6 1942 WW2 PLANE AIR COMBAT TRAINER by Mary Morris Old Photo Negative SCARCE for Sale (2024)

6 1942 WW2 PLANE AIR COMBAT TRAINER by Mary Morris Old Photo Negative SCARCE for Sale (1)

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6 1942 WW2 PLANE AIR COMBAT TRAINER by Mary Morris Old Photo Negative SCARCE:

6 VINTAGE OIRIGINAL NEGATIVES MEASURING 4X5 INCHESMary Morris Lawrence, one of the first female photographers at the Associated Press, has died. She was 95.
She died Aug. 12 at her home in Oakland, her husband, Harold Lawrence, said Wednesday. She was suffering from heart problems.
The Chicago native joined the AP in New York on Nov. 16, 1936, and worked as a features photographer.
Mrs. Morris Lawrence described herself as a "groundbreaker" in an interview with the Oakland Tribune in 2007 and recalled male colleagues at the AP joking that they would no longer be able to change their pants in the darkroom.
"I never thought of myself as a feminist," she said during the interview, noting that there were few women at the AP back then. "The guys were very nice to me. They probably made a lot of jokes behind my back."
Lawrence, the former general manager of the London Symphony Orchestra, said his wife was a photographer for the AP at Yankee Stadium, where she was once greeted with an ovation by the crowd when she walked on the field in a skirt. He also recalled she worked on stories about child labor in Pennsylvania.
"She's a pioneer," he said of his wife. "She prided herself in her interviews of being able to get a person's life story in 10 minutes."
Mrs. Morris Lawrence worked at AP for 3 1/2 years before leaving in 1940. She went on to work for the New York tabloid PM. Her work also appeared in magazines such as Look, Life and Mademoiselle.
"I was good in the newspaper business because I had this way of wanting to get the dope ..." she recalled in the 2007 interview with the Oakland Tribune. "I had an aggressive nature, a creative spirit."
Mrs. Morris Lawrence was born in Chicago on March 27, 1914. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1936.
She made a name for herself photographing Hollywood stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Those photos and hundreds of others she took line the walls of her home in Oakland, where she moved in 1978, Lawrence said.
Her goddaughter, Libby Schaaf, described Morris Lawrence as "brave" and able to "talk her way into any scene."
"That journalist's mind never left her even after she stopped taking pictures professionally," Schaaf said. "She was always digging for information, always trying to connect people with each other."Mary Louise Morris was born on March 27, 1914. After receiving her high school diploma from Mt. Vernon Seminary in Washington, DC in 1932, she entered Sarah Lawrence College. At the time, Sarah Lawrence was a brand new progressive junior college for women offering a two-year diploma and just beginning to offer the four-year BA degree. While Morris went on to become the first woman photographer for the Associated Press and a world-renowned documentary photographer, this exhibit commemorates her time at Sarah Lawrence, her formative years leading up to her magnificent career.
Morris stayed at Sarah Lawrence for 3 years, receiving her diploma after the second year, 1934. The story goes that she wanted to work and decided to leave Sarah Lawrence after the 1934/35 academic year to attend the Clarence White School of Photography in New York City. According to an article about her new photography career in the Sarah Lawrence Alumnae Magazine (January 1939), Morris “liked photography but not the [Clarence White School]. Nor they her. Fresh from her Sarah Lawrence training she baffled her instructors and irritated her fellow students by wanting to know in so many words just what was a good picture. When no one could tell her she began to feel confused and frustrated again.”
Despite her time at Sarah Lawrence being relatively short, Morris was an active student and left her mark, both during her time as a student and after. As a student she was elected president of the Freshmen and then re-elected the following year; member of the Literary Club; chair of Rooming and Weekend Committees; elected to be the first ever City Editor of The Campus (student newspaper); temporary member of Student Council; and business manager of The Campus.
Mary Morris walking on campus as captured in the 1934 yearbook. Courtesy of the Sarah Lawrence College Archives.2 images in this collection.Academically, Morris’ course load looked like the typical Sarah Lawrence student. It included literature, economics, drama, music, labor history, etc. Her professors included, among others, two important figures in sociology: Max Lerner and Helen Merrell Lynd. According to a January 1939 magazine article, “Four years ago, Mary Louise Morris clumped around the Sarah Lawrence campus wearing beautiful tweeds and a puzzled, vaguely unhappy expression. Life was an unwieldy business. She went into contortions trying to answer the complicated questions she asked herself, and the more she learned the further away from a solution she was. Most Sarah Lawrence maidens accept this sad fact with equanimity. But not Morrie. She was a practical girl and wanted the answer.”
After graduating, she was an active alumna serving on the editorial board of the Alumnae Magazine as well as participating in various alumnae functions and activities. In Spring 1936, after being away for a year, Morris came back to campus and photographed the various activities on the campus, creating a view book for the College. Many of these images represent significant pieces of the College’s history in those years.A Bronx LegacyNYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln has provided health care services to the community for over 177 years. Initially known as “The Home for the Colored Aged,” the facility first began providing services in 1839 in a building located on 51st Street and the Hudson River.
Founded by the “Society for the Relief of Worthy Aged Indigent Colored Persons,” the facility’s original mission was to serve as a Home for aged black people, many of whom had been slaves prior to the abolition of slavery in New York City. In 1843, in order to accommodate an increasing population, the “Home” moved to 40th Street and Park Avenue.
In 1850, further expansion necessitated a third move to a larger facility on First Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. The institution now not only included “The Home for the Colored Aged,” but a hospital and Nursery Department. In 1882, the Institution’s name was changed to “The Colored Home and Hospital.” The Institution moved to its first Bronx location on 141st and Concord Avenue in 1898. In 1902, The Colored Home and Hospital officially became known as Lincoln Hospital and Home.
Over the next 100-year period, Lincoln underwent several major renovation and expansion projects to accommodate an increasing patient population and changing community health care needs. In 1900, the Maternity and “Consumptive” (Tuberculosis) Pavilions were opened. Within the next few years from 1905 to 1906, the Consumptive Pavilion was renovated and converted into wards and an outpatient department opened.
In 1935, the facility underwent a major reconstruction; and over forty years later, on March 28, 1976, the current facility was opened.
Today, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln is a full service acute care hospital and one of the Premier Trauma Centers in the country. The hospital offers comprehensive primary, secondary, preventive and specialty care services. Many of our programs are nationally recognized for outstanding clinical outcomes that meet or exceed established benchmarks. Our medical staff and administrators are among the finest in New York City. And our Centers of Excellence provide a level of care that places us at the forefront of medicine.
Lincoln Hospital is a full service medical center and teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College, in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, New York.[3] The medical center is municipally owned by NYC Health + Hospitals.[1]
Lincoln is known for innovative programs addressing the specific needs of the community it serves, aggressively tackling such issues as asthma, obesity, cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis.[1] Staffed by a team of more than 300 physicians, the hospital has an inpatient capacity of 347 beds, including 20 neonatal intensive care beds, 23 intensive care beds, 8 pediatric intensive care beds, 7 coronary care beds, and an 11-station renal dialysis unit.[1] With over 144,000 emergency department visits annually, Lincoln has the busiest single site emergency department in New York City and the third busiest in the nation.[4][5]Contents1History1.1Current campus1.2Allegations of Toxic Work Environment2Services3Research and contributions4See also5References5.1Notes5.2Sources6External linksHistoryLincoln Hospital was founded in 1839 as "The Home for the Colored Aged" by a group of prominent philanthropists known as the "Society for the Relief of Worthy Aged Indigent Colored Persons."[2] The hospital's function gradually became the most important aspect of the operation, and in 1882, the name was changed to "The Colored Home and Hospital."[2]
In 1895, after more than half a century of occupying various sites in Manhattan, the Board of Trustees purchased a large lot in the South Bronx—then a semi-rural area of the city—at the corner of 141st Street and Southern Boulevard. A new hospital was built; its facilities included the latest developments in medical care.[2] The dedication took place on April 29, 1899. The hospital became a general hospital open to all people without regard to color or creed, although it maintained its founding connection as an institution dedicated to the relief and advancement of Black people. During the hospital's reorganization and eventual occupation of the new site, its name was changed to Lincoln Hospital, in honor of president Abraham Lincoln.[2]Eric Mose works on a Federal Art Project mural for the "Old Lincoln Hospital" in 1938Because of the increasing demand for services required by a more densely populated South Bronx—and a decreasing supply of philanthropic funds—in 1925 the Board of Trustees decided to sell Lincoln Hospital to the Department of Public Welfare of the City of New York. The great outflow of physicians to the armed forces during World War II and the drastic socioeconomic decline in the area that followed took their toll on Lincoln Hospital. With the loss of jobs from industrial restructuring, new immigrants and migrants from mostly poor, rural areas of the southern regions of the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America did not have the steady (but low skilled) labor opportunities of prior generations of immigrants. Their long-term standard of living was impacted.
The shift in population ushered in changes at Lincoln Hospital. In 1969, a 15-day takeover of the Department of Psychiatry by predominantly Black and Puerto Rican non-professional staff, marked Lincoln Hospital as a key figure in the birth of the community mental health movement. The occupiers criticized the paternalism of the white psychiatrists and challenged community mental health to be more than urban-serving institutions being dominated by well meaning elites who were neither sufficiently responsive to - nor aware of - the needs of poor urban patients.[6]
The next year, on July 14, 1970, the Young Lords - a radical group of Puerto Rican activists - occupied Lincoln Hospital's administrative building to protest the city's indifference to the health needs of Puerto Rican and African American patients. They also protested the deplorable conditions of health care delivery at Lincoln Hospital and accused the medical schools (that were paid to provide hospital interns) of prioritizing the training medical students over patient care. The protest ended in the arrest of two Young Lords.[7] Several months later, in November 1970, the Young Lords and allies seized the Nurses’ Residence building at Lincoln Hospital and won use of Lincoln's anticipated drug-treatment funds; the use of space in the administrative building for a drug detox program; and the use of office space in the Psychiatry Department. Community control in the form of The People's Program was launched.[8] Lincoln Hospital enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s as one of the finest institutions for the care of the sick and the training of professionals in the newly formed New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Current campus
Lincoln Hospital's Main Entrance from Morris AvenueIn 1976, a new facility was dedicated about two miles from the "Old Lincoln," at a construction cost of 220 million dollars.[2] The present hospital building incorporates some of the most advanced concepts in hospital design and sophisticated equipment.[2] It occupies five full city blocks, providing health care to the entire South Bronx community, as well as parts of Upper Manhattan.[2] Lincoln also administers the Substance Abuse Division, located at 349 East 140th Street.[2]
In the 1990s, Lincoln became part of the North-Manhattan/South Bronx "Generations Plus Network" together with Metropolitan Hospital Center, Morrisania Diagnostic and Treatment Center, and Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic and Treatment Center. This network continues to strive to provide quality care to a diverse, multi-ethnic urban population in this era of managed care.[2]
As of 2007, Lincoln has a capacity of 347 beds.[1] Although it constitutes 9% of the beds in the region, Lincoln caters to 31% of the health care visits of this community, where there is fewer than one primary care physician for every 4,000 people.[2]
In 2014, the facility's Emergency Department opened after undergoing a $24 million renovation and expansion project, providing a modernized, state-of-the-art department.[1]
Allegations of Toxic Work EnvironmentLincoln Hospital has gained a reputation for having a harsh and toxic work enviornment, amplified when news began to break of three physicians took their lives within the span of a year.[9] Lincoln Hospital primarily trains international medical graduates who often do not have other options. Generally the program is avoided by doctors who have graduated from American medical schools[citation needed]. Lincoln Hospital's response to the mental well being of their doctors has been described as "passive at best, and actively dismissive at worst" by former employees.[10]
ServicesAs the busiest single site Emergency Department in New York City, Lincoln Hospital is an Adult Level I Trauma Center[11] and a Pediatric Level II Trauma Center. The New York State Department of Health selected Lincoln as the first hospital in the South Bronx to receive designation as an official Stroke Center.[1] The medical center also houses FDNY–EMS Battalion 14.
Residents of the South Bronx have the highest occurrence of asthma in New York City.[1][12] Adult and pediatric asthma patients receive immediate attention from Lincoln's medical staff, set specifically aside in the Emergency Department's designated "Asthma Room".[1] Adult patients are enrolled in Lincoln's Comprehensive Care for Patients with Asthma Clinic.[1] The Lincoln Asthma and Allergy Clinic provides an individualized, multidisciplinary approach to asthma and allergy management.[1]
Lincoln's specialty diabetes clinics include adult, pediatric, pregnancy and diabetes education programs, as well as recently receiving a grant from the United Hospital Fund to implement a new health literacy program for its diabetes clinic.[1] Disease educators can be consulted around-the-clock and diabetes case management is available for pediatric patients.[1]
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center received high quality ratings from the New York State Department of Health from hospital profiles comparing key quality measures and treatments for specific conditions in hospitals statewide.[1] Lincoln ranked number two for appropriate care in New York State in the areas of heart attack and heart failure care, as well as surgical infection prevention, an HHC corporate initiative.[1]
Some of Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center's specialty services include: AIDS Center; Asthma Treatment; Diabetes Treatment; Level III Perinatal Center; Regional Trauma Center; Stroke Center; Women's Health Center; Child and Teen Health Services; SAFE (SART) Center.[1]
Research and contributionsLincoln Hospital's location has allowed access to a unique demographic of New York City's population, with some of the city's most ill, impoverished, and violent all concentrated in its surrounding neighborhoods. Currently, its Department of Graduate Medical Education oversees nine residency programs for training physicians and dentists in emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, oral maxillofacial surgery, general dentistry, a transitional year, and preliminary medicine programs. The hospital has vastly contributed to the medical community in various fields of study, most notably in public health, infectious disease,[13][14] trauma (medicine), and emergency medicine.
Ivatury et al. (1981) reported the value of immediate emergency department thoracotomy in a patient group of fatally penetrating trauma. Other studies have improved the diagnosis and management of gunshot wounds,[15][16] rectal and genitourinary injuries,[17] as well as "scoop and run" utility in prompt and emergency care in unstable patients.[18]
More recent research has examined oxygen delivery in trauma patients, looking at biomarkers and physiological parameters such as organ-specific pHi monitoring.,[19] "damage-control surgery in life-threatening injuries, the importance of measuring intra-abdominal pressure, the concept of intraabdominal hypertension as a prelude to the moroffer abdominal compartment syndrome, and pioneering "open-abdomen" management.{sfn}|Ivatury/Porter/Simon, Ivatury {sfn} Ivatury. The only text book on penetrating trauma was published from Lincoln {sfn} Ivatury/Cayten Other studies have challenged the utilization of accepted predictive markers such as vital signs,[20] and serum lactic acid levels, in trying to employ the use of end-tidal carbon dioxide as a better diagnostic and prognostic marker in penetrating trauma patients.[21]
Lincoln has also tackled many public health issues, such as helping recognize healthcare disparities among inner-city minority New Yorkers,[22] as well as eliminating systemic barriers for preventative care measures in one of the nation's poorest census tracts.[23] The hospital has also approached issues such as violence prevention,[24] bullying,[25][26] child abuse,[27] and counseling and treatment of at-risk youth.[28] Every year the hospital also holds the prestigious Lincoln Annual Research Symposium where over a hundred research projects are presented in competition. This event is judged by a panel of distinguished clinicians from most major New York City hospitals, including Columbia University, Cornell University, and Montefiore Medical Center.
Throughout the history of the United States, African American nurses have served with courage and distinction. During the Civil War, black nurses, such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, worked in Union hospitals caring for the sick and wounded. At the end of the nineteenth century, African American nurses served as contract nurses in the Army during the Spanish American War, helping to combat yellow fever and typhoid epidemics that overwhelmed the military. The performance of all nurses during this war led to the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in February of 1901, but despite these accomplishments and achievements, African Americans continued to fight for acceptance as nurses both in civilian and military venues.
African American nurses at Camp Sherman, 1919African American nurses at Camp Sherman, 1919. Public Domain.After the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, the American Red Cross expanded their recruitment campaign in an effort to meet the demand for military nurses that World War I required. Applicants to the Armed Forces Nurse Corps (managed by the American Red Cross) had to be between 25 and 35 years of age, unmarried, and graduates of hospital training schools with more than 50 beds. While there were no criteria that specifically banned black nurses, the requirement that nurses had to have completed their training at a hospital with more than 50 beds all but eliminated African American nurses, most of whom had graduated from small segregated hospital training schools. Despite the increased recruitment, black nurses were refused entry into the Army and Navy nurse corps. As a result, hospitals were left with minimal nursing staff to meet the demand that would arise in 1918 during the flu epidemic. As the epidemic wore on and the demand for nurses continued to increase, the Army dropped its refusal to enlist black nurses and sent a troop of African American nurses to military camps in Ohio and Illinois. In 1941, with the United States’ entry into World War II all but inevitable, African American nurses lined up to serve their country, only to meet with the same roadblocks they had encountered more than twenty years before.
Although African American nurses were fully qualified and prepared to serve as nurses at the onset of World War II, racial segregation and discrimination made it difficult for black women to join the ranks of the Army Nurse Corps (ANC). As the ANC began expanding its recruiting process, thousands of black nurses who wanted to serve their country filled out applications. All received a letter telling them that their application would not be considered because the Army did not have regulations in place for the appointment of black nurses. Mabel Staupers, the executive secretary of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, began lobbying for a change in the discriminatory policies of the ANC. While the Army did eventually comply in 1941, it did so unwillingly and placed a quota on the number of African American nurses that they would accept, capping the number allowed to join at fifty-six. As the war progressed, the number of black nurses allowed to enlist remained low, although the quota was officially lifted in July 1944.
Della RaneyCapt. Della Raney. National Archives.April 1941, forty-eight African American nurses were assigned to camps. Allowed only to care for African American servicemen, these forty-eight nurses were assigned to segregated hospital wards on Army bases located at Camp Livingston, Louisiana and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Della Raney Jackson, a graduate of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, was assigned to lead the nurses at Fort Bragg and became the first black nurse to be commissioned in the U.S. Army.
Florie GrantLt. Florie E. Grant tending to a patient at a prisoner of war hospital, 1944. National Archives.Though black nurses were largely restricted to serving only in segregated hospitals and aid stations, they also provided medical care for German prisoners of war at places such as Camp Florence, Arizona in the United States, as well as in England. Many African American nurses considered caring for German POWs to be a second-rate assignment, and they found interacting with the Nation’s enemy to be deeply troubling. It had taken decades for black nurses to be admitted into the Army Nurse Corps, and it felt like a betrayal to be assigned to care for enemy soldiers instead of wounded American soldiers. Moreover, as most prisoners were in good health when they arrived, these nurses were not utilized to their full potential. Life for a black army nurse at POW camps in the South and Southwest United States was particularly lonely and isolating as they were forced to eat in segregated dining halls, regularly left out of officer meetings and social functions, and refused service at restaurants and businesses in town.
In the last year of World War II, with the casualty rate of American servicemen rising rapidly, the demand for nurses also rose. President Roosevelt, in his State of the Union Address in January of 1945, announced plans to establish a nursing draft. Ignoring the 9,000 applications that the Army Nurse Corps had received from African American nurses, President Roosevelt declared that the draft would be instituted unless 18,000 additional nurses volunteered for service. An outcry arose among the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and civil rights organizations. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the first African American to be elected to congress from New York, also denounced the decision:
It is absolutely unbelievable that in times like these, when the world is going forward, that there are leaders in our American life who are going backward. It is further unbelievable that these leaders have become so blindly and unreasonably un-American that they have forced our wounded men to face the tragedy of death rather than allow trained nurses to aid because these nurses’ skins happen to be of a different color.
The legislation ultimately died in the Senate and was never passed.
By the end of the war, approximately 500 African American nurses held commissions compared to 59,000 white nurses, accounting for just 0.8% of the Army Nurse Corps. Despite the racial segregation and discrimination that African American nurses experienced, they fought for their place within the Army Nurse Corps and earned their right to serve their country. On July 26th, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, requiring the government to integrate the then segregated military. Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” For many, including the African American nurses that had struggled to serve their country during World War I and World War II, the legislation was long overdue.
Nadja WestLt. General Nadja West. Public Domain.In 2019, just over seventy years after President Truman signed the order to desegregate the military, African American nurses make up approximately 17 percent of the Army Nurse Corps. In December of 2015, Lt. General Nadja West was the first African American, man or woman, appointed as the U.S. Army Surgeon General, making her the first female lieutenant general and the highest-ranking female graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.
On the summer afternoon in 1944 that 23-year-old Elinor Powell walked into the Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Phoenix, it never occurred to her that she would be refused service. She was, after all, an officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, serving her country during wartime, and she had grown up in a predominantly white, upwardly mobile Boston suburb that didn’t subject her family to discrimination.
But the waiter who turned Elinor away wasn’t moved by her patriotism. All he saw was her brown skin. It probably never occurred to him that the woman in uniform was from a family that served its country, as Elinor’s father had in the First World War, as well as another relative who had been part of the Union Army during the Civil War. The only thing that counted at that moment—and in that place, where Jim Crow laws remained in force—was the waiter’s perception of a black army nurse as not standing on equal footing with his white customers.
Infuriated and humiliated, Elinor left Woolworth’s and returned to POW Camp Florence, in the Arizona desert. She was stationed there to look after German prisoners of war, who had been captured in Europe and Northern Africa and then sent across the Atlantic Ocean, for detainment in the United States during World War II.
Elinor, like many other black nurses in the Army Nurse Corps, was tasked with caring for German POWs—men who represented Hitler’s racist regime of white supremacy. Though their presence is rarely discussed in American history, from 1942 to 1946, there were 371,683 German POWs scattered across the country in more than 600 camps. Some POWs remained until 1948.
And these POWs were kept busy. Prisoners of war, under rules set by the Geneva Convention, could be made to work for the detaining power. And, with millions of American men away serving in the military, there was a significant labor shortage in the United States. Farms, plants, canneries, and other industries needed workers.
For black nurses, the assignment to take care of German POWs—to tend to Nazis—was deeply unwelcome. To the African-American women who had endured the arduous process of being admitted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, this assignment felt like a betrayal. They volunteered to serve to help wounded American soldiers, not the enemy.
Long before World War II, black nurses had been struggling to serve their country. After the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, black nurses tried to enroll in the Red Cross, which was then the procurement agency for the Army Nurse Corps. The Red Cross rejected them, because they didn’t have the required membership in the American Nurses Association (ANA), which didn’t allow blacks to join at the time. A few black nurses eventually served in the First World War, but not because they were finally admitted into the Army Nurse Corps. The 1918 flu epidemic wiped out so many thousands of people that a handful of black nurses were called to assist.
