Category Archives: History

Senator John F. Kennedy Visits Former President Harry Truman

 Kennedy and Truman In Missouri 1959

Kennedy meets Truman 1959 photo AP WirephotoLibrary Meeting
In Independence, Mo. – Senator Kennedy, Democrat, Massachusetts, and former President Truman met at the Truman Library. Kennedy later took off on a quick tour of Kansas. Photo: AP wirephoto November 23, 1959

Though Kennedy said it was “a fine meeting,” Scripps-Howard  reporter Charles Lucey noted that Kennedy was unafraid to disagree with Truman publicly over nuclear testing. Continue reading

Old New York In Postcards #27 – The 10 Tallest Buildings In 1939

Skyscraper Race – The 10 Tallest Buildings In New York City In 1939

When the Park Row Building was completed in 1899, the 31 story office building was the highest in New York and the world at 382 feet. Less than seven years later it was no longer the tallest, with the Singer Building soaring 211 feet higher than the Park Row.

Today the Park Row Building, converted to residences, is not even among the 100 tallest buildings in New York. And the Singer Building was demolished over 55 years ago.

The constant desire by developers to top one another has continued and accelerated in the past dozen years.

The skyline is being overtaken by mostly nondescript glass boxes dwarfing other buildings and eclipsing many of the classic New York skyscrapers.

As of 2022 the ten tallest buildings in New York are:

Rank   Name                                 Height Stories Year Completed Address
1         One World Trade Center 1,776    94        2014                     285 Fulton Street
2         Central Park Tower          1,550     99        2021                     225 West 57th Street
3         111 West 57th Street       1,428     85        2022                     111 West 57th Street
4         One Vanderbilt                 1,401      73       2020                      1 Vanderbilt Avenue
5         432 Park Avenue              1,397      85       2015                      432 Park Avenue
6         30 Hudson Yards              1,270     103     2019                      500 West 33rd Street
7         Empire State Building      1,250     102     1931                      350 Fifth Avenue
8         Bank of America Tower   1,200       55      2009                     1101 Sixth Avenue
9         3 World Trade Center      1,079       69      2018                      175 Greenwich Street
10       The Brooklyn Tower         1,073       73      2022                      9 DeKalb Avenue (Brooklyn)

Recently looking at the 1939 World Almanac there was a list of the tallest buildings in New York.

Here are the top ten from that list-

All heights listed are the Almanac’s figures which may differ from modern estimates.

1. The Empire State Building is located on the site of the original Continue reading

Circus Elephants Get A Police Escort In Los Angeles May 6, 1953

Elephants In The Streets Of Los Angeles

credit: Los Angeles Daily News 1953

Elephants in the streets?

It must be for the circus and they’re transporting their pachyderms to a show site.

But this is Los Angeles where movie magic can be the reason behind unusual happenings. Continue reading

When We Used To Manufacture Things In The United States

U.S. Manufacturing And Industry In Cities In The 1930s

When The U.S.A. Did Not Rely Upon Imports

See What 16 Cities Of The United States Used To Produce

Worker at furniture factory, Arthurdale, West Virginia 1937 photo: Ben Shahn via Library of Congress

As the Covid-19 debacle made clear to Americans we are now dependent upon foreign countries for many of the things necessary to conduct our daily lives.”Supply-chain” issues have been one of the main reasons given to explain the shortages of thousands of products. Continue reading

A Good Cemetery Epitaph Versus A Great Epitaph

Epitaph One Upmanship – The Final Words Of A Married Couple

Since 1822 five generations of William Simpson’s ran one of New York’s oldest and most respected pawn shops. The final namesake to run Simpsons Pawnbrokers at 91 Park Row, William Rooe Simpson sold out to his partners in 1937, ending the continuous line of William Simpson’s to own and operate the hockshop. William Rooe Simpson died in 1957 and his son William David Simpson never went into the family pawn business. He became a doctor settling in Shelby, North Carolina.

