Huge Snowstorm In March 1956 Paralyzed New York City and Suburbs
New York – Pedestrians trample their way through snow-covered streets here 3/19 after the worst snowfall in eight years crippled New York’s transportation system and left thousands of motorists stranded on the highway systems leading into the city. More than 2,000 cars were abandoned on the roads. photo United Press Telephoto 3/19/1956
Just in time for spring, the weather forecasters are predicting a lot of snow for New York City starting Tuesday, March 20. Possibly eight inches will fall across the area and then melt within a couple of days.
Snow becomes the main news story here in New York. This will be a small storm compared to the snowstorm that hit New York City on March 18 – 20, 1956. By the time it was over, New York City received 13 and a half inches of snow, making travel in the region next to impossible.
New York – Snow business is bad business for the owner of a corner grocery store in suburban Queens here 3/20. Folks weren’t exactly beating a path to his door so he closed for the day. 3/20/1956 photo United Press Telephoto
What made this storm worse than others what not just the amount of snow but the surprise nature of it. Continue reading →
Vanished Qualities And Standards In Filling A Political Office
When the president gets to choose a vacancy for a governmental office, shouldn’t the criteria used to fill that position sound something like this:
“In my nominations of persons to fill offices in the Judicial department I have been guided by the importance of the object. Considering it as of the first magnitude and as the pillar on which our political fabric must rest I have endeavored to bring into the high offices of its administration such character as will give stability and dignity to our National Government and I persuade myself they will discover a due desire to promote the happiness of our country by a ready acceptance of their several appointments.”
Players With 25 or More Home Runs In A Season & Fewer Strikeouts Than Home Runs
Johnny Mize hit the most home runs in a season, having more homers (51) than strikeouts (42)
As baseball commentators rave about all the power hitters with their prodigious home run numbers, few broadcasters and writers will allude to the obscene strikeout totals put up by these same power hitters.
Not that most players are capable of hitting a lot of home runs and avoiding striking out, but the great players of the past could.
This list from baseball-reference.com shows the top 37 players with more home runs than strikeouts in a season. Any number in bold means the player led the league in that category.
Things You Didn’t Know About Divorce, Statues and Rapid Transit In New York City
Washington statue Union Square unveiled in 1856, an 80 year gap between public statues in New York City
Under English rule there was never a divorce in New York until 1787
When the Dutch founded New Amsterdam they allowed divorce but it was a rare occurrence. The English captured New Amsterdam in 1664 and after a brief retaking of the city by the Dutch in 1673, the English took permanent possession of the colony of New York until the Revolution. Over the next 100 years there was no divorce in New York.
Isaac Governeur became the first New Yorker granted a divorce in 1787. Up until then there had been no legal way of separating from your spouse. Alexander Hamilton created the law that allowed divorce in New York. The sole basis for being granted a divorce was adultery. Those who were desperate enough, went to another state that did allow divorce for other reasons. Incredibly, until 1966, adultery remained the only grounds for getting a divorce in New York.
The first successful manned flight in New York took place in 1819
A Frenchman, Charles Guillé who had made many successful balloon ascensions in France arrived in the United States in the summer of 1819. Continue reading →
Clara Bow The “It” Girl Made Only One Film In Color, and This One Minute Fragment Is All That That Survives
(And What Exactly is “It”)
Most movie fans never saw Clara Bow’s beautiful red hair except when illustrated on magazine covers. All but one of her films was made in black and white. Her red hair and Brooklyn childhood earned her, her original nickname “The Brooklyn Bonfire.”
So seeing the primitive color film clip below is a pleasant treat for classic movie fans.
With the exception of one film, Red Hair” which is now considered lost, this one minute fragment is all that survives of Clara Bow filmed in color.
If the last minute of Red Hair could be found we would see Clara Bow in as little clothing as the censors would allow.
