This Day in NY History, June 8…

June 7, 2011 Updated: June 7, 2011

1786: First Commercial Ice Cream Advertisement: In 1776, the first ice cream parlor in New York opens. The ice cream was sold on a small scale until Mr. Hall of Chatham Street put an advertisement informing potential customers he was selling ice cream. China is often cited as inventing the first ice creams, possibly as early as 3,000 B.C., while Rome’s Emperor Nero ate snow from the mountains flavored with fruit juices. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed ice cream; Jefferson so much so that he even created his own recipe. Over a century later, it is said that the ice cream cone was invented and patented in New York. Also, popular brands like Häagen-Dazs were started in New York.

1809:Thomas Paine Perishes:
Writer Thomas Paine, best known for aiding the American Revolution with the 1776 pamphlet “Common Sense,” which advocated for independence and swiftly sold over half a million copies. After moving between England, France, and the United States, Paine spent the last several years of his life in New York, first New Rochelle, and then in New York City. Only six people attended the funeral, a testament to how far he had fallen out of favor with former compatriots like Franklin and Washington, and leaders of the French Revolution like Lafayette. His name is now typically favorably linked to the struggle for independence.

1963: Pete Seeger Plays at Carnegie Hall:
Folk singer Pete Seeger played what is considered to be one of his best concerts ever, fresh off a trip supporting civil rights activists. Many of the songs he performed were created on the trip. Known throughout his career for his activism, he redid the song ”We Shall Overcome,” which became the anthem for the civil rights movements. The original tapes from the concert were recently found and released as a two disc set titled “We Shall Overcome: The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert CD.”

1968: Senator Kennedy's Funeral Mass: Senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of JFK, was shot on June 5, 1968, and died the next day. Before being buried in Washington D.C, his funeral mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 8. He served as manager of JFK’s presidential campaign, and was subsequently nominated U.S. attorney general. He often supported the civil rights movement, sending 500 federal marshals to protect the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., when local opponents attacked them.

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