1665 – Thomas Willet becomes the first mayor of NYC.
When the colony received the name of New York, Willett was appointed the first mayor (June 12, 1665) and a commissioner of admiralty on August 23, with the approval of English and Dutch alike. The next year he was elected alderman, and became mayor a second time in 1667.
Shortly after he withdrew to Swansea, and here, after having lost his first wife, he married Joanna Boyse, the widow of clergyman, Reverend Peter Prudden. He was a member of the New York governor’s executive council from 1665 to 1672 under Richard Lovelace. He retired in 1673, and died in 1674, at the age of sixty-nine. He was buried in the Little Neck Cemetery at Bullock’s Cove, Riverside area of East Providence, Rhode Island. In his religious views, Willett was an independent.
1806 – Civil Engineer John A. Roebling is born.
Roebling began producing wire rope at Saxonburg in 1841. At that time canal boats from Philadelphia were transported over the Allegheny Mountains on railroad cars in order to access waterways on the other side of the mountains, so that the boats could continue to Pittsburgh. The system of inclines and levels that moved the boats and conventional railroad cars was a state-owned enterprise, the Allegheny Portage Railroad. The railroad cars were pulled up and down the inclines by a long loop of thick hemp rope, up to 7 centimeters thick. The hemp ropes were expensive and had to be replaced frequently. Roebling remembered an article he had read about wire ropes. Soon after, he started developing a 7-strand wire rope at a ropewalk that he built on his farm.
In 1844 Roebling won a bid to replace the wooden canal aqueduct across the Allegheny River with the Allegheny Aqueduct. His design encompassed seven spans of 163 feet (50 m), each consisting of a wooden trunk to hold the water, supported by a continuous cable made of many parallel wires, wrapped tightly together, on each side of the trunk. He followed this innovation in 1845 by building a suspension bridge over the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh.
In 1867 Roebling started design work on what is now called the Brooklyn Bridge, spanning the East River in New York. On June 28, 1869 at Fulton Ferry, while he was standing at the edge of a dock, working on fixing the location where the bridge would be built, his foot was crushed by an arriving ferry. His injured toes were amputated. He refused further medical treatment and wanted to cure his foot by “water therapy” (continuous pouring of water over the wound). His condition deteriorated. He died on July 22, 1869 of tetanus at the home of his son on Hicks Street, in Brooklyn Heights. It was just 24 days after the accident. Roebling is buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Trenton, New Jersey.
1817 – Karl Freiherr von Drais takes his invention the dandy horse, the earliest known form of the bicycle, on its inaugural ride.
The dandy-horse was a two-wheeled vehicle, with both wheels in-line, propelled by the rider pushing along the ground with the feet as in regular walking or running. The front wheel and handlebar assembly was hinged to allow steering.
Several manufacturers in France and England made their own dandy-horses during its brief popularity in the summer of 1819—most notably Denis Johnson of London, who used an elegantly curved wooden frame which allowed the use of larger wheels. Riders preferred to operate their vehicles on the smooth pavements instead of the rough roads, but their interactions with pedestrians caused many municipalities worldwide to enact laws prohibiting their use. Later designs avoided the initial drawback of this device when it had to be made to measure, manufactured to conform with the height and the stride of its rider. An example is Nicéphore Niépce’s 1818 model with an adjustable saddle for his ‘velocipede’ built by Lagrange.
1939 – Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures’ Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.
Dr. Cyclops was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, responsible a few years earlier for King Kong. Like that film, Dr. Cyclops features elaborate sets and special effects. It is the first American horror film made in full, three-strip Technicolor; Doctor X (1932) and Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) were made using the earlier two-color process. Schoedsack took special care to make certain that the color effects were believable.
1942 – Anne Frank is given a diary for her thirteenth birthday.
For her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942, Frank received a book she had shown her father in a shop window a few days earlier. Although it was an autograph book, bound with red-and-white checkered cloth and with a small lock on the front, Frank decided she would use it as a diary, and she began writing in it almost immediately. In her entry dated 20 June 1942, she lists many of the restrictions placed upon the lives of the Dutch Jewish population.
Otto and Edith Frank planned to go into hiding with the children on 16 July 1942, but when Margot received a call-up notice from the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung (Central Office for Jewish Emigration) on 5 July, ordering her to report for relocation to a work camp, they were forced to move the plan ten days forward. Shortly before going into hiding, Anne gave her friend and neighbour, Toosje Kupers, a book, a tea set, a tin of marbles, and the family cat for safekeeping. As the Associated Press reports: “‘I’m worried about my marbles, because I’m scared they might fall into the wrong hands,’ Kupers said Anne told her. ‘Could you keep them for me for a little while?'”