9/11 : 2996 minus 19

9 11

9/11 they used to be just 2 numbers until that fateful day in 2001. Ever since then it has become ingrained in the human psyche as one of the days the world changed.

Even now ,17 years later it is hard to fathom the events of that day. Even when it happened it was hard to believe even though we could see it unfold in front of our eyes on TV screens or otherwise.

It was the day where we experienced evil and ruthlessness on so many levels. I say ruthlessness for it wasn’t only displayed by the terrorist. I worked at a telecom company at the time and about half an hour after the attacks, I received a call from a Banker in Switzerland complaining about telephony and data loss between Zürich and New York. He complained even though he was well aware what had happened, to him all that mattered was money transfers.

The one thing that bothers me is the fact that the reported number of casualties is 2996. This includes the 19 who committed the attacks, as if they were victims. Those 19 evil monsters, should not be included in that number. It diminishes the respect and the memories of the real victims.

These are the numbers we should focus on

Total number killed in attacks in New York: 2,753

Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343

Number of NYPD officers: 23

Number of Port Authority police officers: 37

Total Number of people killed on United Airlines Flight 93: 40

Total Number killed at the Pentagon attack:184.

2977, each a different story of innocent lives destroyed.

I don’t know all the stories but I know a bit of the story of ‘Victim 0001’

Judge

Mychal Judge

Mychal Judge was born Robert Emmett Judge on May 11, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of immigrants from County Leitrim, Ireland. His father died when he was still a child.To earn income following his father’s death, Judge shined shoes at New York Penn Station.

After spending his freshman year at the St. Francis Preparatory School in Brooklyn, where he studied under the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, in 1948, at the age of 15, Judge began the formation process to enter the Order of Friars Minor.In 1961, he was ordained a priest.

In 1992, Judge was appointed a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. As chaplain, he offered encouragement and prayers at fires, rescues, and hospitals, and counseled firemen and their families, often working 16-hour days.

When the planes hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal Judge ran into the North Tower alongside the firemen he served..

At the time, French documentary filmmakers were inside the North tower. Their camera captured some of the last moments of Mychal Judge’s life. In the film, according to his friend, Father Michael Duffy, you can see the priest standing by the plate glass window, watching the bodies fall on the patio outside.

“And if you look closely at that film, you’ll see his lips moving,” Duffy stated. “Now, for those of us who know him, he wasn’t one that talked to himself. He was praying. And absolving people as they fell to their death.”

Moments later, the South Tower collapsed. The force of the explosion shattered the windows and flung the priest across the lobby. In the darkness, some firemen stumbled over his body.

Mychal Judge was designated as “Victim 0001” and thereby recognized as the first official victim of the attacks.

Judge Priest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Curious George nearly didn’t make it.

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I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who hasn’t heard of Curious George, you may not have read the books or watched the cartoons or movies, but you will recognize the iconic Chimpanzee when you see him.

Although it is an iconic children’s book character and has a strong brand recognition, it could have easily been a different story, His origin tells a story of luck but indirectly also a tale of a false sense of security.

Curious George was written by H.A Rey and his wife Margret.

Rey

Hans Augusto Reyersbach was born in September 1898 in Hamburg , Germany,near the world-famous Hagenbeck Zoo, which gave him a lifelong love for animals and drawing.  His wife Margret was born on May  16 1906 also in Hamburg, her father Felix Waldstein had been a member of the Reichstag. the German parliament from 1871 to 1918. Hans and Margret both Jewish. The two first met in Hamburg at the 16th birthday party of Margret’s sister. They met again in Brazil, where Hans had a job as a bathtubs salesman Margret had moved to Brazil to escape the rise of Nazism in Germany. On August 16, 1935 they got married and went to Paris on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the place and decided to stay there.

Although Hitler had come to power in Germany it is apparent that the Rey’s felt safe in their new home, as most of the Parisians and the rest of France felt. Although the French were anxious of the developments in Germany, they did not envisage any danger to come from their eastern neighbour.

While in Paris, Hans’s animal drawings were noticed by a French publisher, who commissioned Hans  to write a children’s book. The book was to be” Rafi. and the Nine Monkeys” or “Rafi et les neuf singes” in French. It was published in 1939.

