Christmas

Christmas Dinner Line at the McAuley Mission, 1905

Christmas Dinner Line at the McAuley Mission, 1905

The McAuley Mission, now the New York City Rescue Mission, was founded in 1872 by Jerry and Maria McAuley. Survivors of New York City's hard-knock life of the middle Nineteenth Century, they opened the doors of their Water Street mission every night of the year to the city's poor and outcast. In this photo, we can see they were doing a booming business on Christmas in 1905.  Hundreds of men and boys lined up for a Christmas dinner.

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New York City Christmas, Washington Square Park, 1950

New York City Christmas, Washington Square Park, 1950

There's something magical about Christmastime in New York City.  The cold air, the smell of chestnuts, the extra hustle and bustle -- all of these things play into it, but it's also the sights, the images, that stay with you, like this Christmas tree lit up in front of the Washington Arch. There's an almost holy peace captured in this black and white photograph. Despite the absence of snow, you can feel the icy air and almost see your breath frosting in front of you. You can feel the presence of the Spirit of Christmas Past.

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Christmas in the Ward, Bellevue Hospital, 1920

Christmas in the Ward, Bellevue Hospital, 1920

The Bellevue Hospital staff took time out for a photograph during the holiday season of 1920. This ward looks very well staffed, with three doctors, four nurses, and an orderly for three patients. Bellevue Hospital, known most famously for its psychiatric ward, is the oldest public hospital in the United States.

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