Explorer Henry Hudson, seeking a northwest passage to the Orient, entered what is today known as Jamaica Bay and “discovered” the Rockaway (then known as Reckowacky or “the place of our own people”) peninsula.
September 21, 1662
Governor Peter Stuyvesant banned public worship in any form but “the Dutch Reformed worship and service.” In Flushing (Vlissingen), John Bowne continued to allow Quakers to worship in his home. This led to Bowne’s arrest and transport to trial in Holland. He defended himself at his trial using as his defense, the Flushing Town Charter of 1645 and Edward Hart’s Remonstrance of 1657. Bowne won the right of religious freedom from the directors of the Dutch West India Company
September 8, 1664
The townships of Vlissingen, Middleburgh, and Rustdorp,
later called Flushing, Newtown [Elmhurst], and Jamaica, are officially surrendered
by the Dutch to the English. Peter Stuyvesant reluctantly gave up the fort at
New Amsterdam and relinquished control over all the lands of New Netherland.
September 17, 1673
Anthony Colve, the new Dutch governor, arrives in New
York to take over the recently recaptured city and province. New York, held
by the British since 1664, was renamed New Orange. Although the new Dutch authorities
were well-received by most of the population, time was not on their side. New
Orange was again given to the British by the Treaty of Westminster in February
1674. Colve surrendered his province on October 31, 1674. New Orange was again
Slaves in New York were suspected of plotting to set fire to the city.
Many were executed. Although a number in Queens County were arrested, all were
freed when their owners vouched for their character.
The British army, on its way to repel an anticipated American attack at Hell Gate, marched from Brooklyn through Astoria. But there was no enemy at Hell Gate, so British General Robertson requisitioned the house and farm (located at present day 30th Avenue and Steinway Street) of William Lawrence, where the army camped for two weeks. After Robertson's departure British Generals Clark and Heister arrived with their troops, to camp at Lawrence's farm for another three weeks, before finally leaving him in peace.
Rufus Kings signs the United States Constitution. After moving to New
York and taking up residence in Jamaica, he embarks in a brilliant career in
politics and diplomacy.
September 3, 1821
The Norfolk and Long Island hurricane caused a storm surge of 13 feet in one hour. Although Manhattan south of Canal Street was largely underwater, few deaths were reported. The hurricane, estimated to have been a Category 3 event, made landfall at Jamiaca Bay. It was the only hurricane in recorded history to directly strike (meaning the eye of the storm passes over) what is now modern New York City.
The Astoria Fire Company organizes only three years after the incorporation
of Astoria Village.
September 2, 1854
In College Point, Conrad Poppenhusen opened the India
Hard Rubber Comb Company. Licensed to manufacture hard rubber goods by Charles
Goodyear, Poppenhusen's factory made and sold a broad array of items for household,
industrial, medical, and luxury items. By 1877 the firm's product line included
surgical supplies, photographic goods, thimbles, funnels, soap trays, drinking
flasks, inkstands, insulators, and doll heads. Poppenhusen Institute (opened
1870) at 14th Road and 114th Street is a monument to Conrad's influence and
vision for College Point.
September 24, 1876
An intricate network of tunnels under the East River,
the site of thousands of charges and explosives, were detonated to blow up the
dangerous reefs at Hell Gate. The tunnels' entrances, protected by a coffer
dam, were bored well under the reefs and rocks. Many area residents came out
to see the explosion. A larger effort in 1885 essentially removed the last of
the rock and reef obstacles to shipping in Hell Gate.
The Aqueduct Racetrack, operated by the Queens County Jockey Club,
opens for thoroughbred horse racing.
The Steinway Trolley Tunnel to Manhattan opens. Later it is taken over
by the Interborough Rapid Transit system for Flushing's #7 Line.
September 8, 1910
The Penn Tunnels under the East River from Hunters Point
to midtown Manhattan opened. The Long Island Rail Road was now able to run its
newly electrified trains from Long Island, through Queens, into Pennsylvania
Station. For obvious health and safety reasons the older, outdated coal locomotives
were deemed unsuitable for tunnels and underground stations.
September 11, 1923
Queens residents were treated to the appearance of the giant Navy Zeppelin ZR-1 (Zeppelin Rigid) named the Shenandoah, as it floated over northern Queens, down the East River and across the harbor, where ships extended a noisy greeting of whistle blasts. The sight was a first for most Queens residents, who had never seen a dirigible before. The airship was built by the Navy at Lakehurst, New Jersey and was the world’s largest rigid dirigible. Tragically, she crashed in a storm in Ohio in 1925, with the loss of 14 of her crew.
September 20, 1928
Joyce Diane Bauer was born. The famed television celebrity psychologist and motivational speaker, better known as Dr. Joyce Brothers, went to high school in the Rockways. The Cornell grad first attracted public attention in the 1950s when won several times on that era's wildly popular TV game show, "The $64,000 Question." A notable quote: "In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them."
Queens launches a campaign for raising $9,000,000 in war bond sales.
A one-day rally in front of Borough Hall raises $242,000 in war bonds and $2,875
in war stamps.
September 20, 1947
Former NYC Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia dies of cancer
at age 64, after a long illness. Fiorello, who earned a law degree from NYU,
served in WWI. He lost a campaign for a House seat in 1914 but won in 1917.
He was elected again in 1922 for five consecutive terms. LaGuardia lost in his
bid for the mayor of New York City in 1929, yet was elected the city's 99th
mayor from 1934 to 1945 being the city's first three-term mayor since the consolidation
of the five boroughs into greater New York in 1898. He and Robert Moses were
instrumental in opening the Interboro Parkway, the Triborough Bridge, the Belt
Parkway, and the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. LaGuardia Community College
in LIC and LaGuardia Airport are named after him.
The Pulaski Bridge links Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Hunters Point, Queens.
September 24, 1959
Governor Rockefeller and Mayor Wagner called on President Eisenhower to submit an application to the Bureau of International Expositions in Paris asking that the body consider Flushing Meadows as the site of the 1964 World’s Fair. Eisenhower was not asked to exclude other cities from the application, as groups in Washington and Los Angeles had been pushing their cities. The bureau was to meet in November to select the fair site.
Chester F. Carlson, the inventor of xerography dies. The word "Astoria"
is the first word photocopied in 1938 at his lab on Broadway and 37th Street.
The Queens Center Mall, located at the corner of Queens and Woodhaven
Blvds., opens for business. Queens begins to reverse the trend of losing retail
sales to Long Island and Manhattan.
The American Museum of the Moving Image opened in Long
Island City / Astoria. Located at 35th Avenue at 36th Street, AMMI's mission
is to educate the public about the art, history, and technology of film, TV,
and digital media, and how they've impacted society. The Astoria Studio, built
1920, was the premier site for independent film production on the East Coast
through the 1930s into the 1940s. The U.S. Army Signal Corps owned the studio
and site from 1942 to 1971, where they produced military training films. The
studio grew from a state of disrepair in the 1970s into a functional, state-of-the-art
movie and television production facility with a $20 million renovation. The
location was placed on the Register of National Historic Sites in 1978.