rochester's Gannett papers, the Democrat and Chronicle and the Times-Union are the only daily newspapers left in the city after William Randolph Hearst closes down the Journal and Sunday American.

Jul 2
Watertown discontinues its trolley service.

Aug 1
Politician Alfonse Marcello D'Amato is born in Brooklyn.

Aug 7
Crowds gather in New York City for a March for Peace.

Aug 22
Niagara Falls discontinues its streetcar service.

Aug 30
Joe Louis beats Tom Farr in his first heavyweight title defense, in New York City.

September
Reginald Marsh begins transferring his Custom House designs onto the building's walls.

Sep 4
Doris Kopsky wins the first woman's bicycling championship at Buffalo.

Sep 11
Don Budge wins the U. S. national tennis title at Forest Hills.

Oct 10
The Yankees defeat the Giants to win the World Series, four games to one.

Nov 2
Fiorello La Guardia, running on the City Fusion-Progressive-American Labor, Republican ticket, is re-elected mayor of New York City, defeating Democrat-Trades Union-Anti-Communist candidate Jeremiah T. Mahoney.

Nov 7
The Ulster County residence of the self-named Reverend Father Divine burns to the ground.

Nov 23
The stage version of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men opens in New York City.

Nov 26
Former Cuban president Grardo Machado is arrested in a New York City hospital, faces extradition.
Nov 27
The International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) begins performing their musical Pins and Needles at New York City's Labor State Theater.

December
Reginald Marsh's murals for New York's U. S. Custom House are completed.

Dec 5
The Rochester subway system receives twelve steel interurban cars from Utica's Utica- to-Clinton line.

Dec 12
The first mobile television unit is put into service, in New York City.

Dec 21
Actress Jane Fonda is born in New York City. ** The first two tubes of New York City's Lincoln Tunnel go into operation.

City
Traffic begins using the Henry Hudson Parkway and part of the East River Drive. ** Consolidated Edison sells all of its street lights to the city, continues to supply the power. ** Flushing's Queens College is founded. ** Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House has a long run. ** Novelist Ayn Rand, doing research for The Fountainhead, works as typist in office of New York City architect Eli Jacques Kahn. ** Champion insomniac Cape Codder Wilbur Issac "Bill-Ike" Small is interviewed by a radio station here for a national broadcast. ** Brooklyn's New York Dock Company processes 24% of the city's ocean freight tonnage. ** The Hudson line train through the Manhattanville area of the Upper West Side is now completely elevated. ** Ocean liners in regular service from Europe, the West Indies and Bermuda are permitted to enter the harbor after their own ship's physician certifies the good health of all aboard by radio, relaxing the rules requiring U. S. Health officials to board the vessel and make examinations.

State
Utica mayor Vincent R. Corrou appoints a committee to study the feasibility of a municipal water system. The committee's in favor and creates a Board of Water Supply. ** The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service buys 6,432 acres of the Black Brook area north of Seneca Falls for a preserve the Montezuma Nature Preserve. ** Ernest L. Woodward donates land for a new post office for Le Roy. ** Managers Connie Mack and John J. McGraw, outfielder Tris Speaker and pitcher Cy Young are elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. ** Outside labor organizers trying to unionize workers at the Perry Knitting Mills are driven out of town. ** President William Alfred Eddy of Geneva's Hobart and William Smith Colleges designs andinstitutes a required course in citizenship. ** ILGWU organizer Rose Schneiderman is named Secretary of the State Department of Labor. ** Drislane's dry goods store in Albany closes, put out of business by supermarkets.

Rochester
Port of Rochester lake trade sinks to $632,000. Tonnage bottoms out at 680,000 tons, but passenger trade rises to 64,000 people a year. ** WPA crews repave Front Street. ** The western terminus of the city's subway is moved out from Driving Park Avenue to General Motors' Rochester Products plant. ** A frightened deer leaps to its death from the Veterans Memorial Bridge. ** Bausch and Lomb introduce their Large Metal "Aviator" line of sunglasses. ** The Landmark Society is founded.


