Posts Tagged ‘New York Journal-American’

New York City’s long list of defunct newspapers

July 28, 2009

It’s hard to believe that in the 1890s, New York’s population of just a million and a half residents supported 19 daily English-language newspapers—along with scores of weeklies and foreign dailies.


These papers were an illustrious bunch. There was the anti-immigrant New York Herald; publisher James Gordon Bennett Jr., reportedly said that a newspaper’s role is “not to instruct but to startle.”

The New York World, published by Joseph Pulitzer, was hugely popular with working class residents. It was known for stunt journalism—as well as printing its Sunday supplement in color.

The dead newspaper list also includes the New York Sun, the New York Journal American, the New York Mirror, and the often-lamented Brooklyn Eagle.

Many were headquartered around City Hall, then nicknamed Newspaper Row. This thermometer/clock affixed to the old New York Sun building down on Chambers Street doesn’t work, but it’s a nice remnant of the neighborhood’s past.

The mad bomber of New York City

June 17, 2009

George Metesky had a serious grudge. A Con Ed employee left permanently disabled in 1931 due to an on-the-job injury at an upper Manhattan plant, he was bitter and resentful because the utility refused to compensate him. 

GeorgemeteskyarrestedA decade later, he decided to exact revenge by planting a couple of small bombs at Con Ed buildings in Manhattan. Both were duds.

Metesky had more in store, but he also deemed himself a patriotic kind of guy. So once World War II broke out, he sent the NYPD a note in block letters letting them know that he was suspending his bomb-making activity until the war was over.

MadbomberletterHe stuck to his word. In 1951 he planted his third bomb, near Grand Central’s Oyster Bar. The next exploded at the New York Public Library. All told, he was responsible for at least 37 bombs. No one was killed by them, but a men’s room attendant at Penn Station was seriously injured.

Arrested in 1957 after police tracked letters (like the one at left) he sent to the New York Journal-American, Metesky was found to be legally insane and incompetent to stand trial. He was committed to a mental hospital upstate but released in 1973, deemed not to be a danger to the public.

But old habits die hard, and in an interview with The New York Times upon his release, he indicated that he still felt slighted by Con Ed. The rest of Metesky’s life was quiet though, and he died in 1994 at age 90 in Connecticut.