New York City draft riots The New York City draft riots in July  were violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of working-class discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War.
The riots remain the largest civil insurrection in American history with fatalities aside from the Civil War itself. At least 11 black people are estimated to have been killed. The conditions in the city were such that Major General John E. Wool , commander of the Department of the East , stated on July 16 that " martial law ought to be proclaimed, but I have not a sufficient force to enforce it. In the resulting police action, 63 citizens, mostly Irish, were killed. McClusky , hoping to compel their cooperation through public humiliation , arranged for them to be walked through the streets of Little Italy , in handcuffs to police headquarters, a forerunner of the perp walk that has since become a common practice in the city.
It backfired, as the men were hailed as heroes by the Italian immigrant community they were paraded past. Charges against all defendants were later dropped for lack of evidence, and the killing remains unsolved.
The murder would soon be dubbed "The Crime of the Century". June 19, — The strangled body of Elsie Sigel , granddaughter of Civil War Union general Franz Sigel , 19, is found in a trunk in the Chinatown apartment of Leon Ling, a waiter at a Chinese restaurant, ten days after she was last seen leaving her parents' apartment to visit her grandmother.
Evidence found in the apartment established that Ling and Sigel had been romantically involved, and he was suspected of the killing but never arrested. No other suspects have ever been identified. He eventually dies in September from a heart attack. July 4, — Lexington Avenue explosion: Four are killed and dozens injured when dynamite, believed to have been accumulated by anarchists for an attempt to blow up John D.
Rockefeller 's Tarrytown mansion , goes off prematurely in a seven-story apartment building at Lexington Avenue. Despite intense media interest, the crime was never solved one confession to police was dismissed because the man who made it was of dubious sanity.
The case inspired the development of the locked-room murder subgenre of detective fiction , when Ellery Queen realized that the intense public fascination with the case indicated that there was a market for fictional takes on the story.
September 16, — The Wall Street bombing kills 38 at "the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world. November 6, — Jewish gangster Arnold Rothstein , 46, an avid gambler best remembered for his alleged role fixing the World Series , died of gunshot wounds inflicted the day before during a Manhattan business meeting.
He refused to identify his killer to police. A fellow gambler who was believed to have ordered the hit as retaliation for Rothstein's failure to pay a large debt from a recent poker game Rothstein in turn claimed it had been fixed was tried and acquitted. No other suspects have ever emerged. He was last seen entering a New York City taxicab.
Crater was declared legally dead in His mistress Sally Lou Ritz 22 disappeared a few weeks later. December 24, — Leon Tourian , 53, primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America, is stabbed to death by several armed men while performing Christmas Eve services. All were arrested and convicted the following summer.
The killing was motivated by political divisions within the church; the ensuing schism persists. March 19, — The arrest of a shoplifter inflames racial tensions in Harlem and escalates to rioting and looting , with three killed, injured and arrested. Sculptor Robert George Irwin , who left a telltale soap sculpture at the scene, was eventually arrested after a nationwide manhunt fed by widespread media coverage of the case, said to be the most intense since the Stanford White murder, which capitalized by Gedeon's risque professional work.
After doubts about his sanity surfaced during trial, he was sentenced to life in prison. November 16, — "Mad Bomber" George Metesky plants the first bomb of his year campaign of public bombings. January 11, — Carlo Tresca , an Italian American labor leader who led opposition to Fascism , Stalinism and Mafia control of unions, was shot dead at a Manhattan intersection during the night.
Given the enemies he had made and their propensity for violence, the list of potential suspects was long; however, the investigation was incomplete and no one was ever officially named. Historians believe the mostly likely suspect was mobster Carmine Galante , later acting boss of the Bonanno family , seen fleeing the scene, who had likely acted on the orders of a Bonanno underboss and Fascist sympathizer Tresca had threatened to expose. The incident touches off a simmering brew of racial tension, unemployment, and high prices to a day of rioting and looting.
Several looters are shot dead and about persons are injured and another arrested. March 8, — A month after helping police find bank robber Willie Sutton , year-old clothing salesman Arnold Schuster is shot fatally outside his Brooklyn home.
An extensive investigation failed to identify any suspects, although police came to believe that either the Gambino crime family or Sutton's associates had ordered the hit. Schuster's family filed a lawsuit against the city, which led to a landmark ruling by the state's Court of Appeals that the government has a duty to protect anyone who cooperates with the police when asked to do so. October 25, — Mafia boss Albert Anastasia was shot dead while being shaved at a Manhattan barbershop. As with many organized-crime killings, it remains officially unsolved.
The work of detectives Eddie Egan and Sonny Grosso leading up to it was later the subject of The French Connection by Robin Moore , which formed the basis for the influential, Oscar-winning film of the same name. The resulting manhunt brings in the perpetrators, including Jerry Rosenberg , who after being spared the death penalty would become one of America's best-known jailhouse lawyers. Rosenberg filed a federal lawsuit over prejudicial remarks made by a detective during his, and another detective, Albert Seedman , was briefly demoted in response to outrage over a picture of him holding up the head of the other suspect, Tony Dellernia, for photographers who missed the perp walk.
August 28, — The Career Girls Murders: Emily Hoffert and Janet Wylie, two young professionals, are murdered in their Upper East Side apartment by an intruder. Richard Robles, a young white man, was ultimately apprehended in after investigators erroneously arrested and forced a false confession from a black man, George Whitmore, who was completely innocent of the crime.
