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1888 Mar 11
14
The famous "Blizzard of ‘88" struck the northeastern United States, resulting in some 400 deaths. New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington were cut off for days.
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1888 Apr 18
Roscoe Conkling (b.1829), former US Senator from New York (1867-1881), died in NYC. Conkling was the undisputed leader of Republicans in NY.


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1890 Jul 13
John C. "Pathfinder" Fremont (76), US explorer, governor (Arizona, California), died. He was buried in obscurity in Sparkill, NY. Fremont (b.1830) was the 1st Republican presidential candidate in 1856. In 1999 David Roberts authored "A Newer World: Kit Carson, John C. Freemont and the Claiming of the American West." In 2002 Tom Chaffin authored “Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire.” In 2007 Sally Denton authored “Passion and Principle: John and Jessie Fremont, the Couple Whose Power, Politics and Love Shaped Nineteenth-Century America.”
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1890
The Shepard Hardware Co. of Buffalo, NY, began manufacturing its Jonah and the Whale mechanical banks.
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1894
The National Guard Armory at Glen Falls, NY, was built. In 2009 it was put up for sale.
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1895
Bastian Brothers was founded in Rochester, NY, as a jewelry store. It later expanded to manufacture custom award pins, medals and similar items.
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1901 Mar 1
At the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, the electric current was turned on at the Agricultural building by Henry Rustin, chief of the Mechanical and Electricity Bureau, and the 4000 lamps on the exterior of the building blazed into radiant beauty. The Exposition, which opened informally on May 1, was held on a 342 acre site between Delaware Park Lake on the south, the New York Central railroad tracks on the north, Delaware Avenue on the east, and Elmwood Avenue on the west. The fair featured the latest technologies, including electricity and the baby incubator building, and attracted nearly 8 million people. A 400-foot electric tower was the centerpiece.
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1902
In Buffalo, NY, the U.S. Hame Co. was formed as the result of a consolidation of two 19th century hame and saddlery manufacturers, the United Hame Co. of Buffalo, NY, and the Consolidated Hame Co. of Andover, New Hampshire. In 1917 it changed its name to USHCO and started making chassis for Ford and Chevrolet trucks.
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1902
The Franklin Automobile Company, an American manufacturer of automobiles, began manufacturing cars in Syracuse, New York. The company closed down in 1934.
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1904
Glenn Curtiss, a motorcycle builder in Hammondsport, NY, began making gasoline-burning aircraft engines for dirigibles that San Francisco daredevil Thomas Scott Baldwin was building in California. Baldwin flew a 54-foot dirigible equipped with a motorcycle engine and is credited with for building the first successful American dirigible.
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1905
Alliance Furniture was founded in Jamestown, NY, by a group of 8 partners of Swedish heritage. The company manufactured high-quality dining-room furniture until at least the 1950s.
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1906 Nov 6
Republican Charles Evans Hughes was elected governor of New York, defeating newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. In 1910 he was appointed to the US Supreme Court and served until 1916. In 1930 he was appointed as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and served until 1941.
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1907
William Walker founded the American Thermos Bottle Co. in Brooklyn, NY. In 1913 he moved his factory to Norwich.
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1907
Clarence Birdseye, an Amherst biology student, began selling bobcat and coyote hide from traders in New Mexico, purchased for fifty cents, to furriers in New York for a dollar and a quarter. In 1912 he moved to Labrador to farm foxes and trade furs.
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1908 Mar 12
The Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) launched their new airplane, called Red Wing, from a frozen lake near Hammondsport, NY. Pilot F.W. Baldwin rose 20 feet and flew 319 feet before crashing. Newspapers hailed the test as the “first public flight” in the US.
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1908 May 21
The Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) launched their 2nd airplane, called White Wing, equipped with aelerons, a mechanism proposed by Alexander Graham Bell, to steer the craft. Pilot Glenn Curtiss flew over 1000 feet and landed safely.
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1908 Jul 4
Glenn Curtiss flew a new airplane, called the June Bug, at a competition sponsored by Scientific American, for the first heavier than air machine to fly one kilometer. The Aero Club sent 22 members to Hammondsport, NY, to view the event. Curtiss easily covered the distance, angering the Wright Brothers, who felt that their patent was being infringed.
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1909 Jul 17
Glenn Curtiss entered and won the Scientific American trophy for a 2nd year by flying a total of 25 km. in 12 circuits on Long Island. His Golden Flier was sponsored by the Aeronautic Society of New York.
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1909
The US Supreme Court upheld the first criminal conviction in federal court of a company, the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, for cutting prices. This established three principles: that a company need not have any evil intention to be guilty; that it is responsible for the action of its employees; and that it can be prosecuted as if it were a person.
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1910 May 31
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (b.1821), the first American woman to become a doctor, died. She and colleagues founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children (1857).
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1911 Jun 6
The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) was created by a merger of The Tabulating Machine Company (Herman Hollerith's punch card company in Washington, DC), International Time Recording Company (a time clock maker in NY state), Computing Scale Company (maker of scales and food slicers in Dayton, Ohio), and Bundy Manufacturing (time clock maker in Auburn, NY). In 1924 the company was renamed Int’l. Business Machines (IBM).
