This week in T&V history: T&V publisher gets death threat

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years and we’ve decided to start taking a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here are a couple of snapshots from the August 13, 1964 issue of Town & Village.

T&V publisher threatened

Note left after Town & Village’s office was broken into

Note left after Town & Village’s office was broken into

This week’s edition of Town & Village from 50 years ago featured a story about a pair of “hoodlums” who wreaked havoc on the T&V offices, leaving behind a death threat for editor and publisher Charles G. Hagedorn. Although the letter said, “You’re gonna die, CJH!” and had the incorrect middle initial, detectives thought that it was intended for Hagedorn.
T&V reporter Arnold Reisman caught the thieves in the act on the previous Sunday when he entered the paper’s closed offices at 614 East 14th Street to return a camera. Although Reisman spotted one of them in the office, he was able to escape with the help of his accomplice, who was parked outside the office and who sped off when the teen ran into the car.
The office was reportedly left in shambles, with an ashtray’s contents spilled over the desk and the wire of the public address system cut. The only thing of value that was taken was a typewriter, but as evidenced by the fact that he left a handwritten note, he may not have known how to use it.
The threat was not attributed to any particular story or issue, but Hagedorn didn’t seem worried.
“A newspaper knows it’s doing a good job when it gets sued every now and then and the editor receives periodic threats,” he said. “But I wish my enemies were a bit more literate and could at least spell my initials right.”

Stuy Town cop exonerated
A short blurb mentioned that the lieutenant who shot a black teenager the previous month was to be exonerated by a grand jury investigating the killing. Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan maintained that he had acted in self defense and that the boy “seemed to be the size of a giant” as he lunged at him.
At the time, the medical examiner had reported that the boy was 5’6” and 122 pounds, whereas Lieutenant Gilligan was 6 feet tall.

This week in history: Off-duty cop kills teen on Upper East Side

Front page of the July 23, 1964 issue of T&V

Front page of the July 23, 1964 issue of T&V

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years and we’ve decided to start taking a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here is a snapshot from the July 23, 1964 issue of Town & Village.

The headline story in this 1964 issue of T&V was about a Stuyvesant Town resident and police officer who shot and killed a “negro” teen on East 76th Street the previous Thursday, inciting riots in Harlem throughout the week following.

The shooting sparked what is known as the Harlem Riot of 1964. Right after the boy was killed, a small group of students began rioting around the area of the shooting and had to be contained by police. On the same day as his funeral, what started as a peaceful rally on the rising crime rate in Harlem turned into a violent mob that required hundreds of officers at Seventh Avenue and West 125th Street. In total, the incident set off six consecutive nights of rioting throughout Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant and is considered the precipitating event for riots later in the summer in cities like Philadelphia, Rochester and Chicago.

Town & Village reported that the victim, 15-year-old James Powell, had attacked the officer, Stuyvesant Town Oval resident Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan, with a switchblade. According to the lieutenant’s version of events, he shot the boy once and when the teen kept advancing, Gilligan shot him a second time, ending his life. T&V withheld the officer’s exact address to prevent possible retaliation or mob violence.

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