Happy #MuseumCats Day!
We have a few feline-related records in the holdings of the National Archives, but this one is a perennial favorite.
Also sort of a two-for, as we can get a head start for International #BeerDay on August 1!
Maya Angelou, Celebrated Author & Poet
(April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)
From the series: Photographs Relating to the Secretary’s Trips, Speeches, and Other Functions, and Agency Officials, Events, and Managed Sites, 2002 - 2009. Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826 - 2009
Aerial Photograph of Lower Manhattan in New York City, 05/26/1926
From the series: ”Airscapes” of American and Foreign Areas, 1917 - 1964
What buildings can you identify?
Happy Fleet Week!
Sailors attached to USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) gather together for an impromptu group shot while on liberty in Times Square during Fleet Week 2002. More than 6,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel aboard 22 ships - including six warships returning from deployment in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, sail into New York City for the 15th Annual Fleet Week 2002, 05/22/2002
Thomas Walke’s Account of Capturing his Runaway Slaves in New York City , 05/03/1783
During the Revolutionary War, both sides promised freedom to slaves who were willing and able to fight. These offers of freedom varied greatly and were often motivated more by strategic gain than true abolitionist feeling. Once freed, the documentation that proved manumission was often lost or destroyed in the conflict. Even those who could prove their freedom still had to endure prejudice and hatred throughout North America. In this account, slave owner Thomas Walke complained to Congress that the British protection of enslaved Americans in New York was a “glaring piece of injustice and open violation of the … [preliminary] treaty.” British commander Sir Guy Carleton would later supervise the evacuation from New York of “Free Black” Loyalists and their families to Nova Scotia.
“THE FAIR Are you ready? It’s here!!
The long-awaited New York World’s Fair, which took four years to create, opens its doors to the first of 70,000,000 expected visitors. Dominated by the Fair’s symbol THE UNISPHERE (which means Peace through understanding) the billion-dollar-baby of Robert Moses covers 646 acres…”
The 1964 New York World’s Fair opened fifty years ago this week, on April 22nd, with the theme of “Man’s Achievements in an Expanding Universe.” If this extended Universal News story leaves you with the impression that the fair was not a runaway success, that’s because it wasn’t. The fair was not sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions, and it was sandwiched between the official 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Expo 67 in Montreal, making it a less compelling draw. The opening day’s unfortunately dreary weather was emblematic of the entire two-season event; total attendance for the fair came in at fifty-one million, yet that fell short of the expected seventy million visitors. You might recognize the Unisphere sculpture and “flying saucer” towers in the still below from the 1997 film Men in Black, where they feature prominently.
The “Human Squirrel” drops by to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Times Square and #SquirrelWeek!
The “Human Squirrel” who did many daring “stunts” in climbing for benefit of War Relief Funds in New York City. He is shown here at a dizzy height in Times Square. Times Photo Service., ca. 1918
Happy 110th Birthday, Times Square!
Originally named Longacre Square, it was officially renamed Times Square on April 8, 1904 in honor of the New York Times.
Snapshots of the “Crossroads of the World” from the 1910s, 1940s, 1970s, 1980s and 2000s:
- New York City celebrating the surrender of Japan. They threw anything and kissed anybody in Times Square., 08/14/1945. National Archives Identifier: 520697
- A view of the neon lights of Broadway. The United Services Organization (USO) GEN Douglas MacArthur Memorial Center, located in Times Square at 45th Street and Broadway…01/01/1983. National Archives Identifier: 6367334
- Peace rumor, New York. Crowd at Times Square holding up Extras telling about the signing of the Armistice. The Government report that the news was not true did not stop the celebration. National Archives Identifier: 533477
- TIMES SQUARE, 08/1973. National Archives Identifier: 554298
- Sailors attached to USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) gather together for an impromptu group shot while on liberty in Times Square during Fleet Week 2002.05/22/2002. National Archives Identifier: 6640589
- V-J Day in New York City. Crowds gather in Times Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan., 08/15/1945. National Archives Identifier: 531350
Happy 105th Birthday Queensboro Bridge! (aka the 59th Street Bridge, Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge)
Construction on this cantilever bridge began in 1901 and opened to the public on March 30, 1909. The bridge connects Long Island City, Queens with Manhattan at 59th and 60th streets. In 2010 it was renamed in honor of former New York City mayor Ed Koch.
THIS IS THE 59TH STREET BRIDGE SEEN FROM THE EAST SIDE DRIVE MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY. THE INNER CITY TODAY IS AN ABSOLUTE CONTRADICTION TO THE MAIN STREAM AMERICA OF GAS STATIONS EXPRESSWAYS, SHOPPING CENTERS AND TRACT HOMES. IT IS POPULATED BY BLACKS, LATINS AND THE WHITE POOR. THIS PROJECT IS A PORTRAIT OF THE INNER CITY ENVIRONMENT OF PEOPLE AND STRUCTURES, 08/1974
On March 25, 1911, a match was dropped and a factory exploded with fire, resulting in one of the highest losses of life from an industrial accident in the US. 146 people—mostly women—were burned alive, succumbed to smoke inhalation, or were forced to jump from the eighth, ninth, and tenth stories of the Asche Building* in New York City. Factory owners had locked the doors to stairwells and fire escapes to stop the women from taking unauthorized breaks and to stem the theft of the materials and products from the factory floor.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which led to legislation to improve industrial safety standards for workers and the founding of the American Society of Safety Engineers, remains a stark reminder of the harsh conditions under which workers, including women and children, were forced to toil before workplace safety initiatives were widely employed in the US. Read more at pbs.org.
The two images above depict a view of the Asche Building interior after the fire and a demonstration of protest and mourning held several weeks after the fire.
See the entire set of powerful images from the National Archives and Records Administration collection here.
*Now the Brown Building, a part of the campus of New York University (NYU). It is located at 23-29 Washington Place, between Greene Street and Washington Square East in Greenwich Village, New York City. More.
Photograph of Fire Fighters at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, 03/25/1911
One of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City left 146 workers dead in 18 minutes on March 25, 1911.
Locked doors kept the workers from escaping; there was not enough water to put out the flames, and firemen’s ladders were too short to reach the upper stories. Many of the young women and men working there leapt out the windows and fell to their deaths onto the sidewalk outside. Others were crushed in the elevator shaft or when the fire escape collapsed.
The fire led to sweeping reforms in labor laws and safety standards, providing a boost to labor unions, and was a pivotal event in the career of future labor secretary Frances Perkins.
Our post from 2012 has additional photos of the fire and the victims, a few may be considered graphic.
(We’re assuming the photo above shows fdny in action at the fire.)
225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
Senator Richard Bassett of Delaware presented his credentials to the Senate on March 21, 1789. His fellow senator from Delaware, George Read (whom he shared credentials with), did not arrive in New York until April 13. The Senate needed two more senators to attain their first quorum after Senator Bassett took his seat.