Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Woodlawn Cemetery Memorial Tells A Coney Island Story Of Unusual Death

Brighton Beach Lightning Strike Felt By Thousands, Kills Six – July 30, 1905

When walking through Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, you can come across fancy mausoleums and simple grave markers of the famous and infamous. F.W. Woolworth, Fiorello LaGuardia, Duke Ellington, Bat Masterson and Herman Melville are among the half million souls interred in this historic place.Demmerle Memorial

Then out of the blue you may stumble across the lives of ordinary New Yorker’s memorialized in an extraordinary way. Such is the Demmerle monument.

Unlike many other tombstones which record a name and birth and death years with a short epitaph, the Demmerle memorial is an ornate series of carved monuments which tells and shows the story of one family’s tragedy.

Demmerle Charles and EmilieSunday July 30, 1905 started out as a beautiful, sun-filled, hot day Continue reading

Magic Trick Gone Wrong

Unusual Death -1909

Boy Killed By Collar Button March 14 1909 Washington Times

From The Washington Times March 14, 1909

BOY IS STRANGLED BY COLLAR BUTTON

New York, March 14 – George A. Anderson, a ten-year-old Brooklyn lad, swallowed a collar button and died a few minutes later. He was performing sleight-of-hand tricks with the button. He passed it from one hand to the other, then swept one hand across his mouth and asked where the button was.

It lodged in his windpipe and killed him.

The Day Brooklyn Will Never Forget – October 4, 1955 The Brooklyn Dodgers Become World Champions

Johnny Podres Shuts Out The Yankees to Win Game 7 of The 1955 World Series

Cover Daily News Oct 5 1955

The Brooklyn Dodgers had appeared in seven World Series previous to 1955. They had lost all of them. But on Tuesday, October 4, 1955, a magical afternoon (yes the World Series was always played in the daytime until 1971) occurred at Yankee Stadium in front of 62,485 fans. Amazingly the game was not sold out.

Johnny Podres, after winning game three of the World Series, was matched up in game seven against Yankee veteran Tommy Byrne. An interesting side note: Byrne rode the IND subway from 59th Street to Yankee Stadium unrecognized by anyone. Podres ended up pitching the game of his life – an eight hit, 2-0 shutout. The Dodgers had finally vanquished the Yankees who had beaten them in five previous World Series.

The Dodgers played without Jackie Robinson who was nursing a strained Achilles tendon. And the Yankees were equally handicapped without Mickey Mantle, who, even though he pinch hit in this game, missed most of the Series with a torn leg muscle. Other Yankees and Dodgers stars like Duke Snider and Hank Bauer played despite being injured.

First pitch of Game 7, 1955 World Series Yankee Stadium. Tommy Byrne throws a strike past Jim Gilliam

The Dodgers scored one run in the fourth when Roy Campanella doubled and a single by Gil Hodges drove him home. The Dodgers added a run in the sixth with Hodges hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in Pee Wee Reese.

Sandy Amoros Catch 10 4 55

The acknowledged defensive play of the game was made by Dodgers left fielder Sandy Amoros.

Continue reading

The Forgotten Brooklyn Elevated Train Crash Of 1923

June 25, 1923 Intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues

Photo © Osmund Leviness

“Those who died were fortunate it seemed to me when I looked inside the cars. As long as I live I can never forget it. All the people were in a mass there, struggling and screaming, with blood running over them. They all seemed to be bleeding or stained with blood. One woman’s head was terribly cut on top, and one jaw seemed to be crushed in. The hand of another woman was almost cut off. One woman I took out through a window died a few minutes after I carried her into the post office. I can’t forget the inside of those cars. They looked like my idea of purgatory.” –  Traffic Officer Joseph J. Ryan who was on the scene immediately after the crash.

This incredible accident happened 89 years ago, Monday, June 25, 1923  as two cars of the BMT derailed and plunged 35 feet into the street at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. Continue reading

Squealer’s End

What Happens To Squealer’s

This is not The Sopranos or The Godfather.

75 years ago, gangsters did really nasty things to you, if you talked to the cops.

The back of this Acme news photograph sums it up:

Trussed from head to foot, the body of Samuel Silverman is examined by Deputy Medical Examiner Romeo Auerbach. The victim was found in a car parked in Brooklyn, N.Y. with three bullets in his skull. Police believe Silverman was killed for “putting the finger” on other men involved in a hold up, for which he was out on bail.  July 16, 1937

Silverman , 25, who lived at 869 Hopkinson Avenue, Brooklyn, was found in front of 324 East 91st Street, Brooklyn on July 15, 1937. The body was discovered at 5 pm by a youth who happened to glance inside the parked car.

Silverman had been arrested Continue reading

A Photographic Trip To Green-Wood Cemetery Part 3

Monuments And Odds & Ends

The focus for the final installment on Green-Wood Cemetery are monuments and some interesting things that I took note of.

Dogs

Dogs are not permitted to be buried in human cemeteries. Somehow though fourteen years after inventor Elias Howe’s death, a dog “Fannie,” was buried at the family plot in 1881. That is the exception.

For many people, their dogs were like members of the family. Continue reading

A Photographic Trip To Green-Wood Cemetery Part 2

Do You Know That Name?

Continuing the journey through historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn the next set of photographs concentrates on some names from history, some remembered today, others forgotten.

DeWitt Clinton

DeWitt Clinton has many things named after him in New York including a town, a high school, and a park. Known as the father of the Erie Canal, Clinton was a ten term mayor of New York City. Under his stewardship in 1811 the grid plan for the streets of New York City were instituted. He was also a United States Senator and Governor of New York State. Clinton lost the Presidential election of 1812 to James Madison by less than 10,000 votes and 29 electoral votes.

Clinton was moved to Green-Wood in 1844, sixteen years after his death. Continue reading

A Photographic Trip To Green-Wood Cemetery Part 1

A Different Way To Spend The Day In New York, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery

When I’m asked by people visiting New York what are some of the things they should do while they are here, my answer usually results in incredulous looks. “Go see Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx or Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.”

Most people will never visit a cemetery unless their relatives are located there. Even then, most people dread going to a cemetery. This is a mistake from a cultural standpoint. Cemeteries, especially historic ones like Green-Wood, possess landscape and architectural treasures that you cannot see in any museum.  They also contain a history told in granite, marble, bronze,  slate and limestone through an array of monuments, mausoleums, crypts, sarcophagi and tombstones of the permanent residents of Brooklyn.  As Green-Wood describes itself on its web site:

Green-Wood is 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, throughout which exists one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. Four seasons of beauty from century-and-a-half-old trees offer a peaceful oasis to visitors, as well as its 560,000 permanent residents.

The rural cemetery movement began in 1831 with the opening of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts, Continue reading

The Coney Island of Yesteryear – The Original Coney Island, Luna Park and Steeplechase Park In A Vintage Film

Coney Island in the Late 1930’s Early 40’s

Coney Island Luna Park entrance 1942On so many levels this is extraordinary. The time is somewhere between 1937 & 1941 based upon the rides shown at Luna Park at Coney Island. The original Luna Park closed in 1944.

When I first saw this film I re-watched it three times. What would it be like to experience the original Luna Park? This film gives you an idea.

Where is the time machine?