So what exactly is “It”? Writer Elinor Glin wrote a magazine article called “It.” and a movie soon followed in 1927 starring Clara Bow. The sobriquet The “It Girl” was immediately and permanently attached to Clara Bow.
“Either you have “It” or you don’t have” It.” “It” is sex appeal definitely, but much more than that.
In a 1927 interview, writer Glyn said you must have ALL of the following qualities: Continue reading →
A 1960s Magazine Article on How To Choose A Mistress
In the article, “The Art of Selecting a Mistress” it is pointed out right at the beginning, “Love has nothing to do with it says this expert. You pick her like a car – for performance.”
Here is the quiz you are supposed to take before reading the article:
The perfect mistress is:
17 years of age (a)
21 years of age (b)
26 years of age (c)
40 Years of age (d)
75 years of age (e)
The perfect mistress is (a) married (b) single (c) divorced
The perfect mistress is (a) in love with you (b) fond of you (c) crazy about herself
The perfect mistress is (a) a working girl (b) well fixed (c) a working girl who needs a protector
The perfect mistress is (a) intelligent (b) stupid (c) indifferent
The perfect mistress is (a) owner of her own car (b) prefers cabs (c) likes men with expensive cars
A great number of topics written about in the 1960s would almost certainly be considered politically incorrect today. For many people, Selecting a Mistress from Monsieur Magazine by Mel Bennett would fall into that P.I. class.
Monsieur was a nudie titillation magazine published from 1957 through the mid- 1960s which was several notches below Playboy in literary quality. Monsieur’s typical articles such as “Manhattan – Island of Sex Starved Men”, “Women Love To Be Unfaithful”, “Girl-Pinching Goes International” and “Making a Dame on A Plane” was not meant to attract many female readers.
While the answers to the quiz are on page 71 of Monsieur, unfortunately we can’t provide them.
The article image is from the New York Historical Society. As the Historical Society points out about this donated collection: “While not your standard scholarly fare, the Harvey Rosen and El Borracho Collection provides valuable insights into the supper club scene in New York as well as the decidedly un-feminist perception of women that characterized this era.”
42nd Street Looking West From 3rd Avenue Towards Grand Central 1887
This albumen photograph was taken in 1887 by Willis Knowlton who had his studio at 335 Fourth Avenue.
Knowlton set up his camera from the 42nd Street station of the Third Avenue Elevated looking west towards Grand Central Station. If you’re thinking, “wait a minute, why are there elevated tracks running west towards Grand Central?” The answer is, this connecting spur was in place between 1878 and 1923, taking commuters to and from Grand Central directly to the Third Avenue El. As practical as the connection was for the 15,000 daily riders still using it in 1923, the city’s Board of Estimate ordered its removal in October of that year. The IRT complied and the spur was closed at midnight December 6, 1923 and the tracks and station were demolished soon afterwards.
A little about the buildings seen in this photograph. Running along the northern (right) portion of 42nd Street at 145-147 East 42nd Continue reading →
In 2017 Aaron Judge Became The New Single Season Strikeout King
When Aaron Judge makes contact with a baseball it can be an breathtaking sight. His home runs are the definition of tape measure shots, some balls traveling 500 feet or more. Not since Mickey Mantle has a ballplayer hit such long distance bombs with such regularity.
When Aaron Judge doesn’t make contact, the big swing breeze he creates can cool off fans in the first ten rows near the dugouts. And Judge’s propensity for striking out in 2017 was prodigious.
Last season Judge struck out 236 times, 208 strikeouts in the regular season and 28 times in the postseason establishing a new major league record for most total strikeouts in a season. No news outlet bothered to point this out.
Granted, Judge’s strikeout record gets an asterisk because of his postseason participation. Continue reading →
It would be nice to add some context to this 1953 Acme news photograph besides the date and title caption, unfortunately I couldn’t find any information on it. Not even if the photo was taken in Paris, France, or that is where the circus or performers are from. If the circus is from Paris, it might be Cirque Medrano. Continue reading →