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City of Buffalo celebrates 184th birthday

Buffalo is inching its way closer to 200 years old, as the Queen City celebrates its 184th birthday April 20.

Back in 1832, the area's designation shifted from village to city when Gov. Enos T. Throop approved this charter, and the city's first mayor, Dr. Ebenezer Johnson, was elected by the Common Council, according to BuffaloAH.com. Roughly 10,000 people lived in the city at the time.

Although the Buffalo's urban history did not start out on a positive note -- a cholera outbreak claimed the lives of more than 120 lives that July -- the city eventually flourished in industry, wisely depended upon the Erie Canal for trade and transportation of goods and pieced together its own cultural identity.

Here's a small collection of Buffalo News content -- there's much more, trust me -- that explores Buffalo's past.

(Steve Cichon/Buffalo Stories)

(Steve Cichon/Buffalo Stories)

*The history of neighborhoods:

-- "Before there was Canalside"
-- History of Hertel Avenue
-- Industry at Riverbend in the '40s
-- $20 million Bethlehem Steel expansion in 1950
-- Bethlehem Steel: Before and After (video)
-- Roaring success of South Buffalo's Republic Steel

*Professional sports teams:

-- Unsung heroes in local sports history (2004)
-- Top 10 male, female athletes of all-time from WNY
-- Seeking the holy grail of Buffalo sports memorabilia

-- Sabres: Vogl on remembering 'No Goal'
-- Sabres: Remembering the best of the Aud
-- Sabres: A young Rick Jeanneret in the press box
-- Sabres: First look at the team in 1970

-- Bills: Buffalo in the '90s has Kelly, Zubaz
-- Bills: Scott Norwood tries to hold his head high after miss
-- Bills: Fans tear down goal posts in '80
-- Bills: Original QB controversy: Kemp vs. Lamonica
-- Bills: Van Miller calls first game in War Memorial
-- Bills: AFL title 50 years ago among franchise's top moments
-- Bills: All-time best draft picks

-- Braves: McAdoo vs. Lakers' Abdul-Jabbar
-- Braves: Randy Smith to join elite company

*Severe weather:

-- Buffalo's bleak 1977
-- Blizzard of '77: The breakdown
-- Then and now: The November Storm

*The chicken wing:

-- 100 things: Eat a chicken wing at Anchor Bar
-- At 50, the Buffalo-style chicken wing has conquered the world
-- 11 facts you didn't know about chicken wings and Buffalo

*Presidents of the United States:

-- On Grover Cleveland's time in Buffalo
-- McKinley's assassination at Pan-American Exposition
-- How well do you know Millard Fillmore: A Quiz

*Major events:

-- Pope Saint John Paul II visits Buffalo
-- Fight for racial equality in Buffalo schools

*Interesting quirks:

-- Buffalo's fight against Prohibition
-- 1965: Russ Salvatore promotes first restaurant
-- Buffalo needs two highways to save downtown (1970)
-- Buffalo man first to be executed by electric chair
-- On Buffalo's nicknames over the years
-- 50 things every WNYer should do once
-- 50 more things every WNYer should do once

This is only scratching the surface of the city's history, but on Buffalo's birthday, it's a chance to learn something new.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who's fortunately never had cholera, at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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