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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Founded in 1932 as an association for pharmacists, and with deep roots at Montefiore and other hospital complexes of the Bronx and around the city, Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare East, became the largest local union with over 300,000 members to date. Long known for its diversity, Martin Luther King once referred to 1199 as "my favorite union."
The earliest photograph of New York City dated to 1839, the year photograph was invented. It was a daguerrotype (a unique image) of the new Unitarian Church made by Samuel F.B. Morse. This single image is now lost. Among the earliest surviving images of New York City are those taken by Victor Prevost in 1853-1854. His photographs were made from wax paper negatives which, along with the positives, still survive.
New York dog lovers raised money to honor the Alaskan malamute that led a sled dog team in the delivery of diptheria antitoxins to the citizens of Nome, Alaska in 1924. The statue, sculpted by Frederick George Richard Roght, was dedicated in December 1925. According to the New York Times, Balto, present for the festivities, "displayed only dog interest in the ceremony."
In 1799, New York passed a Gradual Emancipation act that freed slave children born after July 4, 1799, but indentured them until they were young adults. In 1817 a new law passed that would free slaves born before 1799 but not until 1827. By the 1830 census there were only 75 slaves in New York and the 1840 census listed no slaves in New York City.
The New York Post, founded in 1801, is the oldest New York City newspaper in continuous publication. It has changed over the years, starting out conservative, and becoming more liberal in the nineteenth century, when it strongly opposed slavery and supported Lincoln and Reconstruction. In the twentieth century it went to tabloid format, and became famously sensationalistic and conservative against Rupert Murdoch.
New-England's Spirit of Persecution Transmitted to Pennsilvania, by Quaker polemicist George Keith, was printed by William Bradford in 1693. Bradford, whose offices were on Hanover Square in lower Manhattan, remained New York's sole printer for over 30 years. He was the publisher of New York's first newspaper, The New-York Gazette in 1725.