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One of the characters in the book was George, although he was called Fifi in the French version. Hans Rey thought that George deserved a book of his own.

But alas, war broke out.

On June 10, 1940, German troops were a few days away from Paris. People were trying to flee by  every way possible, cars,bicycles or whatever they could find. The Rey’s had left it a bit late but they managed to get 2 bikes.In fact Ray built the bikes himself, he had bought enough spare parts for 2 bicycles.

They left Paris only a few hours before it fell. Among the few possessions they were able to bring was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George.

Their journey  took them to Bayonne, France.On June 20, 1940.They crossed the Spanish border, where they purchased train tickets to Lisbon. Because they still had Brazilian passport  they returned to Brazil, they journeyed on from Brazil to New York.

The couple soon went to Houghton Mifflin publishers , they bought the manuscript for $1,000 and an additional three stories. The only demand  was that they change the name of Fifi to George.

The rest is history.

So next time you read a Curious George story yourself or to your children or other youngsters, remember that George nearly didn’t make it.

george fifi

 

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New York city, can be so pretty from a bird’s eye view.

Manhattan_from_Weehawken,_NJ

The title is from the song “When I first kissed you” by Extreme. A song I used on my wedding day. A bit of a lie really because I never been in New York, but I hope to go there someday soon. It is a beautiful song though

New York has captured the imagination of many people on the globe, whether you have been there or not its rich history  and influence will interest anyone. Therefore following below some historical aerial  pictures of the city that never sleeps.

The Hindenburg flies over New York City, just hours before meeting its fateful end. 1937.

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The sun sets over the smog, clouds, and skyscrapers of New York. 1932.

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The Carnegie Hill section of New York, long before skyscrapers. 1882.

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Smog obscures New York’s Chrysler Building. 1952.

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Aerial view of Manhattan from New York Harbor, with the then-new World Trade Center’s Twin Towers looming above Wall Street buildings. Circa 1970.

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Aerial view from Upper New York Bay, looking north over Battery Park and the lower Manhattan skyline. 1923.

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View of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

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A Canadian plane flies over New York’s George Washington Bridge as it makes its way up the Hudson River en route to Montreal, Canada. 1939.

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New York’s Woolworth tower pokes through the clouds. 1928.

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An aerial view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Circa 1912

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Sources

All that is interesting

Library of congress

The other impact of 9/11

US DOMESTIC NEWS

I was struggling to come up with an appropriate title ,this is the best I could come up with. In this blog I am not looking at the obvious impact of that awful day but to the impact it had on the entertainment industry and also how we looked at different aspects of climate change.

The entertainment industry.

There were many TV shows and movies affected by the attacks but I am only highlighting the aftermath of 9/11 on the 2 most popular shows at the time.

The Sopranos

the-sopranos-

Definitely in my top 3 of all time favourite TV shows, it really raised the bar for other shows coming after it.

I only started watching the show on box sets several years after it aired. For the first 3 season it had the World Trade Center in the opening credits. Where Tony Soprano catches a  quick glimpse of the buildings in the rear view mirror of his car.However in season 4 that sequence has been removed and changed.

SOPRANOS

Friends

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Although I never really got the show and why so many people were so fascinated by it, I do realize it is the most popular sitcom to have ever aired on a global scale.

In episode 3 of season 8, titled ‘The One Where Rachel Tells Ross”  which was filmed before the attacks. The original script included scenes where Chandler made fun of airport security and Monica seemed to issue terrorist commands to Joey and Phoebe by phone. The episode was supposed to be aired 2 weeks after the attack. The subplot was changed to Monica and Chandler newlywed privileges.

Climate Change

Global Dimming

One of the definitions of Global Dimming It is a phenomenon that happens due to reduction in the solar rays falling on the earth’s surface. The residues and particulates such as sulfur dioxide, ash, soot (black carbon), that are produced after combustion of fossil fuels cause global dimming .

I am not a climate expert but the way I understand it Global Dimming is the opposite of Global Warming.

dimming

Although the term Global Dimming had been branded about since the 1950’s,it was after the attacks where a more serious look was taken at the phenomenon.

