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1954 Sep 11
Category 3 Hurricane Edna made landfall at Martha’s Vineyard. This 2nd storm of 1954 hit NYC with $50 million damage and caused 21 deaths in the region.
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1954
Dr. George Moore and colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute at Buffalo, NY, published a pioneering study of male patients with cancer of the mouth showing that a majority of them had been tobacco chewers for significant periods of time.
Links: USA, New York, Medical, Smoking, Cancer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center opened off of New York’s Long Island. Congress voted to close it in 2009.
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1959
The West End Brewing Co., producers of Utica Club Beer, began running TV commercials in the Northeast US. The ad campaign included the Schultz and Dooley ceramic mugs based on the ad characters.
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1960 Jul 9
Roger Woodward (7) and his sister, Deanne Woodward (17), were rescued from the Niagara River after being tossed from family friend James Honeycutt's 12-foot aluminum boat. New Jersey tourists John Hayes and John Quattrochi pulled Deanne Woodward to shore just before the brink. Honeycutt was swept with Roger Woodward over the Horseshoe Falls and died. Roger survived the 162-foot plunge.
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1960
Edmund Wilson and Joseph Mitchell authored “Apologies to the Iroquois.” It memorialized the seizure by Robert Moses, the unelected head of the New York Power Authority, of 600 acres by eminent domain for a power reservoir near Niagara Falls.
Links: USA, New York, Writer, AmerIndian, Real Estate     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1961 Dec 13
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (b.1860), US painter and folk artist known as Grandma Moses, died in Hoosick Falls, New York.
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1963
Albert Lippert (d.1998 at 72), a garment executive, first took a successful Weight Watchers diet class with Jean Nidetch (1923-2015) on Long Island. They expanded the program into a company and sold public stock in 1968. In 1978 the operation was sold to H.J. Heinz for $72 million. The program remained unchanged until 1997 when a point system replaced selections from food groups. Its diet classes were sold to in 1999 for $735 million to private European investment company Artal Luxembourg.
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1965 Feb 13
James Mitchell (23), amateur explorer, died inside Schroeder’s Pants Cave in Dolgeville, NY. His remains were recovered in 2006.
Links: USA, New York, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1965
In western New York the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River opened. Construction of the dam forced the departure of Pennsylvania's last Native Americans, the Senecas, who now live near Salamanca, New York, on the northern shores of land flooded by the dam.
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1966 Jul 29
Bob Dylan was hurt in motorcycle accident near Woodstock, NY.
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1967 Jun 12
The US Supreme Court in Berger v. New York invalidated a New York law under the Fourth Amendment, because the statute authorized electronic eavesdropping without required procedural safeguards.
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1967 Jul 17
John Coltrane (b.1926), jazz composer-musician died in Huntington, N.Y. He gained attention through recordings as part of Miles Davis’ quintet in the 50s. By 1960, following critical acclaim, Coltrane was leading his own quartet that eventually dissolved in 1965. He worked with various musicians for the next two years until succumbing to liver cancer in 1967. Coltrane’s style, developed over the years from influences ranging from Miles Davis’ forms of modal improvisation to Eastern musical theory, has influenced and been imitated by numerous jazz musicians since. His album’s included "Kulu Se Mama" written by Juno Lewis (d.2002). In 2002 Ashley Kahn authored "A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album.” In 2007 Ben Ratliff authored “Coltrane: The Story of Sound.”
Links: USA, New York, Jazz, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1967 Sep 1
New York state’s Taylor Law went into effect. It severely curtailed the ability of public employees in the state to strike.
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1967 Sep 29
Author Carson McCullers (b.1917) died in Nyack, N.Y., at age 50. Her first novel “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the US South. Her short story “The Ballad of the Sad Café” (1951) was turned into a play by Edward Albee and was made into a film (1991) of the same name with Vanessa Redgrave.
Links: USA, New York, Writer, Books, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1967
Donald Ewen Cameron (b.1901), Scottish-born professor of neurology and psychology, died. After WWII Cameron worked at the Albany State Medical School. Cameron developed the theory that mental patients could be cured by treatment that erased existing memories and by rebuilding the psyche completely.
Links: USA, New York, Brain, Psychology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Nov 24
Three Latins hijacked a US B-707 jet, from New York’s Kennedy Int’l. to Cuba. Pena Soltren, a US citizen, and two accomplices used weapons hidden in a diaper bag to hijack Pan Am Flight 281. In 2009 Luis Armando Pena Soltren (66) voluntarily returned to the same airport to surrender and face prosecution. On Jan 4, 2011, Soltren was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
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1969 Jan 12
The New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl in Miami.