When William David Simpson died at the age of 64 in 1988 he had this witty epitaph placed on his marker at Sunset cemetery in Shelby.

His wife Barbara “Bobbi” Taylor Simpson however Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #140 – July 4, 1860

Independence Day In New York Watching The Regatta 1860

July 4, 1860 regatta at The Battery. photo: Anthony

Patriotism, Parades and Pyrotechnics

In 1860 a year before the nation was split into two warring factions, New Yorkers celebrated the 84th anniversary of Independence Day in glorious fashion.

The day proliferated with excursions, theatricals, balloon ascensions, salutes, military parades, fireworks and – a regatta.

Regatta derives from Venetian, meaning a contention for mastery or contest. The New York regatta held on July 4 was a series of rowed and sailed boat races held near Castle Clinton at The Battery in New York bay.

All of the photographs seen here were taken by the firm of E. & H.T. Anthony as stereoviews. Continue reading

Managers Connie Mack & John McGraw Decide Who Bats First At The First All-Star Game

Athletics Manager Connie Mack & Former Giants Manager John McGraw Have A Contest Before The First All-Star Game 1933

Photo shows – Manager Connie Mack of Americans (left) Manager John McGraw of Nationals choose for first up with the aid of a bat.

In the game of the century played at Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 6, the picked team of the American League defeated the picked team of the National League 4-2. Photo: Acme July 6, 1933

It’s hard to believe that this is how they decided home field advantage in the American League’s Comiskey Park for the first All-Star Game, but it’s true.

Kids used to do this in pick-up games in parks to see who would bat first. Continue reading

Primitives & Savages – It’s All Culturally Relative Right?

A Different Sort Of Savagery

Marriage Among The Australian Aborigines – 1870

19th Century Australian Marriage Ceremony

We see that marriage by capture, either as a stern reality or as an important ceremony, prevails in Australia and among the Malays, in Hindostan, Central Asia, Siberia, and Kamskatka; among the Esquimaux, the Northern Redskins, the Aborigines of Brazil, in Chile and Tierra del Fuego, in the Pacific Islands, both among the Polynesians and the Fijians, in the Philippines, among the Arabs and Negroes, in Circassia, and, until recently, throughout a great part of Europe.

In Australia little real affection exists between husbands and wives, and young men value a wife principally for her services as a slave. In fact, when asked why they are anxious to obtain wives, their usual reply is, that they “may get wood, water, and food for them, and carry whatever property they possess.”

The position of women in Australia seems indeed to be wretched in the extreme. They are treated with the utmost brutality, beaten and speared in the limbs on the most trivial provocation. Few women, says Eyre, will be found, upon examination, to be free from frightful scars upon the head, or the marks of spear wounds about the body. I have seen a young woman who, from the number of these marks, appeared to have been almost riddled with spear wounds. If at all good-looking their position is, if possible, even worse than otherwise.

Excerpt and illustration taken from:

The Origin of Civilisation And The Primitive Condition Of Man – Mental and Social Condition Of Savages by Sir John Lubbock, Member Parliament, Baronet, Fellow of the Royal Society. Author of Prehistoric Times, etc. Vice President of the Ethnological Society, Fellow of the Linnean, Geological and Entomological And Other Societies. London: Longmans Green and Co. 1870

You have just read  a small sample of historic inhumanity not unique to Australia.

Europe, Asia and the America’s furnish abundant examples of similar behavior in uncivilized societies.

The frightening aspect of this, is that the reality of cultural relativism has been conveniently forgotten. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #139 – Zeppelin And The Woolworth Building

The Dirigible Los Angeles Flying Near The Woolworth Building – 1929

Graf Zeppelin’s Sister – Los Angeles Joins In Great Reception For Dr. Eckener
New York – Photo shows : The dirigible Los Angeles, older sister of the Graf Zeppelin, flying above the Woolworth Building during the reception for Dr. Hugo Eckener commander of the Graf. Photo: Underwood & Underwood August 30, 1929.

Continue reading