More than two decades later, after Hitler invaded Poland, the United States began an aggressive war preparedness program, and the Army Nurse Corps expanded its recruiting process. Wanting to serve their country and receive a steady military income, thousands of black nurses filled out applications to enlist. They received the following letter:
“Your application to the Army Nurse Corps cannot be given favorable consideration as there are no provisions in Army regulations for the appointment of colored nurses in the Corps.”
The rejection letter was a crushing blow, but also an honest appraisal of how the country regarded black nurses: They weren’t valued as American citizens or seen as fit to wear a military uniform.
The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN)—an organization founded in 1908 for black registered nurses as an alternative to the ANA, which still hadn’t extended its membership to black nurses—challenged the letter. And with political pressure from civil rights groups and the black press, 56 black nurses were finally admitted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1941. Some went to Fort Livingston in Louisiana and others to Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, both segregated bases.
When Elinor Powell entered the army in 1944, she completed her basic training an hour outside of Tucson, Arizona, at Fort Huachuca, which had become the largest military installation for black soldiers and nurses. The army had a strict quota for black nurses, and only 300 of them served in the entire Army Nurse Corps, which had 40,000 white nurses. It was evident the military didn’t really want black women to serve at all, and they made this clear.
The Army's First Black Nurses Were Relegated to Caring for Nazi Prisoners of WarGerman POWs in Camp Florence, Arizona, circa 1944-1946 Photo courtesy of Chris AlbertElinor’s cohort of newly trained Army nurses soon received shocking news: There had been too much fraternization between white nurses and German POWs at Camp Florence. So the Army was bringing in black nurses as replacements.
POW camps would become an ongoing assignment for the majority of African-American nurses. The remainder were stationed at segregated bases with black soldiers, who mostly performed maintenance and menial jobs during the war, and understood what it meant to wear a U.S. military uniform and still be treated like a second-class citizen.
Life for a black army nurse at a POW camp could be lonely and isolated. The camps in the South and Southwest, in particular, strictly enforced Jim Crow. The list of complaints from black nurses included being routinely left out of officer meetings and social functions, and being forced to eat in segregated dining halls. The trips to nearby towns were also degrading because of establishments that either relegated blacks to subpar seating and service or barred them from entering altogether.
At the hospitals in the POW camps, black nurses weren’t that fulfilled either. A great many of the prisoners were in good health, which had been a requirement to make the trans-Atlantic journey in the first place, so the black nurses weren’t utilized to full capacity. There were typical bedside nursing duties and occasional appendectomies performed, but rarely were there critical cases.
In some ways, from a social standpoint, the German POWs fared better than the black nurses. Local white residents, U.S. Army guards and officers were friendly toward them—a level of respect that black laborers, soldiers, and nurses did not experience with any regularity.
When German prisoners first arrived in the United States, many were shocked by the racial hierarchy entrenched in American culture. They saw the segregated bathrooms and restricted dining halls at train stations, and during their days-long journeys to their respective POW camps had black train attendants bringing them food and drinks and calling them “sir.” It was clear that in the United States, there was an inherent expectation of subservience to whites, even to those from Hitler’s army.
Once at camp, life for German POWs, for the most part, was comfortable. From the clean accommodations and regular meals, to the congeniality of Americans, some POWs were relieved to have been captured. And the interactions with black nurses were largely civilized.
But there were occasions when black nurses found themselves humiliated by German POWs and not backed up by the U.S. Army. At Camp Papago Park, outside of Phoenix, a German POW said he hated “nigg*rs” in front of a black nurse. She reported the incident to the commanding officer, expecting a swift reprimand. The nurse later discovered the commanding officer didn’t think any punishment was necessary. She complained about the incident in a letter to the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses:
“That is the worst insult an army officer should ever have to take. I think it is insult enough to be here taking care of them when we volunteered to come into the army to nurse military personnel…All of this is making us very bitter.”
Meanwhile, even though black nurses were underutilized, there was an urgent need for more nurses to care for the returning American soldiers, wounded in battle. Nevertheless, white nurses were tasked to tend to Americans almost exclusively. Yes, thousands of white nurses also had POW camp assignments—there were very few black women in Army Nurse Corps. But if a black unit could replace a white one at a camp, the swap was made.
As the war entered its final year, the numbers of wounded men rose exponentially. President Roosevelt made the alarming announcement of legislation to establish a nursing draft in his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1945. Radio announcements said the draft would be instituted unless 18,000 additional nurses volunteered.
At the time of the president’s address, there were 9,000 applications from black nurses hoping to enlist in the Army Nurse Corps. But those nurses didn’t count toward the goal, or dissuade FDR’s announcement—to the dismay of NACGN, the black press and civil rights organizations.
Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the esteemed minister from Harlem, famously denounced the decision: “It is absolutely unbelievable that in times like these, when the world is going forward, that there are leaders in our American life who are going backward. It is further unbelievable that these leaders have become so blindly and unreasonably un-American that they have forced our wounded men to face the tragedy of death rather than allow trained nurses to aid because these nurses’ skins happen to be of a different color.”
The Army's First Black Nurses Were Relegated to Caring for Nazi Prisoners of WarElinor and Frederick, summer 1947 Photo courtesy of Chris AlbertThe draft legislation stalled in the Senate and the conscription of nurses never occurred. But with morale among black army nurses reaching record lows, the NACGN approached First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for help, given her commitment to equal rights. And the meeting was a success.
In the final year of the war, black nurses were no longer assigned exclusively to POW camps. After a few months they were transferred to army hospitals for wounded American soldiers.
Elinor remained at POW Camp Florence for the duration of the war, and fell in love with a German prisoner, Frederick Albert. While fellow Americans humiliated her with segregation, a German, of all people, uplifted her. The two shunned the racist policies of Jim Crow and Nazism, seeking solace in a forofferden romance. They would spend their lives together in constant search of a community that accepted them, more than 20 years before laws banning interracial marriage were struck down in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision.
By war’s end, only about 500 black nurses had served in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during WWII, even though thousands had applied. Despite the discrimination they faced, black army nurses demonstrated a persistent will to be a part of the U.S. Army Nurse Corp and serve their country. Their efforts paid off when President Truman issued an executive order to desegregate the entire military in 1948.
And by 1951, the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses dissolved into the American Nurses Association, which had extended its membership to all nurses regardless of race.
This guest post was authored by 2020 Junior Fellow Sophia Southard, University of Kansas Graduate, B.A. in History. Sophia is starting the MLIS program at the University of Pittsburgh Online, Fall 2020. This is the second in a series looking at African Americans in the business and sciences.
A woman wearing a fitted suitcoat and long skirt, looking off in the distance, with a waist-length head covering.Susie King Taylor. Photograph taken between 1862 and 1866.
As with the practice of midwifery within the African American community, the practice of nursing also has a deep and rich history. In 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney graduated from the New England Hospital for Women and Children’s professional graduate school for nursing. Upon receiving and obtaining her professional nursing license, she became the first professionally trained African American nurse. This post will explore the history of African American nurses from the Civil War to World War II via photographs.
Susie King Taylor, First Recognized African American Army Nurse
Although born into slavery in Georgia in 1848, Taylor and her brother were taught to read and write in secret. To keep their lessons confidential, they wrapped their books in paper “to prevent the police or white persons from seeing them.” Taylor’s literacy allowed her to document her experiences serving with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War in her memoir, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp. Taylor took on a variety of roles, including acting as the regiment’s official laundress, as well as taking on additional positions as cook, teacher, and nurse.
Taylor concludes her memoir by writing, “…My people are striving to attain the full standard of all other races born free in the sight of God, and in a number of instances have succeeded. Justice we ask—to be citizens of these United States, where so many of our people have shed their blood with their white comrades, that the stars and stripes should never be polluted.”
Serving Communities After Natural Disasters
In addition to serving during wartime, African American nurses assisted communities suffering from disasters. In the April 24, 1920 issue of The Semi-Weekly Leader, the newspaper reported that a tornado swept through Mississippi with awful effect. In response to the tornado, the canteen unit pictured below supported the American Red Cross’ endeavors in Meridian.
Yet another natural disaster struck two years later, this time in the form of a fire in New Bern, North Carolina. Once more, African American nurses affiliated with the American Red Cross came to serve. According to the December 07, 1922 issue of The Rockingham Post-Dispatch, the African American community suffered disproportionately from a fire that lasted for approximately 9 hours. The newspaper reported that “fully 3000 people are homeless, most of whom are negroes.”
A group of people, mostly in dark clothing, with wood and debris in the forefront. In the front of the group of people are a number of women wearing white nurses uniforms.New Bern, N.C. Colored nurses issuing food after fire, 1922.
A staged photo of two rows, women making up the the back row dressed in white uniforms, with a mixture of women and men in the front row, where the men are wearing black suits.Negro Red Cross Canteen, Meridian, Mississippi. This canteen unit, with the aid of the men in group, voluntarily undertook the establishment of a center for the wounded of their race in the storm of April 21, 1920.
World War II African American Nurses
At the onset of World War II, African American women were denied the right to serve in the Army Nurse Corps. However, in 1941, after facing pressure from black civil rights organizations and the black press, the Army Nurse Corps allowed the admission of 56 black nurses. In the July 8, 1944, issue of The Jackson Advocate, a reporter wrote about the opening of the first basic training center for African American nurses at Fort Huachuca.
A staged group photo of the African American nurses in military uniform.First Negro Nurses Land in England.
While the majority of African American nurses attended to German Prisoners of War in the United States, a few served overseas in various theaters, including England, Africa, and Australia. In the September 8, 1944 issue of The Dayton Forum, the reporter wrote that 63 nurses comprising the first group of Army Nurse Corps arrived in England to begin active nursing duty.
From the Civil War to World War II to the present day, African American nurses have devoted their lives to serving their communities. The most recent data and statistics compiled by the Office of Minority Health recorded that there are about 279,600 black RNs and 162,800 LPNs serving in the United States. For these African American nurses, Susie King Taylor, Mary Eliza Mahoney, and the African American nurses serving in times of national disasters, as well as wars, helped pave the way for them.
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A mural that is a tribute to nurses, and particularly Florence Nightingale, the English reformer and founder of modern nursing, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its three panels, one of which illuminates after dark, tell a story about nursing from personal care to record-keeping to technological expertise.A portion of artist Meg Saligman’s sweeping 2010 “Evolving Face of Nursing” From the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, 2019.
View the Susie King Taylor Story Map.Read the blog post Susie King Taylor: The Courage of an African American Nurse and Teacher.Search the Prints and Photographs Catalog with the keywords, “African American nurse,” “negro nurse,” and “colored nurse.” For a more general search, use the keyword, “nurse.”Also, view recruiting posters for the Army Nurses Corps, including “You are needed now—Join the Army Nurse Corps” and “Nurses are needed now!”Explore the Science Reference Guide, African Americans in Medicine: Selected Titles.Search The Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing Images Collection.
African American women were not immune to the United States’ public call to arms after America entered World War II in 1941. Women who lived in a racially segregated and discriminatory country were willing and eager to join the Allied fight against tyranny and oppression in Europe. American white women are remembered for their heroic services during World War II as WACs, WAVES, nurses, factory workers, planters of Victory Gardens, and bandage rollers. Stories of their service are well known and constantly perpetuated during elementary school lessons of Rosie the Riveter. However, the story of black women who also served their country during World War II are less well known. One of the ways through which American black women contributed during the war was through their participation in the Army Nurse Corps.
Due to the racial segregation and discrimination in the United States, black women found it difficult to join the ranks of the would-be 60,000 women in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) during World War II. Even though the candidates had the same training and education as most of the white women who were admitted, government quotas placed limits on the number of black women who were allowed to join the ANC in 1941. In subsequent years due to the influence of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, quotas for black nurses to join the Army Nurse Corps began to loosen up and completely abolish the quota system in 1944.
A black nurse treating a German P.O.W. in England, 1944.
Though their numbers were small in comparison to the 60,000 white nurses, the less than 600 black nurses eventually admitted to the ANC were happy to finally be able to serve their country. Despite their segregation, discrimination, and occasionally rudimentary jobs assigned to them, black nurses in the Army Nurse Corps were able to see a bit of the world during their service. Though black nurses were largely restricted to serving only in hospitals and aid stations occupied by black military men, a demand for medical care brought black nurses to England, Burma, Africa, and such faraway places such as Liberia and Australia, and other locations in the Pacific. Other nurses remained in or returned to the United States to work in convalescent, general, and station hospitals.
In addition to serving the black troops, black nurses were also provided medical care for German prisoners of war in England and in as obscure places as Arizona in the United States. Due to labor shortages in the United States, the government made use of a free source of labor: German prisoners of war, and thus transported them from Europe to work on farms or other labor sites.The work given and sacrifice made by black nurses during World War II not only achieved progress for black nurses in the form of increased federal funding and recognition, but they also inspired a new generation of nurses. Following the eradication of the quota system in 1944, over 2,000 young black women enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps program and other nursing schools. The 600 African American nurses in the Army Nurse Corps deserve to become part of the narrative of American women who served during World War II and I hope that further research can be conducted and further recognition duly awarded.
This week for Black History Month, we explore the critical care that Black nurses have provided during wartime and their struggle to end racial discrimination as they sought to serve their country.
Throughout this history, Black nurses have cared for wounded soldiers even as they confronted the dual dangers of wartime service and systemic racism. During the mid-1850s, Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole traveled first to England, then to the Crimea, to provide vital care to the wounded and dying during the Crimean War—volunteering when British officials, including Florence Nightingale, rejected her application to serve.
Until 1944, all the military branches of the Nurse Corps denied entry to Black women or kept strict quotas.
Dominique TobbellIn 19th-century America, Black nurses tended to the injured, sick, and dying during both the Civil War and Spanish-American War while living through the racial violence of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. When the U.S. Army Nurse Corps was established in 1901 as a permanent corps within the U.S. Army Medical Department, Black women were barred from enlisting. Indeed, until 1944, all the military branches of the Nurse Corps denied entry to Black women or kept strict quotas. Despite ongoing racial discrimination, Black nurses tried to volunteer for military service during World War I, but the Army Nurse Corps and military leaders refused to employ Black nurses.
Throughout the first four decades of the 20th century, the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses led the campaign against racial discrimination and for the integration of the Army Nurse Corps. Collaborating with civil rights organizations—and mobilizing wartime rhetoric about equality and democracy—Black nurses finally succeeded in integrating military nursing during World War II.
As this week’s featured articles reveal, the history of this fight to integrate military nursing, and the wartime experiences of Black nurses before, during, and after integration, was contested and complex.
As Charissa Threat describes in "'The Hands That Might Save Them' : Gender, Race, and the Politics of Nursing in the United States during the Second World War," the fight to end racial discrimination in military nursing was deeply imbricated with male nurses’ struggles for gender equality.Despite the integration of the Army Nurse Corps, military nursing—like American nursing generally—remained overwhelmingly and disproportionately white. When nurse Elizabeth Allen served during the Vietnam War, the Army Nurse Corps was nearly 96% white. Her experiences are documented in “Creating Community and Finding Connection: A Black Nurse’s Experience in Vietnam, 1966-1967” by Ella St. George Carey.Read more about Mary Seacole’s experiences and her important contributions to nursing in a Flashback Friday based on BSN graduate Darnisha Pitts' paper, “Mary Seacole: Two Narratives, One History.”
In October 1908, twenty nurses reported for duty at the Naval Medical School Hospital in Washington D.C., officially becoming the first members of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps.[1] The Navy was the first branch of the U.S. military to formally admit women into their ranks by way of the Nursing Corps. However, this opportunity was not equally shared by all women that were eager to serve their country.
While white American nurses could apply and be admitted into the U.S. Navy Nursing Corps, African American nurses found their path to service blocked. Though these women also applied to the Navy well before WWII, they were denied consideration until 1945. The documents preserved at the National Archives in Record Group 52: Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery regarding African American nurses not only illustrate the racial barriers that obstructed black women from service, but also provide moving examples of both the nurses’ demands for acceptance and the advocates and allies who fought on their behalf.
The “applications” received from African American nurses by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery look quite different from a modern resume. In fact, they are handwritten letters of introduction sent to the superintendent of the Navy Nursing Corps. In these letters, the applicant stated their interest in being a part of the Navy and requested a position within its ranks. The earliest of the letters is dated 1924.RG 52, Entry A1 1021-D, NAID 18558556The nurses gave examples of their schooling and work experience to prove their professional qualifications. Some worked in schools or other public health initiatives, while others held more traditional nursing roles in hospitals across the country. Many also gave their age and descriptions of their physical fitness, which in most letters included the applicant’s race.RG 52, Entry A1 1021-D, NAID 18558556In response, each of these women received a short, concise rejection from the head of the Nursing Corps. These rejection letters stated in various terms that there were no billets or duties for “colored nurses” or that they would not be “happy or adaptable” among its ranks. A few of the lengthier dismissals made a point to state that though “there are no activities in the Naval Service where colored nurses could be advantageously utilized,” rejection was not “in any way a reflection on [her] race.”Example of a standard reply from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. RG 52, Entry A1 1021-D, NAID 18558556.As the Second World War broke out, letters from black nurses continued to arrive at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. Many of the applications received during wartime began to exude a notable tone of frustration. These women lamented both the lack of black nurses in the corps, and the fact that they were not even given the courtesy of being considered. “Again and again I stand and knock at the closed door of justice,” wrote Ethel Ross, R.N. in her letter to Secretary Frank Knox in 1943, “Why should I-an American Citizen-have to knock so hard and so long for a birthright…especially when my country needs me?”
IntroductionWorld War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. However, the half century that now separates us from that conflict has exacted its toll on our collective knowledge. While World War II continues to absorb the interest of military scholars and historians, as well as its veterans, a generation of Americans has grown to maturity largely unaware of the political, social, and military implications of a war that, more than any other, united us as a people with a common purpose.Highly relevant today, World War II has much to teach us, not only about the profession of arms, but also about military preparedness, global strategy, and combined operations in the coalition war against fascism. During the next several years, the U.S. Army will participate in the nation's 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II. The commemoration will include the publication of various materials to help educate Americans about that war. The works produced will provide great opportunities to learn about and renew pride in an Army that fought so magnificently in what has been called "the mighty endeavor."
World War II was waged on land, on sea, and in the air over several diverse theaters of operation for approximately six years. The following essay on the critical support role of the Army Nurse Corps supplements a series of studies on the Army's campaigns of that war.
This brochure was prepared in the U.S. Army Center of Military History by Judith A. Bellafaire. I hope this absorbing account of that period will enhance your appreciation of American achievements during World War II.
GORDON R. SULLIVANGeneral, United States ArmyChief of Staff
The Army Nurse Corps in World War IIMore than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before. Within the "chain of evacuation" established by the Army Medical Department during the war, nurses served under fire in field hospitals and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed to the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces in every theater of the war. Overall, fewer than 4 percent of the American soldiers who received medical care in the field or underwent evacuation died from wounds or disease.The tremendous manpower needs faced by the United States during World War II created numerous new social and economic opportunities for American women. Both society as a whole and the United States military found an increasing number of roles for women. As large numbers of women entered industry and many of the professions for the first time, the need for nurses clarified the status of the nursing profession. The Army reflected this changing attitude in June 1944 when it granted its nurses officers' commissions and full retirement privileges, dependents' allowances, and equal pay. Moreover, the government provided free education to nursing students between 1943 and 1948.
Military service took men and women from small towns and large cities across America and transported them around the world. Their wartime experiences broadened their lives as well as their expectations. After the war, many veterans, including nurses, took advantage of the increased educational opportunities provided for them by the government. World War II changed American society irrevocably and redefined the status and opportunities of the professional nurse.
Early Operations in the PacificThe Army Nurse Corps listed fewer than 1,000 nurses on its rolls on 7 December 1941, the day of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Eighty-two Army nurses were stationed in Hawaii serving at three Army medical facilities that infamous morning. Tripler Army Hospital was overwhelmed with hundreds of casualties suffering from severe burns and shock. The blood-spattered entrance stairs led toPage 4
hallways where wounded men lay on the floor awaiting surgery. Army and Navy nurses and medics (enlisted men trained as orderlies) worked side by side with civilian nurses and doctors. As a steady stream of seriously wounded servicemen continued to arrive through the early afternoon, appalling shortages of medical supplies became apparent. Army doctrine kept medical supplies under lock and key, and bureaucratic delays prevented the immediate replacement of quickly used up stocks. Working under tremendous pressure, medical personnel faced shortages of instruments, suture material, and sterile supplies. Doctors performing major surgery passed scissors back and forth from one table to another. Doctors and nurses used cleaning rags as face masks and operated without gloves.
Nurses at Schofield Hospital and Hickam Field faced similar difficult circ*mstances. The chief nurse at Hickam Field, 1st Lt. Annie G. Fox, was the first of many Army nurses to receive the Purple Heart. Established by General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, this decoration originally was for "outstanding performance of duty and meritorious acts of extraordinary fidelity." After 1932, however, the medal was usually restricted to those wounded or injured by enemy action. Although unwounded, Lieutenant Fox received her medal for "her fine example of calmness, courage, and leadership, which was of great benefit to the morale of all she came in contact with." The citation foreshadowed the nurses' contribution to World War II.
Throughout 1941 the United States had responded to the increasing tensions in the Far East by deploying more troops in the Philippines. The number of Army nurses stationed on the islands grew proportionately to more than one hundred. Most nurses worked at Sternberg General Hospital in Manila and at Fort McKinley, 7 miles outside the city. However, a few nurses were at Fort Stotsenberg, 75 miles north of Manila, and two worked at Camp John Hay, located 200 miles to the north in the mountains. Several nurses worked on the island of Corregidor.
The Japanese attacked the Philippines on 8 December, Philippine time. Clark Field, adjacent to the Army hospital at Fort Stotsenberg, suffered a three-hour air raid during which planes, barracks, and field shops were bombed. The hospital escaped damage, but the large number of casualties from the air attack overwhelmed the small staff. The chief nurse at Sternberg sent several of her nurses to Stotsenberg to help cope with the emergency. They remained at Stotsenberg until 27 December when they received orders to evacuate to Manila. By that time Japanese forces had landed on the main island of Luzon and were approaching the city of Manila from the north. All of the nurses sta-
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tioned outside of Manila reached the city except for two nurses stranded at Camp John Hay, who were taken prisoner by the Japanese.
General Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, declared Manila an open city and ordered the nurses to the island of Corregidor. MacArthur planned to hold Corregidor and the Bataan Peninsula and await supplies and reinforcement from the United States. He sent forty-five nurses from Corregidor to the Bataan Peninsula to prepare two emergency hospitals for U.S. and Filipino forces fighting on Bataan. General Hospital 1, near Limay, received casualties directly from the front lines. The hospital consisted of sixteen wooden buildings and was originally well supplied. More than 1,200 battle casualties requiring major surgery (traumatic amputations and head, chest, and abdominal wounds) were admitted to this hospital within a month.