Dr David Travis of University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, was on his way to work on September 12 2001, about 800 miles west of New York. He looked at the skies and noticed they appeared to be bluer  and much clearer then before.

For 15 years Dr Travis had been doing research on this  apparently obscure topic, on the effect of  vapour trails left by aircraft  and if they were having a significant effect on the climate. Because of all flights being grounded in the US directly after the attacks, Travis finally had a chance to find out.  During the period, an increase in diurnal temperature variation of over 1 °C (1.8 °F) was observed in some parts of the U.S.The 1 degree Celsius reduction in temperature is may not mean anything for a common man, but scientific records show that this sort of abrupt reduction in temperature can have adverse effects in the future.

Ironically this opportunity to study the effects of the contrails was one of the few positives to come from the 9/11 attacks.

WTC

 

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Sources

BBC

HBO

Friends

Help Save Nature

When the Dutch gave New Netherland to the Brits

treaty

Although the Dutch and the Brits are good friends now, it was not always thus. There have been several Anglo-Dutch wars.

The 3rd ,  Anglo-Dutch war ended this day in 1674 by the signing of the Westmnster Treaty of 1647. The English were dismayed by the unexpected fact that Dutch raiders managed to capture more English ships than vice versa and that New Amsterdam had been retaken by the Dutch in 1673.

New Amsterdam was the Capital city of New Netherland

New_Netherland_'NOVI_BELGII_NOVAEQUE_ANGLIAE_NEC_NON_PARTIS_VIRGINIAE_TABULA'

It was located on the east coast of North America(the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod,  part of the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, and  outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.)

Part of the treaty was that New Netherland was to be returned to the Brits, while the Dutch kept Surinam.

The official peace was proclaimed  was proclaimed at Whitehall on 27 February at 10.00 am.

New Amsterdam is now called New York of course.

New_York_City_harbor_print

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The Case of the Treasonous Dolls

Dickinsondollshop

The facts of the case are odd.

Five letters were written in early 1942 and mailed by seemingly different people in different U.S. locations to the same person at a Buenos Aires, Argentina, address.

Velvaleedickinsonfeb221942letter

In early 1942, five letters were written and mailed by seemingly different people in different U.S. locations to the same person at an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Even more strangely, all of them bounced “Return to Sender”—and the “senders” on the return address (women in Oregon, Ohio, Colorado, and Washington state) knew nothing about the letters and had not sent them.

The FBI learned about all this when wartime censors intercepted one letter postmarked in Portland, Oregon, puzzled over its strange contents, and referred it to cryptographers at the FBI Laboratory. These experts concluded that the three “Old English dolls” left at “a wonderful doll hospital” for repairs might well mean three warships being repaired at a west coast naval shipyard; that “fish nets” meant submarine nets; and that “balloons” referred to defense installations.

One of the letters, supposedly sent by a Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio, did indicate her home address – 1808 E High Street – but had been postmarked in New York, a place she had never been. The letter, primarily discussing dolls, contained references to a “Mr. Shaw, who had been ill but would be back to work soon.” The letter corresponded to information that the destroyer USS Shaw, which had been damaged in the Pearl Harbor attack, completed repairs on the West Coast and was soon to rejoin the Pacific Fleet.

Another letter, given to the FBI in August of that year and said to have been written by a woman in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was postmarked from Oakland, California. That letter, written in February, made reference to seven small dolls which the writer stated would be altered to look as though they were “seven real Chinese dolls”, designed to mimic a family of parents, grandparents and three children. The FBI determined that the letter was written shortly after a convoy of ships had arrived at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo. The letter contained certain details about the ships, that if made public, would have been detrimental to the war effort.

 

The FBI immediately opened an investigation.

It was May 20, 1942, when a woman in Seattle turned over the crucial second letter. It said, “The wife of an important business associate gave her an old German bisque Doll dressed in a Hulu Grass skirt…I broke this awful doll…I walked all over Seattle to get someone to repair it….”

