Timeline History

New York City History Timeline 1901 - 1950

Year Politics Historic Events Personalities Art & Literature Architecture / Buildings Finance Crimes and Disasters Sports & Entertainment
1901-1905 Geo Washington at Wall Street, Winter
Geo Washington at Wall Street, Winter Art Print
Maloratsky, Igor
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Train service between New York and Chicago began (1902).

Dr. Harry Plotz in NYC discovered a vaccine against typhoid (1903).

The first rapid transit subway, the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), opened in New York City (1904).
  The Williamsburg suspension bridge opened between Brooklyn and Manhattan (1903).

Flatiron Building constructed (1902).

Low Library constructed (1903).
High Turnover of Shares(1901). The General Slocum, carrying 1300 to a picnic site on Long Island, catches fire while on the East River. Over 1000 passengers are killed, ending the existence of the German neighbourhood Little Germany, New York (1904). New York Yankees established in 1901
1906-1910   The Queensboro Bridge, the first double decker bridge, opened and linked the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Queens (1909). Robert F. Wagner, (Mayor-D-NYC, 1954-65), was born (1910).   The Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower was completed (1909).

Morgan Library constructed (1906).

Pennsylvania Station constructed (1910).
DJIA Tops 100 (1906):The Dow Jones Industrial Average tops 100 for the first time.

Panic of 1907 :Rumors of financial problems at Knickerbocker Trust, a leading NY bank, triggers a run on banks throughout the city. This begins the Panic of 1907, regarded as America's most severe financial crisis to date. J.P. Morgan, Sr., who orchestrates a massive operation to infuse cash into banks and shore up the stock market, stems the panic almost single-handedly.
Stanford White is shot and killed by Harry K. Thaw at what was then Madison Square Gardens. The murder would soon be dubbed "the Crime of the Century(1906).
A train collision in the original Park Avenue tunnel kills 17 and injures 38 (1908).

Reformist Mayor William Jay Gaynor is shot in the throat in Hoboken, New Jersey by former city employee James Gallagher. He eventually dies in September 1913 from effects of the wound (1910).
New York Cityscape
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1911-1915   Columbia University approved plans for awarding the Pulitzer Prize in several categories. The award was established by Joseph Pulitzer (1912).

The first crossword puzzle, created by Arthur Wynne, the English-born New York journalist, was published in the New York World (1913).

Transcontinental telephone service began with the first phone conversation between New York and San Francisco (1914).
Jonas Salk, US physician and virologist, was born in NYC. He developed the first safe and effective vaccine against polio (1914).   The New York Times building was constructed (1913). "Blue Sky" Law (1911):Kansas adopts the "Blue Sky" Law, which requires companies issuing securities to file a description of their operations and receive a permit before selling stocks.

Federal Reserve System (1913):The Federal Reserve System is established to control credit and bring greater stability to the nation's banking structure. WW1 Causes Longest Exchange Shutdown (1914).

Market Price in Dollars (1915).
145 employees, mostly women, are killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire near Washington Square Park, some by being forced to jump from the building by the fire (1911).  
1916-1920   The U.S. Post Office and the U.S. Army began regularly scheduled airmail service between Washington and New York through Philadelphia (1918).

"There she is..." The first Miss America was crowned on this day, not in Atlantic City, but in New York City (1919).
Armory Show opened (1913).   New York Racquet Club constructed (1916). Wall Street Becomes World Financial Leader (1918):World War I is a turning point. America emerges from the war as a creditor rather than a debtor nation, and Wall Street supplants London as the world investment capital. Over the next decade, more than 1,700 foreign issues will be offered publicly in the U.S.

Centralized Clearing System Established (1920).
Black Tom Explosion set off by German saboteurs at a munitions arsenal on a small island in New York Harbor kills seven in Jersey City and causes damage as far as the Brooklyn waterfront and even Times Square (1916).

The Great Influenza Pandemic rages across the country and worldwide. In one particularly virulent October day, 851 people died in New York City alone (1918).

The actions of a substitute motorman filling in during a strike lead to a subway crash in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The Malbone Street Wreck kills 97 people heading home from work and injures a hundred more (1918).

The Wall Street bombing kills 38 at "the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world." Anarchists were suspected (Sacco and Vanzetti had been indicted just days before) but no one was ever charged with the crime (1920).
National Hockey League is founded in 1917.
1921-1925   Albert Einstein lectured in NY on his new theory of relativity (1921).

The first-ever radio commercial aired on station WEAF in New York City (1922).

The 1st brain tumor operation under local anesthetic was performed at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC by Dr K. Winfield Ney (1923).
PEN American Center (PEN) is founded (1922).   Fraud Bureau Established (1923):The NYSE establishes a Fraud Bureau and works closely with the Better Business Bureau to eliminate gamblers who bet on the rise and fall of the stock market quotations, and other fraudulent security sales.