Although Whitmore was compelled to wrongfully spend many years incarcerated, he was eventually released after his innocence was established, while Robles remains in prison as of The crime is witnessed by numerous people, none of whom aid Genovese or call for help.
The crime is noted by psychology textbooks in later years for its demonstration of the bystander effect , although an article published in The New York Times in February indicated that many of the popular conceptions of the crime were instead misconceptions. One person is killed and are injured in the violence. February 21, — Black nationalist leader Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom by three members of the Nation of Islam.
The theft, which remained undiscovered for two days, was at the time the highest-valued cargo theft at the airport;  it has since been exceeded by the Lufthansa heist perpetrated by some of the same criminals, including Hill.
Two drifters later plead guilty to the murders. The crime remains unsolved. June 28, — A questionable police raid on the Stonewall Inn , a Greenwich Village gay bar, is resisted by the patrons and leads to a riot.
The event helps inspire the founding of the modern homosexual rights movement. Three members of the domestic terrorist group the Weathermen are killed when a nail bomb they were building accidentally explodes in the basement of a townhouse on 18 West 11th Street.
The gunmen, Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom, still in prison as of , were rearrested in jail in connection with the killing of a San Francisco police officer. The incident serves as the inspiration for the Bob Dylan 's epic "Joey" recorded in On April 14, two NYPD officers responded to an apparent call for assistance from a detective at a Harlem address that turned out to be a mosque used by the Nation of Islam. What happened when they got there is still unclear, but both officers were seriously beaten, and one, Philip Cardillo, was shot.
He died of the wounds six days later. Political pressures on the administration of Mayor John Lindsay from the city's black community led to compromises that resulted in the incident never being fully investigated; Lindsay and police commissioner Patrick V. Murphy were notably absent from Cardillo's funeral, at which another high-ranking officer publicly resigned in protest.
The incident alienated many rank and file police officers and had a lasting effect on racial tensions in the city. Louis 17X Dupree, director of the mosque's school, was eventually tried for Cardillo's murder. After the first jury deadlocked, he was acquitted at a second trial because of the compromised and incomplete evidence; he has subsequently served time in different Southern states on other charges. Officially the case remains unsolved; investigators who reopened the case in the late s claim the FBI is withholding information about informants it had in the mosque at the time.
August 22, — John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Natuarale hold up a Brooklyn bank for 14 hours, in a bid to get cash to pay for Wojtowicz's gay lover's sex change operation. The scheme fails when the cops arrive, leading to a tense hour standoff.
Natuarale is killed by the police at JFK Airport. The incident served as the basis for the film Dog Day Afternoon. Several detectives were suspected of complicity in the thefts; in Brooklyn mobster Anthony Casso , serving years in federal prison, intimated that he knew who had stolen the drugs. John Wayne Wilson, a man she had picked up at nearby bar on New Year's Eve , was later arrested and charged with the murder, but killed himself in jail before he could be tried.
The incident inspired the novel Looking for Mr. Goodbar , the source for the film of the same name starring Diane Keaton. April 28, — Clifford Glover, a year-old black resident of Jamaica, Queens , was shot and killed by police officer Thomas Shea while running from an unmarked car which he thought was a robbery attempt. Shea was charged with murder, the first time an NYPD officer had been so charged for a killing in the line of duty in 50 years.
He claimed that he saw a gun, a claim that was contradicted by the ballistic evidence that showed Glover had been shot from behind.
Race riots broke out following his acquittal the following year. January 24, — Fraunces Tavern , a historical site in lower Manhattan, is bombed by the FALN , killing 4 people and wounding more than The perpetrators were never identified. Torsney is found not guilty by reason of insanity the following year and is released from Queens' Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in , only to be denied a disability pension.
July 13, — Dominick Ciscone, a year-old aspiring mobster, is shot and killed while hanging out with friends on Smith Street in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, the only homicide to occur during that year's blackout. Police investigate several local parties Ciscone was known to have had disputes with, but do not identify any supects.
Despite several promising anonymous tips to police around the killing's 20th anniversary in , it remains unsolved as of He died of a drug overdose before he could be tried. December 11, — Lufthansa heist: The well-planned robbery was at the time the largest cash theft ever in the United States, and remains the largest theft ever at the airport.
It was masterminded by members of the Lucchese crime family , including Henry Hill and Tommy DeSimone , who had pulled off the Air France robbery at the airport nine years earlier.
Tensions among the gang over how the money was to be divided and some members' failure to keep a low profile in the wake of the crime led to the deaths or disappearances of 10 of those involved in the next few months, many of them believed to have been killed or ordered by Lucchese soldier Jimmy Burke although no one suspected of being directly involved was ever arrested and charged not least because many died first.
In Vincent Asaro , a year-old Bonnano family capo, was indicted on charges of receiving money from the robbery and conspiring in it; he was acquitted the following year, the only person ever tried in relation to the crime. May 25, — Six-year-old Etan Patz vanishes after leaving his SoHo apartment to walk to his school bus alone. Despite a massive search by the NYPD the boy is never found, and was declared legally dead in June 22, — Willie Turks, a black year-old MTA worker, is set upon and killed by a white mob in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn.