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5 Fun Facts About December 22 In New York History

---Learn Every Day: NY Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history ny To: 618-270-4005---

1. On December 22, 1851, the first YMCA in New York City opened its doors. The Young Men's Christian Association was founded to provide moral and intellectual stimulation for young men in urban areas. The original building was located on 23rd St. and Fourth Avenue, and offered a library, gymnasium, and educational classes.

2. On December 22, 1891, the first public display of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope took place at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. The kinetoscope was an early motion picture projector that allowed viewers to watch short films by looking through a viewing peephole. The device marked a significant leap forward in the development of motion picture technology.

3. On December 22, 1945, the Mutual Broadcasting System aired the first episode of "The Adventures of Sam Spade," a radio drama based on Dashiell Hammett's hardboiled private detective character. The show, which starred Howard Duff as Sam Spade, was a hit with audiences and ran until 1951.

4. On December 22, 1984, Bernhard Goetz, also known as the "Subway Vigilante," shot and wounded four men who he believed were attempting to rob him on a New York City subway train. Goetz was eventually acquitted of attempted murder and other charges, but the incident sparked a nationwide debate about vigilantism and self-defense.

5. On December 22, 2004, the Metro-North Railroad's "Holiday Express" derailed in the Bronx, injuring 36 people. The train was carrying members of the New York City Transit Museum on a holiday sightseeing tour when it hit a curve at excessive speed and overturned. The incident prompted changes in the railroad's safety procedures and raised concerns about the condition of the nation's aging rail infrastructure.
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