By On This Day in NYC's History

FIRST COMMERCIAL TELEGRAM SENT AROUND THE WORLD

On August 20th, 1911: The first telegram sent around the world via commercial service was sent from the New York Times offices. The telegram, which read “This message sent around the world,” was a test to see how fast a message could be sent around the world using a commercial service. After traveling 28,000 miles and being relayed by 16 different operators around the world, the telegram returned to the Times office after 16.5 minutes.

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GEORGE STEINBRENNER STEPPED DOWN

On August 20th, 1990: George Steinbrenner officially stepped down as active owner of the New York Yankees. Steinbrenner had been part of a group of investors who bought the Yankees away from CBS in 1973 to the tune of $10 million. Steinbrenner’s time with the Yankees had been chaotic, with numerous feuds between him and players in addition to a high turnover in managers. His erratic behavior finally led to this ban from active management though he was still considered owner.

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BORN ON THIS DAY: AL ROKER

On August 20th, 1958: TV weather forecaster Al Roker was born in Queens. Roker graduated from Xavier High School before attending SUNY-Oswego where he double majored in graphic design and broadcasting/journalism. Roker got his start as a television journalist in upstate New York before working his way up the ranks of NBC to become the weeknight weather forecaster in 1983. Roker’s career took off after that and he is now a beloved fixture of the New York television scene.

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