Those patients strong enough for evacuation were sent to General Hospital 2, located near Cabcabin on the Real River. This hospital was out in the open, with no tents or buildings. Only a canopy of trees sheltered thousands of patients from Japanese aircraft.
The Japanese bombed Hospital 1 on 29 March, scoring a direct hit on the wards and killing or seriously wounding more than one hundred patients. A nurse remembered the force of the bomb. "The sergeant pulled me under the desk, but the desk was blown into the air, and he and I with it. I heard myself gasping. My eyes were being gouged out of their sockets, my whole body felt swollen and torn apart by the violent pressure. Then I fell back to the floor, and the desk landed on top of me and bounced around. The sergeant knocked it away from me, and gasping for breath, bruised and aching, sick from swallowing the smoke from the explosive, I dragged myself to my feet." The sight that met her eyes was appalling. Patients had been blown out of their beds. Bodies and severed limbs hung from the tree branches. Although the nurses knew that nothing could be done to prevent further air attacks, they carried on.
With each passing week the number of patients in both hospitals increased, and available supplies decreased. Lack of adequate food and clothing left American and Filipino troops susceptible to malaria, dysentery, beriberi, and dengue fever. Increasing numbers of troops suffered from malnutrition. By the end of March each hospital, built to accommodate 1,000 patients, was treating over 5,000.
The day before the U.S. and Filipino forces on Bataan surrendered to the Japanese, the Army evacuated its nurses to Malinta Tunnel Hospital on the island of Corregidor. Japanese pilots subjected the island to heavy bombing for weeks following the surrender of Bataan.
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One nurse recalled, "the air in the tunnels was thick with the smell of disinfectant and anesthetics, and there were too many people. Several times the power plant supplying the tunnel was hit, leaving us without electricity or lights. It was pretty ghastly in there, feeling the shock of each detonation, and never knowing when we would be in total darkness." Each shell or bomb which hit the area above the hospital loosened more dust and dirt and raised the dust level in the tunnel. Overcrowding further diminished air quality as the 500-bed hospital was expanded to 1,000 beds.
Once Maj. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, commanding U.S. forces on Corregidor, decided that surrender was inevitable, he ordered as many nurses as possible evacuated to Australia. On 29 April twenty nurses left the island on two Navy planes. Only one of the planes reached Australia. The second made a forced landing on Mindanao Lake, and all aboard were taken prisoner by the Japanese. On 3 May a submarine picked up ten Army nurses, one Navy nurse, and the wife of a naval officer and took them to Australia. When the U.S. Army on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese three days later, there were still fifty-five Army nurses working at Malinta Hospital.
In July the Japanese took the nurses to Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila where they joined the ten nurses whose plane had made a forced landing on Mindanao Lake. The sixty-seven nurses remained prisoners of war until U.S. troops liberated them in February 1945.
Recruitment and TrainingSix months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, there were 12,000 nurses on duty in the Army Nurse Corps. Few of them had previous military experience, and the majority reported for duty ignorant of Army methods and protocol. Only in July 1943 did Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General, Army Service Forces, authorize a formal four-week training course for all newly commissioned Army nurses. This program stressed Army organization; military customs and courtesies; field sanitation; defense against air, chemical, and mechanized attack; personnel administration; military requisitions and correspondence, and property responsibility. From July 1943 through September 1945 approximately 27,330 newly inducted nurses graduated from fifteen Army training centers.Nurse anesthetists were in short supply in every theater of operations, so the Army developed a special training program for nurses
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U.S. Army nurse instructs Army medics on the proper method of giving an injection, Queensland, Australia, 1942.U.S. Army nurse instructs Army medics on the proper method of giving an injection, Queensland, Australia, 1942. (DA photograph)interested in that specialty. More than 2,000 nurses trained in a six-month course designed to teach them how to administer inhalation anesthesia, blood and blood derivatives, and oxygen therapy as well as how to recognize, prevent, and treat shock.
Nurses specializing in the care of psychiatric patients were also in great demand. One out of every twelve patients in Army hospitals was admitted for psychiatric care, and the Army discharged approximately 400,000 soldiers for psychiatric reasons. The Surgeon General developed a twelve-week program to train nurses in the care and medication of these patients.
Public health administrators as well as the American public believed that the increasing demands of the U.S. armed forces for nurses were responsible for a shortage of civilian nurses. Responding to these concerns in June 1943, Congress passed the Bolton Act, which set up the Cadet Nurse Corps program. The U.S. government subsidized the education of nursing students who promised that following graduation they would engage in essential military or civilian nursing for the duration of the war. The government also subsidized nursing schools willing to accelerate their program of study and provide student nurses with their primary training within two and a half years. Cadet nurses spent the last six months of their training assigned to civilian or military hospitals, which helped to alleviate the critical nursing shortage. Possible assignments included hospitals run by the Army, Navy, Veterans Administration, Public Health Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Cadet Nurse Corps training program was extremely successful and enjoyed enthusiastic public support. By
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1948 when the program was discontinued, more than 150,000 nurse graduates testified to its value.
In December 1943 the U.S. War Department decided that there were enough nurses in the Army Nurse Corps to meet both existing and anticipated future demands on the Army. Consequently, the Army instructed the American Red Cross, which throughout the war had been responsible for the recruitment of nurses for the Army Nurse Corps, to stop recruiting. The Red Cross sent telegrams to local volunteer committees in every state advising them to discontinue their sustained drive to enlist nurses.
During the spring of 1944 intensive planning for the Allied invasion of France and the high number of anticipated casualties gave the Army second thoughts. Late in April the War Department advised the War Manpower Commission that it was revising its earlier decision to stop recruiting nurses. A new quota for the Army Nurse Corps was set at 50,000 10,000 more than were then enrolled. The Surgeon General promptly announced that the Army Nurse Corps was 10,000 nurses short, leading some critics to charge that American nurses were shirking their duty and avoiding military service. Yet nurses who responded to the much publicized "shortfall" and tried to enlist were hindered by the collapse of the local Red Cross recruiting networks.
In his January 1945 State of the Union Address President Franklin D. Roosevelt remarked that there was a critical shortage of Army nurses and that medical units in the European theater were being strained to the breaking point. He proposed that nurses be drafted. A nurse draft bill passed in the House and came within one vote in the Senate before the surrender of Germany. In the interim, the enrollment of over 10,000 nurses in the Army Nurse Corps early in 1945 rendered the measure superfluous.
Black Army NursesThe Army Nurse Corps accepted only a small number of black nurses during World War II. When the war ended in September 1945 just 479 black nurses were serving in a corps of 50,000 because a quota system imposed by the segregated Army during the fast two years of the war held down the number of black enrollments. In 1943, for example, the Army limited the number of black nurses in the Nurse Corps to 160. Army authorities argued that assignments available to black nurses were limited because they were only allowed to care for black troops in black wards or hospitals. But unfavorable public reac-Page 9
tion and political pressure forced the Army to drop its quota system in 1944. Subsequently, about 2,000 black students enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps program, and nursing schools for blacks benefited from increased federal funding.
The first black medical unit to deploy overseas was the 25th Station Hospital Unit, which contained thirty nurses. The unit went to Liberia in 1943 to care for U.S. troops protecting strategic airfields and rubber plantations. Malaria was the most serious health problem the troops encountered. Although malarial patients required an intensive amount of care, much of this work was routine and could be rendered by trained corpsmen. The nurses felt superfluous, and unit morale declined. The nurses were recalled late in 1943 because of poor health and low morale. Some were sent to general and station hospitals in the United States; others went to the 383d and 335th Station Hospitals near Tagap, Burma, where they treated black troops working on the Ledo Road. Another group of fifteen nurses deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area in the summer of 1943 with the all-black 268th Station Hospital. In June 1944 a unit of sixty-three nurses went to the 168th Station Hospital in England to care for German prisoners of war. By the end of the war, black nurses had served in Africa, England' Burma, and the Southwest Pacific.
At the FrontEarly in the morning of 8 November 1942, sixty nurses attached to the 48th Surgical Hospital climbed over the side of a ship off the coast of North Africa and down an iron ladder into small assault boats. Each boat carried 5 nurses, 3 medical officers, and 20 enlisted men. The nurses wore helmets and carried full packs containing musette bags, gas masks, and canteen belts. Only their Red Cross arm bands and lack of weapons distinguished them from fighting troops. They waded ashore near the coastal town of Arzew on D-day of Operation TORCH with the rest of the assault troops and huddled behind a sand dune while enemy snipers took potshots at anything that moved. That evening they found shelter in some abandoned beach houses. These poorly constructed, noisome structures seemed like a safe haven in which to rest. Before the night was over, however, their commanding officer ordered them to an abandoned civilian hospital, where they began caring for invasion casualties. There was no electricity or running water, and the only medical supplies available were those the nurses had brought themselves. The hospital was under sporadicPage 10
View of general hospital near Constantine, Algeria, 1943.View of a general hospital near Constantine, Algeria, 1943. (DA photograph)sniper fire. Doctors operated under flashlights held by nurses and enlisted men. There were not enough beds for all the casualties, and wounded soldiers lay on a concrete floor in pools of blood. Nurses dispensed what comfort they could, although the only sedatives available were the ones that they had carried with them during the landing because enemy air attacks on the harbor at Arzew delayed the unloading of supplies for two days.
The Army nurses who participated in the North African invasion at first had little conception of the realities of battle and were unfamiliar with military procedures. One nurse at the Arzew hospital became so incensed at snipers firing into the windows of the hospital and endangering the patients that she had to be forcibly restrained from going outside to "give them a piece of her mind." Several weeks later at the 48th Surgical Hospital in the hills near Tebessa, nurses sewed over fifty sheets into a large white cross to mark their installation as a hospital to enemy aircraft. The huge cross was on display only a short time when an Air Force officer told them that the cross, "the pride and joy of our hearts, which we were certain that the enemy would respect," identified the unit
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Army nurse does personal washing in her steel helmet, Oujda, Morocco.Army nurse does personal washing in her steel helmet, Oujda, Morocco. (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology)
as an airfield under construction, making it a lucrative target. The nurses resumed sewing until they had made a large white square, in the center of which medical corpsmen painted a red cross, the proper identification. Episodes like these encouraged the Army to establish a training program for newly recruited nurses in 1943.
Nurses serving at the front in North Africa became expert at meeting the challenges of combat while caring for incoming patients. In February 1943 when news reached the 77th Evacuation Hospital bivouacked near Tebessa that the German Army had broken through the Kasserine Pass, staff members packed up and moved their 150 patients sixty miles to a safer bivouac. Within twelve hours a new hospital was fully operational and received another 500 casualties. During the Allied counterattack from mid-April through May 1943, which captured northern Tunisia, the 77th treated 4,577 soldiers within a 45-day period.
The head nurse of the 48th Surgical Hospital near Gaisa remembered that the hospital was situated between an ammunition dump and an airfield, both of which were primary targets for German bombers.
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The danger served to pull the doctors and nurses of the 48th Surgical together into a team based on mutual respect. Some Medical Corps doctors and corpsmen had believed that employing nurses so near the front lines would prove troublesome. Would nurses be able to perform their duties while under hostile fire? The work of the Army nurses, their dedication, and their professionalism more than proved their worth in the North African campaign, and they gained the respect of doctors, corpsmen, patients, and the military command.
The Chain of EvacuationThe Army Medical Department's newly organized and thus experimental "chain of evacuation" and the nurses' role in it were tested in North Africa and ultimately used successfully in every theater in the war. Critical were mobile field and evacuation hospitals, which closely followed the combat troops. These hospitals were usually set up in tents and were subject to move at short notice. Nurses packed and unpacked these hospitals each time they moved.Litter bearers and ambulance drivers brought the wounded to field hospitals. Usually 18 nurses were assigned to a field hospital, which could handle 75 to 150 patients. Doctors and nurses performed triage on patients at the field hospital receiving tent. These evaluations were of critical importance. The severity of a patient's condition and the need for special treatment determined when, how, and where the patient was to be sent. Improper evacuation might result in the death of a patient from lack of immediate care. Those patients judged strong enough to travel were taken by ambulance to evacuation hospitals located farther away from the front lines and near transportation facilities. Nurses stabilized others with blood, plasma, medication, and dressings before sending them on. Patients who needed immediate care went directly into surgery. Those who needed surgery but were too weak for an immediate operation and could not travel were sent to the shock ward.
A field hospital could perform approximately eighty operations a day, and over 85 percent of those soldiers operated on in field hospitals survived. When postoperative patients grew strong enough, they were transported by ambulance to evacuation hospitals.
Evacuation hospitals had 53 nurses each and could accommodate up to 750 patients. Doctors operated on patients sent from field hospitals. Patients with postoperative stomach wounds were routinely kept in an evacuation hospital ten days before they were sent on, and those
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with chest wounds were usually kept at least five days before they were evacuated. Critically wounded patients needing specialized treatment were air evacuated to station and general hospitals. Stable patients requiring a long recuperation were sent on via hospital ship.
Station and general hospitals advanced more slowly than field and evacuation hospitals and were usually housed in semipermanent locations. These hospitals were normally established in buildings with running water and electricity. Nurses sent to ready station and general hospitals in preparation for a new offensive often moved into abandoned, bombed-out hospitals, schools, or factories and became scrubwomen and scavengers in a hurried attempt to prepare for the expected inundation of battle casualties. Although personnel assigned to station and general hospitals did not experience enemy fire as often as those at the front, station and general hospitals were frequently subject to enemy air attacks.
Station hospitals received battle casualties from evacuation hospitals and performed surgery and specialized treatments. General hospitals were the last step in the evacuation line. Patients needing diagnosis, specialized lab tests, or long periods of recuperation and therapy were sent to general hospitals. Upon release patients were reclassified and either returned to duty or sent back to the United States. Both station and general hospitals also accepted patients from outside the chain of evacuation, such as servicemen and women who needed treatment for pneumonia or various contagious diseases.
Transport to General and Station HospitalsPatients were evacuated from the field to station and general hospitals in the zone of communications via hospital trains, hospital ships, and aircraft. Nurses served on all these modes of transportation. On hospital trains they dispensed medication and food and made their patients as comfortable as possible, while watching them carefully for signs of stress and complications. Such trains usually had thirty-two beds per car, with one nurse assigned to each car of litter patients or to several cars of ambulatory patients.Hospital ships operated under the terms of the Hague Convention which meant that those vessels could carry only military personnel on patient status accompanied by attending Medical and Transportation Corps personnel. The white hospital ships with large red crosses painted on either side were forofferden to carry cargo of any kind and were subject to enemy inspection at any time. Nevertheless, the Axis Powers
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Flight nurse attends a wounded soldier being evacuated by air from the 57th Field Hospital in Prestwick, Scotland, 1944.Flight nurse attends a wounded soldier being evacuated by air from the 57th Field Hospital in Prestwick, Scotland, 1944. (DA photograph)did not always spare hospital ships, which were bombed in at least three different incidents. Army nurses were wounded when the Germans bombed hospital ships during the Allied invasions of Italy and Anzio. In the Pacific, Japanese pilots attacked the USS Comfort off Leyte Island in April 1945, seriously damaging the ship and killing twenty-nine people, including six Army nurses.
Air evacuation of patients began in North Africa in February 1943 and eventually became a feature of every theater of war. Flight nurses received special training before assignment to the Air Forces Surgeon General's Office. Training emphasized crash procedures, field survival in ocean, jungle, desert, and arctic Environments, and the effects of high altitude on various types of patients. The rigors of patient care during flights demanded these nurses be in peak physical condition. Flight nurses assumed greater risks than their counterparts because the C-46, C-47, and C-54 transport planes used in patient evacuations doubled as cargo planes. For this reason they could not display the markings of the Geneva Red Cross to protect them from enemy fire. Besides the hazards of enemy fire, operational realities created difficulties for flight nurses. Pilots nicknamed the C-46 the "flying coffin" because heater problems sometimes caused these coffin-shaped planes to explode during flight. Some pilots refused to turn on the heaters in these planes, even when they were carrying patients. This complicated nursing care because critically ill patients cannot tolerate low temperatures. Nurses improvised and kept their patients warm with blankets and hot drinks.
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An evacuation plane could be loaded and airborne within ten minutes. Usually one nurse and one medical corpsman were assigned to a flight. A doctor briefed the nurse on each patient's condition prior to takeoff, and during the flight she was responsible for the safety and comfort of up to twenty-five patients.
While in flight the nurse watched for anxiety attacks because many soldiers had never flown before. She checked each patient's pulse, respiration, and bleeding and adjusted and applied bandages and dressings, relieved pain, administered oxygen, and cared for those who became airsick. A bout of airsickness could be fatal to a patient with a broken jaw that had been wired shut. Nurses often gave such patients enough medication to encourage sleep throughout the trip. Some soldiers suffering from "battle fatigue" were so emotionally disturbed that they had to travel under restraint. Nurses could handle only a few of these "locked litter" patients per flight.
Frequent snarls in communication sometimes caused nurses to fly into an area aboard a plane loaded with ammunition only to discover that there were no patients waiting to be evacuated. On the return trip, the empty plane and its crew remained vulnerable to an enemy attack. Equally frustrating was the lack of emergency equipment on many evacuation aircraft. One nurse was faced with a patient who started bleeding beneath his plaster cast. There were no cast cutters on the plane, so the nurse had to hack away at the cast with bandage scissors, all the while watching the red stain spread ominously. She eventually removed the cast, stopped the bleeding, and stabilized the patient.
Flight nurses accepted that there would always be unexpected dangers. A transport plane en route to Guadalcanal with twenty-four litter patients and one flight nurse ran out of fuel over the Pacific. The pilot spotted an island on which there was a 150-foot-square clearing ringed with coconut palms and decided to crash land there rather than risk plunging into the ocean. During the landing, one passenger's windpipe was severed, although his jugular vein remained intact. The attending nurse quickly devised a suction tube from a syringe, a colonic tube, and the inflation tubes from a life jacket. With these tools, she was able to keep the man's windpipe clear of blood until help arrived nineteen hours later.
It is a tribute to the 500 Army nurses who served as members of 31 medical air evacuation transport squadrons operating worldwide that only 46 of the 1,176,048 patients air evacuated throughout the war died en route. Rapid evacuation by plane did lower the battle casualty fatality rate, but it cost the lives of 17 flight nurses during the war.
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Sicily and Southern ItalyThe nurses' performance during the North African invasion taught the Army several lessons that it applied to the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy. Commanding officers noticed that nurses acclimated quickly to difficult and dangerous conditions with a minimum of complaints. Their efficiency and professional accomplishments made them essential members of the field armies. The presence of nurses at the front improved the morale of all fighting men because soldiers realized that they would receive skilled care in the event they were wounded. Hospitalized men recovered sooner when nurses cared for them. Troops in the field figured that "if the nurses can take it, then we can."U.S. and British troops invaded Sicily on 9 July 1943, and nurses of the 10th Field Hospital and the 11th Evacuation Hospital arrived on the island three days later. There they were greeted by German Stuka dive bombers which forced them into slit trenches and foxholes during the first few days. Other nurses scheduled to support the invading U.S. Seventh Army had to wait nine days for transport, which was in short supply during the first week of the invasion.
The intense heat on Sicily affected everyone, and the 128th Evacuation Hospital established at Cefalu (east of Palermo) saw increasing numbers of soldiers with malaria. Nurses lined the tents with mosquito netting in an attempt to control the spread of the disease through the hospital, but eventually medical personnel also succumbed. Despite the malaria epidemic, nurses at this hospital worked twelve-hour shifts. Teams of specialists (doctors and nurses) handled a spectrum of wounds including head, chest, and orthopedic as well as shock cases. Patient turnover was high. The hospital would admit 300 patients in one 24-hour period and evacuate 200 to North Africa for further treatment. Most patients went by train to the coast where they were placed on hospital ships. Critically ill patients were evacuated by plane.
Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark originally planned that nurses should land with the troops during the 8 September invasion of the Italian mainland and care for the men as they had done in North Africa. However, after the Allies decided to land at Salerno rather than Reggio, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander in Chief, Allied Expeditionary Force, decided to postpone the nurses' arrival. The Salerno beachhead was small, and there were few exits off the beaches. Eisenhower and his advisers believed that the beachhead
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would be heavily defended and that the nurses should wait until the landing force was secure.
On the night of 13 September German planes bombed the British hospital ship H.M.S. Newfoundland while it was en route to Salerno carrying the nurses. Bands of green lights and brilliantly illuminated red crosses clearly identified the Newfoundland as a hospital ship. Before the ship sank, British vessels rescued all 103 nurses aboard and evacuated them to Bizerte, Tunisia. Four nurses suffered minor wounds for which the Army later awarded them the Purple Heart. The others boarded another ship and arrived at Salerno ten days later.
The winter rains, which usually arrive in southern Italy in November, came one month early in 1943, making it very difficult to maintain adequate medical facilities under canvas. Three days after the nurses arrived at Salerno a severe storm knocked down the tents of the 16th Evacuation Hospital, housing approximately 1,000 patients. Nurses evacuated the drenched patients to an abandoned Tobacco warehouse without incident, preventing complications from exposure.
Continuous bad weather caused one of the most famous incidents in Nurse Corps history. On 8 November 1943, a C-54 ferrying thirteen flight nurses and thirteen medical technicians (corpsmen) of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron from Sicily to Bari on the east coast of Italy ran into severe weather. The plane lost radio contact, the compass failed, and the pilot became disoriented in the storm. Icing finally forced the plane down in the Albanian mountains far behind German lines. Partisan guerrillas found the Americans and took them to a nearby farmhouse. That night the flight crew set fire to the plane to conceal traces of their presence in the area.
The partisans escorted the fugitives through the mountains on foot to safety behind Allied lines. In bitterly cold weather and blinding snowstorms, the small band made a hazardous, two-month journey covering 800 miles. The escapees suffered from frostbite, dysentery, jaundice, and pneumonia, but all the nurses except three who were separated from the main body of the group arrived safely at Bari on 9 January.
The three missing nurses faced different hardships. A German unit trapped them for several months in the partisan town of Berat in the home of a partisan guerrilla. Dressed as Albanian civilians and supplied with Albanian identification cards, the nurses finally left Berat by car in March. They traveled far into the countryside, where partisans gave them donkeys to ride and escorted them across several mountain ranges. When they reached the coast, an Allied torpedo boat took
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them to Otranto, Italy. With their arrival at Otranto on 21 March, the three nurses completed a five-month sojourn behind enemy lines. The courage and fortitude of the "Balkan Nurses" on their 800-mile hike behind enemy lines provided an example of the Army nurse's ability to withstand hardships "at the front."
