Volume 74, Number 10 | July 7 - 13, 2004



70 and 35 years ago in The Villager

June 28, 1934

* The Greenwich Village Savings Bank celebrated its 101st birthday on July 1. Originally located at 10 Carmine St, the bank opened in 1833. It was founded by a group of area merchants, who elected George Suckley the first president. The first deposit — which consisted of $11 in coins — was made by Abraham Pattison. The bank, which operated continuously from the time of its opening, had moved to the corner of Sixth Ave. and 16th St. by 1934. It survived the Draft Riots — which had seen lynchings on Carmine St. — and the loss of cotton mill business during the Civil War and was one of a few small banks that weathered the Depression without closing.

* The Humane Society opened the city’s first watering station for Village horses during the last week in June. The station, which was located in front of the Society’s headquarters at 49 Seventh Ave., was funded in part by a penny drive run by Hearn’s Department Store on 14th St. The station dispensed watering pails and open bridles free of charge, and attendant Arthur Jacques sponged visiting animals. The first customers were the Humane Society’s mascot, Paddy, and Police Department horses.


June 26, 1969

* Mount Sinai Hospital hosted a three-hour conference on marijuana on June 20, during which one panelist defended the drug based on a Freudian theory and another characterized it as a threat to society. The panel was made up of six members, including a doctor and professor from the University of California system and an agent from the Bureau of Narcotics. The conference was called in connection with the formation of a blue ribbon commission that was supposed to study the drug’s effects. Both the conference and the commission were sponsored by Ed Koch, then congressmember for the 17th District, for the purpose of determining if there should be a change in the country’s drug laws. The panelists concluded, among other things, that marijuana did not lead to heroin use.

* “Oh, Calcutta!” the first Broadway musical to be performed entirely in the buff, opened at the Eden Theater after a long period of previews and not a little controversy. The original production eventually ran for 1,314 performances despite lukewarm reviews. Some critics were offended by the full-frontal nudity. Others, like The Villager’s Thomas Brennan, simply advised readers that they’d be better served by attending the Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park. The Festival, which opened the same week as the play, ran from June 26 to July 5 and included performances by Benny Goodman, Lional Hampton, Flip Wilson and Jerry Lee Lewis — all of whom kept their clothes on.


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