1938

( Updated 5 / 9 / 2004 )

Jan 14
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rebukes the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for broadcasting a lewd show with Mae West, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Jan 21
Rock-and-roll disk jockey Wolfman Jack (Robert Smith) is born in Brooklyn.

Jan 27
The Upper Steel Arch Bridge (the Honeymoon Bridge) at Niagara Falls, crushed by ice, collapses.

Feb 6
Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia plays at Carnegie Hall.

Feb 7
Temperatures in New York City rise to 54 degree F, highest here for this date.

Feb 23
Boxer Joe Louis knocks out Nathan Mann in New York City, retaining his heavyweight crown.

Mar 2
Ousted Russian revolutionary Alexander Kerensky arrives in New York City on a lecture tour.

Mar 7
Microbiologist David Baltimore is born in New York City.

Mar 16
The first college basketball national championships, the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) is held in Madison Square Garden. Temple University beats Colorado 60-36.

Mar 22
Temperatures in New York City rise to 77 degrees F, highest here for this date.

Mar 29
Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt open in Chekhov's The Sea Gull in New York City.

Apr 12
Choreographer George Ballanchine leaves his job as ballet director of the Metropolitan Opera.

Apr 27
An experimental yellow baseball (for increased visibility) is used in a game between Columbia University and Fordham University.

May 2
Thornton Wilder's play Our Town opens in New York City.

May 5
Six leaders of a Nazi summer camp in New York State are arrested.

May 6
The board of New York State's Brockport Normal and Training School approves a move to become a State Teachers College.

June
A record number of Rochester couples are granted marriage licenses.

Jun 9
Avant-garde composer Charles Wuorinen is born in New York City.

Jun 15
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Vandermeer pitches his second successive no-hitter, against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Jun 16
Author Joyce Carol Oates is born in Lockport.

Jun 22
U. S. boxer Joe Louis successfully defends his title against German fighter Max Schmeling, in Yankee Stadium.

Jun 24
Mystery author-magazine columnist Lawrence Block is born in Buffalo.

Jun 26
Black reformer James Weldon Johnson, 67, is killed in a New York City auto accident. ** A survey made by Columbia University declares the American Legion is a fascist organization.

July
Pre-marital blood test are required in New York State.

Jul 9
Supreme Court justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, 68, dies in Port Chester.

Jul 14
Howard Hughes completes an around-the-world flight in a record 3 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes and 28 seconds.

Jul 15
Hughes is given a ticker tape parade in New York City.

Jul 31
Followers of Father Divine parade in Harlem to celebrate the purchase of a Hudson River mansion across from Franklin Roosevelt's at Hyde Park.

Aug 2
The experimental yellow baseball is used in a professional game for the first time, as the Brooklyn Dodgers defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2. ** The Rochester Transit Corporation takes over the Rochester lines of the New York State Railways streetcar system, as well as the city's subway system.

Sep 15
Brothers Paul and Lloyd Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirate's the ønly brothers to hit successive home runs in a major league game, against the New York Giants.

Sep 21
A hurricane strikes Long Island and New England, killing 600 people. The First Presbyterian Church (Whalers' Church), in Sag Harbor loses its tower.

Sep 24
Don Budge wins the U. S. tennis title at Forest Hills, capturing the Grand Slam.

Sep 25
25,000 people demonstrate their solidarity with Czechoslovakia in a rally at Madison Square Garden.

Oct 9
The Yankees defeat the Chicago Cubs to win all four games of the World Series. ** The altimeter is demonstrated in New York City.

Nov 5
As a publicity stunt Benny Goodman plays Mozart with the Budapest String Quartet at New York City's Carnegie Hall, the first jazz musician to play there.

Nov 7
New York City reaches its highest temperature for the date, 78 degrees F.

Nov 8
The temperature in New York City rises to 76 degrees F., the warmest on record for this date.