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In short order, the FBI turned up the other letters. It determined that all five were using “doll code” to describe vital information about U.S. naval matters. All had forged signatures that had been made from authentic original signatures. All had typing characteristics that showed they were typed by the same person on different typewriters. How to put these clues together?

It was the woman in Colorado who provided the big break. She, like the other purported letter senders, was a doll collector, and she believed that a Madison Avenue doll shop owner, Mrs. Velvalee Dickinson, was responsible. She said Ms. Dickinson was angry with her because she’d been late paying for some dolls she’d ordered. That name was a match: the other women were also her customers.

Velvaleedickinson

Who was Velvalee Malvena Dickinson? Basically, a mystery. She was born in California and lived there until she moved with her husband to New York City in 1937. She opened a doll shop on Madison Avenue that same year, catering to wealthy doll collectors and hobbyists, but she struggled to keep it afloat. It also turned out that she had a long and close association with the Japanese diplomatic mission in the U.S.—and she had $13,000 in her safe deposit box traceable to Japanese sources.

Following her guilty plea on July 28, 1944, Ms. Dickinson detailed how she’d gathered intelligence at U.S. shipyards and how she’d used the code provided by Japanese Naval Attaché Ichiro Yokoyama to craft the letters. What we’ll never know is why the letters had been, thankfully, incorrectly addressed.

Yokoyama_Ichiro

 

FBI Laboratory examination of all five letters confirmed that the signatures on the letters were not genuine, but were forgeries which the experts decided were prepared from original signatures in the possession of the forger. The examination also showed that the typewriter used in the preparation of the letters was different in each case, but that the typing characteristics indicated that the letters were prepared by the same person.

The conclusion reached by the FBI cryptographers was that an open code was used in the letters, which attempted to convey information on the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly the ships of the U.S. Navy, their location, condition, and repair, with special emphasis on the damage of such vessels at Pearl Harbo

high

On February 11, 1944, Velvalee Malvena Dickinson was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for violation of the censorship statutes, conviction of which could result in a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

She pleaded not guilty and was held in lieu of $25,000 bail. A continuing investigation by the FBI resulted in a second indictment on May 5, this time on charges of violating espionage statutes, the Trading with the Enemy Act, tradingwithenemy00natirichand the censorship statutes, conviction of which carried the death penalty. She pleaded not guilty and was released on the same bail.On July 28, 1944, a plea bargain was made between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Dickinson in which the espionage and Trade Act indictments were dismissed and she pleaded guilty to the censorship violation and agreed to furnish information in her possession concerning Japanese intelligence activities.

After pleading guilty, she admitted that she had typed the five forged letters addressed to Argentina, using correspondence with her customers to forge their signatures.

She claimed the information compiled in her letters was from asking innocent and unsuspecting citizens in Seattle and San Francisco near the location of the Navy yards there, as well as some details from personal observation. She stated that the letters transmitted information about ships damaged at Pearl Harbor and that the names of the dolls corresponded to a list that explained the type of ships involved. She furthermore stated that the code to be used in the letters, instructions for use of the code, and $25,000 in $100 bills had been passed to her husband by Yokoyama around November 26, 1941, in her doll store at 718 Madison Avenue for the purpose of supplying information to the Japanese. She repeated her claims that the money had been hidden in her husband’s bed until his death.

However, an investigation by the FBI refuted those claims, disclosing that while Dickinson had been a friend of Yokoyama, her husband had never met him. It was also learned that a physical examination done on him at the time indicated that his mental faculties were impaired at the time of the supposed payment. Both a nurse and a maid employed by the Dickinsons at the time emphatically stated that no money had ever been concealed there.

Velvalee Dickinson appeared in court for sentencing on August 14, 1944. Upon sentencing, the court commented:

It is hard to believe that some people do not realize that our country is engaged in a life and death struggle. Any help given to the enemy means the death of American boys who are fighting for our national security. You, as a natural-born citizen, having a University education, and selling out to the Japanese, were certainly engaged in espionage. I think that you have been given every consideration by the Government. The indictment to which you have pleaded guilty is a serious matter. It borders close to treason. I, therefore, sentence you to the maximum penalty provided by the law, which is ten years and $10,000 fine.