AnzioTo speed up the slow pace of the Allied northward advance through Italy against the fierce German defenses at Cassino and the Gustav Line, Allied strategists planned a landing behind the German lines. On 22 January the British and American troops launched a successful surprise attack and landing on the Anzio beachhead. Because surprise was complete, the projected 12 percent casualty rate was held to less than 1 percent throughout the initial landing. The Germans, however, quickly regrouped for a stubborn defense that pinned the Allied forces in the beachhead for four months and stalled hopes for a rapid advance. Within the congested invasion perimeter, casualties mounted as the Allies repulsed persistent Luftwaffe and ground attacks.The 33d Field Hospital and the 95th and 96th Evacuation Hospitals landed with the Anzio beachhead assault force and quickly set up operations. Approximately two hundred nurses were assigned to these units. On 24 January 1944, two days after the landing, the first bombs fell near the medical facilities. That night three British hospital ships, H.M.S. St. David, H.M.S. St. Andrew, and H.M.S. Leinster, were attacked by Luftwaffe aircraft while evacuating casualties from the beachhead. As in the case of the Newfoundland, the ships were well lighted and clearly marked with the red cross. The St. David, with 226 medical staff and patients aboard, received a direct hit and sank. The two Army nurses on board were among 130 survivors rescued by the damaged Leinster. One of these nurses, 2d Lt. Ruth Hindman, had survived the earlier bombing of the Newfoundland.
On 7 February a German plane attempting to bomb the port at Anzio was intercepted by a British Spitfire. While trying to gain altitude, the German pilot jettisoned his antipersonnel bombs on the 95th Evacuation Hospital. The direct hit on the surgical section killed 26 staff and patients, including 3 nurses; 64 others were wounded. The day before, several news correspondents had decided among themselves that the constant shelling had rendered one nurse
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too nervous to carry on much longer. Yet after the bombing, this nurse calmly took charge, rallied the surviving staff (nurses and corpsmen), and guided their treatment of the wounded. Nevertheless the commander of the medical installations in the Mediterranean theater decided that the 95th Evacuation Hospital had lost too many key personnel to function effectively. He replaced the unit with the 15th Evacuation Hospital, formerly stationed at Cassino. The 15th arrived at Anzio on 10 February, just in time to witness the bombing of the 33d Field Hospital. Long-range enemy artillery fire killed 2 nurses and I enlisted man and wounded 4 medical officers and 7 enlisted men. Both nurses were off duty at the time of the attack. One nurse had stopped at the tent of the other to borrow a book when a shell hit the tent, killing them instantly. Meanwhile, another shell smashed the generator of the operating tent, which caught fire. Medical personnel evacuated the forty-two patients by flashlight without incident, and for their bravery four nurses—1st Lt. Mary Roberts, 2d Lt. Elaine Roe, 2d Lt. Virginia Rourke, and 2d Lt. Ellen Ainsworth— received the first Silver Star medals awarded to women in the U.S. Army. Ainsworth, who was killed during the attack, was awarded the medal posthumously.
Throughout February and March, medical installations on the beachhead continued to receive direct hits. On 29 March the 56th Evacuation Hospital was shelled, leaving 3 officers, 1 nurse, 14 enlisted men, and 19 patients wounded and 4 patients killed. Whenever the air raid sirens at Anzio sounded, those patients who could put on their steel helmets and crawled under their cots to avoid flying shrapnel. Nurses and corpsmen lifted others to the ground. Patients whose condition rendered them immovable became very nervous, and nurses ignored the danger to stay with them.
In April the 36th Engineer Regiment excavated 3 1/2-foot foundations for the hospital tents and reinforced these protective earthworks with sandbag walls. Patients and medical personnel inside the hospitals were finally protected from flying shrapnel although not from direct hits.
A later observer explained that the medical detachment at Anzio was "part of a front that had no back. The beachhead was 15 miles wide and 7 miles deep and allowed no retreat from enemy fire." The large, impassable Pontine Marsh forced the invaders to locate their antiaircraft batteries, airstrips, maintenance shops, food' gasoline, and ammunition dumps (all lucrative targets) on the edge of the medical area. Enemy bombers often missed their targets and hit the hospitals. The frequent enemy hits on the congested corner occupied by the main
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medical installations earned it the nickname "Hell's Half Acre." Many soldiers believed that they were safer in their frontline foxholes than they would be in the hospitals.
The Fifth Army command allowed the nurses to remain at Anzio regardless of the danger and the mounting casualties because they were desperately needed. Between January and June the Anzio field and evacuation hospitals admitted 25,809 battle casualties, 4,245 accidental injuries, and 18,074 medical casualties (disease). These soldiers were stabilized and evacuated rapidly and efficiently. The performance of Army nurses at Anzio reinforced the fact that women could function effectively under fire on the front lines.
The European TheaterBy June 1945 the number of Army nurses in the European theater of the war reached a peak of 17,345. The first nurses to arrive in Normandy were members of the 42d and 45th Field Hospitals and the 91st and 128th Evacuation Hospitals. They landed on the beachhead four days after the initial invasion in June 1944.The nurses' experiences in the European theater varied widely, depending upon their assignments. The experiences of those assigned to the 12th Evacuation Hospital reflected that diversity. Unit members sailed for England in January 1943. After several moves they arrived on the east coast of England in May 1944. There they participated in the buildup for the Allied invasion of the Continent by establishing a tent hospital and preparing for the expected influx of casualties. In early June they watched hundreds of Allied planes fly overhead to prepare the way for the invasion of the Continent on 6 June 1944. The first battle casualties arrived at the 12th Evacuation Hospital the next day, including members of the 101st Airborne Division and the 90th Infantry Division. The hospital admitted 1,309 patients and conducted 596 surgical operations before it displaced across the Channel.
The 12th Evacuation Hospital deployed to France in July, arriving in Normandy on I August. By that time most of the heavy casualties incurred during the first weeks of the invasion had already been evacuated to England. Throughout August Allied forces pushed the German Briny eastward through France toward the Siegfried Line. The front moved rapidly; high numbers of casualties occurred only in pockets of resistance and were handled by other evacuation hospitals. The 12th found that it was not needed. Nonetheless, for almost a month the 12th
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Army nurses at work in the postoperative ward, U.S. Army 10th Field Hospital, Grandvillers, France, 1944.Army nurses at work in the postoperative ward, U.S. Army 10th Field Hospital, Grandvillers, France, 1944. (National Archives)Evacuation Hospital followed the troops through France. Transportation facilities were strained to the limit, and the unit encountered frequent delays. This was a frustrating time for the nurses. They often slept out in the open without tents, spent days looking for their equipment, and suffered from boredom and inactivity.
In mid-September the Allies met the German defenses at the Siegfried Line, and casualties mounted. The 12th established operations at Bonneval, where it admitted 1,260 patients in less than one month. It then received orders to deploy to Rheims and operate in the abandoned American Memorial Hospital, which the retreating Germans had left in poor condition. After the nurses spent several days scrubbing and cleaning, they received orders to turn over the American Memorial to another medical unit and to establish an evacuation hospital in a field near the Argonne Forest. They remained there for a month, then moving into a hospital building in the town of Nancy where the unit wintered. Although the Germans shelled the town regularly, the hospital suffered but a single hit and that shell failed to explode. In early 1945 the unit was again on the move to Luxembourg.
The nurses of the 12th moved eleven times in two years. After each relocation they had to prepare a sanitary, comfortable hospital capable of handling large numbers of critically wounded or sick patients. Their experience alternated between periods of exhausting activity and intense boredom. They had to be flexible, innovative, quick-thinking, patient, adaptable, and highly skilled. Their experi-
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ences were similar to those of nurses in field and evacuation hospitals everywhere in Europe.
Nurses frequently demonstrated their ability to remain calm in unpredictable and dangerous situations. For example, flight nurse Reba Z. Whittle's C-47 was caught by flak and crashed behind enemy lines in September 1944. Every member of the crew, including Whittle, was wounded. The Germans provided their prisoners with medical care and upon their recovery incarcerated them in Stalag IXC. Whittle's captors allowed her to nurse other POWs throughout her captivity. Whittle was held as a prisoner of war for five months until her release in January 1945.
Although the chain of evacuation necessitated frequent patient turnover, nurses in the field provided long-term, intensive care when necessary. For example, from September through December 1944 the 77th Evacuation Hospital received numerous casualties from troops attempting to clear the Germans from the Huertgen Forest. Four U.S. infantry divisions were sent into the rugged woods, and each suffered appalling casualties. The area consisted of steep hills covered in thick evergreens and hedged about by barbed wire and mines. Men arrived at the hospital suffering from trench foot, exhaustion, and exposure. By December trench foot accounted for more casualties than all other causes combined. The disease manifested itself when troops were confined in foxholes for over forty-eight hours, their feet cold, wet, and immobile. Casualties arrived at the hospital unable to walk. The condition was extremely painful and demanded a high level of nursing care.
In December 1944 the German Army under Field Marshal General Gerd von Rundstedt launched an all-out offensive against the western front, popularly known as the Battle of the Bulge. The German attack bowed the American front line westward almost to the Meuse River. Many medical units, among them the 44th and the 67th Evacuation Hospitals, were forced to evacuate the area on short notice. Five nurses with the 67th volunteered to stay overnight with 200 patients too weak to withstand the move. All night they listened to the approaching roar of the German guns as they cared for their patients. The next day the Army evacuated nurses and patients within hours of the Germans' arrival.
German aircraft struck several medical installations in the course of the offensive. On 17 December bombs hit the 76th General Hospital, located in the town of Liege. The 77th Evacuation Hospital Unit had set up operations in a school building in the nearby town of Verviers, an important transportation junction just north of the Bulge.
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When the Germans bombed Verviers on the night of 20 December, the south corner of the hospital building was hit. The nurses' quarters, laboratory, and pharmacy all sustained severe damage. Fortunately, only one nurse was injured in the attack.
After American and British forces repulsed this last German offensive, medical units accompanied the Allied forces into Germany. In newly conquered, hostile territory the nurses experienced new pressures. Third Army nurses noticed that the deeper the Americans went into Germany, the more openly hostile German civilians became. Near Darmstadt, the hospital had to be guarded at all times. According to one nurse, German civilians looked at the nurses "with actual hatred in their eyes—and children throw stones at ambulances and spit at jeeps."
On Easter Sunday 1945, near the town of Hanau, a hospital convoy, its lead jeep plainly marked with a white Flag bearing the Geneva Cross, was ambushed by a company of the German 6th SS Mountain Division. The SS troops burst out of the forest firing machine guns. Medical personnel, including ten nurses, took cover in the nearest ditch. All came out with their hands over their heads when ordered, and the Germans marched them into the woods. The Germans confiscated the unit's vehicles and all the hospital equipment and took their prisoners to a nearby nursing home, where they ordered them to set up a hospital for German wounded. The Americans did the best they could without any of their equipment, and the nurses worked calmly under enemy guns. Nine hours later troops of the U.S. 5th Infantry Division liberated all the prisoners from their short but harrowing period of captivity.
The final push into central Germany cost the western Allies heavy casualties and required medical units to work under great pressure. The 44th Evacuation Hospital admitted 1,348 patients from the 3d Armored Division during one 56-hour period in mid-April. Casualties also came in from the 9th Infantry, engaged in clearing out the area north of the Harz Mountains.
When American and British paratroopers who had been prisoners of the Germans were rescued, the 77th Evacuation Hospital received them. Most were weak and malnourished, and the medical care they had received while in captivity was inferior by American standards. Nurses had to remove casts and dressings and apply newer, more comfortable ones. A different problem was presented by the increasing numbers of German POWs. At first, some nurses wondered if they were capable of putting personal feelings aside and providing these patients with the best care available. Moreover, offi-
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cial theater hospital policy clearly placed the care of Allied casualties over that offered to enemy prisoners. Most nurses, however, quickly discovered that they were able to view these men simply as patients in need of care and treated Germans no differently than American soldiers. Nurses screened enemy casualties away from Allied patients to make all more comfortable.
Army nurses of the 116th and 127th Evacuation Hospitals cared for concentration camp victims liberated from Dachau. These patients needed special care and constant attention and reassurance. Many clung to nurses as their saviors and would not let them out of their sight. Victims of starvation, with long-neglected wounds inflicted by systematic torture, many also suffered from typhus, frozen feet, gangrene, bed sores, and severe dermatitis. Eight out of every ten inmates had tuberculosis. Despite intensive care, many died from weakness, malnutrition, and disease.
The Pacific TheaterArmy nurses worked near the front lines under fire in the European and Mediterranean theaters. Their courage under the most adverse conditions at Anzio, uncomplaining resilience in the Balkans, and calm professionalism in Germany demonstrated that they should be considered essential elements of the U.S. Army in any theater of operations. Nevertheless, Pacific theater commanders limited the Army nurses' combat support role to rear areas because they did not feel comfortable assigning American women to uncivilized jungle areas where they would be vulnerable to Japanese guerrilla attacks. The decision, unpopular from beginning to end, understandably resulted in morale problems for both nurses and soldiers.Army nurses served throughout the Pacific in increasing numbers between 7 December 1941 and the end of the war. Nurses usually found themselves assigned to hospitals far from combat areas where they cared for soldiers who had been evacuated from the front lines. Due to the island-hopping nature of the Pacific campaign, Army nurses were stationed in the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, New Zealand, the Fiji Islands, New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides in 1942 but did not arrive in combat areas until after the fighting ceased. They followed one step behind the U.S. troops, arriving on an island only after it had fallen under Allied control. Nurses were stationed in areas that were outside a direct Japanese ground threat, yet near enough to the front lines to receive air evacuees.
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New Caledonia became home to seven station and two general hospitals because the climate was mild and the island was malaria free. More nurses served on New Caledonia and remained there longer than on any other Pacific island except for Australia and Hawaii. The first nurses to see the island were those of the 9th and 109th Station Hospitals and the 52d Evacuation Hospital, who arrived in New Caledonia in March 1942. Both the hospitals and the nurses' quarters were prefabricated buildings with electricity and running water. Some nurses complained about the six-inch-deep mud and torrential downpours, but many eventually became bored with their relatively placid assignment and longed to serve closer to the troops where there was more excitement.
The hospitals on New Caledonia received malaria cases from Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, and the New Hebrides. More than 50 percent of admissions for disease between 1942 and 1944 were malaria patients. Battle casualties arriving from New Guinea, New Britain, Guadalcanal, and Saipan were predominantly abdominal cases, but chest wounds were also common.
Like the nurses working on New Caledonia, those stationed on New Zealand, the Fiji Islands, and the New Hebrides between 1942 and 1944 also received casualties evacuated from the front lines via plane and hospital ship. Malaria was endemic to the New Hebrides, and both nurses and patients were susceptible to this debilitating disease. The hospitals in New Zealand, Fiji, and the New Hebrides closed down in 1944, and the nurses moved on to the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Marianas, arriving only after Allied forces had gained control. Once again, they cared for soldiers who had been air evacuated from frontline areas.
Medical corpsmen who had served in place of nurses in combat zones sometimes resented the nurses' arrival. "Once the nurses arrive, the morale of the corpsmen plummets," said one observer. The nurses took over skilled direct-care tasks and relegated the corpsmen to lesser duties and scrub work. Nurses commanded corpsmen in the chain of command because the nurses were trained professionals while corpsmen usually had only minimal training. Friction between nurses and corpsmen had been absent in the North African and European theaters, where nurses followed combat troops much more closely. In the Pacific, however, commanders appeared more concerned with sheltering the nurses from the vicissitudes of war and proved unwilling to take responsibility for placing them anywhere near the combat zone.
Nurses stationed on the secured islands of Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Saipan, Guam, and Tinian found their quarters fenced in and
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guarded by armed guards twenty-four hours a day. They were escorted to and from the hospital and could not leave their quarters during their free time unless they were part of a supervised group activity. The island commands enforced evening curfews and required nurses to have an armed escort after 1800 (6:00 P.M.).Two armed guards accompanied any nurse who traveled off post.
Women's Army Corps (WAC) members stationed on these islands received the same treatment. American women represented a tiny minority of the personnel in these areas, and General MacArthur wanted to protect the women for whom he had responsibility. The official policy was that the women were guarded because isolated Japanese guerrilla patrols still roamed the islands. In reality, however, Army leadership hoped to discourage incidents of sexual harassment and fraternization.
The first nurses to arrive on New Guinea were those of the 153d Station Hospital, who reached Port Moresby in October 1942. The 10th Evacuation Hospital and the 171st Station Hospital reached the island in December. These hospitals cared for casualties from the Buna-Gona campaign from November 1942 through January 1943.
Nurses of the 20th Station Hospital arrived on Guadalcanal in June 1944. Male medical personnel of the unit had been on the island since January 1943. The nurses of the 20th were soon followed by those of the 48th Station Hospital, the 9th Station Hospital, and the 137th Station Hospital.
Both Guadalcanal and New Guinea were hot, humid, rainy, and extremely uncomfortable. The tropical climate encouraged malaria, scrub typhus, dengue fever, and tropical dysentery, which together caused four times as many casualties as did battle wounds. The nurses also encountered yaws, leprosy, bubonic plague, and cutaneous diphtheria, diseases with which they had had little if any experience.
By January 1943 there were 14,646 American troops on New Guinea, 8,659 of whom had contracted some form of disease, with malaria being the most common. Army leaders instituted strict malarial control methods on New Guinea, Guadalcanal, and the New Hebrides. Personnel were required to wear protective clothing after sundown. Buildings were screened, and medical malarial control units sprayed DDT across the islands. By 1945 the theater-wide malarial rate was lowered from 172 per thousand to under 5 per thousand.
Air raid alerts were commonplace on New Guinea but actual bombings rare. On 24 November 1943, a Japanese plane dropped four incendiary and four high-explosive bombs on the 153d Station Hospital area. Two hospital tents were damaged and two were knocked
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down, but only three minor casualties resulted among personnel. On 8 December the 153d was again strafed and bombed by twenty Japanese planes supposedly celebrating the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Once more there were only a few minor injuries and no casualties.
Nurses arrived on Saipan, an island in the Marianas chain, in July 1944, only one month after the Americans invaded the island. The first nurses on Saipan were attached to the 369th Station Hospital. Nurses of the 148th General Hospital and the 176th Station Hospital joined them in August. Throughout 1944 the nurses saw a pattern similar to that experienced by nurses on New Guinea and Guadalcanal, with five admissions for disease to every battle casualty. An epidemic of dengue fever hit the medical installations in Saipan during the late summer of 1944, and half the nurses on the island suffered from the disease. The epidemic was controlled only after the Army sprayed DDT across the entire island in September. Although Japanese planes bombed and strafed the island of Saipan in late 1944, there were no American casualties. In early 1945 and throughout the fighting on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the hospitals on Saipan suffered from a severe water shortage. Water had to be rationed and hand carried to wards from outside drums.
On 4 December 1944, nurses of the 289th Station Hospital disembarked on the island of Guam in the Marianas. Three days later they were followed by sixty-three nurses of the 373d Station Hospital. Finally on 28 December the personnel of the 204th General Hospital arrived on the island.
The 374th Station Hospital was established on the island of Tinian in the Marianas in late January 1945. One month after the arrival of the 374th, the hospitals on Saipan, Guam, and Tinian began receiving battle casualties from Iwo Jima. Over 18,000 casualties arrived within a single month. After Iwo Jima was secured in late March, the Okinawa campaign began almost immediately. For the Allies, the island of Okinawa was the last step toward the main islands of Japan. But Okinawa was fiercely defended. Within three months, from April to June 1945, more than 50,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, and marines were wounded and 15,000 killed. Casualties sustained during the Okinawa campaign were evacuated to Guam, Saipan, and Tinian via plane and hospital ship. Although the twenty-four flight nurses stationed at Guam went on 273 missions during which they cared for 5,529 sick and wounded patients from the front lines to Guam, Saipan, or Tinian, the vast majority of Okinawa casualties arrived at the station and general hospitals of the Mariana Islands by hospital ship.
Nurses stationed on the Marianas worked twelve-hour days, seven days a week. Many patients arrived in severe shock, others in
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hemorrhage. Some had sustained multiple wounds, and many required traumatic amputations. Nurses assumed responsibilities handled by doctors in the United States. They gave transfusions, debrided and dressed wounds, and removed sutures. Nurses trained wardmen to give infusions and change dressings, duties traditionally reserved for nursing personnel.
Medical personnel set up special wards for the many severely burned patients who had been on oil tankers attacked by Japanese suicide planes. Nurses stabilized burn patients with plasma, blood, and morphine in the shock ward before taking them into surgery for debridement and Vaseline pressure dressings.
As the Okinawa campaign drew to a close, the 232d General Hospital, including eighty-one nurses, was established on the island of Iwo Jima. The Japanese bombed and strafed the hospital periodically. Nurses who were off duty took refuge in two air raid shelters located in back of the nurses' quarters. Those who were on duty stayed with the patients and settled them in a cave located behind the hospital.
The invasion of the Philippines was the first opportunity for Army nurses in the Pacific theater to care for battle casualties in the field rather than patients evacuated from the front lines. With this change of policy, morale among the nurses improved substantially, and many nurses refused offers of rotation back to the United States. Army nurses arrived on Leyte Island with the 1st and 2d Field Hospitals nine days after the initial invasion on 20 October 1944. Within three hours after landing, they were administering medical care to the wounded in a former Catholic cathedral in Tacloban. Medical personnel on Leyte saw the highest ratio of killed to wounded casualties in the war, a tragic 1:3. Between January and February 1945, 19,257 patients were admitted to the hospitals on Leyte. Nurses treated many casualties from the kamikaze attacks on Liberty ships attempting to enter the harbor at Leyte. Between October and December 1944, almost 3,000 such casualties were evacuated from Leyte to New Guinea.
On 28 April 1945, a Japanese suicide plane bombed the hospital ship USS Comfort off Leyte Island. In the attack 6 nurses, 5 medical officers, 8 enlisted men, and 7 patients were killed, and 4 nurses were wounded. The ship was severely damaged but managed to enter the harbor at Guam under destroyer escort.
The Army nurse in the Pacific theater performed her tasks efficiently, compassionately, and courageously whether she was caring for casualties in the field or patients evacuated from the front lines. These nurses prevailed over dangers and difficulties not experienced by nurses in other theaters. They became ill with malaria and dengue fever; experi-
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enced the rigors of a tropical climate; tolerated water shortages; risked kamikaze attacks; adapted to curfews, fenced compounds, and armed escorts; and dealt with medical corpsmen's hostility. Nurses in the Pacific demonstrated their ability to overcome adversity and reached the front lines of a uniquely dangerous theater before the end of the war.
