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March 12 in New York History

📝 On This Day 📝

Thursday, March 12, 1733 — 286 years ago

Bowling Green Park is established as the city's first official park. The land had been under city control since 1686, but in 1733 it was leased at the rate of one peppercorn to John Chambers, Peter Bayard, and Peter Jay, who were tasked with maintaining and improving the land for the "Recreation & Delight of the Inhabitants of this City". In 1819, the park underwent a private transition similar to today's Gramercy Park, where wealthy residents bordering Bowling Green could plant trees and accept responsibility for the park in exchange for exclusive access to the park grounds. This was changed by the mid-1800s and the public was again able to use the park. The park has changed greatly over the years and through multiple renovations, but one piece of original iron fencing from 1771 remains at the southwest corner of the park and was designated a New York landmark in 1964. The park has also been home to the 'Charging Bull' sculpture after it was moved there shortly after being dropped off overnight on Wall Street just before Christmas 1989.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — 5 years ago

A natural gas explosion levels two five-story buildings on Park Avenue at 116th, killing eight people, injuring 70, and displacing 100 families. A resident in a neighboring building had noticed the odor of gas and called ConEd, but the explosion occurred shortly after the call was made. The NTSB investigation highlighted both faulty joining of pipes and an underground collapse that caused the pipes to bend and crack open. The gas main buried under Park Avenue at that location was found to date back to 1887. Today, the site of the collapsed buildings is fenced off and carries memorials to those lost in the blast and a plaque commemorating the event.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 — 3 years ago

84-foot tugboat 'The Specialist' sinks after colliding with a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, killing three. In an NTSB investigation, the crew was found to have been overtired and faced with performing a difficult maneuver as they approached the construction zone under the Tappan Zee while pushing a crane barge that obstructed their visibility.

⏰ AGBC Rewind ⏰

3 years ago
Evening Update for Saturday, March 12, 2016

AGBC News Episode 12: The City's First Park, St. Patrick's Day, and the East River Helicopter Crash

🌎 World History 🌏

Library of Congress  •  New York Times  •  BBC  •  Wikipedia

🌞 Weather Records 🌞

Record High: 71°F in 2012
Record Low: 8°F in 1888

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