Still maintaining her innocence and claiming that her ,at that stage deceased. husband had been the Japanese spy, Dickinson was imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution for Women (now the Alderson Federal Prison Camp) in Alderson, West Virginia. She was released with conditions on April 23, 1951.

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Life in the Big Apple

flying-by-statue-liberty

New York city has such a rich history. Although I have never been there (but I will someday) I find it one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

For me to write a whole essay on the city would do it injustice, therefore below some pictures of its rich history.

A woman dressed in only heels and a barrel that reads “I Did My Bit, Did You?” stands in Times Square.

The promotion, organized by the United National Clothing Collection was part of drive to collect clothing and bedding for overseas war relief. April 1945..

promo-girl-times-square

Police attempt to enter the residence of the Collyer Brothers, a pair of legendary New York hoarders and recluses, after receiving reports of a foul smell coming from the house. They later found the bodies of the two brothers dead under a mountain of rubbish. 1947.

removing-junk-collyer-weird

A window washer at work on the Empire State Building poses during a brief break from his duties. March 24, 1936.

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French aerialist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope strung between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. 1974.

philippe-petit-twin-towers

From a board stuck out from the 54th floor of the Chanin Building, daredevil pole sitter Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly balances on his head while dunking doughnuts to celebrate Friday the 13. 1939.

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The Brooklyn Bridge during construction in 1882.

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Waiters serve lunch to two steel workers on a girder high above the city on November 14, 1930, during construction of the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

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The German airship Hindenburg, swastikas and all, flies over New York City on the afternoon of May 6, 1937, a few hours before its historic, fiery crash in Manchester Township, New Jersey.

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9/10 :the day before-The forgotten date.

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September 10,2001. A day like any other, people go about their daily lives, A young mother brings her kid to school. A sister is visiting her brother, an IT manager is on the phone to a help desk in a call centre,discussing data and telephony issues.

Not knowing that less then 24 hours later their world is turned up side town and even ended.

Following are just some impression from 9/10 the day before.

Picture above Australian David Officer took this photo from the Empire State Building on September 10, 2001, and was planning to visit the World Trade Centre with his family the next day.

Evan Kuz took this photo of downtown New York on the afternoon of September 10, 2001.

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Artist Monika Bravo was filming out the window from her studio on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Centre’s Tower One as a storm rolled across the city. One of her fellow resident artists was killed in the attacks the next day.

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World Trade Center. 9/10/2001

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September 10, 2001 at night

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Some headlines of the 10th of September.

Missing money

Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference to say that the Pentagon was missing more than $2.3 trillion.

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Gunmen Open Fire in Mosque; 11 Killed

Assailants wielding automatic weapons opened fire in a mosque in northern Algeria, killing 11 people and wounding eight others, security forces said. The attackers were believed to be Islamic militants, according to a statement issued by the security forces.

The massacre took place during Saturday evening prayers in Arzew, east of the port city of Oran.

The country’s Islamic insurgency broke out in 1992, when the military canceled elections that an Islamic fundamentalist party was set to win.

Bermuda Skirted by Storm

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Hurricane Erin strengthened Sunday, stranding tourists on Bermuda but sparing the wealthy island its lashing winds as it veered to the northeast.

Hard rain pelted the island, but the storm’s center stayed 110 miles northeast of the British territory. There were no reports of flooding, wind damage or injuries.

Erin’s sustained winds reached 120 mph, up from 105 mph earlier Sunday, making it a Category 3 hurricane, which can cause extensive damage.

The storm was not expected to grow stronger but could affect Canada within three days, said Richard Pasch, a specialist with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

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On “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Love interest Riley is behaving oddly and, when it’s discovered he has an abnormally fast pulse, Buffy becomes concerned.

The Scooby gang must get him to the Initiative doctor for help, but why is he so reluctant to go?

Meanwhile, Spike is also less than happy. He’s feeling confused and thinks Buffy is at the root of it. Is it time to tell her how he feels?

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One more picture of the World Trade center September 10.2001.