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1911 Sep 17
Cigar-smoking Calbraith Perry Rodgers (1879-1912) set off from Sheepshead Bay, New York, on the first flight across America. Rodgers, sponsored by the Vin Fiz grape drink company, flew the fragile Wright B biplane in pursuit of a $50,000 prize offered to the first person to make a transcontinental flight in 30 days or less. Rodgers failed to win the prize because his 4,321-mile flight took 84 days—of which only 3 days, 10 hours and 4 minutes was actual flying time! His average speed was 51.56 miles per hour. By the time he landed at Long Beach, California, on November 5, Rodgers had made 70 crash landings, suffered numerous minor injuries and had rebuilt his Vin Fiz so completely that only one strut and the rudder were its original equipment.
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1911
The first US experimental airmail flight took place on Long Island, a 3-mile journey between Garden City Estates and Mineola.
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1912
In Buffalo, NY, St. Gerard’s church was built by Italian immigrants and modeled after St. Paul Outside the Walls, a Renaissance-style basilica in Rome. it was closed in January 2008 as part of a diocese-wide restructuring. In 2010 a Roman Catholic parish in an affluent northern suburb of Atlanta began raising $16 million to import the closed church.
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1913 Sep 11
James Farley (39), known across the US as the most successful leader of strikebreakers, died in Plattsburg, NY.
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1913
The E.R. Thomas Motor Co. of Buffalo, NY, failed. In 1908 its Thomas Speedway Flyer had won an around the world automobile race.
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1913
New York state passed “the eight foot sheet law” to ensure that the upper sheet in a hotel was of sufficient length to cover the face so “that the inhalation by the occupant of bacteria &c, may be prevented.”
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1915 Aug 27
Walter W. Heller (d.1987), economist (Old Myths & New Realities), was born in Buffalo, NY.
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1921 Feb 22
An air mail plane left San Francisco at 4:30 a.m., landing at New York (Hazelhurst Field, L. I., N. Y.) at 4:50 p.m. on February 23.
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1922
Clarence Birdseye returned to New York state and began experimenting with packaging frozen food.
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1923 May 3
The 1st non-stop flight across the US was completed. Army lieutenants Kelly and Macready arrived in San Diego from New York in 26 hours and 50 minutes.
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1925 Feb 21
The first issue of the New Yorker magazine, founded by Harold Ross, hit the newsstands, selling for 15 cents a copy. Raoul Fleischmann provided the financial backing. The top hatted character Eustace Tilley appeared on the cover of the first issue and every anniversary issue. In 1999 Mary F. Corey published "The World Through a Monocle: The New Yorker at Midcentury." In 2000 Ben Yagoda authored "About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made." In 2000 Ranata Adler authored "Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker."
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1927 Apr 26
US Navy officers Cmdr. Noel Davis and Lt. Stanton Wooster were killed when their aircraft crashed near New York while trying to take off with a huge load of fuel for a final test flight prior to an attempt to cross the Atlantic.
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1927 May 10
US aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) picked up his plane, “The Spirit of St. Louis,” in San Diego and flew it to St. Louis. The next day he continued to New York using railroad maps that he picked up in a drugstore for 50 cents each. The plane was powered by an air-cooled Whirlwind engine built by Ryan Aeronautical Company. Charles Fayette Taylor (1895-1996) worked on the engine design team. Taylor later authored "The Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice."
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1927 May 20
Charles Lindbergh (25) took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, NY, at 7:40 AM aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France. The Minnesota native had decided to compete for a $25,000 prize, offered in 1919 by Raymond Orteig, NY hotel owner, to the first pilot to complete the feat. The Spirit of St. Louis, was capable of flying 4,000 miles on 425 gallons of fuel. His greatest problems on the 33-hour, 30-minute flight were staying awake and keeping ice from forming on the airplane’s wings.
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1928 Jan 12
Ruth Snyder (b.1895) became the first woman to die in the electric chair. She was electrocuted by “state electrician” Robert G. Elliott at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, along with Judd Gray, her lover and co-conspirator, for the murder of her husband, Albert on March 20, 1927. This was billed in the press as “The Dumb-Bell Murder.”
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1929 Nov 30
Dick Clark (d.2012), rock-n-roll promoter, was born in Mount Vernon, NY.
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1930 Aug 6
In NYC state Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater (b.1889) dined at a West 45th Street steakhouse with a group of friends that included a showgirl. Crater had earlier withdrawn $5,150 from a pair of bank accounts. He was last seen at 9:15 p.m., climbing into the cab. Crater had been recently appointed by Gov. Franklin Roosevelt to the NY Supreme Court. In 2004 Richard J. Tofel authored “Vanishing Point,” an account of Tammany Hall and Crater’s disappearance. The 1947 film “The Judge Steps Out,” starring Alexander Knox, was inspired by the case. Evidence in 2005 suggested that several men killed the judge and buried him under the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn. [see Sep 1]
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1930 Sep 1
NY World reported the disappearance of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Crater. He was last seen leaving a restaurant on August 6, 1930 and entering a taxi. Crater was officially declared dead “in abstentia” in 1939, and his case, Missing Persons File No 13595, was officially closed in 1979.