China-Burma-India TheaterA small number of Army nurses were stationed in Army hospitals in China, Burma, and India throughout 1943 and 1944, where they treated the American and Chinese troops who were pushing into southern China along the Ledo Road. At the time, the road was the sole overland lifeline for military supplies to Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalist Army, which was fighting a war of survival against Japan.American nurses and Chinese patients experienced a clash of cultures which made the nurses' jobs difficult. The Chinese patients had difficulty understanding the concept of a "high-type" woman performing "menial" bedside care. The nurses found it hard to maintain proper discipline among the wards because the Chinese did not feel it necessary to follow a woman's orders. A nurse assigned to the 20th General Hospital remembered that her Chinese patients insisted on supplying their own food while in the hospital. The result was "orange peels, egg shells, chicken feathers, and vegetable peelings piled high beside each bed." Nurses could not keep their seriously sick patients in bed. "They wandered off to the bazaar in their pajamas to haggle over fresh vegetables, and live ducks and chickens, which they brought back to the wards and kept under their beds." Many patients refused to consume their atabrine tablets and contracted malaria. The most serious problem the nurses had, however, was that Chinese patients with contagious diseases refused to remain isolated from their fellows and thus inadvertently spread diseases throughout the hospital.
For every Allied soldier wounded in the struggle for Burma in 1943, 120 fell sick. The malarial rate that year was a staggering 84 percent of total manpower. The Army sprayed DDT on mosquito-infested areas and ordered all personnel to wear protective clothing after dusk regardless of the temperature. Troops were issued daily medication to protect them against malaria. Scrub typhus, a disease spread by mites, posed another problem. This disease demanded an extremely high level of nursing care and had a 30 percent fatality rate.
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Staff of the Tagap Hospital, Burma, 1945.Staff of the Tagap Hospital, Burma, 1945. (DA photograph)Although the Army attempted to employ DDT to control the spread of the disease, it had minimal success. Troops also suffered from exhaustion, malnutrition, and amoebic dysentery. Plane crashes and truck accidents occurred frequently across this difficult terrain.
Nurses stationed in isolated jungle hospitals in the Burma-India theater worked under primitive conditions in an extremely trying climate. Many served in the theater longer than the traditional two-year assignment and suffered from low morale. They performed a necessary task but often received little recognition in this demanding but forgotten theater of war.
ConclusionIn February 1945 U.S. troops liberated the sixty-seven Army nurses who had been imprisoned in Santo Tomas Internment Camp since 1942 and evacuated them to a convalescent hospital on Leyte. Although suffering from malnutrition and beriberi, they recovered from their ordeal fairly quickly. The duty they performed in combat and the hardships they endured as prisoners of war are testaments to the professionalism of the entire Army Nurse Corps throughout the war.World War II ended with the surrender of Japan in September 1945, and Army nurses stationed around the world began planning to return home. They could look back on their service with great pride. Their accomplishments were many. Nurses had been a part of every link in the chain of evacuation established in every theater of the war. Their work contributed significantly to the low mortality rate experienced by American casualties of all types.
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Nurses received 1,619 medals, citations, and commendations during the war, reflecting the courage and dedication of all who served. Sixteen medals were awarded posthumously to nurses who died as a result of enemy fire. These included the 6 nurses who died at Anzio, 6 who died when the Hospital Ship Comfort was attacked by a Japanese suicide plane, and 4 flight nurses. Thirteen other flight nurses died in weather-related crashes while on duty. Overall, 201 nurses died while serving in the Army during the war.
Army nurses returning to civilian life discovered a changed postwar society. The place of women in American society had been irrevocably altered and expanded by the entrance of women into professional and industrial jobs previously reserved for men. Most important for nurses, however, was society's enhanced perception of nursing as a valued profession. The critical need for nurses and the federally funded Cadet Nurse Corps program had been well publicized during the war. Upon their return home, Army nurses were eligible for additional education under the G.I. Bill of Rights, which would enable them to pursue professional educational goals.
Veteran nurses also brought home with them valuable skills and experiences, increasing their professional status and self-esteem. The Army had trained significant numbers of nurses in specialties such as anesthesia and psychiatric care, and nurses who had served overseas had acquired practical experience otherwise unobtainable. Those assigned to field and evacuation hospitals had become accustomed to taking the initiative, making quick decisions, and adopting innovative solutions to a broad range of medical-related problems. They had learned organizational skills by moving and setting up field and evacuation hospitals while following the troops and had developed teaching and supervisory skills while training the corpsmen under their command. Paperwork no longer intimidated them, as circ*mstances had forced them to deal with increasingly complex administrative chores.
The Army nurse's experience forced her to grow professionally and gave her the self-confidence and opportunity to pursue her career when she returned to the United States. She came home to a society that was ready to accept nurses as professional members of the United States health care system. World War II had forever changed the face of military nursing.
Further ReadingsThere is no single comprehensive history of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, nor is there a volume in the official United States Army in World War II series that deals with this corps. The best approach to learning more about Army nurses during World War II is to read the relatively few individual memoirs which have been published over the years. The following are among the best. In From Nightingale to Eagle: An Army Nurses History (1973), Edith A. Aynes describes her experiences as the chief nurse of the 148th General Hospital in Hawaii throughout 1942 and her eventual assignment to the Surgeon General's Office in Washington. Theresa Archard discusses her service with the 48th Surgical Hospital in North Africa in GI Nightingale: The Story of an American Army Nurse (1945). In Jungle Angel: Bataan Remembered (1988), Maxine K. Russell recounts the experiences of Army nurse Hortense E. McCay on Bataan.hroughout the history of the United States, African American nurses have served with courage and distinction. During the Civil War, black nurses, such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, worked in Union hospitals caring for the sick and wounded. At the end of the nineteenth century, African American nurses served as contract nurses in the Army during the Spanish American War, helping to combat yellow fever and typhoid epidemics that overwhelmed the military. The performance of all nurses during this war led to the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in February of 1901, but despite these accomplishments and achievements, African Americans continued to fight for acceptance as nurses both in civilian and military venues.
African American nurses at Camp Sherman, 1919African American nurses at Camp Sherman, 1919. Public Domain.After the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, the American Red Cross expanded their recruitment campaign in an effort to meet the demand for military nurses that World War I required. Applicants to the Armed Forces Nurse Corps (managed by the American Red Cross) had to be between 25 and 35 years of age, unmarried, and graduates of hospital training schools with more than 50 beds. While there were no criteria that specifically banned black nurses, the requirement that nurses had to have completed their training at a hospital with more than 50 beds all but eliminated African American nurses, most of whom had graduated from small segregated hospital training schools. Despite the increased recruitment, black nurses were refused entry into the Army and Navy nurse corps. As a result, hospitals were left with minimal nursing staff to meet the demand that would arise in 1918 during the flu epidemic. As the epidemic wore on and the demand for nurses continued to increase, the Army dropped its refusal to enlist black nurses and sent a troop of African American nurses to military camps in Ohio and Illinois. In 1941, with the United States’ entry into World War II all but inevitable, African American nurses lined up to serve their country, only to meet with the same roadblocks they had encountered more than twenty years before.
Although African American nurses were fully qualified and prepared to serve as nurses at the onset of World War II, racial segregation and discrimination made it difficult for black women to join the ranks of the Army Nurse Corps (ANC). As the ANC began expanding its recruiting process, thousands of black nurses who wanted to serve their country filled out applications. All received a letter telling them that their application would not be considered because the Army did not have regulations in place for the appointment of black nurses. Mabel Staupers, the executive secretary of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, began lobbying for a change in the discriminatory policies of the ANC. While the Army did eventually comply in 1941, it did so unwillingly and placed a quota on the number of African American nurses that they would accept, capping the number allowed to join at fifty-six. As the war progressed, the number of black nurses allowed to enlist remained low, although the quota was officially lifted in July 1944.
Della RaneyCapt. Della Raney. National Archives.April 1941, forty-eight African American nurses were assigned to camps. Allowed only to care for African American servicemen, these forty-eight nurses were assigned to segregated hospital wards on Army bases located at Camp Livingston, Louisiana and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Della Raney Jackson, a graduate of Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina, was assigned to lead the nurses at Fort Bragg and became the first black nurse to be commissioned in the U.S. Army.
Florie GrantLt. Florie E. Grant tending to a patient at a prisoner of war hospital, 1944. National Archives.Though black nurses were largely restricted to serving only in segregated hospitals and aid stations, they also provided medical care for German prisoners of war at places such as Camp Florence, Arizona in the United States, as well as in England. Many African American nurses considered caring for German POWs to be a second-rate assignment, and they found interacting with the Nation’s enemy to be deeply troubling. It had taken decades for black nurses to be admitted into the Army Nurse Corps, and it felt like a betrayal to be assigned to care for enemy soldiers instead of wounded American soldiers. Moreover, as most prisoners were in good health when they arrived, these nurses were not utilized to their full potential. Life for a black army nurse at POW camps in the South and Southwest United States was particularly lonely and isolating as they were forced to eat in segregated dining halls, regularly left out of officer meetings and social functions, and refused service at restaurants and businesses in town.
In the last year of World War II, with the casualty rate of American servicemen rising rapidly, the demand for nurses also rose. President Roosevelt, in his State of the Union Address in January of 1945, announced plans to establish a nursing draft. Ignoring the 9,000 applications that the Army Nurse Corps had received from African American nurses, President Roosevelt declared that the draft would be instituted unless 18,000 additional nurses volunteered for service. An outcry arose among the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and civil rights organizations. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the first African American to be elected to congress from New York, also denounced the decision:
It is absolutely unbelievable that in times like these, when the world is going forward, that there are leaders in our American life who are going backward. It is further unbelievable that these leaders have become so blindly and unreasonably un-American that they have forced our wounded men to face the tragedy of death rather than allow trained nurses to aid because these nurses’ skins happen to be of a different color.
The legislation ultimately died in the Senate and was never passed.
By the end of the war, approximately 500 African American nurses held commissions compared to 59,000 white nurses, accounting for just 0.8% of the Army Nurse Corps. Despite the racial segregation and discrimination that African American nurses experienced, they fought for their place within the Army Nurse Corps and earned their right to serve their country. On July 26th, 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981, establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, requiring the government to integrate the then segregated military. Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” For many, including the African American nurses that had struggled to serve their country during World War I and World War II, the legislation was long overdue.
Nadja WestLt. General Nadja West. Public Domain.In 2019, just over seventy years after President Truman signed the order to desegregate the military, African American nurses make up approximately 17 percent of the Army Nurse Corps. In December of 2015, Lt. General Nadja West was the first African American, man or woman, appointed as the U.S. Army Surgeon General, making her the first female lieutenant general and the highest-ranking female graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.
On July 26, 1948, President Truman signed an executive order that desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces. The act was long overdue, particularly for African American nurses, who had just served in World War II.
Though the United States had been at war against Hitler’s racist regime, Jim Crow segregation permeated American culture and the entire military—including the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Black nurses who served in the war found themselves in one of two places— segregated bases with Black soldiers or German prisoner of war camps.
At the segregated bases, Black nurses served in all-Black units, lived in “colored” barracks, worked in “colored” hospitals, ate in separate dining areas and socialized in segregated spaces on base. Along with the separate facilities, Black nurses endured racist treatment from local white residents in town, fellow white army officers, and even from German prisoners of war.
During World War II, there were 371,683 German POWs who were captured in Europe and Northern Africa, then shipped to the United States and detained in more than 600 camps across the country.
Prisoners of war, under rules set by the Geneva Convention, could be made to work for the detaining power. And, with millions of American men away serving in the military, there was a significant labor shortage in the United States. Farms, canneries, plants and other industries needed German POWs as workers, and Black army nurses were overwhelmingly assigned to POW camps.
To them, the assignment could be deeply troubling. Black nurses volunteered to serve wounded American soldiers, not the enemy. It had taken decades for Black nurses to be admitted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, and to be given the task of caring for soldiers in Hitler’s army felt like a betrayal.The interactions between the POWs and Black nurses were largely civilized, but there were reported incidences where Nazi beliefs of racial superiority were on full display. For example, at Camp Papago Park, outside of Phoenix, a German POW declared he hated Black people in front of a Black nurse. When the commanding officer of the camp didn’t issue any punishment, the nurse filed a complaint, dated August 1, 1944, to the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses: “That is the worst insult an army officer should ever have to take. I think it is insult enough to be here taking care of them when we volunteered to come into the army to nurse military personnel...All of this is making us very bitter.”
Long before World War II, Black nurses had been struggling to serve their country. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Black nurses tried to enroll in the Army Nurse Corps but were rejected because of their skin color. A few Black nurses eventually served, but not because the Army Nurse Corps finally accepted them. The flu epidemic wiped out so many thousands of people that a handful of African American nurses were called to assist.
Decades later, after Hitler invaded Poland, the U.S. began an intense war preparedness program, and the Army Nurse Corps expanded its recruiting process. Thousands of Black nurses who wanted to serve their country and earn a steady military income filled out applications and received the following letter:
“Your application to the Army Nurse Corps cannot be given favorable consideration as there are no provisions in Army regulations for the appointment of colored nurses in the Corps.”
However painful, the rejection notice was an honest assessment of how Black nurses were regarded. The military that didn’t see them as fit to wear an army nurse uniform, despite their comparable education and training to white nurses.
Scroll to ContinueRecommended for youhitler-is-victoryHitler’s Teeth Reveal Nazi Dictator’s Cause of Deathgettyimages-113917731-2The Scandalous Romance That May Have Saved the British MonarchyHow an Enslaved Man Helped Jack Daniel Develop His Famous WhiskeyHow an Enslaved Man Helped Jack Daniel Develop His Famous WhiskeyThe National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, (NACGN), — an advocacy organization founded in 1908 for Black registered nurses, challenged the letter. And with political pressure from civil rights groups and the Black press, 56 Black nurses were finally admitted into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1941—all sent to segregated bases in the South.
U.S. Army nurses during a lecture at the Army Nurse Training Center in England, 1944.U.S. Army nurses during a lecture at the Army Nurse Training Center in England, 1944.
(Credit: The National Archives)
As the war progressed, the numbers of Black nurses allowed to enlist remained surprisingly low. By 1944, only 300 Black women served in the entire Army Nurse Corps, compared to 40,000 white nurses. Many were relegated to German prisoner of war camps.
Serving at POW camps was considered a second-rate assignment and the camps were isolating and lonely for Black nurses. They were routinely left out of meetings with white officers and weren’t invited to their social functions.
There wasn’t much job fulfillment at POW hospitals either. Most prisoners were in good health, which had been a requirement to make the transatlantic journey to America, so Black nurses weren’t utilized to full capacity. They had typical bedside nursing duties but rarely were there critical cases.
For German POWs, at least from a social standpoint, they fared better than Black nurses. White civilians and military personnel were friendly towards them—a level of respect that Black nurses did not experience with any regularity.
When German prisoners first arrived in the U.S., many were surprised by the segregation and racism in America, according to Matthias Reiss, a senior lecturer in history at the University of Exeter, England. In one train depot in Texas, a group of Black soldiers were denied access to the Whites-Only dining hall, yet saw through a window, a group of German POWs and their American guards sitting at a table together, laughing and eating.
German POWs in Camp Florence, circa 1944-1946.German POWs in Camp Florence, circa 1944-1946.
(Credit: Chris Albert)
Thousands of white nurses also had POW camp assignments—they had to—there were so few Black women in the Army Nurse Corps. But if a Black unit could replace a white one at a camp, the swap was made. Even internationally, a unit of African American nurses was sent to England to care for German POWs, not American soldiers.
As the war entered its final year, the number of American wounded men had skyrocketed. There was even a threat of a nursing draft, with no acknowledgement of the 9,000 Black nurses who had applied to the Army Nurse Corps—and been passed over.
Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the charismatic minister from Harlem, famously denounced the draft legislation, saying to the House of Representatives on March 7, 1945:
“It is absolutely unbelievable that in times like these, when the world is going forward, that there are leaders in our American life who are going backward. It is further unbelievable that these leaders have become so blindly and unreasonably un-American that they have forced our wounded men to face the tragedy of death rather than allow trained nurses to aid because these nurses’ skins happen to be of a different color.”
The nursing draft never happened and by war’s end, only 500 Black nurses served out of 59,000, a mere 0.8 percent of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Now 70 years later, since the military was desegregated, African American nurses make up 17 percent of the Army Nurse Corps, and the current Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, the highest ranking medical officer, is Lt. General Nadja West, the first Black woman to hold that position.
Harlem is a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It is bounded roughly by the Hudson River on the west; the Harlem River and 155th Street on the north; Fifth Avenue on the east; and Central Park North on the south. The greater Harlem area encompasses several other neighborhoods and extends west and north to 155th Street, east to the East River, and south to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Central Park, and East 96th Street.
Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658,[5] it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle.[6] Harlem was predominantly occupied by Jewish and Italian Americans in the 19th century, but African-American residents began to arrive in large numbers during the Great Migration in the 20th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the center of the Harlem Renaissance, a major African-American cultural movement. With job losses during the Great Depression of the 1930s and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased significantly.[7] In the 21st century, crime rates decreased significantly, and Harlem started to gentrify.
The area is served by the New York City Subway and local bus routes. It contains several public elementary, middle, and high schools, and is close to several colleges, including Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and the City College of New York. Central Harlem is part of Manhattan Community District 10.[1] It is patrolled by the 28th and 32nd Precincts of the New York City Police Department. The greater Harlem area also includes Manhattan Community Districts 9 and 11 and several police precincts, while fire services are provided by four New York City Fire Department companies.
A map of Upper Manhattan, with Greater Harlem highlighted. Harlem proper is the neighborhood in the center.Harlem is located in Upper Manhattan, often referred to as "Uptown" by locals. The three neighborhoods comprising the greater Harlem area—West, Central, and East Harlem—stretch from the Harlem River and East River to the east, to the Hudson River to the west; and between 155th Street in the north, where it meets Washington Heights, and an uneven boundary along the south that runs along 96th Street east of Fifth Avenue, 110th Street between Fifth Avenue to Morningside Park, and 125th Street west of Morningside Park to the Hudson River.[8][9][10] Encyclopædia Britannica references these boundaries,[11] though the Encyclopedia of New York City takes a much more conservative view of Harlem's boundaries, regarding only central Harlem as part of Harlem proper.[12]: 573 
Central Harlem is the name of Harlem proper; it falls under Manhattan Community District 10.[8] This section is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east; Central Park on the south; Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Avenue and Edgecombe Avenue on the west; and the Harlem River on the north.[8] A chain of three large linear parks—Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park and Jackie Robinson Park—situated on steeply rising banks, form most of the district's western boundary. Fifth Avenue, as well as Marcus Garvey Park (also known as Mount Morris Park), separate this area from East Harlem to the east.[8] Central Harlem includes the Mount Morris Park Historic District.
West Harlem (Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights) comprises Manhattan Community District 9 and does not form part of Harlem proper. The two neighborhoods' area is bounded by Cathedral Parkway/110th Street on the south; 155th Street on the north; Manhattan/Morningside Ave/St. Nicholas/Bradhurst/Edgecombe Avenues on the east; and Riverside Park/the Hudson River on the west. Manhattanville begins at roughly 123rd Street and extends northward to 135th Street. The northernmost section of West Harlem is Hamilton Heights.[9]
East Harlem, also called Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, is located within Manhattan Community District 11, which is bounded by East 96th Street on the south, East 138th Street on the north, Fifth Avenue on the west, and the Harlem River on the east. It is not part of Harlem proper.[10]
SoHa controversyFurther information: Morningside Heights, Manhattan § SoHa controversyIn the 2010s some real estate professionals started rebranding south Harlem and Morningside Heights as "SoHa" (a name standing for "South Harlem" in the style of SoHo or NoHo) in an attempt to accelerate gentrification of the neighborhoods. "SoHa", applied to the area between West 110th and 125th Streets, has become a controversial name.[13][14][15] Residents and other critics seeking to prevent this renaming of the area have labelled the SoHa brand as "insulting and another sign of gentrification run amok"[16] and have said that "the rebranding not only places their neighborhood's rich history under erasure but also appears to be intent on attracting new tenants, including students from nearby Columbia University".[17]
Multiple New York City politicians have initiated legislative efforts to curtail this practice of neighborhood rebranding, which when successfully introduced in other New York City neighborhoods, have led to increases in rents and real estate values, as well as "shifting demographics".[17] In 2011, U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries attempted but failed to implement legislation "that would punish real estate agents for inventing false neighborhoods and redrawing neighborhood boundaries without city approval."[17] By 2017, New York State Senator Brian Benjamin also worked to render illegal the practice of rebranding historically recognized neighborhoods.[17]
Political representationPolitically, central Harlem is in New York's 13th congressional district.[18][19] It is in the New York State Senate's 30th district,[20][21] the New York State Assembly's 68th and 70th districts,[22][23] and the New York City Council's 7th, 8th, and 9th districts.[24]
Harlem, from the old fort in the Central Park, New York Public Library
Three Harlem Women, ca. 1930Main article: History of HarlemBefore the arrival of European settlers, the area that would become Harlem (originally Haarlem) was inhabited by a Native American band, the Wecquaesgeek, dubbed Manhattans or Manhattoe by Dutch settlers, who along with other Native Americans, most likely Lenape,[25] occupied the area on a semi-nomadic basis. As many as several hundred farmed the Harlem flatlands.[26] Between 1637 and 1639, a few settlements were established.[27][28] The settlement of Harlem was formally incorporated in 1660[2] under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant.[29]
During the American Revolution, the British burned Harlem to the ground.[30] It took a long time to rebuild, as Harlem grew more slowly than the rest of Manhattan during the late 18th century.[31] After the American Civil War, Harlem experienced an economic boom starting in 1868. The neighborhood continued to serve as a refuge for New Yorkers, but increasingly those coming north were poor and Jewish or Italian.[32] The New York and Harlem Railroad,[33] as well as the Interborough Rapid Transit and elevated railway lines,[34] helped Harlem's economic growth, as they connected Harlem to lower and midtown Manhattan.Apartment building in Central Harlem
A condemned building in Harlem after the 1970sThe Jewish and Italian demographic decreased, while the black and Puerto Rican population increased in this time.[35] The early-20th century Great Migration of black people to northern industrial cities was fueled by their desire to leave behind the Jim Crow South, seek better jobs and education for their children, and escape a culture of lynching violence; during World War I, expanding industries recruited black laborers to fill new jobs, thinly staffed after the draft began to take young men.[36] In 1910, Central Harlem population was about 10% black people. By 1930, it had reached 70%.[37]
Starting around the time of the end of World War I, Harlem became associated with the New Negro movement, and then the artistic outpouring known as the Harlem Renaissance, which extended to poetry, novels, theater, and the visual arts. So many black people came that it "threaten[ed] the very existence of some of the leading industries of Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama."[38] Many settled in Harlem. By 1920, central Harlem was 32.43% black. The 1930 census revealed that 70.18% of central Harlem's residents were black and lived as far south as Central Park, at 110th Street.[39]
However, by the 1930s, the neighborhood was hit hard by job losses in the Great Depression. In the early 1930s, 25% of Harlemites were out of work, and employment prospects for Harlemites stayed bad for decades. Employment among black New Yorkers fell as some traditionally black businesses, including domestic service and some types of manual labor, were taken over by other ethnic groups. Major industries left New York City altogether, especially after 1950. Several riots happened in this period, including in 1935 and 1943.
