December 21: Joey Gallo

December 21: On this date in 1961, notorious mobster Joey Gallo was sentenced to 7 to 14 years in prison; he was murdered during his birthday party at Umberto’s Restaurant in Little Italy in 1972.

December 19: William Van Schaick Pardon

December 19: On this date in 1912, William Van Schaick, captain of the steamship General Slocum, which caught fire in the East River, resulting in the death of 1,200 people, many of whom are interred at Green-Wood, was granted a presidential pardon after serving 3 years at Sing Sing prison.

December 18: Gabriel Harrison

December 18: Gabriel Harrison, “the father of drama in Brooklyn,” who also had a career as a daguerrian photographer, and is described on his gravestone as “ARTIST, AUTHOR, ACTOR,” died on this date in 1902.

December 16: John E. Cook

December 16: On this date in 1859, John E. Cook, a captain in John Brown’s army, was executed by hanging for taking part in the attack on the Harpers Ferry Arsenal.

December 15: Oswald Ottendorfer

December 15: On this date in 1900, Oswald Ottendorfer, editor and publisher of the German-language Staats-Zeitung newspaper, and funder of what is now the Ottendorfer Branck of NYPL on 2nd Avenue, died.

December 13: Julius Walker Adams

December 13: Julius Walker Adams, Civil War officer who later submitted preliminary plans for the Brooklyn Bridge (with a lowball estimate of costs in order to get legislative approval), died on this date in 1899.