10. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis character, Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, in the movie Gangs of New York is based on a real life person. The real man’s name was Bill “The Butcher” Poole. He was a member of the Bowery Boys gang, a butcher, and a known prize fighter. In true gangland fashion, he was killed when he was shot by friends of a fighter he beat down previously.
9. The first person in America to die in a car accident, by a NYC taxi on September 13,1899. Taxi drivers have never known how to drive. When only 100 taxis existed in New York City, one lost control and killed 68 year-old Henry Bliss. He was the first person to die in America from a car accident.
8. First Chewing Gum Factory in the World. An inventor, Thomas Adams was intent on turning Mexican chicle into synthetic rubber to make boots, tires, and toys but was unsuccessful. He eventually popped a piece of the chicle in his mouth and enjoyed chewing it. He decided to add flavors to the chicle and in 1869 started the first chewing gum factory in New York City. Constantly avoiding sitting in gum on subway cars and benches, or stepping in it on the sidewalk, New Yorkers deal with gum on a daily basis. Thanks Thomas!
7. The first electrically illuminated Christmas tree lights. The Christmas tree lights were created and first shown in the home of Edward H. Johnson in Manhattan, who worked at the Edison Electric Light Company. He showed the first tree with electric lights December 22, 1882 which consisted of 80 red, white, and blue light bulbs. The craze caught on and electric Christmas tree lights premiered in the White House in 1895, solidifying electric Christmas lights as a standard for Christmas trees for those who could afford it.
6. The Capital of the US. From March 4, 1789 to December 5, 1790 New York City was the capital of United States before it was moved to Philadelphia. Federal Hall, at 26 Wall Street, served as the first capital building but was demolished in 1812. It is the building where the US Bill of Rights was introduced to the First Congress. Federal Hall National Memorial was built on the same site on Wall Street in 1842 and is now a museum.