December, 2014


December’s trip down memory lane

In 1913, then New York Mayor William Gaynor created a stir when he sarcastically called an elevated line, proposed for the sparsely populated Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona communities, as the ‘cornfield line.’ Comment.

November, 2014


Queensline: Giving respect to a Queens comic legend

Born Jacob Rodney Cohen on Nov. 22, 1921, beloved comedian and actor Rodney Dangerfield is best remembered for his catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect!” as well as his comic, rapid fire rants on life’s misfortunes. Comment.

Sharing stories of election days past

It was the autumn of 1927. Skirts were short, young people were dancing to that new jazz music, and the stock market was booming — the Great Depression was still two years away. Movies were still mostly silent, but the first “talkie,” Al Jolson’s “The Jazz Singer” was released that year. And in May, Charles Lindbergh thrilled the nation — he was the first to fly across the Atlantic in “The Spirit of Saint Louis.” Comment.

October, 2014


John Gotti brought spotlight on Mafia to Queens

John Joseph Gotti Jr. was an Italian-American organized crime figure best known in the 1980s as the powerful, media-courting boss of the Gambino Mafia family. He was the fifth of 13 children born on Oct. 27, 1940 to John Sr. and Philomena. Comments (1).

Lindberg baby kidnaper cremated in Maspeth in 1936

On Oct. 24, 1934 Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a Bronx carpenter, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Flemington, N.J., on charges of murdering the 20-month-old infant son of Charles A. Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic. The child was kidnapped from Lindbergh’s home in Hopewell, N.J. on March 1, 1932. Lindbergh paid a $50,000 ransom, which was a fortune in 1932. The child’s body was found in woods near the Hopewell-Princeton road on May 12, 1932. Later $14,000 of the ransom cash was found in Hauptmann’s garage when he was arrested. Comment.

September, 2014


Flushing-born Drescher got famous on ‘The Nanny’

Actress, producer and activist Francine Drescher was born in Flushing on Sept. 30, 1957. Comment.

Primaries were relatively new in boro during 1911

The big news in Queens during September 1911 was the upcoming Democratic primary election scheduled for the 26th. Comments (1).

August, 2014


Sex symbol Mae West spent her childhood in Woodhaven

Star of stage and screen, one of the first Hollywood sex symbols, writer and singer, Mae West’s outsize curves and personality earned her recognition as one of the greatest female film stars of all time. Comment.

QueensLine: Kinsey sex report divides Queens residents in ‘53

On Aug. 5, 1953, Astorian Airman 1st Class Raymond W. King received the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service over North Korea. Comment.

July, 2014


QueensLine: Singer Guthrie died at Creedmoor in Queens Village

Iconic folk singer, radio host, author and political activist Woody Guthrie’s songs changed the landscape of American music and influenced generations of performers from Bob Dylan to Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen. Comment.

Queens’ first traffic lights became operational in ‘30

In 1930, Queens got its first traffic lights. They are switched on along the el structure on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, heralding a line of traffic signals that will extend to Flushing. Comments (1).

June, 2014


‘26 summer heat wave caused more than 10 deaths in boro

The construction of the Flushing extension of the Corona “L” — today the No. 7 line — was completed from the east side of Flushing Creek to the station at Main Street. Comment.

‘Unusual’ musical pioneer Lauper called Ozone Park home

Pioneering singer-songwriter, actress and LGBT rights activist Cyndi Lauper was born in Boulevard Hospital in Astoria June 22, 1953. Comments (2).

May, 2014


Queens tackled forming community boards in ‘62

In 1962, people in Queens ask themselves what is a neighborhood and how many neighborhoods are in Queens? Comment.

Johnson spoke at New York World’s Fair in 1964

In a 1964 speech at the Singer Bowl at the New York World’s Fair site, President Lyndon Johnson called on all Americans to “open wide the door of equality” for 20 million of their fellow black citizens who had been “on the outside looking in” for 200 years. Comment.

April, 2014


Public servant Grover Whalen oversaw the ‘39 World’s Fair

Business leader, civil servant and 1939 World’s Fair impresario Grover Aloysius Whalen was born in New York City June 2, 1886. Comment.

Emergency G.I. housing built in Queens in 1946

It is April 1946. A few weeks before, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave an address at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where he sounded the warning that an “iron curtain” of Soviet domination had descended across Eastern Europe. Comment.

March, 2014


Despite the Depression, boro public works boomed in ‘31

It was called the Great Depression, a time that undoubtedly was the worst financial crisis in our country’s history. Nearly a third of the workforce was unemployed. A decade wiped off the map, nearly a generation would pass before the country reached the same level of economic activity as the 1920s. Comments (1).

Singer, activist Belafonte once lived in E. Elmhurst

Born March 1, 1927, at the Lying-in Hospital in Harlem, Harold George Bellafanti Jr. is a singer, actor and political and civil rights activist whose unforgettable presence on the American stage has spanned seven decades. Comment.

February, 2014


First female lawyer argued case in boro during 1906

Queens in February 1906 found itself a bustling community of rapidly disappearing farms and booming residential and industrial developments. Comment.

Acting legend John Barrymore once called Bayside home

Known to the world as John Barrymore, stage and screen star John Sidney Blyth was born in Philadelphia Feb. 15, 1882. His English father, Herbert Arthur Chamberlayne Blyth, was a dashing leading man on the late 19th century stage, and his mother, Georgie Drew, was also an accomplished actress. Comment.

January, 2014


Silent film star Francis X. Bushman once lived in Little Neck

Francis Xavier Bushman was a film and television actor whose career flourished during the silent film era. Born in Baltimore in 1883, he was perhaps best known for the role of Romeo in the 1916 Metro Pictures production of “Romeo and Juliet” as well as that of Messala in the 1925 silent epic “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” Comment.

Queens was still independent of New York City in 1888

When 1888 dawned, most locals were out for good, innocent, holiday fun. A local paper wrote, “Carriages commenced to flit hither and thither shortly after noon and towards evening the houses commenced to light up and the sounds of merry music and joyous songs reached far out into the starry night and told of the happiness and enjoyment within.” Comments (2).
CNG: Community Newspaper Group