Nov 11
Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) is buried in St. Raymond's Cemetery, in the Bronx.

Nov 25
The temperature in New York City drops to 19 degrees F, the lowest temperature here for the date.

Nov 26
New York City temperatures drop to 16 degrees F, another daily record.

December
Barney Josephson opens Cafe Society, a jazz club, in Greenwich Village, the first U. S. nightclub to welcome a racially mixed audience. Billie Holiday sings in the first show and plays there for the next nine months.

City
Manhattan's population - 1,688,769. ** The rental building at 121 Madison is foreclosed by the Seaman's Bank for Savings. ** Art and architectural historian Richard Krautheimer begins lecturing at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. ** San Francisco advertising man Emerson Foote arrives to go to work for Lord & Thomas. ** George Abbott writes and directs Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's The Boys from Syracuse. ** Dancer Jerome Robbins makes his Broadway debut. ** New York drama critics name English actor Robert Morley best actor for his performance in Oscar Wilde, a production already postponed once so he could star in W. S. Van Dyke's Marie Antoinette; he's forced to cut the production short so he can return to Europe in the face of impending war. ** Carson McCullers wins a second prize, of $500 and a contract in a contest sponsored by Houghton Mfflin for her story The Mute (later The Heart is a Lonely Hunter). ** When Williamsburg Houses, Brooklyn's first public housing project, opens, its 1600 apartments are sought by over 20,000 applicants.

State
The centennial of the building of the Scottsville and Le Roy Railroad is celebrated. ** Utica establishes a municipal water system. ** The Shaker community at Watervliet (Colonie, near Albany) is abandoned. The last burial in the cemetery takes place. ** A biological research station is founded as part of Rensselaerville's Huyck Preserve. ** Eleanor Emily Woodward Vietor daughter of Genesee Pure Food Company founder the late Orator F. Woodward, dies. ** Trolley service in Lockport is discontinued, on Easter Sunday. ** Samuel I. Newhouse buys the Long Island Star-Journal. ** Albert W. Skinner is elected Sheriff of Monroe County, the first of his 12 terms. ** Long Island's Grumman Corporation employs 750 people in its aircraft plant. By 1945 it will employ 21,500. ** The Thompson family removes the porch of the Federal/Greek Revival Peer home at 31 Ontario Street in Honeoye Falls. ** The state has 2,259,468 registered passenger cars and 324,655 trucks.

Batavia
Dr. Henry M. Spofford dies. ** City Attorney William H. Coon, compiles all city legislation passed since 1923 into the Charter of 1938.

Buffalo
The Jesse Clipper Monument is unveiled, commemorating the first African-American to die in World War I, as well as other black war dead. ** The George Washington Fishing and Camping Club sponsors a regatta.

Rochester
The Lake Ontario excursion ferry Toronto is withdrawn from service, leaving the Kingston as the only remaining passenger ferry out of Rochester. ** Bausch and Lomb goes public. ** Father Robert F. McNamara is appointed to the faculty of St. Bernard's Seminary.

Canada
Historian Jean E. Murray's "The Early Fur Trade in New France and New Netherland" is published.


1939

(Updated May 29, 2003)

Jan 16
The Rochester City Manager's Office has its 28th annual banquet, in the Crystal Room of the Hotel Rochester. A color film of highlights of the 1938 Cornell-Dartmouth football game are shown.

Jan 20
Charles Ives "Concord" Sonata is given its premiere in New York City.

Jan 25
Boxer Joe Louis knocks out John Henry Lewis in New York City.

Feb 8
The seven heirs of Buffalo businessman Franklin Sidway deed the land and building of the Spaulding Exchange to the city for $55,000. The city soon tears it down.

Feb 20
Temperatures in New York City rise to 69 degrees F, highest here for this date.

Feb 22
22,000 American Nazis rally in Madison Square Garden.