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1930 Dec 10
Lady aviator Ruth Nichols set a new women's record for coast to coast flight, traveling from Los Angeles to New York in 13 hours 22 minutes.
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1930
Herman G. Fisher (1898-1975) and Irving L. Price co-founded the Fisher-Price toy company in East Aurora, NY. Quaker Oats Company acquired the firm in 1969. Mattel Inc. acquired Fisher-Price in 1993.
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1931
Castro Convertible Corp. began operating in New York as a maker of convertible sofa beds. It was sold to Krause’s Furniture in 1993. Krause closed in 2002.
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1932 Jul 1
NY Gov. FDR was nominated for president at Democratic Convention in Chicago.
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1934 Jul 1
The 1st x-ray photo of entire body was made in Rochester, NY.
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1935
Scientists at Cornell Univ. reported that restricting calories had an antiaging effect in rodents.
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1936
The German American Bund (German American Federation) was established in Buffalo, NY, as a German-American pro-Nazi organization to succeed Friends of New Germany. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany. German-born American citizen Fritz Julius Kuhn was elected as its leader.
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1938 Apr
Louis J. Caldor, NYC engineer and art collector, began purchasing the art work of Anna Mary Moses (77), a widow living in Eagle Bridge, NY.
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1938 Sep 21
A Category 3 hurricane struck parts of New York and New England, causing widespread damage and claiming up to 800 lives. Winds hit 183 MPH in New England. The storm hit Long Island and Connecticut and caused $308 million in damage.
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1939 May 20
Regular trans-Atlantic air mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Marseilles, France.
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1939 Jun 12
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, NY, on the 100th anniversary of the day Abner Doubleday supposedly invented the sport.
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1939 Jun 28
Pan American Airways began regular trans-Atlantic passenger air service as the "Dixie Clipper" left Port Washington, N.Y., for Portugal.
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1945 Jul 1
New York established the New York State Commission Against Discrimination to prevent discrimination in employment because of race, creed or natural origin; it was the first such agency in the United States.
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1946
1977
PCBs were released into the Hudson River by 2 General Electric plants and were buried in sediment along 197 miles that was later declared a Superfund site. The EPA expected GE to dredge some 35 miles at a cost of some $1 billion. GE fought the cleanup law and was also involved in Superfund sites at Hoboken NJ and Milford NH. Cleanup of the Hudson River began in 2009 at an estimated cost of $750 million, to be paid by GE. The sludge was scheduled to be buried in West Texas.
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1947 Jan
Chester Carlson, patent attorney and kitchen inventor, signed a licensing agreement with Haloid Corp. of Rochester, NY, to develop a copy machine. This marked the beginning of Xerox’s copy business. 12 years later, the company launched a practical dry copier. Entrepreneur Joe Wilson propelled Xerox to success. In 2006 Charles D. Ellis authored Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox.”
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1948 Oct 2
In New York the 1st Grand Prix at Watkins Glen was held. Cameron Argetsinger (1921-2008) was the main driving force behind the race which was won by Frank Griswold. Formula racing continued there until bankruptcy in 1981. Two year later Corning Glass Works revived the Watkins Glen race course in partnership with Int’l. Speedway Corp.
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1949
William Scandling, Will Laughlin and Harry Anderson founded Saga Corp., a food services operation, in Geneva, NY. It was named after Kanadasaga, an Indian village that preceded Geneva. In 1986 Marriot Corp. bought out the company.
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1950
The population of Buffalo, NY, was around 580,000. By 2006 it dropped to 280,000. In 2006 Diana Dillaway authored “Power Failure,” a look at Buffalo’s decline.
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1951 Aug 3
Frank Pace, Jr., Secretary of the Army, announced that 90 cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, were to be expelled for cheating during examinations. Many of them were on the football team. In 1996 James Blackwell authored “On Brave Old Army Team: Cheating Scandal That Rocked the Country - West Point, 1951.”
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1953 Jun 19
Julius (b.5/12/1918) and Ethel Rosenberg (b.9/28/1915), convicted of passing U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II, were executed at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. The Supreme Court had vacated a stay granted by Justice William O. Douglas and President Eisenhower refused to intervene, despite a massive worldwide campaign to free them. In 1983 Ronald Radosh and Joyce Milton authored “The Rosenberg File.” In 2001 Sam Roberts authored “The Brother,” an account of David Greenglass, the younger brother of Ethel Rosenberg and star witness against her and Julius. In 2008 Morton Sobell (91), a former Soviet spy who had spent nearly 20 years in Alcatraz, fingered Julius Rosenberg as a fellow Soviet spy, but not Ethel.
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1953
Donald Ewen Cameron (1901-1967), professor of neurology and psychology at Albany State Medical School, developed what he called "psychic driving". He developed the theory that mental patients could be cured by treatment that erased existing memories and by rebuilding the psyche completely.
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