September 22: Execution of Nathan Hale by the British as a spy.
November 16: Battle of Fort Washington, as Royal Navy warships sail north up the Hudson River and attack Forts Washington and Lee; British now controlling the river and in power in the area.
1778 – August 3: Fire near Cruger's Wharf destroys 64 homes.
1780 – Black population reaches 10,000; New York becomes the center of free black life in North America.
1783 – November 25: British troops depart; New Yorkers celebrate Evacuation Day, the day Gen. George Washington returned to the city with his Continental Army and the last British forces left the newly recognized independent United States. War veteran John Van Arsdale climbs up a greased pole to remove the Union Jack left in defiance by the British, replacing it with the Stars and Stripes.
1832 – Cholerapandemic reaches North America. It breaks out in New York City on June 26, peaks at 100 deaths per day during July, and finally abates in December. More than 3500 people die in the city, many in the lower-class neighborhoods, particularly Five Points. Another 80,000 people, one third of the population, are said to have fled the city during the epidemic.
December 16: New York Stock Exchange and hundreds of other buildings are destroyed by the Great Fire, which rages for two days in the Financial District. Efforts to stop the fire are limited by sub-zero temperatures, which freeze water in hoses, wells, and the East River. Twenty-three insurance companies are wiped out by the resulting claims.
July 25: Mary Cecilia Rogers, a young woman known popularly as "The Beautiful Cigar Girl", disappeared and her dead body was found floating in the Hudson River three days later. The details surrounding the case suggested she was murdered. The death of this well-known person received national attention for weeks. The story became immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe in his story "The Mystery of Marie Roget". Despite intense media interest and an attempt to solve the enigma by Poe, the crime remains one of the most puzzling unsolved murders of New York City.
January 13: A train wreck occurs just south of Spuyten Duyvil Creek when a local train from Tarrytown crashes into the tail end of an express from Albany, which had stopped on the tracks to make an emergency repair. At least 10 persons were killed, including a state senator.
March 12–13: Great Blizzard of 1888, or "White Hurricane", paralyzes the Eastern seaboard from Maryland to Maine; in New York City causing temperatures to fall as much as 60 degrees. About 21 inches (53 cm) of snow fall on the city, but enormous winds whip it into drifts as much as 20 feet deep. Regionally, over 400 people are said to have died in the storm's path.
August 5–13: 1896 Eastern North America heat wave prostrates the city, with temperatures exceeding 90 °F for nine days both day and night, with stagnant air and oppressive humidity. In all, 420 people die, mostly in crowded tenements in areas such as the Lower East Side.
The "Great Influenza Pandemic" rages across the country and worldwide. On one particularly virulent October day, 851 people died in New York City alone.
November 1: The actions of a substitute motorman filling in during a strike lead to a subway crash in Flatbush. The Malbone Street Wreck kills 97 people heading home from work and injures a hundred more.
September 16: Wall Street bombing kills 38 at "the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world". Anarchists were suspected (Sacco and Vanzetti had been indicted just days before) but no one was ever charged with the crime.
August 6: New York Supreme Court associate justice Joseph Force Crater disappears, last seen entering a taxicab. He was declared legally dead in 1939. His mistress Sally Lou Ritz (22) disappeared a few weeks later.
July 4: New York Yankees celebrating Lou Gehrig appreciation day. That day, Gehrig (who was diagnosed with ALS) spoke in his farewell address by saying: "... today, I considered myself, the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
Population: 7,454,995. White non-Hispanic population peaks at 6,856,586 or 92% of the total.
The first two television stations in the city signed on the air for the first time. The first was WNBT Channel 1 (now WNBC Channel 4), to signed on the air. And the second was WCBW (now WCBS-TV) Channel 2, to signed on the air.
August 1: Race riot erupts in Harlem after an African-American soldier is shot by the police and rumored to be killed. The incident touches off a simmering brew of racial tension, unemployment, and high prices to a day of rioting and looting. Several looters are shot dead, with blood everywhere, and about 500 persons are injured and another 500 arrested.
May 13: Holland Tunnel fire caused by exploding truck carrying eighty 55-gallon drums of carbon disulfide seriously damages the tunnel's infrastructure and injures 66, with 27 hospitalized, mostly from smoke inhalation.
October 9: New York Yankees won 12th World Series title, defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers in five games.