There were major changes following World War II. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Harlem was the scene of a series of rent strikes by neighborhood tenants, led by local activist Jesse Gray, together with the Congress of Racial Equality, Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU), and other groups. These groups wanted the city to force landlords to improve the quality of housing by bringing them up to code, to take action against rats and roaches, to provide heat during the winter, and to keep prices in line with existing rent control regulations.[40]
The largest public works projects in Harlem in these years were public housing, with the largest concentration built in East Harlem.[41] Typically, existing structures were torn down and replaced with city-designed and managed properties that would, in theory, present a safer and more pleasant Environment than those available from private landlords. Ultimately, community objections halted the construction of new projects.[42]
From the mid-20th century, the low quality of education in Harlem has been a source of distress. In the 1960s, about 75% of Harlem students tested under grade levels in reading skills, and 80% tested under grade level in math.[43] In 1964, residents of Harlem staged two school boycotts to call attention to the problem. In central Harlem, 92% of students stayed home.[44] In the post-World War II era, Harlem ceased to be home to a majority of the city's black people,[45] but it remained the cultural and political capital of black New York, and possibly black America.[46][47]
By the 1970s, many of those Harlemites who were able to escape from poverty left the neighborhood in search of better schools and homes, and safer streets. Those who remained were the poorest and least skilled, with the fewest opportunities for success. Though the federal government's Model Cities Program spent $100 million on job training, health care, education, public safety, sanitation, housing, and other projects over a ten-year period, Harlem showed no improvement.[48] The city began saleing its enormous portfolio of Harlem properties to the public in 1985. This was intended to improve the community by placing property in the hands of people who would live in them and maintain them. In many cases, the city would even pay to completely renovate a property before selling it (by lottery) below market value.[49]
After the 1990s, Harlem began to grow again. Between 1990 and 2006 the neighborhood's population grew by 16.9%, with the percentage of black people decreasing from 87.6% to 69.3%,[39] then dropping to 54.4% by 2010,[50] and the percentage of whites increasing from 1.5% to 6.6% by 2006,[39] and to "almost 10%" by 2010.[50] A renovation of 125th Street and new properties along the thoroughfare[51][52] also helped to revitalize Harlem.[53]
CultureSee also: Harlem Renaissance
Welcome to Harlem sign above the now defunct Victoria 5 cinema theater on 125th stIn the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem was the focus of the "Harlem Renaissance", an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American Black community. Though Harlem musicians and writers are particularly well remembered, the community has also hosted numerous actors and theater companies, including the New Heritage Repertory Theater,[29] National Black Theater, Lafayette Players, Harlem Suitcase Theater, The Negro Playwrights, American Negro Theater, and the Rose McClendon Players.[54]The Apollo Theater on 125th Street in November 2006The Apollo Theater opened on 125th Street on January 26, 1934, in a former burlesque house. The Savoy Ballroom, on Lenox Avenue, was a renowned venue for swing dancing, and was immortalized in a popular song of the era, "Stompin' at the Savoy". In the 1920s and 1930s, between Lenox and Seventh Avenues in central Harlem, over 125 entertainment venues were in operation, including speakeasies, cellars, lounges, cafes, taverns, supper clubs, rib joints, theaters, dance halls, and bars and grills.[55]
133rd Street, known as "Swing Street", became known for its cabarets, speakeasies and jazz scene during the Prohibition era, and was dubbed "Jungle Alley" because of "inter-racial mingling" on the street.[56][57] Some jazz venues, including the Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington played, and Connie's Inn, were restricted to whites only. Others were integrated, including the Renaissance Ballroom and the Savoy Ballroom.
In 1936, Orson Welles produced his black Macbeth at the Lafayette Theater in Harlem.[58] Grand theaters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were torn down or converted to churches. Harlem lacked any permanent performance space until the creation of the Gatehouse Theater in an old Croton aqueduct building on 135th Street in 2006.[59]Spiritual African Drummer on 135th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Frederick Douglass BoulevardFrom 1965 until 2007, the community was home to the Harlem Boys Choir, a touring choir and education program for young boys, most of whom are black.[60] The Girls Choir of Harlem was founded in 1989, and closed with the Boys Choir.[61]
From 1967 to 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival took place in Mount Morris Park. Another name for this festival is "Black Woodstock". Artists like Stevie Wonder, The 5th Dimension, and Gladys Knight performed here.[62][63]
Harlem is also home to the largest African American Day Parade, which celebrates the culture of African diaspora in America. The parade was started up in the spring of 1969 with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. as the Grand Marshal of the first celebration.[64]
Arthur Mitchell, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet, established Dance Theatre of Harlem as a school and company of classical ballet and theater training in the late 1960s. The company has toured nationally and internationally. Generations of theater artists have gotten a start at the school.
By the 2010s, new dining hotspots were opening in Harlem around Frederick Douglass Boulevard.[65] At the same time, some residents fought back against the powerful waves of gentrification the neighborhood is experiencing. In 2013, residents staged a sidewalk sit-in to protest a five-days-a-week farmers market that would shut down Macombs Place at 150th Street.[66]
Uptown Night Market was founded in 2021 to celebrate cuisine, community, and culture.[67] It is one of the largest night markets in Manhattan. The main attractions include musical performances, arts and crafts shows, and food.[68]
Black Ivory in Harlem 2017Many R&B/Soul groups and artists formed in Harlem. The Main Ingredient, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Black Ivory, Cameo, Keith Sweat, Freddie Jackson, Alyson Williams, Johnny Kemp, Teddy Riley and others got their start in Harlem.
Manhattan's contributions to hip-hop stems largely from artists with Harlem roots such as Doug E. Fresh, Big L, Kurtis Blow, The Diplomats, Mase or Immortal Technique. Harlem is also the birthplace of popular hip-hop dances such as the Harlem shake, toe wop, and Chicken Noodle Soup.
Harlem's classical music birthed organizations and chamber ensembles such as Roberta Guaspari's Opus 118,[69] Harlem Chamber Players,[70] Omnipresent Music Festival BIPOC Musicians Festival,[71] Harlem Quartet, and musicians such as violinist Edward W. Hardy.[72]
In the 1920s, African American pianists who lived in Harlem invented their own style of jazz piano, called stride, which was heavily influenced by ragtime. This style played a very important role in early jazz piano[73][74]
LanguageIn 1938, jazz bandleader and singer Cab Calloway published the first dictionary by an African-American, Cab Calloway's Cat-ologue: A "Hepster's" Dictionary, which became the official jive language reference book of the New York Public Library.[75][76] In 1939, Calloway published an accompanying book titled Professor Cab Calloway’s Swingformation Bureau, which instructed readers how to apply the words and phrases from the dictionary. He released several editions until 1944, the last being The New Cab Calloway’s Hepsters Dictionary: Language of Jive.[77] Poet Lemn Sissay observed that "Cab Calloway was taking ownership of language for a people who, just a few generations before, had their own languages taken away."[78]
Religious life
St. Andrew's Episcopal ChurchReligious life has historically had a strong presence in Black Harlem. The area is home to over 400 churches,[79] some of which are official city or national landmarks.[80][81] Major Christian denominations include Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists (generally African Methodist Episcopal Zionist, or "AMEZ" and African Methodist Episcopalian, or "AME"), Episcopalians, and Roman Catholic. The Abyssinian Baptist Church has long been influential because of its large congregation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a chapel on 128th Street in 2005.
Many of the area's churches are "storefront churches", which operate in an empty store, or a basem*nt, or a converted brownstone townhouse. These congregations may have fewer than 30–50 members each, but there are hundreds of them.[82] Others are old, large, and designated landmarks. Especially in the years before World War II, Harlem produced popular Christian charismatic "cult" leaders, including George Wilson Becton and Father Divine.[83]
Mosques in Harlem include the Masjid Malcolm Shabazz (formerly Mosque No. 7 Nation of Islam, and the location of the 1972 Harlem mosque incident), the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood and Masjid Aqsa. Judaism, too, maintains a presence in Harlem through the Old Broadway Synagogue. A non-mainstream synagogue of Black Hebrews, known as Commandment Keepers, was based in a synagogue at 1 West 123rd Street until 2008.
St Martin's Episcopal Church, at Lenox Avenue and 122nd Street
Hotel Theresa building at the corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 125th Street
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, at the same intersection as the Hotel TheresaOfficially designated landmarksMany places in Harlem are official city landmarks labeled by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
12 West 129th Street, a New York City landmark[84]17 East 128th Street, a New York City landmark[85]369th Regiment Armory, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[86][81]Abyssinian Baptist Church, a New York City landmark[87]Apollo Theater, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[88][81]Astor Row, a set of New York City landmark houses[80]: 207 Blockhouse No. 1, Fort Clinton, and Nutter's Battery, part of Central Park, a New York City scenic landmark and NRHP-listed site[89][81]Central Harlem West–130–132nd Streets Historic District, a New York City landmark[90]Dunbar Apartments, a New York City landmark[91]Graham Court Apartments, a New York City landmark[92]Hamilton Grange, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[93]Harlem River Houses, a New York City landmark[94]Harlem YMCA, a New York City landmark[95]Hotel Theresa, a New York City landmark[96]Jackie Robinson YMCA Youth Center, a New York City landmark[97]Langston Hughes House, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[98][81]Macombs Dam Bridge and 155th Street Viaduct, a New York City landmark[99]Manhattan Avenue-West 120th-123rd Streets Historic District, a NRHP historic district[81]Metropolitan Baptist Church, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[100][81]Minton's Playhouse, a NRHP-listed site[81]Morningside Park, a New York City scenic landmark[101]Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, a New York City landmark[102]Mount Morris Park Historic District, a New York City landmark district[103]Mount Olive Fire Baptized Holiness Church, a New York City landmark[104]New York Public Library 115th Street Branch, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[105][81]Regent Theatre, a New York City landmark[106]Schomburg Collection for Research in Black Culture, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[107][81]St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church, a New York City landmark[108]St. Andrew's Church, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[109][81]St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church, a New York City landmark[110]St. Martin's Episcopal Church (formerly Trinity Church), a New York City landmark[111]St. Nicholas Historic District, a New York City landmark district[112]St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church, a New York City landmark[113]Wadleigh High School for Girls, a New York City landmark[114]Washington Apartments, a New York City landmark[115]Other points of interestOther prominent points of interest include:
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office BuildingAll Saints ChurchATLAH World Missionary ChurchBushman Steps, stairway that led baseball fans from the subway to The Polo Grounds ticket booth.[116]Cotton ClubDuke Ellington CircleFrederick Douglass CircleHarbor Conservatory for the Performing ArtsHarlem Children's ZoneHarlem Hospital CenterThe Harlem School of the ArtsLenox LoungeMarcus Garvey ParkHarlem Fire Watchtower, a New York City landmark and NRHP-listed site[117][81]Morningside ParkNational Black TheatreNew York College of Podiatric MedicineRed RoosterRucker ParkSavoy BallroomSt. Nicholas HousesStudio Museum in HarlemSylvia's Soul FoodTouro College of Osteopathic MedicineNew York Amsterdam NewsDemographicsThe demographics of Harlem's communities have changed throughout its history. In 1910, black residents formed 10% of Harlem's population, but by 1930, they had become a 70% majority.[7] The period between 1910 and 1930 was marked by the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities, including New York. Within the city, this era also witnessed an influx of black residents from downtown Manhattan neighborhoods, where blacks were feeling less welcome, to the Harlem area.[7] The black population in Harlem peaked in 1950, with a 98% share of the population of 233,000. As of 2000, central Harlem's black residents comprised 77% of the total population of that area; however, the black population has recently declined as many African Americans move out and more immigrants move in.[118] As of 2021, central Harlem's black residents comprises 44% of the total population area, estimating 56,668 black residents. [119] In that regard, there are an estimated 27% (34,773) Hispanics, 18% (23,182) White, 4% (5,151) Asian, 6% (7,727) of two or more races and 2% (2,575) Other.
Harlem suffers from unemployment rates generally more than twice the citywide average, as well as high poverty rates.[120] and the numbers for men have been consistently worse than the numbers for women. Private and governmental initiatives to ameliorate unemployment and poverty have not been successful. During the Great Depression, unemployment in Harlem went past 20% and people were being evicted from their homes.[121] At the same time, the federal government developed and instituted the redlining policy. This policy rated neighborhoods, such as Central Harlem, as unappealing based on the race, ethnicity, and national origins of the residents.[3] Central Harlem was deemed 'hazardous' and residents living in Central Harlem were refused home loans or other investments.[3] Comparably, wealthy and white residents in New York City neighborhoods were approved more often for housing loans and investment applications.[3] Overall, they were given preferential treatment by city and state institutions.
In the 1960s, uneducated blacks could find jobs more easily than educated ones could, confounding efforts to improve the lives of people who lived in the neighborhood through education.[3] Land owners took advantage of the neighborhood and offered apartments to the lower-class families for cheaper rent but in lower-class conditions.[122] By 1999 there were 179,000 housing units available in Harlem.[123] Housing activists in Harlem state that, even after residents were given vouchers for the Section 8 housing that was being placed, many were not able to live there and had to find homes elsewhere or become homeless.[123] These policies are examples of societal racism, also known as structural racism. As public health leaders have named structural racism as a key social determinant of health disparities between racial and ethnic minorities,[124] these 20th century policies have contributed to the current population health disparities between Central Harlem and other New York City neighborhoods.[3]
Central HarlemFor census purposes, the New York City government classifies Central Harlem into two neighborhood tabulation areas: Central Harlem North and Central Harlem South, divided by 126th street.[125] Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Central Harlem was 118,665, a change of 9,574 (8.1%) from the 109,091 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 926.05 acres (374.76 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 128.1 inhabitants per acre (82,000/sq mi; 31,700/km2).[126] The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 9.5% (11,322) White, 63% (74,735) African American, 0.3% (367) Native American, 2.4% (2,839) Asian, 0% (46) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (372) from other races, and 2.2% (2,651) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.2% (26,333) of the population. Harlem's Black population was more concentrated in Central Harlem North, and its White population more concentrated in Central Harlem South, while the Hispanic / Latino population was evenly split.[127]
The most significant shifts in the racial composition of Central Harlem between 2000 and 2010 were the White population's increase by 402% (9,067), the Hispanic / Latino population's increase by 43% (7,982), and the Black population's decrease by 11% (9,544). While the growth of the Hispanic / Latino was predominantly in Central Harlem North, the decrease in the Black population was slightly greater in Central Harlem South, and the drastic increase in the White population was split evenly across the two census tabulation areas. Meanwhile, the Asian population grew by 211% (1,927) but remained a small minority, and the small population of all other races increased by 4% (142).[128]
The entirety of Community District 10, which comprises Central Harlem, had 116,345 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 76.2 years.[3]: 2, 20  This is lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.[129]: 53 (PDF p. 84)  Most inhabitants are children and middle-aged adults: 21% are between the ages of 0–17, while 35% are between 25 and 44, and 24% between 45 and 64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 11% respectively.[3]: 2 
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 10 was $49,059.[4] In 2018, an estimated 21% of Community District 10 residents lived in poverty, compared to 14% in all of Manhattan and 20% in all of New York City. Around 12% of residents were unemployed, compared to 7% in Manhattan and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 48% in Community District 10, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 45% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Community District 10 is considered to be gentrifying: according to the Community Health Profile, the district was low-income in 1990 and has seen above-median rent growth up to 2010.[3]: 7 
Other sectionsIn 2010, the population of West Harlem was 110,193.[130] West Harlem, consisting of Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights, is predominately Hispanic / Latino, while African Americans make up about a quarter of the West Harlem population.[9]
In 2010, the population of East Harlem was 120,000.[131] East Harlem originally formed as a predominantly Italian American neighborhood.[132] The area began its transition from Italian Harlem to Spanish Harlem when Puerto Rican migration began after World War II,[133] though in recent decades, many Dominican, Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants have also settled in East Harlem.[134] East Harlem is now predominantly Hispanic / Latino, with a significant African-American presence.[133]
2020 CensusIn the 2020 census, Harlem's demographics were broken up into North Harlem, South Harlem, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, and Morningside Heights. North Harlem had 40,000+ Black residents being the largest concentration of the black population of the Harlem area, 20,000 to 29,999 Hispanic residents, 5,000 to 9,999 White residents, and less than 5000 Asian residents. South Harlem had 20,000 to 29,999 Black residents, 5,000 to 9,999 Hispanic residents, 10,000 to 19,999 White residents, and fewer than 5,000 Asian residents. Hamilton Heights had 10,000 to 19,999 Black residents, 20,000 to 29,999 Hispanic residents being the largest population group in this section, 5,000 to 9,999 White residents, and fewer than 5,000 Asian residents. West Harlem had an equal number of Black and Hispanic residents with each of their population at 5,000 to 9,999 residents and each the White and Asian population were fewer than 5,000 residents. Morningside Heights had and equal amount of Black and Hispanic residents with each of their population at 5,000 to 9,999 residents, 10,000 to 19,999 White residents, and 5,000 to 9,999 Asian residents; the only section of Harlem to have a significant concentration of Asian residents.[135]
Police and crime
NYPD Police Service Area 6, which serves NYCHA developments in greater HarlemCentral Harlem is patrolled by two precincts of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).[136] Central Harlem North is covered by the 32nd Precinct, located at 250 West 135th Street,[137] while Central Harlem South is patrolled by the 28th Precinct, located at 2271–2289 Eighth Avenue.[138]
The 28th Precinct has a lower crime rate than it did in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 72.2% between 1990 and 2021. The precinct reported 2 murders, 9 rapes, 172 robberies, 245 felony assaults, 153 burglaries, 384 grand larcenies, and 52 grand larcenies auto in 2021.[139] Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 28th Precinct had a rate of 1,125 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.[140][141][142]
The crime rate in the 32nd Precinct has also decreased since the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 71.4% between 1990 and 2021. The precinct reported 16 murders, 18 rapes, 183 robberies, 519 felony assaults, 168 burglaries, 320 grand larcenies, and 54 grand larcenies auto in 2021.[143] Of the five major violent felonies (murder, rape, felony assault, robbery, and burglary), the 32nd Precinct had a rate of 1,042 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2019, compared to the boroughwide average of 632 crimes per 100,000 and the citywide average of 572 crimes per 100,000.[140][141][142]
As of 2018, Community District 10 has a non-fatal assault hospitalization rate of 116 per 100,000 people, compared to the boroughwide rate of 49 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 59 per 100,000. Its incarceration rate is 1,347 per 100,000 people, the second-highest in the city, compared to the boroughwide rate of 407 per 100,000 and the citywide rate of 425 per 100,000.[3]: 8 
Crime trendsMain article: Crime in Harlem
Police hit a man on the ground with batons during the Harlem riot of 1964In the early 20th century, Harlem was a stronghold of the Sicilian Mafia, other Italian organized crime groups, and later the Italian-American Mafia. As the ethnic composition of the neighborhood changed, black criminals began to organize themselves similarly. However, rather than compete with the established mobs, gangs concentrated on the "policy racket", also called the numbers game, or bolita in East Harlem. This was a gambling scheme similar to a lottery that could be played, illegally, from countless locations around Harlem. According to Francis Ianni, "By 1925 there were thirty black policy banks in Harlem, several of them large enough to collect bets in an area of twenty city blocks and across three or four avenues."[144]
By the early 1950s, the total money at play amounted to billions of dollars, and the police force had been thoroughly corrupted by bribes from numbers bosses.[145] These bosses became financial powerhouses, providing capital for loans for those who could not qualify for them from traditional financial institutions, and investing in legitimate businesses and real estate. One of the powerful early numbers bosses was a woman, Madame Stephanie St. Clair, who fought gun battles with mobster Dutch Schultz over control of the lucrative trade.[146]
The popularity of playing the numbers waned with the introduction of the state lottery, which is legal but has lower payouts and has taxes collected on winnings.[147] The practice continues on a smaller scale among those who prefer the numbers tradition or who prefer to trust their local numbers bank to the state.
Statistics from 1940 show about 100 murders per year in Harlem, "but rape is very rare".[148] By 1950, many whites had left Harlem and by 1960, much of the black middle class had departed. At the same time, control of organized crime shifted from Italian syndicates to local black, Puerto Rican, and Cuban groups that were somewhat less formally organized.[144] At the time of the 1964 riots, the drug addiction rate in Harlem was ten times higher than the New York City average, and twelve times higher than the United States as a whole. Of the 30,000 drug addicts then estimated to live in New York City, 15,000 to 20,000 lived in Harlem. Property crime was pervasive, and the murder rate was six times higher than New York's average. Half of the children in Harlem grew up with one parent, or none, and lack of supervision contributed to juvenile delinquency; between 1953 and 1962, the crime rate among young people increased throughout New York City, but was consistently 50% higher in Harlem than in New York City as a whole.[149]
Injecting heroin grew in popularity in Harlem through the 1950s and 1960s, though the use of this drug then leveled off. In the 1980s, use of crack cocaine became widespread, which produced collateral crime as addicts stole to finance their purchasing of additional drugs, and as dealers fought for the right to sell in particular regions, or over deals gone bad.[150]
With the end of the "crack wars" in the mid-1990s, and with the initiation of aggressive policing under mayors David Dinkins and his successor Rudy Giuliani, crime in Harlem plummeted. Compared to in 1981, when 6,500 robberies were reported in Harlem, reports of robberies dropped to 4,800 in 1990; to 1,700 in 2000; and to 1,100 in 2010.[151] Within the 28th and 32nd precincts, there have been similar changes in all categories of crimes tracked by the NYPD.[137][138]
Despite reductions versus historic highs, Harlem continues to have a high rate of violent crime and one of the highest rates of violent crime in New York City.[140] This crime is largely correlated with high concentrations of poverty. Illicit activities such as theft, robbery, drug trafficking, prostitution are prevalent. Criminal organizations like street gangs are responsible for many of the murders and shootings in the neighborhood.
