A Brief Selective History of New York City

1960-1964: New York City was a contested city; the majority of the City was held by the Sabbat. The Camarilla held a small portion of Manhattan, mostly the midtown area and the Financial District. The Camarilla and the Sabbat sparred almost constantly, with neither side really gaining the upper hand over the other. The Sabbat managed to hold on to most of the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan, and the Camarilla managed to not lose any additional territory. This was a time of constant struggle, and the Prince of New York, Michaela, frequently battled with Archbishop Francisco Domingo de Polonia. As a side note, under a new city charter, effective January 1, 1963, a mayor was elected for a four-year term to head a centralized city government, the Board of Estimate, which also included the borough presidents, the comptroller, and the city council president. It should also be noted that, under the reign of Prince Michaela, there were 100 Camarilla Kindred crammed into the territories of midtown and the Financial District. Prince Michaela strictly controlled influences, territories and hunting grounds. The mortal population of New York City (according to the US Census) in 1960 was approximately 7,982,000 (with 1,998,000 of those people residing in Manhattan).

1965: John Lindsay became the Mayor of New York City, only to be greeted with a transit strike that essentially crippled the city for a week. Mayor Lindsay consolidated many city agencies into "super-agencies," in an attempt to eliminate waste and redundancy. Mayor Lindsay also decentralized the school system and created community school districts. These measures, and others not noted here, radically increased government spending. On November 9th, the Great Northeast Blackout occurs, as several states and parts of Canada are hit by a series of power failures lasting up to 13 1/2 hours; it is the largest power failure in U.S. history.

New York City was particularly hit by this blackout, due to its reliance on electricity for nearly all aspects of city life. Office workers, ready for an evening at home with their families in the suburbs, were forced to find alternative lodging, some seeking shelter in their offices or on benches in Grand Central Station. Theaters closed for the night. The "Great White Way," Times Square, usually a glimmering crossroads of light, was covered in darkness. Thousands of travelers stranded in New York were forced to sleep in hotel lobbies, leading the Times to report that the "city's hotels looked like bivouac areas." Approximately ten thousand commuters were stuck on subway cars, unable to escape the darkened tunnels. By midnight, the Transit Authority began sending food and coffee to those trapped underground.

The Camarilla attempted to use the suddenness of the Blackout to lead an assault on the Sabbat. Prince Michaela personally led an assault on the Bronx, the stronghold of the Sabbat in New York City (and the location of de Polonia's personal haven). Sadly, the blackout did not last long enough. By 11 o'clock, the power was restored in 75 percent of Brooklyn. By midnight, much of the Bronx and Queens were lit. By 2 a.m., Brooklyn was fully equipped with electric power. At 6:58 a.m., almost fourteen hours after the massive blackout struck New York City, power was restored citywide. The Sabbat managed to overpower the Camarilla and drive them back to Manhattan. Prince Michaela was a casualty of this counterstrike.

1966-1969: The Sabbat managed to make inroads into Manhattan itself, disguising most of its actions as "student unrest" or "civil protest." The Camarilla found itself with a near-constant turn over of Princes. (It should be noted that none of these short-lived Princes overturned Michaela's 100 Kindred limit, and they all rigorously controlled influences, hunting grounds and territories.) Additionally, the sect's territory began shrinking under the Sabbat's onslaught; the Camarilla were driven out of midtown Manhattan - they only had the Financial District left. New York State's eight largest electric utility companies formed the New York Power Pool (NYPP) in response to the Great Northeast Blackout in an attempt to reduce the probability of another major power interruption, combining the eight member's knowledge and technical resources in power generation and transmission. One of the patrons of Magdalena de Luca, a Toreador of New York City, was a member of the NYPP.

1970: The Camarilla managed to reverse its misfortunes and increased its territory in the City. Breaking out of the Financial District, the Camarilla regained sections of Midtown, along with territory between the two Manhattan locales. Additionally, the Camarilla gained control over the JFK Airport area, some sections of Long Island (including McArthur Airport) and some private airfields in Westchester. This was viewed as a major gain, as the Camarilla could now "import" more members into New York City. Sadly, the Camarilla was not able to permanently secure a safe corridor between these outer borough locales and the Manhattan holdings. Incidentally, in March of this year, the New York Power Pool began to coordinate the power flow into New York City, working alongside of Con Ed, LILCO and other power companies. The mortal population of New York City (according to the US Census) in 1970 was approximately 8,096,000 (with 2,001,000 of those people residing in Manhattan).

1971: The Brujah Justicar sent an Archon, Gaspar Diego Alacazar, to assist the Camarilla in expanding and maintaining their holdings in New York City. Archon Alacazar quickly became the Prince of New York City, and managed to hold his power and position for some time. On another front, on August 18th, in the afternoon there were three near-simultaneous outages in New York State; the New York Power Pool Center weathered the crisis with a minimum of problems aside of a brief cutoff of power to the 200,000 customers of LILCO.

