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A Great Big City

April 12 in New York History

📝 On This Day 📝

Wednesday, April 12, 1905 — 114 years ago

The Hippodrome Theatre opens at Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Street, with 5,300 seats, a stage large enough to hold 1,000 performers at once, and an 8,000 gallon glass water tank that could rise from below the stage. The original building was closed and demolished in 1939 and was a vacant lot until 1952 when a new 19-story building was built on the site and named the Hippodrome Building in honor of the original theater.

Thursday, April 12, 1917 — 102 years ago

The Bijou Theatre opens on 45th Street at Broadway. Originally hosting live performances, it would become New York's first theater to show all cartoons in 1935, but quickly began to reincorporate movies and live theater. After closing from 1937 to 1943, it again became a movie house, was downsized, became an art house theater, and showed a variety of movies and live performances until 1982, when it was demolished. The Marriott Marquis hotel now stands at that location.

Monday, April 12, 1982 — 37 years ago

Three CBS employees are killed after encountering a gunman abducting a woman on the top of the Pier 92 parking garage. The brutal killings raised suspicion, and the killer was found to be a supposed hired hitman who was targeting two federal witnesses in a diamond fraud case.

Irwin Margolies had attempted to defraud investors and was afraid two women had evidence against him. In later court documents, a lawyer for Margolies would admit that he had helped arrange the murders of Margaret Barbera and Jenny Soo Chin by paying Donald Nash $8,000 per murder in December 1981. Chin was abducted in Ridgewood, Queens on January 5, 1982 by a masked person and her vehicle was discovered nine days later abandoned on West 36th Street in Manhattan, but her body has never been recovered and she is presumed dead. On April 12th, CBS employees Leo Kuranuki, Robert Schulze, and Edward Benford spotted Nash abducting Barbera in a similar manner and attempted to intervene, but were shot when they approached. Nash was convicted of murder and conspiracy and received a 100-year prison sentence. He would go on to kill again in prison when he sliced the neck of a fellow prisoner at Auburn Correctional Facility in 1994 and died behind bars in 2016 at age 80.

Margolies was sentenced for fraud and for instigating the murders of Chin and Barbera as a cover-up. Shortly after beginning a 28-year sentence at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Margolies allegedly again tried to hire a hitman by offering a fellow inmate $15,000 to kill an attorney representing the company that Margolies had defrauded.

Jacqueline Barbera would go on to sue Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Schlessinger, claiming he was responsible for revealing that her daughter and Jenny Soo Chin were acting as informants and then failing to provide police protection, but the lawsuit was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

⏰ AGBC Rewind ⏰

3 years ago
Evening Update for Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2 years ago
Evening Update for Wednesday, April 12, 2017

🌎 World History 🌏

Library of Congress  •  New York Times  •  BBC  •  Wikipedia

🌞 Weather Records 🌞

Record High: 90°F in 1977
Record Low: 22°F in 1874

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