September 21, 1776 - Approximately 1000 houses, a quarter of the city, are destroyed in a fire a week after British troops captured the city during the American Revolution. Arson is speculated and during a round-up of suspicious persons, Nathan Hale is arrested.  (http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1274.html)
August 3, 1778 - Fire near Cruger's Wharf destroys 64 homes.  (http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/fire/11-20/ch14pt2.html)
1795 - Yellow fever epidemic kills 732 between July 19 and October 12, from a total population of about 50,000.  (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=194570)
December 9, 1796 - The "Coffee House Slip Fire," destroys about 50 structures near Murray Wharf.  (http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/fire/11-20/ch14pt2.html)
1798 - The "great epidemic", a major yellow fever epidemic, kills 2086 people from late July to November.  (http://www.geocities.com/bobarnebeck/NYC98.html) Epidemics occur in several other years, but this was the worst of them all.  (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=194570)
September 3, 1821 - The Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane causes a storm surge of 13 ft in one hour, leading to widespread flooding south of Canal St., but few deaths are reported. The hurricane is estimated to have been a Category 3 event and to have made landfall at Jamaica Bay, making it the only hurricane in recorded history to directly strike what is now modern New York City.
1832 - CholeraPandemic reaches North America. It breaks out in New York City on June 26, peaks at 100 deaths per day during July, and finally abates in December. More than 3500 people die in the city, many in the lower class neighborhoods, particularly Five Points. Another 80,000 people, one third of the population, are said to have fled the city during the epidemic.  (http://earlyamerica.com/review/2000_fall/1832_cholera.html) (http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/cholera/1832/cholera_1832_new.html)
December 16, 1835 - More than 600 buildings are destroyed by a fire which rages for two days in the Financial District. Efforts to stop the fire are limited by sub-zero temperatures which freezes water in hoses, wells, and the East River. 23 insurance companies are wiped out by the resulting claims.
1848-1849 - Cholera epidemic begins in December 1848, its spread initially limited by winter weather. By June 1849, it reaches epidemic proportions. Eventually 5071 city residents die.  (http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/cholera/1849/)
1866 - Cholera epidemic kills "only" 1137, its spread having been limited by the efforts of the new Metropolitan Board of Health and enforcement of sanitation laws.  (http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/cholera/1866/cholera_1866_set.html)
July 30, 1871 - A boiler explosion aboard the Westfield IIStaten Island Ferry kills 125 among hundreds of Manhattanites making a weekend trip to the beaches.
December 5, 1876 - A stage scenery fire envelopes the Brooklyn Theatre during a performance of "The Two Orphans" and kills at least 276 people, primarily patrons in the upper gallery.  (http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/Newspaper/BSU/1876.Bklyn.Theatre.Fire.html)
January 13, 1882 - A train wreck occurs just south of Spuyten Duyvil Creek when a local train from Tarrytown crashes into the tail end of an express from Albany which had stopped on the tracks in order to make an emergency repair. At least 10 persons were killed, including a state senator.  (http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/wksdfl.Html)
March 12-13, 1888 - The "White Hurricane", aka the Great Blizzard of '88, paralyzes the Eastern seaboard from Maryland to Maine, in New York City causing temperatures to fall as much as 60 degrees. About 21 inches of snow fall on the city, but enormous winds whip it into drifts as much as 20 feet deep. Regionally, over 400 people are said to have died in the storm's path.  (http://www.teachervision.fen.com/lesson-plans/lesson-3826.html)
August 5-13, 1896 - A heat wave prostrates the city, with temperatures exceeding 90°F for nine days both day and night, with stagnant air and oppressive humidity. About 420 people die, mostly in crowded tenements in areas such as the Lower East Side.
August 9, 1910 - 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.
1918 - The Great Influenza Pandemic rages across the country and worldwide. In one particularly virulent October day, 851 people died in New York City alone.
November 1, 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.  (http://www.nycsubway.org/bmt/brighton/malbone01.html)
September 16, 1920 - The Wall Street bombing kills 40 at the "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.
March 19, 1935 - The arrest of a shoplifter inflames racial tensions in Harlem and escalates to rioting and looting, with three killed, 125 injured and 100 arrested.  (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/newyork/laic/episode6/topic4/e6_t4_s3-ra.html)
August 1, 1943 - 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.
December 16, 1960 - Mid-air collision between TWA Flight 266 (inbound to Idlewild Airport, now JFK) and United Airlines Flight 826 (inbound to LaGuardia Airport) over Miller Field, Staten Island.  (http://www.unfriendlyskies.com/first_chapter.html) The TWA aircraft crashed at the site, killing all aboard, while the United aircraft continued flying for about eight miles until it crashed in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, narrowly missing a school. All 134 aboard the aircraft died, along with six persons on the ground in Brooklyn.
March 13, 1964 - Kitty Genovese is stabbed to death in Kew Gardens, Queens. The crime is witnessed by numerous people, none of whom aid Genovese or call for help. The crime is noted by psychology textbooks in later years for its demonstration of the bystander effect, although an article published in the New York Times in February2004 indicated that many of the popular conceptions of the crime were instead misconceptions.  (http://www.oldkewgardens.com/kitty_genovese-005.html)
December 29, 1975 - A bomb explodes in the baggage claim area of the TWA terminal at LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 and injuring 74. The perpetrators were never identified.  (http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/12/24/ctv.laguardia/)
July 29, 1976 - David Berkowitz (aka the "Son of Sam") kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks that terrorized the city for the next year.
July 13-14, 1977 - New York City again loses power in the blackout of 1977. Unlike the previous blackout twelve years earlier, this blackout is followed by widespread rioting and looting. David Berkowitz does nothing during the blackout.
April 14, 1989 - Trisha Meili (aka the Central Park Jogger) is violently raped and beaten while jogging in Central Park. The crime is later attributed to a group of young men who were practicing an activity they called "wilding". However, DNA evidence later proved the originally charged teens innocent; a convicted serial rapist confessed to the crime.
NewYork was greatly damaged twice by fires of dubious origin during the British occupation that followed the Battle of Brooklyn at the start of the American Revolutionary War and which lasted until November 25, 1783.
NewYork grew as an economic center with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, and Tammany Hall began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminated in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854.
In 1977, the city was struck by the twin catasrophes of the NewYorkCityflout of 1977 and the Son of Sam serial murderer's continued slayings.
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