By On This Day in NYC's History


On July 25th, 1997: Mob boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante was convicted of racketeering and two murder conspiracies. Gigante, the head of the Genovese crime family, had been involved with the Mafia since the age of 17, eventually rising to the highest post of capo di tutti capi, “the boss of all bosses.” The July trial had been seven years in the coming since Gigante allegedly suffered from mental illness which made him unfit to stand trial. Though Gigante wandered around his Greenwich Village neighborhood in a bathrobe, muttering to himself, he was found fit to stand trial and was sentenced to twelve years in jail where he died in 2005.


On July 25th, 1953: Subway tokens debuted in the transit system. The now iconic tokens were thought up as a solution to a fairly stupid problem. The turnstiles at the time were only designed to accept one coin as payment, which hadn’t been a problem when the fare was five or ten cents. When the fair rose to fifteen cents earlier in 1953, the MTA introduced the token rather than redesign the turnstiles across the transit system. Discontinued in 2003, the subway tokens have since been upcycled into jewelry and memorabilia.

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Image Courtesy of Flickr


On July 25th, 1923: Actress and comedian Estelle Getty was born. After growing up in NYC, Getty began her career as a comedian along the borscht belt in upstate New York, appearing at the numerous summer resorts that used to populate the area. Success for Getty, however, didn’t come until she was over 60 years old when she landed the role of Sophia Petrillo on the smash TV hit The Golden Girls. For her role as the mother of Bea Arthur’s cantankerous character, Getty won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in addition to numerous other nominations.

Featured Image Courtesy of The Smoking Gun

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