Feb 24
Tammany Hall district leader James H. Hines is convicted of taking bribes from the Dutch Schulz gang. The prosecution is conducted by New York District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey.

Feb 28
A contractor admits he erased "Made in Germany" from machines sold to the City of New York. ** Broadway dancer-choreographer-director Tommy Tune is born in Wichita Falls, Texas.

March
Recovered from tuberculosis, trumpeter Louis Rich joins the Benny Carter Big Band at New York City's Savoy Ballroom.

Mar 3
John Ford's Stagecoach premieres at Radio City Music Hall.

Mar 11
Trolley service in Elmira is discontinued.

Mar 25
A New York City anti-Nazi march draws 20,000 people.

Mar 29
The Buffalo Evening News reports on the demolishing of the Spaulding Exchange.

Mar 30
Hitler's nephew William, living in New York City, calls his uncle a "menace".

Apr 1
Actress Ali Macgraw is born in Pound Ridge.

Apr 29
The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, linking the Bronx with Long Island, opens to traffic.

Apr 30
The New York World's Fair opens in Long Island's Flushing Meadows. Roosevelt opens the fair from the Court of Peace, by pushing a button that starts a reaction utilizing the light from the star Arcturus. 22 foreign countries, not including Germany, exhibit. The event is televised and broadcast from New York City's Empire State Building.

May
Louis Bacon leaves Benny Carter's Big Band to sail to Europe and join Willie Lewis and his orchestra. ** Office space is provided for the City Health Department in the basement of Batavia's City Hall.

May 2
Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig breaks his streak of 2,130 consecutive games, never plays again.

May 4
The New York World's Fair's one-millionth visitor enters.

May 16
Rochester begins the first food-stamp plan, to get surplus food stocks to the needy.

May 20
Regular transatlantic air service begins as the Pan American Airways' Yankee Clipper, takes off for Europe from Port Washington

Jun 1
A Douglas DC-4 flies 40 passengers from Chicago to New York, inaugurating service between the two cities.

Jun 10
England's King George and Queen Elizabeth visit the World's Fair.

Jun 12
The Baseball Hall of Fame Museum opens in Cooperstown. The first players chosen for membership are Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.

Jun 28
Pan-American Airways' Dixie Clipper lands in Lisbon with 22 people aboard from Port Washington, Long Island, inaugurating transatlantic passenger air service with a flight lasting 23 hours and 52 minutes. ** Joe Louis defeats Tony Galento in New York City.

Jul 4
Lou Gehrig says goodbye to 61,808 of his fans at Yankee Stadium as he retires from baseball because of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which will be nicknamed after him.

Jul 10
Pan Am's Yankee Clipper establishes regular transatlantic passenger service when it lands in London.

Jul 14
State Senator C. Tracey Stagg is found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the woods near his Ithaca home. A note blames poor health and work pressures.

Jul 25
Rookie pitcher Atley Donald leads the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Browns, in his 12th straight victory - an American League record for a rookie starting pitcher.

Jul 27
Switzerland's Bank of Basle announces it will open a branch in New York City.

Aug 5
39 Rochester couples are granted marriage licenses, the largest number issued in a single day since June of last year.

Aug 9
Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe scores the beginning run of a 18-game scoring streak. He will score 30 runs altogether in that time. ** New York television station W2XBS is the first television station to telecast a tennis tournament, from Rye.

Aug 12
90,000 people in New York City march in an American Federation of Labor (AFL) parade.

Aug 26
W2XBS televises the first baseball games in a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

Aug 27
Baseball player Carl Michael Yastrzemski is born in Southampton. ** The World's Fair sets an one-day attendance record of 306,480.

Sep 5
Prices soar on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sep 17
Alice Marble and Bobby Riggs win the U. S. tennis championships at Forest Hills.

Sep 28
1,000 delegates to the Women's Christian Temperance League (WCTU) convention being held in Rochester, travel by 52 buses fifteen miles west to Churchville, to honor the 100th birthday of founder Frances Willard, born there.

