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History of NYC - 1915 to 1920

After years of growth and success, the City faces some of its most harrowing challenges in the form the Influenza Epidemic, which would later become a full-blown pandemic due to its spread during World War 1. All of the city’s workers were issued face masks for protection and citizens were socially distanced to minimize the impact of the virus which would eventually claim the lives of over 50,000 New Yorkers. By contrast, the end of this time period was one of celebration, as the virus subsided and the city celebrated the Allied victory of the Great War, setting the City up for a full decade of decadence.

1918: July Parade on 58th Street and Fifth Avenue

Photograph shows a Fourth of July parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City in 1918 with a Curtiss bombing plane mounted on a truck.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1918: Madison Square Victory Arch

Aerial photograph of the temporary "Victory Arch" at Madison Square. Also pictured is the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower at 24th Street and 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1918: New York Court House Excavation

Photograph shows the British tank Britannia at the construction site of the courthouse behind the Municipal Building.

Artist Credit: George Grantham Bain. Reprinted with permission.

1918: 369th Infantry Return Home

Photograph of a parade held in honor of the 369th Infantry upon their victorious return home.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1918: Madison Square Park - Red Cross Parade

Photograph of the Red Cross Parade being reviewed by President Wilson at junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1918: Vice President Marshall Makes Liberty Loan Speech

Vice President Thomas R. Marshall speaking for the 4th Liberty Loan at the Altar of Liberty in Madison Square on the opening day of the drive.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1919: Grand Central Station

Photograph of Grand Central Station with the Park Avenue Bridge in foreground and the Station's facade in background.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1915: Skyline from Manhattan Bridge

Photograph of downtown New York City and its skyscrapers taken from the Manhattan Bridge.

Artist Credit: Detroit Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission.

1915: Municipal Building

Aerial photograph of the new Municipal Building in its final phases of construction.

Artist Credit: Dick DeMarsica. Reprinted with permission.

1915: Woolworth Building at Night

Photograph of the Woolworth Building and surrounding streets bathed in the artificial light of the city that never sleeps.

Artist Credit: Detroit Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1920 to 1925

Like many other cities in the aftermath of a global war and pandemic, New York was ready to kick off a decade with a spirit of celebration. Society would break much new ground, ... Continue Reading

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History of NYC - 10,000+ Years Ago

Learn all about NYC’s fascinating past by exploring the natural forces that shaped the environment and landscape, along with the people who would transform the “Island of Many Hills” into the greatest and most influential city in the world.


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