Mark Twain once played pool at MSG
So Thursday morning Madison Square Garden plans to unveil its "Garden 366," at a gala event at Madison Square Park, original site of the building. (Hence the name. Hello!)
The idea is to highlight one notable event for each day of the calendar year in Garden history - from no brainers such as May 8, 1970, March 8, 1971 and June 14, 1994, to far more esoteric choices.
Garden officials aren't ready to unveil the entire list yet, but knowing that I was born about a century too late they did share with me some of the selections from more than 100 years ago, figuring I'd be interested and that not much harm could come from it, since the people involved won't be appearing at Thursday's promotional event.
I previously have reported that one of the events chosen was the most notorious single moment in Garden history - Harry Thaw's assassination of Stanford White, the guy who had designed the building, on June 25, 1906.
But here are five other quirky picks that made the cut, in chronological order:
April 10, 1880: Frank Hart wins the International Walking Match, having covered 565 miles in 142 hours.
Feb. 6,1887: Buffalo Bill's first Wild West exhibition!
Nov. 3, 1900: First major Auto Show in U.S. history, featuring 31 car models
Jan. 5, 1904: Fifteenth annual exhibition of New York Poultry, Pigeon and Pet Stock Association
April 24, 1906: Mark Twain appears at a charity billiards exhibition to benefit survivors of the San Francisco earthquake and fire.
Said Mr. Twain: "The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition."