Wednesday, February 10, 2010

75 years of alligators in the NYC sewers. 

Yesterday was "Alligators In The Sewers Day", and I missed it!


... where did the urban legend come from?

Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione held a press conference on the City Hall steps today to commemorate the legend’s birth.

Unlike most urban legends, this one has a definite origin in fact: On Feb. 9, 1935, several teenagers in East Harlem were shoveling snow into an open sewer manhole when they spotted movement below. They got clothesline from a nearby shop and fished out a seven-foot-long, 125-pound alligator.

Despite the alligator’s weakness, it snapped at the boys, who then beat it to death with their shovels. The story is told in a vividly-written New York Times article published the next day.

No alligator has been spotted in the sewers before or since, yet the legend persists...

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer proclaimed today, the 75th anniversary of the original alligator incident, to be “Alligators in the Sewers Day” in the Borough of Manhattan ... [Photo set on Flikr].

Tomorrow's urban legend rooted in fact today...
Coyotes roaming Manhattan

Three coyotes turned up on the Columbia University campus on Sunday morning ... A few hours later, a coyote was spotted darting around bushes and across a frozen lake in Central Park... [its picture below]