War

Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day began in both the North and the South, following the Civil War, as a day to honor soldiers who had died in military service. Initially, the holiday was called Decoration Day, after the practice of decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers, but in 1882, not long before this photograph was taken, the name of the holiday was changed to Memorial Day. In this picture, we see the remaining members of Union Regiment 73 taking part in a Memorial Day Parade on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.

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Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, Clock, and Arch, 1940

Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, Clock, and Arch, 1940

This clock in Penn Station was often photographed. It cried out for it, hanging as it did just beyond the darkened archway. Here we see it in the summer of 1940, hanging portentously above a crowd largely composed of men in uniform. They all know war is coming, that it is only a matter of time.

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Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

Pennsylvania Station Train Concourse, 1940

The great Pennsylvania Railroad station was thirty years old at the time of this photograph, and it had yet to see its greatest traffic. Passenger volume would reach its peak during the war years. Rail travel would diminish in the years following the war as other modes of transportation, most notably air travel, gained popularity. By the 1950s, Penn Station would no longer be profitable, and the Pennsylvania Railroad would sell its air rights as means of offsetting the cost of operating the station. This would result in the eventual demolition of station.

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Fourteenth Street Theater Shortly Before Demolition, 1937

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Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

On May 8, 1945, the ticker tape came down on the throng flooding Times Square. The war had ended in Europe. A scale model of the Statue of Liberty was on site to oversee the proceedings. With brown-outs over now, Times Square will once again become the Great White Way, and the actual Statue of Liberty will be lit for the first time since the beginning of the war.

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Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Times Square, 1918

Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Columbus Circle, 1918

There was a time when everybody wore a hat. Here a crowd of thousands, mostly men, stand in Times Square during a WWI Liberty Rally.  There's not a bare head amongst them. If you look carefully, you can see a couple of women's hats.

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The Queen Mary Cruises Past the Statue of Liberty, 1960

The Queen Mary Cruises Past the Statue of Liberty, 1960

The RMS Queen Mary, nearing the end of her career, cruises into New York Harbor past Lady Liberty.  The Mary herself was a familiar symbol of liberty, having served as a troop transport during World War II.  After the war, she was refitted for passenger service, and until the era of jet travel forced her into retirement in 1967, she and her sister ship, the Elizabeth, served as the Queens of transatlantic travel.

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