On this date in...
1864...Authorities in New York approve the formation of a company of black soldiers to fight the Confederates in the Civil War. This marks the first time that black soldiers are allowed to enlist in the Union army.
1942...Fire sweeps through the French luxury liner "Normandie," which is docked at West 48th Street. The blaze breaks out when workers converting the ship to a wartime vessel accidentally set fire to a large stack of life preservers. The mighty ship capsizes and, after attempts to restore her prove fruitless, the ship is ultimately sold for scrap in 1946.
Today's New Yorker birthdays include actress Mia Farrow, born in 1945.