GangsThere are many gangs in Harlem, often based in housing projects; when one gang member is killed by another gang, revenge violence erupts which can last for years.[152] In addition, the East Harlem Purple Gang of the 1970s, which operated in East Harlem and surroundings, was an Italian American group of hitmen and heroin dealers.[153]
Harlem and its gangsters have a strong link to hip hop, rap and R&B culture in the United States, and many successful rappers in the music industry came from gangs in Harlem.[154] Gangster rap, which has its origins in the late 1980s, often has lyrics that are "misogynistic or that glamorize violence", glamorizing guns, drugs and easy women in Harlem and New York City.[155][154]
Fire safety
The Quarters of FDNY Engine Company 59/Ladder Company 30Central Harlem is served by four New York City Fire Department (FDNY) fire stations:[156]
Engine Company 37/Ladder Company 40 – 415 West 125th Street[157]Engine Company 58/Ladder Company 26 – 1367 5th Avenue[158]Engine Company 59/Ladder Company 30 – 111 West 133rd Street[159]Engine Company 69/Ladder Company 28/Battalion 16 – 248 West 143rd Street[160]Five additional firehouses are located in West and East Harlem. West Harlem contains Engine Company 47 and Engine Company 80/Ladder Company 23, while East Harlem contains Engine Company 35/Ladder Company 14/Battalion 12, Engine Company 53/Ladder Company 43, and Engine Company 91.[156]
HealthAs of 2018, preterm births and births to teenage mothers are more common in Central Harlem than in other places citywide. In Central Harlem, there were 103 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 23 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide), though the teenage birth rate is based on a small sample size.[3]: 11  Central Harlem has a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 8%, less than the citywide rate of 12%.[3]: 14 
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Central Harlem is 0.0079 milligrams per cubic metre (7.9×10−9 oz/cu ft), slightly more than the city average.[3]: 9  Ten percent of Central Harlem residents are smokers, which is less than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.[3]: 13  In Central Harlem, 34% of residents are obese, 12% are diabetic, and 35% have high blood pressure, the highest rates in the city—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.[3]: 16  In addition, 21% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.[3]: 12 
Eighty-four percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is less than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 79% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," more than the city's average of 78%.[3]: 13  For every supermarket in Central Harlem, there are 11 bodegas.[3]: 10 
The nearest major hospital is NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in north-central Harlem.[161][162]
Social factorsThe population health of Central Harlem is closely linked to influential social factors on health, also known as social determinants of health, and the impact of structural racism on the neighborhood. The impact of discriminatory policies such as redlining have contributed to residents' bearing worse health outcomes in comparison to the average New York city resident. This applies to life expectancy, poverty rates, Environmental neighborhood health, housing quality, and childhood and adult asthma rates. Additionally, the health of Central Harlem residents are linked to their experience of racism.[163][164] Public health and scientific research studies have found evidence that experiencing racism creates and exacerbates chronic stress that can contribute to major causes of death, particularly for African-American and Hispanic populations in the United States, like cardiovascular health disparities between Central Harlem and the rest of New York City can be attributed to 'avoidable causes' such as substandard housing quality, poverty, and law enforcement violence – all of which are issues identified by the American Public Health Association as key social determinants of health. These deaths that can be attributed to avoidable causes are known as "avertable deaths" of "excess mortality'"in public health.[168]
Health problemsHealth and housing conditionsAccess to affordable housing and employment opportunities with fair wages and benefits are closely associated with good health.[169] Public health leaders have shown that inadequate housing qualities is linked to poor health.[170] As Central Harlem also bears the effects of racial segregation, public health researchers claim that racial segregation is also linked to substandard housing and exposure to pollutants and toxins. These associations have been documented to increase individual risk of chronic diseases and adverse birth outcomes.[124] Historical income segregation via redlining also positions residents to be more exposed to risks that contribute to adverse mental health status, inadequate access to healthy foods, asthma triggers, and lead exposure.[170][169]Drew Hamilton Houses, a large low-income NYCHA housing project in Central HarlemAsthmaAsthma is more common in children and adults in Central Harlem, compared to other New York City neighborhoods.[171] The factors that can increase risk of childhood and adult asthma are associated with substandard housing conditions.[172] Substandard housing conditions are water leaks, cracks and holes, inadequate heating, presence of mice or rats, peeling paint and can include the presence of mold, moisture, dust mites.[173] In 2014, Central Harlem tracked worse in regards to home maintenance conditions, compared to the average rates Manhattan and New York City. Twenty percent of homes had cracks or holes; 21% had leaks and 19% had three or more maintenance deficiencies.[171]
Adequate housing is defined as housing that is free from heating breakdowns, cracks, holes, peeling paint and other defects. Housing conditions in Central Harlem reveal that only 37% of its renter-occupied homes were adequately maintained by landlords in 2014. Meanwhile, 25% of Central Harlem households and 27% of adults reported seeing co*ckroaches (a potential trigger for asthma), a rate higher than the city average. Neighborhood conditions are also indicators of population: in 2014, Central Harlem had 32 per 100,000 people hospitalized due to pedestrian injuries, higher than Manhattan's and the city's average.[171]
The Environment also factors into the health of the people of Central Harlem with the neighborhood being found to have levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at 7.9 micrograms per cubic meter compared to all of NYC at 7.5 micrograms per cubic meter. Poorer neighborhoods have some of the highest levels of air pollution in the city. Adults with asthma emergencies experiencing high rates of poverty visit the emergency department at rates nearly 5 times higher than those neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty. Nearly 3 in 4 deaths related to PM2.5 occurs in adults 65 years or older. The attribution of premature adult mortality rate to exposure of PM2.5 experiencing 77.4-117.7 deaths per 100,000 people.[174]
Additionally, poverty levels can indicate one's risk of vulnerability to asthma. In 2016, Central Harlem saw 565 children aged 5–17 years old per 10,000 residents visiting emergency departments for Asthma emergencies, over twice both Manhattan's and the citywide rates. The rate of childhood asthma hospitalization in 2016 was more than twice that of Manhattan and New York City, with 62 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents.[171] Rates of adult hospitalization due to asthma in Central Harlem trends higher in comparison to other neighborhoods. In 2016, 270 adults per 10,000 residents visited the emergency department due to asthma, close to three times the average rates of both Manhattan and New York City.[171]
Other health problemsHealth outcomes for men have generally been worse than those of women. Infant mortality was 124 per thousand in 1928, meaning that 12.4% of infants would die.[175] By 1940, infant mortality in Harlem was 5%, and the death rate from disease generally was twice that of the rest of New York. Tuberculosis was the main killer, and four times as prevalent among Harlem citizens than among the rest of New York's population.[175]
A 1990 study of life expectancy of teenagers in Harlem reported that 15-year-old girls in Harlem had a 65% chance of surviving to the age of 65, about the same as women in Pakistan. Fifteen-year-old men in Harlem, on the other hand, had a 37% chance of surviving to 65, about the same as men in Angola; for men, the survival rate beyond the age of 40 was lower in Harlem than Bangladesh.[176] Infectious diseases and diseases of the circulatory system were to blame, with a variety of contributing factors, including consumption of the deep-fried foods traditional to the South, which may contribute to heart disease.
Post offices and ZIP CodesHarlem is located within five primary ZIP Codes. From south to north they are 10026 (from 110th to 120th Streets), 10027 (from 120th to 133rd Streets), 10037 (east of Lenox Avenue and north of 130th Street), 10030 (west of Lenox Avenue from 133rd to 145th Streets) and 10039 (from 145th to 155th Streets). Harlem also includes parts of ZIP Codes 10031, 10032, and 10035.[177] The United States Postal Service operates five post offices in Harlem:
Morningside Station – 232 West 116th Street[178]Manhattanville Station and Morningside Annex – 365 West 125th Street[179]College Station – 217 West 140th Street[180]Colonial Park Station – 99 Macombs Place[181]Lincoln Station – 2266 5th Avenue[182]EducationMain article: Education in HarlemCentral Harlem generally has a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018. While 42% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 19% have less than a high school education and 39% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 64% of Manhattan residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.[3]: 6  The percentage of Central Harlem students excelling in math rose from 21% in 2000 to 48% in 2011, and reading achievement increased from 29% to 37% during the same time period.[183]
Central Harlem's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Central Harlem, 25% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, more than the citywide average of 20%.[129]: 24 (PDF p. 55) [3]: 6  Additionally, 64% of high school students in Central Harlem graduate on time, less than the citywide average of 75%.[3]: 6 
SchoolsThe New York City Department of Education operates the following public elementary schools in Central Harlem:[184]
PS 76 A Phillip Randolph (grades PK-8)[185]PS 92 Mary Mcleod Bethune (grades PK-5)[186]PS 123 Mahalia Jackson (grades PK-8)[187]PS 149 Sojourner Truth (grades PK-8)[188]PS 154 Harriet Tubman (grades PK-5)[189]PS 175 Henry H Garnet (grades PK-5)[190]PS 185 the Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School (grades PK-2)[191]PS 194 Countee Cullen (grades PK-5)[192]PS 197 John B Russwurm (grades PK-5)[193]PS 200 The James Mccune Smith School (grades PK-5)[194]PS 242 The Young Diplomats Magnet School (grades PK-5)[195]Stem Institute of Manhattan (grades K-5)[196]Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School (grades K-5)[197]The following middle and high schools are located in Central Harlem:[184]
Frederick Douglass Academy (grades 6–12)[198]Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School (grades 6–12)[199]Mott Hall High School (grades 9–12)[200]Thurgood Marshall Academy For Learning And Social Change (grades 6–12)[201]Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts (grades 6–12)[202]Harlem has a high rate of charter school enrollment: a fifth of students were enrolled in charter schools in 2010.[203] By 2017, that proportion had increased to 36%, about the same that attended their zoned public schools. Another 20% of Harlem students were enrolled in public schools elsewhere.[204]
Higher educationThe CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, City College of New York, and Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, in addition to a branch of College of New Rochelle, are all located in Harlem. The Morningside Heights and Manhattanville campuses of Columbia University are located just west of Harlem.
New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black CultureThe New York Public Library (NYPL) operates four circulating branches and one research branch in Harlem, as well as several others in adjacent neighborhoods.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research branch, is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard. It is housed in a Carnegie library structure that opened in 1905, though the branch itself was established in 1925 based on a collection from its namesake, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. The Schomburg Center is a National Historic Landmark, as well as a city designated landmark and a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)-listed site.[205]The Countee Cullen branch is located at 104 West 136th Street. It was originally housed in the building now occupied by the Schomburg Center. The current structure, in 1941, is an annex of the Schomburg building.[206]The Harry Belafonte 115th Street branch is located at 203 West 115th Street. The three-story Carnegie library, built in 1908, is both a city designated landmark and an NRHP-listed site. It was renamed for the entertainer and Harlem resident Harry Belafonte in 2017.[207]The Harlem branch is located at 9 West 124th Street. It is one of the oldest libraries in the NYPL system, having operated in Harlem since 1826. The current three-story Carnegie library building was built in 1909 and renovated in 2004.[208]The Macomb's Bridge branch is located at 2633 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The branch opened in 1955 at 2650 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, inside the Harlem River Houses, and was the smallest NYPL branch at 685 square feet (63.6 m2). In January 2020, the branch moved across the street to a larger space.[209]Other nearby branches include the 125th Street and Aguilar branches in East Harlem; the Morningside Heights branch in Morningside Heights; and the George Bruce and Hamilton Grange branches in western spanning the Harlem River between Harlem to the left and the Bronx to the right
Harlem–125th Street station on the Metro-North RailroadThe Harlem River separates the Bronx and Manhattan, necessitating several spans between the two New York City boroughs. Five free bridges connect Harlem and the Bronx: the Willis Avenue Bridge (for northbound traffic only), Third Avenue Bridge (for southbound traffic only), Madison Avenue Bridge, 145th Street Bridge, and Macombs Dam Bridge. In East Harlem, the Wards Island Bridge, also known as the 103rd Street Footbridge, connects Manhattan with Wards Island. The Triborough Bridge is a complex of three separate bridges that offers connections between Queens, East Harlem, and the Bronx.[211]
Public transportationPublic transportation service is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This includes the New York City Subway and MTA Regional Bus Operations. Some Bronx local routes also serve Manhattan, providing customers with access between both boroughs.[212][213] Metro-North Railroad has a commuter rail station at Harlem–125th Street, serving trains to the Lower Hudson Valley and Connecticut.[214]
SubwayHarlem is served by the following subway lines:
IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 and ​3 trains) between Central Park North–110th Street and Harlem–148th Street[215]IND Eighth Avenue Line (A, ​B, ​C, and ​D trains) between Cathedral Parkway–110th Street and 155th Street[215]IND Concourse Line (B and ​D trains) at 155th Street[215]In addition, several other lines stop nearby:
IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1 train) between Cathedral Parkway–110th Street and 145th Street, serving western Harlem[215]IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains) between 96th Street and 125th Street, serving East Harlem[215]Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway is also planned to serve East Harlem, with stops at 106th Street, 116th Street, and Harlem–125th Street.[216][217]
BusHarlem is served by numerous local bus routes operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations:[213]
Bx6 and Bx6 SBS along 155th StreetBx19 along 145th StreetBx33 along 135th StreetM1 along Fifth/Madison AvenuesM2 along Seventh Avenue, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM3 along Manhattan Avenue, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM4 along Broadway, Central Park North, and Fifth/Madison AvenuesM60 SBS, M100, M101 and Bx15 along 125th StreetM7 and M102 along Lenox Avenue and 116th StreetM10 along Frederick Douglass BoulevardM116 along 116th StreetRoutes that run near Harlem, but do not stop in the neighborhood, include:[213]
M5 along Riverside DriveM11 along Amsterdam AvenueM35 via Triborough BridgeM98 and M103 along Third/Lexington AvenuesM104 along BroadwaySee alsoList of films shot in HarlemList of people from HarlemUpper Manhattan is the most northern region of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Its southern boundary has been variously defined, but some of the most common usages are 96th Street, the northern boundary of Central Park (110th Street), 125th Street, or 155th Street.[citation needed] The term Uptown can refer to Upper Manhattan, but is often used more generally for neighborhoods above 59th Street; in the broader definition, Uptown encompasses Upper Manhattan.[1]
Upper Manhattan is generally taken to include the neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights (including Fort George, Sherman Creek and Hudson Heights), Harlem (including Sugar Hill, Hamilton Heights and Manhattanville), East Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Manhattan Valley (in the Upper West Side).
The George Washington Bridge connects Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan across the Hudson River to Fort Lee, New Jersey, and is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.[2][3]
In the late 19th century, the IRT Ninth Avenue Line and other elevated railroads brought people to the previously rustic Upper Manhattan. Until the late 20th century it was less influenced by the gentrification that had taken place in other parts of New York over the previous 30 years.
Tourist attractionsLike other residential areas, Upper Manhattan is not a major center of tourism in New York City, although many tourist attractions lie within it, such as Grant's Tomb, the Apollo Theater, United Palace, and The Cloisters, Sylvia's Restaurant, the Hamilton Grange, the Morris–Jumel Mansion, Minton's Playhouse, Sugar Hill, Riverside Church, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the Dyckman House, along with Fort Tryon Park, most of Riverside Park, Riverbank State Park, Sakura Park, and other parks.
GalleryCity College of New York in Hamilton HeightsCity College of New York in Hamilton Heights
The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park houses the medieval art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park houses the medieval art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington BridgeThe Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge
Inwood Hill Park contains the last remnant of the primeval forest which once covered Manhattan; these caves were used by native Lenape people.Inwood Hill Park contains the last remnant of the primeval forest which once covered Manhattan; these caves were used by native Lenape people.
New York, often called New York City[a] or NYC, is the most populous city in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over 300.46 square miles (778.2 km2), New York City is the most densely populated major city in the United States. The city is more than twice as populous as Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest city, and has a larger population than 38 of the nation's 50 states. New York City is located at the southern tip of the state of New York. The city is the geographical and demographic center of both the Northeast megalopolis and the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by both population and urban area. With over 20.1 million people in its metropolitan statistical area and 23.5 million in its combined statistical area as of 2020, New York City is one of the world's most populous megacities.[10]
New York City is a global cultural, financial, high-tech,[11] entertainment, glamor,[12] and media center with a significant influence on commerce, health care and life sciences,[13] research, technology, education, politics, tourism, dining, art, fashion, and sports. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York City is an important center for international diplomacy,[14][15] and it is sometimes described as the capital of the world.[16][17]
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, New York City comprises five boroughs, each of which is coextensive with a respective county of the state of New York. The five boroughs, which were created in 1898 when local governments were consolidated into a single municipal entity, are: Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), Manhattan (New York County), the Bronx (Bronx County), and Staten Island (Richmond County).[18] As of 2021, the New York metropolitan area is the second largest metropolitan economy in the world with a gross metropolitan product of over $2.4 trillion. If the New York metropolitan area were a sovereign state, it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world. New York City is an established safe haven for global investors.[19] As of 2023, New York City is the most expensive city in the world for expatriates to live.[20] New York City is home to the highest number of billionaires,[21][22] individuals of ultra-high net worth (greater than US$30 million),[23] and millionaires of any city in the world.[24]
The city and its metropolitan area are the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York,[25] making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. New York City is home to more than 3.2 million residents born outside the U.S., the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world as of 2016.[26] It is the most visited U.S. city by international visitors.[27]
New York City traces its origins to Fort Amsterdam and a trading post founded on the southern tip of Manhattan Island by Dutch colonists in approximately 1624. The settlement was named New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) in 1626 and was chartered as a city in 1653. The city came under British control in 1664 and was renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[28][29] The city was regained by the Dutch in July 1673 and was renamed New Orange for one year and three months; the city has been continuously named New York since November 1674. New York City was the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790,[30] and has been the largest U.S. city since 1790. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the U.S. by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is a symbol of the U.S. and its ideals of liberty and peace.[31] In the 21st century, New York City has emerged as a global node of creativity, entrepreneurship,[32] and as a symbol of freedom and cultural diversity.[33] The New York Times has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and remains the U.S. media's "Newspaper of record".[34]
Many districts and monuments in New York City are major landmarks, including three of the world's ten-most visited tourist attractions in 2023.[35] A record 66.6 million tourists visited New York City in 2019. Times Square is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District,[36] one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections[37] and a major center of the world's entertainment industry.[38]
New York's residential and commercial real estate markets are the most expensive in the world.[39][better source needed] Providing continuous 24/7 service and contributing to the nickname The City That Never Sleeps, the New York City Subway is the largest single-operator rapid transit system in the world with 472 passenger rail stations, and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan is the busiest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere.[40] The city features over 120 colleges and universities, including some of the world's top universities.[41] Its public urban university system, the City University of New York, is the largest in the nation.[42] Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the world's leading financial and fintech center[43][44] and the most economically powerful city in the world,[45] and is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.[46][47]
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the historic epicenter of LGBTQ+ culture[48] and the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.[49][50] New York City is the headquarters of the global art market, with numerous art galleries and sale houses collectively hosting half of the world's art sales; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art is both the largest and second-most-visited art museum in the United States and hosts the globally focused Met Gala haute couture fashion event annually.[51][52] Governors Island in New York Harbor is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center as a leader in the climate crisis.[53]
EtymologySee also: Nicknames of New York CityIn 1664, New York was named in honor of the Duke of York, who would become King James II of England.[54] James's elder brother, King Charles II, appointed the Duke as proprietor of the former territory of New Netherland, including the city of New Amsterdam, when England seized it from Dutch control.[55]
HistoryMain article: History of New York CityFor a chronological guide, see Timeline of New York City.Early historyMain article: History of New York City (prehistory–1664)
Lenape sites in Lower ManhattanIn the pre-Columbian era, the area of present-day New York City was inhabited by Algonquian Native Americans, including the Lenape. Their homeland, known as Lenapehoking, included the present-day areas of Staten Island, Manhattan, the Bronx, the western portion of Long Island (including the areas that would later become the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens), and the Lower Hudson Valley.[56]
The first documented visit into New York Harbor by a European was in 1524 by Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano, an explorer from Florence in the service of the French crown.[57] He claimed the area for France and named it Nouvelle Angoulême (New Angoulême).[58] A Spanish expedition, led by the Portuguese captain Estêvão Gomes sailing for Emperor Charles V, arrived in New York Harbor in January 1525 and charted the mouth of the Hudson River, which he named Río de San Antonio ('Saint Anthony's River'). The Padrón Real of 1527, the first scientific map to show the East Coast of North America continuously, was informed by Gomes' expedition and labeled the northEastern United States as Tierra de Esteban Gómez in his honor.[59]
In 1609, the English explorer Henry Hudson rediscovered New York Harbor while searching for the Northwest Passage to the Orient for the Dutch East India Company.[60] He proceeded to sail up what the Dutch would name the North River (now the Hudson River), named first by Hudson as the Mauritius after Maurice, Prince of Orange. Hudson's first mate described the harbor as "a very good Harbour for all windes" and the river as "a mile broad" and "full of fish".[61] Hudson sailed roughly 150 miles (240 km) north,[62] past the site of the present-day New York State capital city of Albany, in the belief that it might be an oceanic tributary before the river became too shallow to continue.[61] He made a ten-day exploration of the area and claimed the region for the Dutch East India Company. In 1614, the area between Cape Cod and Delaware Bay was claimed by the Netherlands and called Nieuw-Nederland ('New Netherland').
