Today in 1819 Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick and Billy Bud, Sailor, was born at 6 Pearl Street, in Manhattan.
This Day in History
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Idlewild was a developer's name for a resort and later golf club on Jamaica Bay. It provided the unofficial name for the airport being planned in the 1940s, while the City Council and Mayor LaGuardia argued on what to call it. There was no debate when the airport was rededicated in honor of slain president John F. Kennedy in December 1963.
Once two prerequisites are met—the honoree must be dead and have had a significant connection to the local community—a petition signed by seventy-five percent of the local residents goes to the community board. The next stop is the Parks Committee of the City Countil, then a vote in the full City Council. The last stop is the mayor's office, for approval or veto.
Opened in 1905, the Hippodrome on Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets was billed as the largest theater in the world, seating 5,200 with a stage twelve times larger than any Broadway counterpart. Unfortunately, large crowds were offset by high operating costs and the growing popularity of motion pictures over live performance. The theater was eventually razed in 1939.
The late 1940s for "off-Broadway" and the end of the 1950s for "off-off-Broadway." More important is that "off-Broadway" tends to be used as a physical designation, referring to both the location and size of a theater, and "off-off-Broadway" implies an intent to create a theatrical experience that is alternative, experimental, and noncommercial with an emphasis on creative collaboration
According to the 89th Annual Report of the Board of Health, nearly 500 tones of horse manure were collected from the streets of New York every day, produced by 62,208 horses living in 1,307 stables. The manure, along with human waste, was deposited on Barren Island, where it was converted into fertilizer in a process said to be "not inoffensive" to residents on the Long Island shore.
Two separate hotels stood on the site, the Waldorf and the Astoria, constructed in the 1890s for William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor IV. These two cousins, nursing a feud, built on the sites of their parents' mansions, including that of "The" Mrs. Astor. Soon joined as one, the Waldorf-Astoria moved uptown in 1931 to make room for the Empire State Building.