October 11: Channel 9 became the last VHF station in the city to sign on the air as WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV)
December 16: Mid-air collision between TWA Flight 266 (inbound to Idlewild Airport, now JFK) and United Airlines Flight 826 (inbound to LaGuardia Airport) over Miller Field, Staten Island. The TWA aircraft crashed at the site, killing all aboard, while the United aircraft continued flying for about eight miles until it crashed in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, narrowly missing a school. All 134 aboard the aircraft died, along with six persons on the ground in Brooklyn.
October 3: 23 are killed and 94 injured when an improperly maintained and operated steam boiler explodes and rips through a New York Telephone Company building cafeteria at lunchtime in the Inwood section of Manhattan.
December 11: Board of Estimate votes unanimously to reject Robert Moses's proposal to build a Lower Manhattan Expressway which would have cut through from the Williamsburg Bridge to the Holland Tunnel and dramatically changed Soho and Little Italy.
October 8: James "Groovy" Hutchinson, 21, an East Village hippie/stoner, and Linda Fitzpatrick, 18, a newly converted flower child from a wealthy Greenwich, Connecticut family, are found bludgeoned to death at 169 Avenue B, an incident dubbed "The Groovy Murders" by the press. Two drifters later plead guilty to the murders.
Singer Building demolished. Tallest structure ever destroyed until the World Trade Center is destroyed on September 11, 2001.
January 12: Jets win their only Super Bowl Championship, beating the Baltimore Colts.
February 10:Nor'easter kills 14 and injures 68. Dubbed the "Lindsay Snowstorm", outer borough residents (especially in Queens) accuse the city of favoring Manhattan for snow removal (streets in Queens were not cleared a week after the storm). Lindsay subsequently loses the Republican primary for re-election.
May 21: Two NYPD officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini, are gunned down in ambush by members of the Black Liberation Army in Harlem. The gunmen, Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom, still in prison as of 2012, were rearrested in jail in connection with the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer.
August 22: John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Natuarale hold up a Brooklyn bank for 14 hours, in a bid to get cash to pay for Wojtowicz' gay lover's sex change operation. The scheme fails when the cops arrive, leading to a tense 14-hour standoff. Natuarale is killed by the police at JFK Airport. The incident served as the basis for the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon.
Battery Park City is created on land reclaimed from the Hudson River with 3 million cubic yards of soil and rock excavated from numerous locations throughout the city.
May 16: A New York Airways helicopter idling at the helipad on the MetLife Building – then the PanAm Building – toppled over and its rotor blade sheared off. The blade killed four people on the roof and then fell over the edge and down 59 stories and a block over to Madison Avenue where it killed a pedestrian.
May 25: A fire at the Everard Baths at 28 West 28th Street in Manhattan killed 9 patrons.
July 13–14: New York City again loses electrical power in the blackout of 1977. Unlike the previous blackout twelve years earlier, this blackout is followed by widespread rioting and looting. Many neighborhoods, most notably Bushwick, were almost completely devastated.
May 25: Six-year-old Etan Patz vanishes after leaving his SoHo apartment to walk to his school bus alone. Despite a massive search by the NYPD the boy is never found, and was declared legally dead in 2001.
Sister city relationships established with Cairo, Egypt, and Madrid, Spain.
April 15: New York Post under new owner Rupert Murdoch issues famous headline "Headless Body in Topless Bar"
September 15: Michael Stewart is allegedly beaten into a coma by New York Transit Police officers. Stewart died 13 days later from his injuries at Bellevue Hospital. On November 24, 1985, after a six-month trial, six officers were acquitted on charges stemming from Stewart's death.
October 6: Terence Cooke, Catholic archbishop of New York, dies at 62.
October 29: 66-year-old Eleanor Bumpurs is shot and killed by police as they tried to evict her from her Bronx apartment. Bumpurs, who was mentally ill, was wielding a knife and had slashed one of the officers. The shooting provoked heated debate about police racism and brutality. In 1987 officer Stephen Sullivan was acquitted on charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide stemming from the shooting.
December 22: Bernhard Goetz shoots and wounds four unarmed black men on a 2 train on the subway who tried to rob him, generating weeks of headlines and many discussions about crime and vigilantism in the media.
June 12: Edmund Perry, returning graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, is shot to death in Harlem by undercover officer Lee Van Houten after Perry and his brother, Jonah, attacked Van Houten to get money for a film. Van Houten was acquitted the following month.
January 1: Ed Koch is sworn into his third and final term as the city's 105th mayor.
March 7: Channel 5 changes its call letters from WNEW-TV to WNYW.
March 17: St. Patrick's Day – Rosanna Scotto joined WNYW Channel 5 as a news reporter for the station's 10 P.M. weeknight newscast. At the time, she said: "In Manhattan, Rosanna Scotto, Channel 5 News".