1972-1976: The Camarilla and the Sabbat fought constantly over New York City, which each group gaining and losing territory. Magdalena de Luca became one of Prince Alacazar's Primogen, and she and the other Primogen created a plan to drive the Sabbat out of New York City once and for all. Mayor David Beame (elected in 1974) and the Board of Estimate, in an effort to end chronic fiscal problems (mostly due to the escalating costs of police and fire services as a result of the Camarilla/Sabbat war) creates several special financial entities (such as the Municipal Assistance Corporation (MAC)). These financial entities were created to keep the city from defaulting on its myriad loans. The Board of Estimate also trimmed the city's fiscal budget in many ways, reducing the total numbers of policemen, fire fighters and sanitation workers in addition to reducing salaries for city employees. The municipal payroll was reduced by 65,000 employees, and Mayor Beame was forced to turn to federal aid to prevent the bankruptcy of the city (which also prompted the famous New York Daily News headline "Ford to New York: Drop Dead."). Crime and unemployment rates rose dramatically, while the quality of life plummeted. Still, Mayor Beame did raise $2.3 billion in federal funding, and hosted both a spectacular bicentennial celebration and the Democratic National Convention in 1976. These events and the federal funding allowed Beame and the MAC to keep the city from becoming bankrupt.

1977: During "The Summer of Sam," on August 13th, New York City was plunged into a massive blackout. All five boroughs as well as northern areas of Westchester County were plunged into darkness as four lighting strikes downed major power transmission lines into the city. Magdalena de Luca, using her influence over the NYPP and working with Clan Tremere, arranged this power outage and ensured that the power would remain out for some time. Unlike the Great Northeastern Blackout of 1965, the Camarilla was prepared for this blackout and quickly moved to strike as the unready Sabbat. A great deal of "rioting" occurred, as the Camarilla swept down upon the Sabbat and eradicated them.

Areas of Harlem, Brooklyn, and the South Bronx experienced the most damage, where thousands of people took to the streets and smashed store windows looking for TVs, furniture, or clothing. In one report, 50 cars were stolen from a car dealership in the Bronx. The police made 3,976 arrests (none of which were Kindred), although from all accounts, many thousands escaped before being caught. 1,237 fires burned throughout the City, six times the average rate, while the fire department also responded to approximately 1,700 false alarms.

Power was restored by late on August 14th, but the damage was done - New York City had trembled with civil unrest. The Camarilla drove out the Sabbat, but at a high cost. Prince Alacazar had been killed during the fighting, and several powerful members of the Brujah, Nosferatu and Tremere Clans had been killed. All Clans suffered losses (most notably, the Toreador lost over twenty members, and Clan Malkavian was almost decimated), but only the Brujah, Nosferatu and Tremere lost elder members. Clan Malkavian had been virtually annihilated because of their inability to fight during the attack. It was later determined that the Malkavian antitribu had somehow "spread" their Discipline of Dementation to the others during the fighting. The exact mechanism of this "infection" has never been fully understood, but it has spread to Malkavians worldwide. The mortal population of the city was torn asunder as well, with Mayor Beame leading charges of gross negligence against Con Edison and other city services.

In November, Edward Koch was elected as Mayor of New York City. Also, the Brujah Justicar himself came to New York City to hold a Conclave. The remaining Primogen of New York City held a long "private" session with the Justicar, bending his ear with some matter. At the end of the Conclave, the Justicar declared that it was the will of the Camarilla that Magdalena de Luca be declared Prince of New York City due to her actions in ensuring the Camarilla take over of the city. Prince de Luca fought this decision for a small period of time, but quickly acquiesced to the will of the Justicar.

Prince de Luca named the Kindred who had served as Prince Alacazar's Ventrue Primogen, Dixon Guder, to be her Seneschal. The bulk of the Primogen from Prince Alacazar's reign serve as Prince de Luca's Primogen, with the exception of the Brujah and Nosferatu Primogen, who were killed during the fighting. No immediate Kindred were named to take the places of the Brujah and Nosferatu Primogen. Prince de Luca formally "eradicated" the 100 Camarilla Kindred ruling that Prince Michaela had established. Invoking the "traditional" 1:100,000 ratios between Kindred and Kine, she limited the number of Camarilla in New York City to "approximately" 80 to 90 Kindred. In addition to this announcement, Prince de Luca also struck down the previously restrictive limits on influences, hunting grounds and territory; all previous limits were removed and re-negotiated.

1978-1980: Prince de Luca and the rest of Camarilla devoted themselves to rebuilding the city and ridding the city of the Sabbat. At the end of the two year anti-Sabbat campaign, the Camarilla held all five Boroughs, Westchester, significant portions of Long Island, and portions of New Jersey (the wedge of land stretching from the New Jersey/New York border out to West Patterson, down to Trenton, and out to Asbury Park). (Eric's Notes: I have maps describing this territory; let me know if anyone needs them.) Additionally, the mortal population of New York City (according to the US Census) in 1980 was approximately 8,272,000 (with 2,428,000 of those people residing in Manhattan). Mayor Koch restored the city credit through a series of budget cutting measures, enabling the city to enter the bond market. The city's fiscal status brightened under his reign.