Start of Historic Bull Market (1923):An historic bull market causes stock prices to surge ahead, virtually without letup, for the next six years.
  Lee de Forest demonstrated his sound-on-film moving pictures in NYC (1923).

New York Giants founded in 1925.
1926-1930   The first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversation took place, between New York City and London (1926).

Bellevue Hospital in NY installed the 1st iron lung (1927).

WGY-TV in Schenectady, New York, began regular television programming (1928).
The American comic book was invented in New York City (1930). The Chrysler Building, designed by William van Alen, was completed (1930).

The McGraw-Hill Building on 42nd St., designed by Raymond Hood, was completed (1930).

Daily News Building constructed (1930).
Proxy Solicitation (1927):The NYSE's regulations governing proxy solicitation are first established, and in subsequent years are strengthened and refined.

Central Quote System (1929):To meet volume growth, the Exchange builds large new trading posts and establishes a central quote system that provides instantaneous bid-ask prices by phone.
A subway crash caused by a defective switch below Times Square kills 16 and injures 150 (1928). New York Rangers is founded (1926).

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is formed(1930).
1931-1935   Wiley Post and Harold Gatty flew in a single-engine plane, the Winnie Mae, from New York on a round-the-world flight and returned to New York in 8 days, 15 hrs, and 51 min., a new world record (1931).

Radio City Music Hall was opened in New York City (1932).

The first singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegram Company in New York (1933).
Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), presidential advisor and president of Columbia Univ. (1902-1945), won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work (1931).   The 102-story Empire State Building opened in New York City (1931).

Rockefeller Center constructed (1932).
The Securities Act of 1933 :Franklin Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd President of the United States, promising a "New Deal." The Securities Act of 1933 mandates registering new issues and establishes federal disclosure requirements.

SEC (1934):The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 establishes the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its two basic purposes: to provide full disclosure to investors and to prohibit fraud in connection with the sale of securities.
The arrest of a shoplifter inflames racial tensions in Harlem and escalates to rioting and looting, with three killed, 125 injured and 100 arrested (1935). New York - Penn League is founded in 1939.

The National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938.
1936-1940   Chester Carlson and Otto Kornei performed the 1st successful test of their photocopier at Astoria, Queens, NYC (1938).

The uranium atom was 1st split at Columbia University (1939).

Midtown Manhattan, New York City, 1939
Midtown Manhattan, New York City, 1939 Art Print
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  Guggenheim Museum founded in 1937

Museum of Modern Art constructed (1938).

Finnish Pavilion constructed (1939).

Whitestone Bridge, connecting Bronx and Queens, opened(1939).
First President (1938):William McChesney Martin, Jr., becomes the first full-time salaried president of the exchange.

Public Gallery Opens (1939):The NYSE opens its trading floor gallery to the public. The gallery is known today as the Interactive Education Center.
Heavy rains cause a tenement in New Brighton, Staten Island, to collapse, killing 19 (1937).

The New England Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long Island and continues into New England, killing 564. In New York City, ten people are killed and power is lost across upper Manhattan and the Bronx (1938).

George Metesky plants the first bomb of his sixteen years as "The Mad Bomber (1940).
A hockey game was televised for the first time, by New York City station W2XBS (1940).

Charles Chaplin's first all-talking comedy, "The Great Dictator," a lampoon of Adolf Hitler, opened at two theaters in New York (1940).
1941-1945   Michael Rubens Bloomberg, currently serving as the Mayor of New York City was born (1942).     Lowest Price for Membership(1942):A membership sells for $17,000, the lowest price in the twentieth century.

Women Work on Trading Floor (1943):Women work on the Stock Exchange trading floor for the first time ending the tradition of men only
A race riot erupts in Harlem after an African-American soldier is shot by the police and rumored to be killed. The incident touches off a simmering brew of racial tension, unemployment, and high prices to a day of rioting and looting. Several looters are shot dead, and about 500 persons are injured and another 500 arrested (1943).

A B-25 Mitchell bomber accidentally crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, killing 13 people (1945).
Merce Cunningham, a former ballet student and performer with Martha Graham, presented his first New York solo concert with John Cage in 1944.
1946-1950   The 1st helicopter licensed for commercial use was in NYC (1946).   Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were built in NYC (1947).

United Nations Headquarters constructed (1947).

Lever House constructed (1950).
Longest Bull Run Begins (1949). Fire destroys the St. George terminal of the Staten Island Ferry, killing 3 and injuring 280 (1946).

Holland Tunnel fire caused by exploding truck carrying eighty 55-gallon drums of carbon disulfide seriously damages the tunnel's infrastructure and injures 66, with 27 hospitalized, mostly from smoke inhalation(1949).

New York Knicks is formed in 1946.
Year Politics Historic Events Personalities Art & Literature Architecture / Buildings Finance Crimes and Disasters Sports & Entertainment

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