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By On This Day in NYC's History


On July 18, 1967: Actor Vin Diesel was born in New York City. He made his debut at the Theater for the New City in Greenwich Village at age seven. He has since had a prolific film career, notably playing the action hero of the film series The Fast and The Furious. 



On July 18th, 1964: The funeral of 15-year-old James Powell was held. Two days earlier, Powell was shot and killed by Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan in front of his friends and roughly a dozen other witnesses, a tragedy that sparked the momentous Harlem Riot of 1964. The riot began with an immediate rally of about 300 students from a school near where the shooting occurred, which was followed by six consecutive nights of rioting that manifested in attacks on the NYC Police Department, vandalism, and looting. Over two hundred outraged and sorrowful New Yorkers attended Powell’s funeral, which was strictly barricaded by the NYPD.

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On July 18, 1944: Actress, singer, and dancer, Jonelle Allen was born. Influenced by fellow Sugar Hill natives like Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Johnny Hodges, Allen began her career as an aspiring Broadway starlet in Joshua Logan’s The Wisteria Trees. Later in her career, her off-Broadway ventures earned her a Tony nomination for her role in Two Gentlemen of Verona. She is best known for her role as the exuberant and forthright Doreen Jackson on NBC’s Generations.

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