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When New Amsterdam became New York

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One of my favourite songs is from a band called Extreme it is called “When I first kissed you” The opening line goes as follows.”New York city can be so pretty from a bird’s eye view” If history had gone a slightly different direction the lyrics to that song would not have  been the same.

On this day in 1664 Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Richard Nicolls. Stuyvesant had hoped to resist the English, but he was an unpopular ruler, and his Dutch subjects refused to rally around him.

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Following its capture, New Amsterdam’s name was changed to New York, in honor of the Duke of York, who organized the mission.

The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company220px-Flag_of_the_Dutch_West_India_Company.svg in 1624 and grew to encompass all of present-day New York City and parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. A successful Dutch settlement in the colony grew up on the southern tip of Manhattan Island and was christened New Amsterdam.

 

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To legitimatize Dutch claims to New Amsterdam, Dutch governor Peter Minuit formally purchased Manhattan from the local tribe from which it derives it name in 1626. According to legend, the Manhattans–Indians of Algonquian linguistic stock–agreed to give up the island in exchange for trinkets valued at only $24.

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However, as they were ignorant of European customs of property and contracts, it was not long before the Manhattans came into armed conflict with the expanding Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam. Beginning in 1641, a protracted war was fought between the colonists and the Manhattans, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Indians and settlers.

In 1664, New Amsterdam passed to English control, and English and Dutch settlers lived together peacefully. In 1673, there was a short interruption of English rule when the Netherlands temporary regained the settlement. In 1674, New York was returned to the English, and in 1686 it became the first city in the colonies to receive a royal charter. After the American Revolution, it became the first capital of the United States.

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Ironically nowadays the name Peter Stuyvesant is more associated to a brand of cigarettes.

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William Kemmler-First execution by electric chair.

WmKmlr-execution (1)

At Auburn Prison in New York, the first execution by electrocution in history was carried out against William Kemmler, who had been convicted of murdering his lover, Matilda Ziegler, with an axe.

William Kemmler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both of his parents were immigrants from Germany and both of them were alcoholics.After dropping out of school at age 10, having learned neither how to read nor write, Kemmler worked in his father’s butcher shop. His father died from an infection that he received after a drunken brawl and his mother died from complications of alcoholism. After his parents died, he went into the peddling business and earned enough money to buy a horse and cart, although at this point he was becoming a heavy drinker.

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In one episode involving him and his friends after a series of drunken binges, he said he could jump his horse and cart over an eight-foot fence with the cart attached to the horse. The attempt was a failure, and his cart and goods destroyed in the incident. He was known to friends as “Philadelphia Billy” due to his drinking binges that were very well known around the saloons in his Buffalo neighborhood. Kemmler was reportedly slender, with dark brown hair. He spoke both English and German.

Electrocution as a humane means of execution was first suggested in 1881 by Dr. Albert Southwick, a dentist.

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Southwick had witnessed an elderly drunkard “painlessly” killed after touching the terminals of an electrical generator in Buffalo, New York. In the prevalent form of execution at the time–death by hanging–the condemned were known to hang by their broken necks for up to 30 minutes before succumbing to asphyxiation.

In 1889, New York’s Electrical Execution Law, the first of its kind in the world, went into effect, and Edwin R. Davis, the Auburn Prison electrician, was commissioned to design an electric chair. Closely resembling the modern device, Davis’ chair was fitted with two electrodes, which were composed of metal disks held together with rubber and covered with a damp sponge. The electrodes were to be applied to the criminal’s head and back.

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On August 6, 1890, William Kemmler became the first person to be sent to the chair. After he was strapped in, a charge of approximately 700 volts was delivered for only 17 seconds before the current failed. Although witnesses reported smelling burnt clothing and charred flesh, Kemmler was far from dead, and a second shock was prepared. The second charge was 1,030 volts and applied for about two minutes, whereupon smoke was observed coming from the head of Kemmler, who was clearly deceased. An autopsy showed that the electrode attached to his back had burned through to the spine.

Dr. Southwick applauded Kemmler’s execution with the declaration, “We live in a higher civilization from this day on,” while American inventor George Westinghouse, an innovator of the use of electricity, remarked, “They would have done better with an axe.”