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Monday, June 29, 2009

Rescue and Recovery: The History of Lost Events

Sam Roberts writes:

Forlornly unidentified and altogether forgotten, these sites have been literally lost to history.

On Avenue of the Americas, there is a block where the first cellphone call was completed in 1973; on West 125th Street, where the old Blumstein’s department store stood, nothing marks the place where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed in 1958.

Then there is the spot on Fifth Avenue where Winston Churchill, crossing against the light, was struck by a car in 1931 and nearly killed.

And what about the old Winter Garden Theater at 691 Broadway? In 1864, on the very night that Confederate sympathizers singled out the Lafarge Hotel next door in their plot to burn down New York, the Booth brothers — John Wilkes, Junius Brutus Jr. and Edwin — starred in “Julius Caesar.” The benefit performance, which was billed as the brothers’ sole joint engagement, raised $3,500 for the Shakespeare statue that still stands in Central Park.

Andrew Carroll, 39, an amateur historian, is embarking this week on a 50-state journey to uncover, memorialize and preserve these and other sites where history happened serendipitously, and which, for one reason or another, have been relegated to anonymity.

link: On a Mission to Mark Places of Long-Forgotten Historic Moments -


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