1981: Another Conclave was held in New York City; the Ventrue Justicar called it, and Seneschal Guder took care of most of the details. Prince de Luca apologized to the Justicar for being unavailable for a portion of the Conclave; she sent her apologies through Matthew Jacob Ford, one of her Childer. At the end of the Conclave, the Justicar announced that the Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey territories that the Camarilla held were removed from Prince de Luca's authority. Aurelio Pitin of Clan Brujah was named the primary Prince of the New Jersey/Westchester area; the Justicar additionally decrees that Prince Pitin was responsible for the Camarilla expansion into New Jersey. Orina Nadezhda of Clan Ventrue was named the primary Prince of the Long Island territories.

Later that year, Prince de Luca formally created a position of power in New York City, specifically that of "Prince's Secretary." The Prince's Secretary, according to Prince de Luca, acts as an executive secretary to the Prince: arranging meetings, presentations, releasing documents and rulings from the Prince to the City at large, and so on. The Prince's Secretary does not take the place of the office of Seneschal; Seneschal Guder continues on in his duties, taking care of political matters when the Prince is not in town or unavailable for extended periods of time. Additionally, the Seneschal and the Prince's Secretary work together to take care of matters "before they become problems that the Prince must deal with." Matthew Jacob Ford is named to that position.

1982-1983: A time of relative peace and expansion for the Camarilla of New York City. The City slowly came out of the economic miasma of the late seventies, but it never quite eradicated crime and corruption. The Camarilla continued to work on gaining control over the city; Prince de Luca formally completed the Primogen Council by naming, through Secretary Ford, a Brujah and Nosferatu Primogen.

1984: The Sabbat attempted to re-take New York City. The Camarilla of New York had plenty of warning, due to the skirmishes between Prince Pitin and the Sabbat. When the few Sabbat survivors made it to Manhattan, the forces of the Sheriff and the Camarilla quickly destroyed them. Sadly, the Malkavian Primogen was killed during the fighting. The Malkavian Primogen was replaced shortly thereafter.

1985: The Sabbat attempted a second invasion of New York City, smuggling themselves via several air freights sent to JFK Airport. This invasion attempt was nipped in the bud by several of the Seneschal's ghouls working at JFK who opened the crates during the day, sensing that something "wasn't quite right." The Sabbat sent over sixty Kindred to invade New York City - all sixty died in the harsh light of day.

1985-1989: Again, a relative time of peace and prosperity, at least for the Camarilla. The mortal populace, however, was not so lucky, and suffered from a bad economy during this time. The Tompkins Square Riots occurred on August 6 of 1998, incidentally. In March of 1989 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Board of Estimate created in the 1963 City Charter unconstitutional because it gave disproportionate weight to the less populous boroughs. In November of that year voters approved a revised charter eliminating the board and reassigning its powers to the mayor, the city planning commission, and an expanded city council. Ed Koch lost his bid to be New York's first four-term mayor due to a series of corruption scandals and criticisms for his combative dealings with public officials and the press. David Dinkins, then Manhattan Borough President, won the Democratic Primary from Koch and was elected Mayor, defeating Rudolph Guiliani by 47,000 votes.

1990: The mortal population of New York City (according to the US Census) in 1990 was approximately 8,523,000 (with 2,488,000 of those people residing in Manhattan).

1991: Crown Heights, Brooklyn erupted in riots on April 19, after a Hasidic Jew struck and killed a seven-year old boy while driving. A Hasidic ambulance team sent to the area treated the driver while the young boy died without care. Shortly after the riots, it was discovered that one of the Lesser Harpies was influential in preventing police from responding to the area, as he used the riots as a cover for his own actions. Prince de Luca killed the lesser harpy herself. Shortly after that, in August, a number of Nosferatu in the Harlem area discovered an abandoned Setite temple near Morningside Park. Prince de Luca, through Secretary Ford, called for an investigation to discover the current location of the Followers of Set in New York City, along with an investigation to discover why the Temple was abandoned. No Setites were found in the wakes of these investigations, but it was determined that the Temple was truly abandoned (as opposed to the Setites within being slaughtered), possibly in the late eighties.

1993-1999: Rudolph Guiliani was elected Mayor, defeating Dinkins who had been sharply criticized for his handling of racial strife in Crown Heights, a boycott of Korean Grocers in Brooklyn, civil unrest in Washington Heights and running up the city's deficit from $1.8 billion to $2.2 billion. A small group of Setites was located in Spanish Harlem; they were working with a group of self-described "Caitiff." The Sheriff and his associates quickly killed all the Setites and Caitiff. Also, the World Trade Center bombing was in 1995. Need I say more?

2000: The mortal population of New York City (as estimated by the US Census) in 2000 is approximately 9,214,000 (with 2,752,000 of those people residing in Manhattan). Prince de Luca relaxed the restraints on the exact number of Kindred in New York City, provided that "the population does not grow to unwieldy and poses a threat to the Masquerade." Kindred line up to gain the right of progeny.