DRAFT RIOTS ROCK CITY
On July 13th, 1863: Mobs angered by the new draft rioted in NYC, burning buildings and looting stores (not even Brooks Brothers was safe). A large portion of the rioters were Irish laborers who thought they were being drafted to free slaves who, once emancipated, would take over their jobs. Over the three days of the riot, over a hundred civilians were killed, at least eleven of which were black men who were lynched. With thousands injured, the draft riots of 1863 remain the largest civil insurrection in American history.
CITY PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS
On July 13th, 1977: Lightning strikes at an electrical substation in upstate New York trigger a series of power failures, plunging the five boroughs into darkness. The blackout lasted well into the next day and could not have come at a worse time. The city was experiencing a severe financial crisis in addition to the panic inspired by the Son of Sam murders which were happening at the same time. This panic combined with the 25-hour blackout spurred lootings and fires across the city as well as the largest mass arrest in NYC history.
BORN ON THIS DAY: DIDI CONN
On July 13th, 1951: Actress Didi Conn was born in Brooklyn. Though she was only nine years old when the 50s ended, Conn is best known for her role as the beauty-school dropout Frenchy in the 50s-set movie musical Grease, starring along side fellow New York native Stockard Channing. Conn reprised her role in the lesser known, but still hilarious Grease 2 in 1982 and continues to act.
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