Parks and Recreation Sports

New York City loves the Olympics — despite never hosting them

OLYMPICS ROUNDUP Starting today Tokyo, the biggest city in the world, will host the Games of the XXXII Olympiad aka the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (in 2021). The Japanese city first hosted the games back in 1964. New York City, the biggest city in the United States, has never hosted the Olympics Games. The city did aim… Read More

Women's History

Suffragettes on Parade! In 1915, thousands march for right to vote

For once, the biggest news story in America in 1915 was not about the war waging in Europe. On October 23, 1915, the forces of the women’s suffrage movement mobilized to create the most ambitious gathering to date, a parade of thousands to force the issue into the consciousness of New Yorkers and American at… Read More

Podcasts Politics and Protest

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

Listen to our podcast on the history of the Silent Parade of 1917 here: “To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue yesterday in a parade of ‘silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression’ inflicted upon them in this country, and in other parts of the… Read More


1918: The Story of the Harlem Hellfighters

PODCAST (EPISODE 310): New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s first black regiment engaged in World War I.  The world knew them as the Harlem Hellfighters. On February 17, 1919, the Hellfighters – who had spent much of the year 1918 on the frontline – marched up Fifth Avenue to an unbelievable show of support… Read More

Health and Living

Earth Day in New York City 1970

Mayor John Lindsay pulled out all the stops for the first official Earth Day on April 22, 1970, with such a show that one could be mistaken in the belief that the holiday was created here. (It was officially sanctioned in San Francisco the year before.) In honor of the inaugural environmental holiday, Lindsay authorized Fifth Avenue closed… Read More


On this Veteran’s Day, a salute to the Harlem Hellfighters!

The men of the 369th who were awarded France’s Criox de Guerre for distinguished acts of heroism:  Pvt. Ed Williams, Herbert Taylor, Pvt. Leon Fraitor, Pvt. Ralph Hawkins. Back Row: Sgt. H. D. Prinas, Sgt. Dan Strorms, Pvt. Joe Williams, Pvt. Alfred Hanley, and Cpl. T. W. Taylor New York’s 369th Infantry Regiment was America’s… Read More

Wartime New York

The Women’s Peace Parade, a moody anti-war protest in 1914

Give Peace A Chance: Women take to the streets in a stunning parade of mourning Below are some pictures of what’s possibly New York City’s first anti-war protest organized by women, on August 29, 1914. War had erupted that summer in Europe, sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June and unfurling… Read More

Health and Living

Dueling ‘perfect babies’ in Brooklyn and Manhattan, pageantry in support of healthy infants in New York

The exaltation of fat, plucky babies via beauty contests stems from a rather grim origin — American infant mortality rates of the 19th century.  During the 1880s, as swelling immigrants and overcrowding in New York created harbors for disease and malnourishment, over one in five infants would die in America, with higher occurrence among poor… Read More

100 Years Ago: Women still can’t vote, but they can march

All The Single Ladies: though I believe the women above are actually garbed for a suffrage march in 1912, I just couldn’t resist this photo (Courtesy LOC, click pic for detail) It seems so bizarre now that it feels funny writing it — one hundred years ago, women didn’t have the right to vote in… Read More

Labor Day vs May Day: or why New Yorkers love a parade

A banner celebration: loading up with signs for the 1908 Labor Day Parade in New York Labor Day is one of the few national holidays that New York City can lay claim to as their own. The roots of the U.S. holiday began here, with Union Square as its centerpiece, in 1882. But in fact,… Read More

1969: Astronauts land in New York!

Below: two pictures of the ticker-tape parade thrown in New York City on August 13, 1969 to celebrate Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins and their successful landing on the moon. Believe it or not, this was the second space-themed ticker-tape parade that year. In January, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell,… Read More

The Hudson-Fulton Celebration: not just another party

Four hundred years ago, on September 12, Henry Hudson sailed into New York harbor and casually discovered the island of Mannahatta, the future home of New Amsterdam, Wall Street, and the New York Yankees. Two hundred years later, ferry mogul Robert Fulton patented the steamboat, an engineering marvel he perfected, but did not invent. Fulton,… Read More

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

The Saint Patrick’s Day parade, as it looked 100 years ago, i.e. about the same as it’ll look today… Our podcast on the history of McSorley’s Old Ale House Photo courtesy Corbis

Beauty queens and boricua: the Puerto Rican Day Parade

A very different Puerto Rican Day parade, in 1966 Manhattan’s largest parade happens this Sunday, June 8th: the annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade, an event that yearly brings national pride, festivity, chaos and anxiety to most of the city. The first Puerto Rican Day parade occured all the way back in 1958, a replacement… Read More

(Not) everybody loves a parade

As I was threading through the city streets yesterday I stumbled upon New York’s annual Muslim Day Parade which marched down Madison Avenue with a few thousand supporters in costumes, floats and some really unusual mascot wear(see above). Depending on what you believe, the date of the parade (two days before 9/11) was either a… Read More