July 7: A deranged man, Juan Gonzalez, wielding a machete kills 2 and wounds 9 on the Staten Island Ferry. In 2000 Gonzalez was granted unsupervised leave from his residence at the Bronx Psychiatric Hospital.
August 26: The "preppie murder": 18-year-old student Jennifer Levin is murdered by Robert Chambers in Central Park after the two had left a bar to have sex in the park. The case was sensationalized in the press and raised issues over victims' rights, as Chambers' attorney attempted to smear Levin's reputation to win his client's freedom.
October 4: Broadcaster Dan Rather is attacked on Park Avenue by two men, one of which repeated "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"
November 19: 20-year-old Larry Davis opens fire on police officers attempting to arrest him in his sister's apartment in the Bronx. Six officers are wounded, and Davis eludes capture for the next 17 days, during which time he became something of a folk hero in the neighborhood. Davis was stabbed to death in jail in 2008.
November 24: 2 Port Authority police officers and a holdup we're seriously shot and wounded in a shootout at a Queens diner.
December 20: A white mob in Howard Beach, Queens, attacks three African-American men whose car had broken down in the largely white neighborhood. One of the men, Michael Griffith is chased onto Shore Parkway where he is hit and killed by a passing car. The killing prompted several tempestuous marches through the neighborhood led by Al Sharpton.
November 2: Joel Steinberg and his lover Hedda Nussbaum are arrested for the beating and neglect of their six-year-old adopted daughter Lisa Steinberg, who died two days later from her injuries. The case provoked outrage that did not subside when Steinberg was released from prison in 2004 after serving 15 years.
March 8: The first of the copycat Zodiac Killer Heriberto Seda's eight shooting victims is wounded in an attack in Brooklyn. Between 1990 and 1993, Seda will wound 5 and kill 3 in his serial attacks. He is captured in 1996 and convicted in 1998.
September 2: Tourist Brian Watkins from Utah is stabbed to death in the Seventh Avenue – 53rd Street station by a gang of youths. Watkins was visiting New York with his family to attend the US Open Tennis tournament in Queens, when he was killed defending his family from a gang of muggers. The killing marked a low point in the record murder year of 1990 (in which 2,242 were recorded) and led to an increased police presence in New York.
January 24: Arohn Kee rapes and murders 13-year-old Paola Illera in East Harlem while she is on her way home from school. Her body is later found near the FDR Drive. Over the next eight years, Kee murders two more women before being arrest in February 1999. He is sentenced to three life terms in prison in January 2001.
July 23: The body of a four-year-old girl is found in a cooler on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Inwood, Manhattan. The identity of the child, dubbed "Baby Hope", was unknown until October 2013, when 52-year-old Conrado Juarez is arrested after confessing to killing the girl, his cousin Anjelica Castillo, and dumping her body.
December 28: Nine people were crushed to death trying to enter the Nat Holman gymnasium at CCNY. The crowd was trying to gain entry to a celebrity basketball game featuring hip-hop and rap performers including Heavy D and Sean Combs.
December 10–13: A noreaster strikes the US Mid-Atlantic coast. The storm surge causes extensive flooding along the city shoreline.
December 17: Patrick Daly, Principal of P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn is killed in the crossfire of a drug-related shooting while looking for a pupil who had left his school. The school was later renamed the Patrick Daly school after the beloved principal.
Sister city relationships established with Budapest, Hungary, and Rome, Italy.
February 26: A bomb planted by terrorists explodes in the World Trade Center's underground garage, killing six people and injuring over a thousand, as well as causing much damage to the basement. See: World Trade Center bombing
August 31: William Tager shoots and kills Campbell Theron Montgomery, a technician employed by NBC, outside of the stage of the Today show. Tager is also identified as one of possibly two men who assaulted CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Park Avenue in 1986.
December 15: Disgruntled computer analyst Edward J. Leary firebombs a 3 train with homemade explosives at 145th Street, injuring two teenagers. Six days later, he firebombs a crowded 4 train at Fulton Street, injuring over 40. Leary is sentenced to 94 years in prison for both attacks.
December 8: A long racial dispute in Harlem over the eviction of an African-American record store-owner by a Jewish proprietor ends in murder and arson. 51-year-old Roland Smith, Jr., angry over the proposed eviction, set fire to Freddie's Fashion Mart on 125th Street and opened fire on the store's employees, killing 7 and wounding four. Smith also perished in the blaze.