Oct 8
The Yankees win the World Series, against the Cincinnati Reds, seven games to four.

Oct 15
New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia dedicates North Beach Airport, since named after him.

Oct 20
Frank Capra's film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premieres at Radio City Music Hall.

Oct 21
The Advisory Committee of Uranium meets in New York City to consider the possibility of making an atomic bomb.

Oct 31
The New York World's Fair closes.

Nov 1
Rockefeller Center, designed by Corbett, Harrison and MacMurray; Hoat, Godley and Fouilhouz; and Reinhard and Hofmeister, opens.

Nov 8
Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse's dramatization of Life with Father opens with Lindsay playing the title role, runs for seven years. ** Admiral Richard Byrd's snow cruiser, on its way to Boston for an Antarctic expedition, breaks down on Route 20 at the Texaco Town truck stop. It's repaired three days later and continues on.

Nov 29
Bund leader Fritz Kuhn is found guilty of larceny, in New York City.

Dec 5
Fritz Kuhn is sentenced to two to five years in prison.

City
The dismantling of the Sixth Avenue elevated line begins. ** President Roosevelt steps in to settle the dispute over the building of a bridge between lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, denying federal funds for the project. The bridge project becomes a tunnel project, 1949's Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel. ** The Museum of Modern Art moves to its present location. ** Berenice Abbott finishes working on the photographic document of the city that will be published as Changing New York. ** Louis Zabar opens a delicatessen at 2245 Broadway. ** Morocco-born Sheik Daoud Ahmed Faisal and his wife, Bermuda-born Sayedah (Mother) Khadijah Faisal found Brooklyn Heights' Islamic Mission of America mosque. ** 8,000,000 vehicles use the George Washington Bridge this year. ** William Zorach sculpts Builders of the Future for the World's Fair. ** Leo Durocher becomes manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. ** Lou Gehrig is elected to the Hall of Fame. ** The Group Theater produces William Saroyan's Time of Your Life. ** George F. Kaufman and Moss Hart's The Man Who Came to Dinner, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes and Philip Barry's The Philadelphia Story, premiere on Broadway. ** Dorothy Schiff becomes owner and publisher of the New York Post. ** A Princeton-Columbia baseball game is the first televised college sports event. ** The Straw Hat Revue opens at the Ambassador Theater. It stars unknowns Danny Kaye, Jerome Robbins, Alfred Drake and Imogene Coca. ** The stage version of Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road opens on Broadway. ** Kansas City, Missouri, alto saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker moves here. ** Schemerhorn Row passes out of the Schermerhorn family.

State
Future Hammondsport mayor C. Arthur Niver and his wife Julia move there. ** The approximate date Italian immigrant Augustino Iacovelli begins selling spiedies, a shish-kabob variation, in Binghamton. ** The children of Orator F. and Cora Talmadge Woodward donate a library to the village of Le Roy. ** Samuel I. Newhouse buys the Syracuse Journal. ** A building for housing Oswego River/Canal buoys is built adjacent to the bridge house at Phoenix. ** Buffalo's I. J. Paderewski Singing Society is organized. ** Long Island's Grumman Corporation now employs 900 workers in its Long Island plant. ** D-Day officer Robert Cole, from an army family, graduates from West Point. ** Albany politician Ed Corning dies. ** Republic Steel acquires an old iron mine at Lyon Mountain, in the Adirondacks, to extract its low-grade phosphate ore.

Batavia
Businessman Fred B. Parker serves as commissioner of New York State exhibits at the New York World's Fair. ** The Clippers (named for local manufacturer Massey Harris's Clipper Combine) baseball team begin contending in the Class D Pennsylvania, Ontario and New York (PONY) League.

Rochester
The city's Italian Cultural Club is formed, open to all those speaking the language. ** John W. Bittner inherits the family's Brighton farm from his father John Henry Bittner. ** 50% of the population is under thirty, 20% over fifty.




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