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History of NYC - 1940 to 1945

The 1940s would mark a turning point in how society shares information thanks to widespread adoption of television. The first two TV stations in the city, WNBT (now WNBC) and WCBW (now WCBS-TV) signed on the air for the first time. This era would also mark the beginning of another World War, and an inevitable wave of migrants seeking refuge from war-torn Europe. In the midst of this global drama, the New York City Opera was founded and New York Fashion Week began, further establishing the city’s empire of industry and the arts.

1941: Grand Central Terminal Concourse Interior

Photograph of commuters at Grand Central Terminal's Main Concourse, bathed in sunlight streaming through its majestic windows.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1942: Soldiers at Pennsylvania Station

Soldiers and sailors line up inside the concourse of Pennsylvania Station.

Artist Credit: Marjory Collins. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Fulton Fish Market

Photograph of dock workers moving cargo at Fulton Fish Market with Manhattans' downtown skyscrapers visible in the background.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Residential Scene in Harlem

Photograph of pedestrians and brownstone buildings in Harlem.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1942: American Gothic by Gordon Parks

Portrait of Ella Watson standing in front of the American flag with mop and broom.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Harlem-Policeman

Photograph of a young police officer walking his beat in Harlem.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1940: 16 Greenwich Street

Exterior view of 16 Greenwich Street and adjoining buildings beneath the shadow of the elevated railroad tracks.

Artist Credit: Stanley P. Mixon. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Harlem Street Scene

Photograph of three men walking down the street past on of Harlem's nightclubs.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1940: Battery Place and Washington Street

Exterior view of old buildings at the corner of Battery Place and Washington Street from southwest.

Artist Credit: Stanley P. Mixon. Reprinted with permission.

1940: Brooklyn Wallabout Market

Photograph of a vast crowd of trucks and horse-drawn carts at the Wallabout Market in Brooklyn, New York.

Artist Credit: Al Aumuller. Reprinted with permission.

1940: Italian Pushcart Market in the Bronx

Photograph of a market of Italian push carts selling produce on Arthur & Crescent Avenues in the Bronx.

Artist Credit: Unknown. Reprinted with permission.

1942: New York Taxi Driver

Photograph of a taxi driver polishing the hood of his car in front of a row of brownstones.

Artist Credit: Albert Fenn. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Business Advertisements in Harlem

Photograph of a diner, shoeshine booth and various printed advertisements near the corner of a block in Harlem.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Street Vendor on a Corner in Harlem

Photograph of a fruit stand vendor waiting on customers on a corner in Harlem.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

1943: Man Reading a Newspaper on Harlem Street

Man Reading a Newspaper on Harlem Street.

Artist Credit: Gordon Parks. Reprinted with permission.

Next Chapter: History of NYC - 1945 to 1950

After six years of a world at war, the Allies have emerged victorious, an event which would fuel the American economy well into the next two decades. New York would ride this wa... 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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