March 4: Second Avenue Deli owner Abe Lebewohl is shot and killed during a robbery. The murder of this popular deli owner and East Village fixture remains unsolved as of 2013.
June 4: 22-year-old drifter John Royster brutally beats a 32-year-old female piano teacher in Central Park, the first in a series of attacks over a period of eight days. Royster would go on to brutally beat another woman in Manhattan, rape a woman in Yonkers and beat a woman, Evelyn Alvarez, to death on Park Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In 1998, Royster was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
November 7: A Manhattan couple, Camden Sylvia, 36, and Michael Sullivan, 54, disappear from their loft at 76 Pearl Street in Manhattan after arguing with their landlord over a lack of heat in their apartment. The landlord, Robert Rodriguez, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, larceny and credit card fraud following the missing persons investigation. The couple is presumed dead.
January 21: American Psycho, film about a psychopathic serial killing investment banker in Manhattan, is released.
March 16: Patrick Dorismond is shot and killed by an NYPD officer in a case of mistaken identity during a drug bust.
Acela Express train begins operating between Washington, D.C. and Boston, stopping at New York Penn Station.
Population: 8,008,288. First time population officially reaches this mark, and marks reversal of suburban flight of the 1970s and 1980s with an increase of nearly one million residents over two decades. Over 1.2 million foreign-born residents arrive in New York between 1990 and 2000. .
May 10: Actress Jennifer Stahl is killed with two other people in an armed robbery in her apartment above the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan. The victims were bound and shot point-blank in the head.
June 25: Baseball returns to Brooklyn for the first time since the 1957 departure of the Dodgers with the first game of the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island.
September 11: The two World Trade Center twin towers and several surrounding buildings are destroyed by two jetliners in part of a coordinated terrorist attack by radical terrorists ("9/11"), killing 2,606 people who were in the towers and on the ground.
January 24: Four teenage boys drown in the Long Island Sound near City Island when their overloaded dinghy sinks. A communication misunderstanding between them and the 911 dispatcher contributed to their deaths
October 31: Peter Braunstein sexually assaults a co-worker while posing as a fireman, later leading officials on a multi-state manhunt. Braunstein was later sentenced to life and will be eligible for parole in 2023.
November: After over 190 years in Manhattan the Fulton Fish Market moves to Hunts Point in the Bronx.
January 11: 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown dies after being beaten by her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, in their Brooklyn apartment. Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in March, 2008.
February 25: Criminology graduate student Imette St. Guillen is brutally tortured, raped, and killed in New York City after being abducted outside the Falls bar in the SoHo section of Manhattan. Bouncer Darryl Littlejohn is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment.
July 10: 66-year-old Romanian immigrant Dr. Nicholas Bartha commits suicide by blowing up his townhouse at 34 East 62nd Street in Manhattan while in the basement of the building. Bartha chose to demolish his home rather than relinquish it to his ex-wife as ordered by the courts.
July 25: Jennifer Moore, an 18-year-old student from New Jersey is abducted and killed after a night of drinking at a Chelsea bar. Her body is found outside a Weehawken motel. 35-year-old Draymond Coleman was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 50 years in 2010.
October 3: City Council votes to relax mayoral term limits to allow Michael Bloomberg to run and serve for a third term.
December 2: 25-year-old aspiring dancer Laura Garza disappears after leaving a Manhattan nightclub with a sex offender named Michael Mele. Her remains are found in Olyphant, Pennsylvania in April 2010. On the first day of his trial in January 2012, Mele admits to killing Garza and pleads guilty to first degree manslaughter.
October: NBA Nets play their first game in the Barclays Center, bringing professional sports back to Brooklyn for the first time since the departure of the Dodgers in 1957.
October 29–30: Hurricane Sandy brings flooding and high winds that result in several deaths and widespread power outages. The New York Stock Exchange, public schools, and all mass transit service were closed as a result. At least 43 deaths have been directly attributed to the storm in New York City alone.
September 21: First NHL game ever played in Brooklyn with relocation from Long Island of the New York Islanders. The move ultimately does not go well and the team in 2018 announced its intention to move out of Brooklyn back to Long Island.
September 17: 2016 Manhattan explosion. A bomb explodes in Chelsea, Manhattan, wounding 29 people. A second device—reportedly a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a mobile phone—was found four blocks from the site of the explosion and was removed safely. A suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, is apprehended two days later.
^Blutrich, Michael. Scores: How I Opened the Hottest Strip Club in New York City, Was Extorted out of Millions by the Gambino Family, and Became One of the Most Successful Mafia Informants in FBI History. 2017