1664 — New Amsterdam is formally ceded to the British, becoming New York

The Dutch first built a settlement on Manhattan Island in 1613. It was the first European settlement on the island, located approximately at the site of the later World Trade Center complex. In 1623, the growth of the colony prompted the Dutch government to build a military post there, which was named Fort Amsterdam. The settlement grew even more, becoming known as New Amsterdam after the fort.

In 1664, the English opened the second Anglo-Dutch War by invading New Amsterdam on August 27. The official surrender of the colony took place on September 8, 1664, and the settlement and colony were renamed New York, in honour of James, brother to the English King, Charles II, and then the Duke of York. (He would later succeed his brother to the English throne, reigning from 1685 to 1688.)

Referenced in:
Istanbul (not Constantinople) — The Four Lads
Istanbul (not Constantinople) — They Might Be Giants

History does not record whether it was so nice they named it twice on this date, or whether that came later.

1966 — The first “Star Trek” episode is broadcast

Space: the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

With these words, one of the greatest science fiction franchises of all time was inaugurated. “Star Trek” may have had its flaws, but its vision of a future in which all sentients of good will worked for the common good was an appealing one. From the humble beginnings of a first season that was still trying to figure out what it was, “Star Trek” grew to become a media behemoth, made the people who acted in it stars of the screen, and exerted a great influence over our culture.

As Spock might put it, it lived long and prospered.

Referenced in:
Californication — Red Hot Chili Peppers

1968 — Huey Newton convicted of manslaughter

Huey P. Newton was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, and a man of deep thought. He had read widely in politics and philosophy, and created for himself and the Black Panthers a philosophy he called ‘revolutionary humanism’. He stood for the rights of black people across America and the world, the rights to self-determination and self-defence. But he wrestled with the need for revolutionary violence, as well as infighting in the black community.

Just before dawn on 28 October, 1967, Huey Newton and a friend were pulled over by an Oakland Police Department officer named John Frey. Frey called for backup, and after fellow officer Herbert Heanes arrived, a fight broke out. Shots were fired, and all three were wounded. Heanes testified that the shooting began after Newton was under arrest, and one witness testified that Newton shot Frey with Frey’s own gun as they wrestled. No gun on either Frey or Newton was found. Frey died later that day, and Newton was convicted of manslaughter, but a mistrial was declared. The case was tried two more times with the same outcome, and the state declined to prosecute a fourth time.

Referenced in:
Hallelujah, I’m a Bum — Barbara Dane