This Day In New York History

There are a lot places to find information on New York history. Plenty of organizations do a great job telling in depth stories about specific battles, famous people, and even small town tales. All of that history comes with important dates in our past.

This page is an evolving attempt to try and capture the important dates in the Empire State’s past. The database includes historic events, births, and deaths that took place on this day in history. Each one in some way directly relates to Upstate.

This database is a work in progress and is updated regularly with historic dates. Some will be wide reaching and recognizable across Upstate. Others will be noteworthy only to those who live right in the region.

Regardless of the relation, all of the dates and events included in this database have had an impact in some way to the history of Upstate New York.

Today’s Events

1803 The town of Guilderland is split from Watervliet to become its own town.
1890 Martin Brewer Anderson, the first to serve as president for the University of Rochester, dies in Lake Helen, Florida. He is buried in the University of Rochester plot at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.
1895 Funeral services are held for Frederick Douglass at the Central Presbyterian Church (now, Hochstein Music School) in Rochester.
1904 Sparks from electric wires in the Rochester Dry Goods Company cause a fire to break out early in the morning. The fire spread so quickly and so far, that companies from Syracuse and Buffalo were called for support. The fire burned for 6 hours and burned 1 3/4 acres of the shopping district, with losses totaling $3 million.

Looking for more? You’ll find a whole bunch of Upstate history in the facts section.


Whether it’s the closing an iconic restaurant, the birth of a well known Upstater, or a news event that made waves, it’s an important piece of our past. It may seem inconsequential, but preserving the past is an integral part of our local storytelling.

If you have a piece of history related to New York that you feel should be included, please submit using this contact form.