Anthony “Speed” Hanzlick, sportsman, pilot

Anthony Hanzlik, a photographer and a pioneer pilot for aerial photography managed Flushing Airport in Queens from 1936 until his death in 1974. Mr. Hanzlik did aerial photography for New York newspapers and was noted for his skill in piloting news photographers on hazardous assignments such as fire and train wrecks. He got his nickname, Speed, as a youngster when he served as a messenger at the WrightMartin Aircraft Company’s factory in Long Island City, Queens. He was a flyer in WWI and tested pilots for the Royal Airforce in WWII. In 1960, he was taking pictures of a fire… Read More

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Christopher Keyburn  (Kit Burns), saloon keeper, rat pit runner

Christopher Keyburn  (Kit Burns) (1831 – 1870) was an American sportsman, saloon keeper and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century, he and Tommy Hadden being the last-known leaders of the Dead Rabbits during the 1850s and 60s. He founded Sportsmen’s Hall, also known as the Band Box, which served as a popular Bowery sporting resort, dance hall and meeting place for the gangs of the area. The hall ran for almost 2 decades and was closed down by the ASPCA due to the horrific dog and rat fights organized in the pit of the… Read More

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