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1969 Apr 19
In Ithaca N.Y. some 80 armed, militant black students at Cornell Univ. took over Willard Straight Hall. They demanded a black studies program and cut a deal with frightened administrators for total amnesty. In 1999 Donald Alexander Downs described the events in his book: "Cornell '69."
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1969 Aug 15
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York. 400,000 young people gathered at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the Bethel hamlet of White Lake, N.Y. for the Woodstock music festival. Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) and companions from the Hog Farm Commune handled security and ran a free kitchen and "bad trips tent." The performers included Joan Baez; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Creedence Clearwater; the Grateful Dead; Jimi Hendrix; the Jefferson Airplane; Janis Joplin; Canned Heat and Ravi Shankar. The 1st group to perform was the band Sweetwater with lead singer Nansi Nevins.
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1969 Aug 16
Canned Heat performed "Let's Work Together" live Woodstock.
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1969 Aug 18
Two concert goers died at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York, one from an overdose of heroin, the other from a burst appendix. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair ended in Sullivan County, NY, with a mid-morning set performed by Jimi Hendrix.
Links: USA, New York, Pop&Rock, Drugs     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969
Robert H. Boyle wrote: "The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History."
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1969
Fish and wildlife officials in New York and Vermont banned fish shooting. In 1970 the Vermont Legislature re-instated the sport.
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1969
The American side of Niagara Falls was diverted in order to clean up accumulated erosion. Goat Island divides the river into the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the American Falls on the US side.
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1970 Jan 7
Woodstock, NY, farmers sued Max Yasgur (1919-1973) for $35,000 for damages caused by the "Woodstock" rock festival.
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1971 Mar 13
Rockwell Kent (b.1882), artist, illustrator and printmaker, died in New York. He was a member of the rugged realist school of landscape painters. In the 1930s he created a set of illustrations for "Moby Dick." In 1935 he authored “Salamina,” a memoir of his first Arctic winter (1931–32) painting and exploring while based in the settlement of Igdlorssuit, Greenland. In 1960 he donated 80 paintings and 800 watercolors to the people of the Soviet Union.
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1971 Sep 9
1971 Sep 13
Some 1,000 prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY, in a siege that claimed 43 lives. In 2000 a federal judge ordered an $8 million settlement to some 400 inmates to settle a prisoner class action suit. $4 million was for lawyers.
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1971 Sep 13
State troopers and prison guards stormed Attica Correctional Facility in New York. The four-day inmates' rebellion over poor living conditions claimed 43 lives, including 11 guards and 32 prisoners. Inmate Frank Smith (d.2004) was beaten tortured and abused by guards. In 1997 a federal jury awarded him $4 million. Another 1,280 inmates sought $2.8 billion in damages against the state. In 2000 a federal court described the guards' reaction as an "orgy of brutality" and ordered the state to pay $8 million to inmates who were tortured after the uprising.
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1972 Feb 14
Bill Torrey (38), an executive vice president with the Oakland Seals, was named the 1st General Manager of the Islanders, a Long Island hockey team.
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1972 Apr
Douglas Osheroff, graduate student at Cornell, found that Helium-3 will become a superfluid at very cold temperatures.
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1972
Wickliffe Preston Draper (b.1891), a wealthy reclusive New Yorker, died. He distributed some $5 million to 2 race-oriented foundations. The Pioneer Fund, which he had helped to found, was the primary beneficiary and later funded the research for "The Bell Curve," which argued that blacks are genetically inclined to be less intelligent than whites or Asians.
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1973 Feb 8
Max Yasgur (53), owner Woodstock festival farmland, died of a heart attack. In 1969 his dairy farm was the site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. He had offered his land for the festival over the objection of local officials.
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1973 May 27
Betty Tyson (24), a prostitute and heroin addict, was arrested for the strangulation death of a businessman. Her murder conviction was overturned in 1998, due to a wrongfully suppressed police report, and she was released from prison 25 years to the day from her arrest in New York.
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1973 May
The state of New York, under Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, passed a set of laws requiring judges to impose sentences of 15 years to life for anyone convicted of selling two ounces or possessing 4 ounces of narcotic drugs. The legislation sent the state’s prison population soaring. New York was the first state to introduce mandatory sentencing for drug crimes. The NY laws were reformed in 2004 and again in 2009.
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1973 Jun 9
Secretariat became horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 25 years by winning the Belmont Stakes. He won by 34 lengths and Twice a Prince came in 2nd.
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1973 Jul 28
Bill Graham produced a rock festival in Watkins Glen, NY, that featured the Allman Brothers, the Band, and the Grateful Dead. The concert drew some 650,000 people, the single largest paying crowd in concert history.
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1974 Feb 21
Tim Horton, hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, died at 44 in a car crash driving back home to Buffalo after a game in Toronto. His career spanned 25 years with 6 invitations to all-star teams.
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1974 Nov 13
In Amityville, NY, 6 members of the DeFeo family were shot and killed in their home. Ronald DeFeo Jr., the oldest son, was convicted of the murders. A year later George Lutz (1947-2006) and his family moved into the Long Island house at 112 Ocean Ave. and stayed for 28 days before being driven out by the alleged spirits of the DeFeos. In 1977 Jay Anson authored “The Amityville Horror.” In 1979 the book was turned into a movie, which was remade in 2005. In 1979 Austrian-born paranormal investigator Hans Holzer (d.2009 at 89) authored “Murder in Amityville,” which formed the basis for the 1982 film “Amityville II: The Possession.” In 1977 Holzer and medium Ethel Johnson-Myers allegedly channeled the spirit of a Shinnecock Indian chief, who said the house stood on an ancient Indian burial ground.
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1974 Nov 25
U Thant (b.1909), Burmese diplomat and former UN Secretary-General, died in New York at age 65.
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1974
Jennie Farley and other women at Cornell Univ. began to first use the term "sexual harassment."
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1975 Jun 24
In New York 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The crash was later attributed to a microburst, not experienced at the control tower because of a sea breeze front.
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1975 Dec 9
President Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan-authorization that officials of New York City and State said would prevent a city default.
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1975 Dec 29
A bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.
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1975
New York’s Gov. Carey convinced the teachers’ union to invest a significant amount of its pension funds in state bail-out bonds. In 2010 Seymour Lachman later authored “The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975.”
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1976 May 9
Harvey Fite, professor of art at Bard College, died in Saugerties, NY, while working on his multi-acre Opus 40 landscape sculpture. In 2010 the 37-year project was listed for sale for $3.5 million.
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1976 May 13
In game 6 the NY Nets beat the Denver Nuggets in 9th & final American Basketball Association (ABA) championship, 4 games to 2.
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1976 May 31
Martha Mitchell, the estranged wife of former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, died in New York.
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1976 Jul 7
The 1st female cadets enrolled at the West Point Military Academy in NY. West Point Military Academy admitted 119 women out of a class of 1367. Four years later 62 women graduated.
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1976 Aug 27
Transsexual Renee Richards was barred from competing in US Tennis Open in Forest Hills, NY.
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1976 Sep 10
5 Croatian terrorists captured a TWA-plane at La Guardia Airport, NY.
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1976 Oct 15
Carlo Gambino (b.1902), US gangster, died at his summer home in Long Island.
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1976 Dec 30
Governor Carey of New York pardoned seven inmates to close the book on the Attica uprising.
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1976
Entenmann’s based in New York, the nation’s largest baked goods company, went public.
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1977 Jun 11
Seattle Slew (d.2002 at 28) won the Belmont Stakes, capturing the Triple Crown.
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1977 Aug 10
Postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, NY, accused of being the "Son of Sam" gunman responsible for six slayings and seven woundings. Berkowitz was sentenced to six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences.
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1977
Emma Crapser (92) was killed in her Poughkeepsie, NY, apartment. In 1983 Dewey Bozella (b.1959) was convicted of her grisly murder on the testimony of two convicted criminals and served 26 years in prison before being finally in 2009 after the nonprofit Innocence Project intervened and turned over evidence that had been suppressed during his trial.
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1978 Jun 10
Affirmed (1975-2001), ridden by Steve Cauthen, became a Triple Crown winner after winning the NY Belmont Stakes by a nose over Alyadar.
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1979 Jan 26
Nelson A. Rockefeller (70), former Vice President under Ford and 4-time governor of New York state, died in New York in the arms of Megan Marshack (25).
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1980 Feb 13
The opening ceremonies were held in Lake Placid, NY, for the 13th Winter Olympics.
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