By On This Day in NYC's History


On July 21st, 1983: Former Supreme Diana Ross (and her orange cape) performed a concert in Central Park. Showtime planned to film the performance for a special, proceeds of which would go towards building a playground in Ross’ name. Unfortunately, halfway through the concert, the sky opened up and rained out the performance despite Ross’ best efforts to power through. Ever the professional, Ross was back the next day for a redo. When it was revealed that the second concert had eaten up all the profits meant for the playground, Ross donated the $250,000 needed out of her own pocket. You can find the Diana Ross Playground just off of 83rd and Central Park West.


On July 21st, 1880: An accident in the construction of the Hudson River tunnel caused the death of twenty workers. The tunnels were supposed to be a way to cut down on the traffic on the river above, though many regarded them as a foolish endeavor. Construction conditions in the tunnels were dangerous and unhealthy with workers breathing compressed air and working to stave off potential floods. On this particular occasion, the river breached the tunnel and drowned twenty men, putting off construction for several years. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, the Hudson River tunnel was a success and is one of the tubes for the PATH train.

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Image Courtesy of Columbia


On July 21st, 1943: Actor David Downing was born. With a career spanning over thirty years, Downing has acted in a variety of roles for a variety of mediums. He has appeared in mini-series such as Backstairs at the White House as well as on TV shows like The Jeffersons and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

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Image Courtesy of IMDB

Featured Image Courtesy of A Day in the Life of Riley

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