By On This Day in NYC's History


On July 17th, 1996: Trans World Airlines flight 800 crashed shortly after taking off from JFK airport. The Paris-bound flight exploded in mid-air about 11 minutes after take off before plunging into the water just off Long Island, killing all 230 people aboard. Though the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) maintains that the crash was the cause of a fuel tank explosion, conspiracy theories abound, claiming that the NTSB falsified reports and that there was something much more sinister at work.


On July 17th, 1970: The three-day New York Pop Festival opened on Randall’s Island. Still riding high off of the unexpected triumph of Woodstock the previous year, NYC music executives tried to recreate the commercial and popular success in New York to no avail. Not only did half the big name line-up not show up, the festival was also picketed by 18 radical groups which demanded (confusingly) that both a portion of the ticket sales go to worthy causes and that everyone should get in for free. The latter demand was inadvertently put into effect when gate crashers literally crashed through the gates, allowing thousands of free-loaders to experience the worst festival of all time.


On July 17th, 1935: Actress and model Diahann Carroll was born in the Bronx. After growing up in Harlem, Carroll got her start modeling for Ebony when she was 15 before appearing in the first major studio films to feature black casts like Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess. She is perhaps best known for creating the role of Dominique Deveraux on the soap opera Dynasty.

Featured Image Courtesy of Secrets of the Fed

Leave a Reply