The first non–Native American inhabitant of what would eventually become New York City was Juan Rodriguez (transliterated to the Dutch language as Jan Rodrigues), a merchant from Santo Domingo. Born in Santo Domingo of Portuguese and African descent, he arrived in Manhattan during the winter of 1613–14, trapping for pelts and trading with the local population as a representative of the Dutch. Broadway, from 159th Street to 218th Street in Upper Manhattan, is named Juan Rodriguez Way in his honor.[63][64]
Dutch ruleMain articles: New Amsterdam and Fort Amsterdam
New Amsterdam, centered in what eventually became Lower Manhattan, in 1664, the year England took control and renamed it New York
The Castello Plan, a 1660 map of New Amsterdam (the top right corner is roughly north) in Lower ManhattanA permanent European presence near New York Harbor was established in 1624, making New York the 12th-oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States,[65] with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on a citadel and Fort Amsterdam, later called Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam), on present-day Manhattan Island.[66][67] The colony of New Amsterdam was centered on what would ultimately become Lower Manhattan. Its area extended from the southern tip of Manhattan to modern-day Wall Street, where a 12-foot (3.7 m) wooden stockade was built in 1653 to protect against Native American and British raids.[68] In 1626, the Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit, acting as charged by the Dutch West India Company, purchased the island of Manhattan from the Canarsie, a small Lenape band,[69] for "the value of 60 guilders"[70] (about $900 in 2018).[71] A frequently told but disproved legend claims that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.[72][73]
Following the purchase, New Amsterdam grew slowly.[29] To attract settlers, the Dutch instituted the patroon system in 1628, whereby wealthy Dutchmen (patroons, or patrons) who brought 50 colonists to New Netherland would be awarded swaths of land, along with local political autonomy and rights to participate in the lucrative fur trade. This program had little success.[74]
Since 1621, the Dutch West India Company had operated as a monopoly in New Netherland, on authority granted by the Dutch States General. In 1639–1640, in an effort to bolster economic growth, the Dutch West India Company relinquished its monopoly over the fur trade, leading to growth in the production and trade of food, timber, Tobacco, and slaves (particularly with the Dutch West Indies).[29][75]
In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant began his tenure as the last Director-General of New Netherland. During his tenure, the population of New Netherland grew from 2,000 to 8,000.[76][77] Stuyvesant has been credited with improving law and order in the colony; however, he also earned a reputation as a despotic leader. He instituted regulations on liquor sales, attempted to assert control over the Dutch Reformed Church, and blocked other religious groups (including Quakers, Jews, and Lutherans) from establishing houses of worship.[78] The Dutch West India Company would eventually attempt to ease tensions between Stuyvesant and residents of New Amsterdam.[79]
English ruleMain article: History of New York City (1665–1783)
The Fall of New Amsterdam by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, part of the Conquest of New NetherlandA painting of a ship firing its cannons in a harborFort George and New York with British Navy ships of the line c. 1731In 1664, unable to summon any significant resistance, Stuyvesant surrendered New Amsterdam to English troops, led by Colonel Richard Nicolls, without bloodshed.[78][79] The terms of the surrender permitted Dutch residents to remain in the colony and allowed for religious freedom.[80] In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda after the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of what is now Suriname (on the northern South American coast) they had gained from the English; and in return, the English kept New Amsterdam. The fledgling settlement was promptly renamed "New York" after the Duke of York (the future King James II and VII), who would eventually be deposed in the Glorious Revolution.[81] After the founding, the duke gave part of the colony to proprietors George Carteret and John Berkeley. Fort Orange, 150 miles (240 km) north on the Hudson River, was renamed Albany after James's Scottish title.[82] The transfer was confirmed in 1667 by the Treaty of Breda, which concluded the Second Anglo-Dutch War.[83]
On August 24, 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War, Dutch captain Anthony Colve seized the colony of New York from the English at the behest of Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest and rechristened it "New Orange" after William III, the Prince of Orange.[84] The Dutch would soon return the island to England under the Treaty of Westminster of November 1674.[85][86]
Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by contact with the Europeans caused sizeable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670.[87] By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200.[88] New York experienced several yellow fever epidemics in the 18th century, losing ten percent of its population to the disease in 1702 alone.[89][90]
Province of New York and slavery
Slave being burned at the stake in N.Y.C. after the 1741 slave revolt. Thirteen slaves were burned.[91]In the early 18th century, New York grew in importance as a trading port while as a part of the colony of New York.[92] It also became a center of slavery, with 42% of households enslaving Africans by 1730, the highest percentage outside Charleston, South Carolina.[93] Most cases were that of domestic slavery, as a New York household then commonly used one or more slaves as cooks and house keepers. Others were hired out to work at labor. Slavery became integrally tied to New York's economy through the labor of slaves throughout the port, and the banking and shipping industries trading with the American South. During construction in Foley Square in the 1990s, the African Burying Ground was discovered; the cemetery included 10,000 to 20,000 of graves of colonial-era Africans, some enslaved and some free.[94]
The 1735 trial and acquittal in Manhattan of John Peter Zenger, who had been accused of seditious libel after criticizing colonial governor William Cosby, helped to establish the freedom of the press in North America.[95] In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by King George II as King's College in Lower Manhattan.[96]
American RevolutionFurther information: American Revolution
An illustration of the Battle of Long Island, one of the largest battles of the American Revolutionary War, which took place in Brooklyn on August 27, 1776The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October 1765, as the Sons of Liberty organization emerged in the city and skirmished over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.[97] The Battle of Long Island, the largest battle of the American Revolutionary War, was fought in August 1776 within the modern-day borough of Brooklyn.[98] After the battle, in which the Americans were defeated, the British made the city their military and political base of operations in North America. The city was a haven for Loyalist refugees and escaped slaves who joined the British lines for freedom newly promised by the Crown for all fighters. As many as 10,000 escaped slaves crowded into the city during the British occupation. When the British forces evacuated at the close of the war in 1783, they transported 3,000 freedmen for resettlement in Nova Scotia.[99] They resettled other freedmen in England and the Caribbean.
The only attempt at a peaceful solution to the war took place at the Conference House on Staten Island between American delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, and British general Lord Howe on September 11, 1776. Shortly after the British occupation began, the Great Fire of New York occurred, a large conFlagration on the West Side of Lower Manhattan, which destroyed about a quarter of the buildings in the city, including Trinity Church.[100]
Post-Revolutionary WarMain article: History of New York City (1784–1854)
First inauguration of George Washington in 1789In 1785, the assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York City the national capital shortly after the war. New York was the last capital of the U.S. under the Articles of Confederation and the first capital under the Constitution of the United States. As the U.S. capital, New York City hosted several events of national scope in 1789—the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time; and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street.[101]
In 1790, for the first time, New York City, surpassed Philadelphia as the nation's largest city. At the end of that year, pursuant to the Residence Act, the national capital was moved to Philadelphia.[102][103]
Late 19th centuryMain article: History of New York City (1855–1897)A painting of a snowy city street with horse-drawn sleds and a 19th-century fire truck under blue skyBroadway, which follows the Native American Wecquaesgeek Trail through Manhattan, in 1840.[104]
The Great East River Bridge To connect the cities of New York and Brooklyn, Currier & Ives, 1872Over the course of the nineteenth century, New York City's population grew from 60,000 to 3.43 million.[105] Under New York State's abolition act of 1799, children of slave mothers were to be eventually liberated but to be held in indentured servitude until their mid-to-late twenties.[106][107] Together with slaves freed by their masters after the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves, a significant free-Black population gradually developed in Manhattan. Under such influential United States founders as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the New York Manumission Society worked for abolition and established the African Free School to educate Black children.[108] It was not until 1827 that slavery was completely abolished in the state, and free Blacks struggled afterward with discrimination. New York interracial abolitionist activism continued; among its leaders were graduates of the African Free School. New York city's population jumped from 123,706 in 1820 to 312,710 by 1840, 16,000 of whom were Black.[109][110]
In the 19th century, the city was transformed by both commercial and residential development relating to its status as a national and international trading center, as well as by European immigration, respectively.[111] The city adopted the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, which expanded the city street grid to encompass almost all of Manhattan. The 1825 completion of the Erie Canal through central New York connected the Atlantic port to the agricultural markets and commodities of the North American interior via the Hudson River and the Great Lakes.[112] Local politics became dominated by Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish and German immigrants.[113]
Several prominent American literary figures lived in New York during the 1830s and 1840s, including William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Rufus Wilmot Griswold, John Keese, Nathaniel Parker Willis, and Edgar Allan Poe. Public-minded members of the contemporaneous business elite lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which in 1857 became the first landscaped park in an American city.
The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, of whom more than 200,000 were living in New York by 1860, representing upward of one-quarter of the city's population.[114] There was also extensive immigration from the German provinces, where revolutions had disrupted societies, and Germans comprised another 25% of New York's population by 1860.[115][116]
American Civil WarMain article: New York City in the American Civil War
A drawing from The Illustrated London News showing armed rioters clashing with Union Army soldiers during the New York City draft riots in 1863Democratic Party candidates were consistently elected to local office, increasing the city's ties to the South and its dominant party. In 1861, Mayor Fernando Wood called upon the aldermen to declare independence from Albany and the United States after the South seceded, but his proposal was not acted on.[108] Anger at new military conscription laws during the American Civil War (1861–1865), which spared wealthier men who could afford to pay a $300 (equivalent to $7,130 in 2022) commutation fee to hire a substitute,[117] led to the Draft Riots of 1863, whose most visible participants were ethnic Irish working class.[108]
The draft riots deteriorated into attacks on New York's elite, followed by attacks on Black New Yorkers and their property after fierce competition for a decade between Irish immigrants and Black people for work. Rioters burned the Colored Orphan Asylum to the ground, with more than 200 children escaping harm due to efforts of the New York Police Department, which was mainly made up of Irish immigrants.[115] At least 120 people were killed.[118] Eleven Black men were lynched over five days, and the riots forced hundreds of Blacks to flee the city for Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. The Black population in Manhattan fell below 10,000 by 1865, which it had last been in 1820. The White working class had established dominance.[115][118] Violence by longshoremen against Black men was especially fierce in the docks area.[115] It was one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.[119]
In 1898, the City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens.[120] The opening of the subway in 1904, first built as separate private systems, helped bind the new city together.[121] Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication.[122]
Early 20th centuryMain articles: History of New York City (1898–1945) and History of New York City (1946–1977)
Manhattan's Little Italy in the Lower East Side, c. 1900In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board.[123] In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city's worst industrial disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.[124]
New York's non-White population was 36,620 in 1890.[125] New York City was a prime destination in the early twentieth century for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South, and by 1916, New York City had become home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America.[126] The Harlem Renaissance of literary and cultural life flourished during the era of Prohibition.[127] The larger economic boom generated construction of skyscrapers competing in height and creating an identifiable skyline.
A man working on a steel girder high about a city skyline.A construction worker atop the Empire State Building during its construction in 1930. The Chrysler Building is visible behind him.New York City became the most populous urbanized area in the world in the early 1920s, overtaking London. The metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in the early 1930s, becoming the first megacity in human history.[128] The Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello La Guardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.[129]
Returning World War II veterans created a post-war economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in Eastern Queens and Nassau County as well as similar suburban areas in New Jersey. New York emerged from the war unscathed as the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's place as the world's dominant economic power. The United Nations headquarters was completed in 1952, solidifying New York's global geopolitical influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitated New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.[130]
A two-story building with brick on the first floor, with two arched doorways, and gray stucco on the second floor off of which hang numerous rainbow Flags.Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, was the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.[131][132][133]The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent protests by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan.[134] They are widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[131][135][136][137] and the modern fight for LGBT rights.[138][139] Wayne R. Dynes, author of the Encyclopedia of hom*osexuality, wrote that drag queens were the only "transgender folks around" during the June 1969 Stonewall riots. The transgender community in New York City played a significant role in fighting for LGBT equality during the period of the Stonewall riots and thereafter.[140]
In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[141]
Late 20th century to presentMain articles: History of New York City (1978–present) and September 11 attacksWhile a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through that decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[142] By the mid 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy.[143]
New York City's population reached all-time highs in the 2000, 2010, and 2020 US censuses.
Two tall, gray, rectangular buildings spewing black smoke and flames, particularly from the left of the two.United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the largest terrorist attack in world history.New York City suffered the bulk of the economic damage and largest loss of human life in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks.[144] Two of the four airliners hijacked that day were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, destroying the towers and killing 2,192 civilians, 343 firefighters, and 71 law enforcement officers. The North Tower became, and remains, the tallest building to ever be destroyed.[145]
The area was rebuilt with a new World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and other new buildings and infrastructure.[146] The World Trade Center PATH station, which had opened on July 19, 1909, as the Hudson Terminal, was also destroyed in the attacks. A temporary station was built and opened on November 23, 2003. An 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) permanent rail station designed by Santiago Calatrava, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the city's third-largest hub, was completed in 2016.[147] The new One World Trade Center is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere[148] and the seventh-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet (541.3 m) in reference to the year of U.S. Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and popularizing the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[153]Manhattan in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the worst to strike the city since 1700.[154]New York City was heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012. Sandy's impacts included the flooding of the New York City Subway system, of many suburban communities, and of all road tunnels entering Manhattan except the Lincoln Tunnel. The New York Stock Exchange closed for two consecutive days. Numerous homes and businesses were destroyed by fire, including over 100 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Large parts of the city and surrounding areas lost electricity for several days. Several thousand people in Midtown Manhattan were evacuated for six days due to a crane collapse at Extell's One57. Bellevue Hospital Center and a few other large hospitals were closed and evacuated. Flooding at 140 West Street and another exchange disrupted voice and data communication in Lower Manhattan. At least 43 people lost their lives in New York City as a result of Sandy, and the economic losses in New York City were estimated to be roughly $19 billion. The disaster spawned long-term efforts towards infrastructural projects to counter climate change and rising seas.[155][156]
In March 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the city was confirmed in Manhattan.[157] The city rapidly replaced Wuhan, China to become the global epicenter of the pandemic during the early phase, before the infection became widespread across the world and the rest of the nation. As of March 2021, New York City had recorded over 30,000 deaths from COVID-19-related complications.
GeographyMain articles: Geography of New York City and Geography of New York–New Jersey Harbor Estuary
Aerial view of the New York City metropolitan area with Manhattan at its centerDuring the Wisconsin glaciation, 75,000 to 11,000 years ago, the New York City area was situated at the edge of a large ice sheet over 2,000 feet (610 m) in depth.[158] The erosive forward movement of the ice (and its subsequent retreat) contributed to the separation of what is now Long Island and Staten Island. That action also left bedrock at a relatively shallow depth, providing a solid foundation for most of Manhattan's skyscrapers.[159]
New York City is situated in the northEastern United States, in southEastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port. Most of New York City is built on the three islands of Long Island, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary.[160] The Hudson River separates the city from the U.S. state of New Jersey. The East River—a tidal strait—flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson rivers, separates most of Manhattan from the Bronx. The Bronx River, which flows through the Bronx and Westchester County, is the only entirely freshwater river in the city.[161]
The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times; reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s.[162] Some of the natural relief in topography has been evened out, especially in Manhattan.[163]
The city's total area is 468.484 square miles (1,213.37 km2); 302.643 sq mi (783.84 km2) of the city is land and 165.841 sq mi (429.53 km2) of this is water.[164][165] The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern seaboard south of Maine.[166] The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.[167]
BoroughsMain articles: Boroughs of New York City and Neighborhoods in New York CityA map showing five boroughs in different colors. 1. Manhattan 2. Brooklyn 3. Queens 4. The Bronx 5. Staten IslandNew York City's five boroughsvteJurisdictionPopulationLand areaDensity of populationGDP †BoroughCountyCensus(2020)squaremilessquarekmpeople/sq. milepeople/sq. kmbillions(2012 US$) 2The BronxBronx1,472,65442.2109.334,92013,482$38.726BrooklynKings2,736,07469.4179.739,43815,227$92.300ManhattanNew York1,694,25122.758.874,78128,872$651.619QueensQueens2,405,464108.7281.522,1258,542$88.578Staten IslandRichmond495,74757.5148.98,6183,327$14.806City of New York8,804,190302.6783.829,09511,234$885.958State of New York20,215,75147,126.4122,056.8429166$1,514.779† GDP = Gross Domestic Product Sources:[168][169][170][171] and see individual borough articles.New York City is sometimes referred to collectively as the Five Boroughs.[172] Each borough is coextensive with a respective county of New York State, making New York City one of the U.S. municipalities in multiple counties. There are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods throughout the boroughs, many with a definable history and character.
If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States (Staten Island would be ranked 37th as of 2020); these same boroughs are coterminous with the four most densely populated counties in the United States: New York (Manhattan), Kings (Brooklyn), Bronx, and Queens.
Lower and Midtown Manhattan photographed by a SkySat satellite in August 2017
Midtown Manhattan, the world's largest central business districtManhattan (New York County) is the geographically smallest and most densely populated borough. It is home to Central Park and most of the city's skyscrapers, and is sometimes locally known as The City.[173] Manhattan's population density of 72,033 people per square mile (27,812/km2) in 2015 makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.[174]
Manhattan is the cultural, administrative, and financial center of New York City and contains the headquarters of many major multinational corporations, the United Nations headquarters, Wall Street, and a number of important universities. The borough of Manhattan is often described as the financial and cultural center of the world.[175][176]
Most of the borough is situated on Manhattan Island, at the mouth of the Hudson River and the East River, and its southern tip, at the confluence of the two rivers, represents the birthplace of New York City itself. Several small islands also compose part of the borough of Manhattan, including Randalls and Wards Islands, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor. Manhattan Island is loosely divided into the Lower, Midtown, and Uptown regions. Uptown Manhattan is divided by Central Park into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, and above the park is Harlem, bordering the Bronx (Bronx County). Harlem was predominantly occupied by Jewish and Italian Americans in the 19th century until the Great Migration. It was the center of the Harlem Renaissance. The borough of Manhattan also includes a small neighborhood on the mainland, called Marble Hill, which is contiguous with the Bronx. New York City's remaining four boroughs are collectively referred to as the Outer Boroughs.
Panorama of Gowanus Canal, as viewed from Union Street Bridge, Gowanus, BrooklynBrooklyn (Kings County), on the western tip of Long Island, is the city's most populous borough. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social, and ethnic diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods, and a distinctive architectural heritage. Downtown Brooklyn is the largest central core neighborhood in the Outer Boroughs. The borough has a long beachfront shoreline including Coney Island, established in the 1870s as one of the earliest amusem*nt grounds in the U.S.[177] Marine Park and Prospect Park are the two largest parks in Brooklyn.[178] Since 2010, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving hub of entrepreneurship and high technology startup firms,[179][180] and of postmodern art and design.[180][181]
The growing skyline of Long Island City in Queens,[182] facing the East RiverQueens (Queens County), on Long Island north and east of Brooklyn, is geographically the largest borough, the most ethnically diverse county in the United States,[183] and the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world.[184][185] Historically a collection of small towns and villages founded by the Dutch, the borough has since developed both commercial and residential prominence. Downtown Flushing has become one of the busiest central core neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. Queens is the site of the Citi Field baseball stadium, home of the New York Mets, and hosts the annual U.S. Open tennis tournament at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. Additionally, two of the three busiest airports serving the New York metropolitan area, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, are in Queens. The third is Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.
The Bronx
The Yankee Stadium in the BronxThe Bronx (Bronx County) is both New York City's northernmost borough, and the only one that is mostly on the mainland. It is the location of Yankee Stadium, the baseball park of the New York Yankees, and home to the largest cooperatively-owned housing complex in the United States, Co-op City.[186] It is also home to the Bronx Zoo, the world's largest metropolitan zoo,[187] which spans 265 acres (1.07 km2) and houses more than 6,000 animals.[188] The Bronx is also the birthplace of hip hop music and its associated culture.[189] Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City, at 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).[190]
Staten Island
St. George, Staten IslandStaten Island (Richmond County) is the most suburban in character of the five boroughs. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and to Manhattan by way of the free Staten Island Ferry, a daily commuter ferry that provides unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan. In central Staten Island, the Staten Island Greenbelt spans approximately 2,500 acres (10 km2), including 28 miles (45 km) of walking trails and one of the last undisturbed forests in the city.[191] Designated in 1984 to protect the island's natural lands, the Greenbelt comprises seven city parks.
ArchitectureFurther information: Architecture of New York City; List of buildings, sites, and monuments in New York City; List of tallest buildings in New York City; and List of hotels in New York City
The Empire State Building has setbacks, Art Deco details, and a spire. It was the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1970.
The Chrysler Building, built in 1930, is in the Art Deco style, with ornamental hubcaps and a spire.
Landmark 19th-century rowhouses, including brownstones, on tree-lined Kent Street in the Greenpoint Historic District, Brooklyn
Modernist and Gothic Revival architecture in Midtown ManhattanNew York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles and from distinct time periods, from the Dutch Colonial Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House in Brooklyn, the oldest section of which dates to 1656, to the modern One World Trade Center, the skyscraper at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan and the most expensive office tower in the world by construction cost.[192]
Manhattan's skyline, with its many skyscrapers, is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. As of 2019, New York City had 6,455 high-rise buildings, the third most in the world after Hong Kong and Seoul.[193] Of these, as of 2011, 550 completed structures were at least 330 feet (100 m) high, with more than fifty completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). These include the Woolworth Building, an early example of Gothic Revival architecture in skyscraper design, built with massively scaled Gothic detailing; completed in 1913, for 17 years it was the world's tallest building.[194]
The 1916 Zoning Resolution required setbacks in new buildings and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size, to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.[195] The Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building (1930) and Empire State Building (1931), with their tapered tops and steel spires, reflected the zoning requirements. The buildings have distinctive ornamentation, such as the eagles at the corners of the 61st floor on the Chrysler Building, and are considered some of the finest examples of the Art Deco style.[196] A highly influential example of the International Style in the United States is the Seagram Building (1957), distinctive for its façade using visible bronze-toned I-beams to evoke the building's structure. The Condé Nast Building (2000) is a prominent example of green design in American skyscrapers[197] and has received an award from the American Institute of Architects and AIA New York State for its design.
The character of New York's large residential districts is often defined by the elegant brownstone rowhouses and townhouses and shabby tenements that were built during a period of rapid expansion from 1870 to 1930.[198] In contrast, New York City also has neighborhoods that are less densely populated and feature free-standing dwellings. In neighborhoods such as Riverdale (in the Bronx), Ditmas Park (in Brooklyn), and Douglaston (in Queens), large single-family homes are common in various architectural styles such as Tudor Revival and Victorian.[199][200][201]
Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835.[202] A distinctive feature of many of the city's buildings is the roof-mounted wooden water tower. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.[203] Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, such as Jackson Heights.[204]
According to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a "slightly lower hazard for tall buildings" in New York City than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near the city, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[205] Manhattan contained over 500 million square feet of office space as of 2022; the COVID-19 pandemic and hybrid work model have prompted consideration of commercial-to-residential conversion within Midtown Manhattan.[206]Ten mile (16km) Manhattan skyline panorama from 120th Street to the Battery, taken in February 2018 from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New JerseyRiverside ChurchDeutsche Bank Center220 Central Park SouthCentral Park TowerOne57432 Park Avenue53W53Chrysler BuildingBank of America Tower4 Times SquareThe New York Times BuildingEmpire State BuildingManhattan Westa: 55 Hudson Yards, 14b: 35 Hudson Yards, 14c: 10 Hudson Yards, 14d: 15 Hudson Yards56 Leonard Street8 Spruce StreetWoolworth Building70 Pine StreetFour Seasons Downtown40 Wall Street3 World Trade Center4 World Trade CenterOne World Trade CenterClimateMain article: Climate of New York CityNew York CityClimate chart (explanation)JFMAMJJASOND 3.6 4028 3.2 4230 4.3 5036 4.1 6246 4 7155 4.5 8064 4.6 8570 4.6 8369 4.3 7662 4.4 6551 3.6 5442 4.4 4434█ Average max. and min. temperatures in °F█ Precipitation totals in inchesMetric conversion
Deep snow in Brooklyn during the Blizzard of 2006 Nor'EasterUnder the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), and is thus the northernmost major city on the North American continent with this categorization. The suburbs to the immediate north and west lie in the transitional zone between humid subtropical and humid continental climates (Dfa).[207][208] By the Trewartha classification, the city is defined as having an oceanic climate (Do).[209][210] Annually, the city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine.[211] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[212]
Winters are chilly and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow sea breezes offshore temper the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachian Mountains keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 33.3 °F (0.7 °C).[213] Temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[214] yet can also reach 60 °F (16 °C) for several days even in the coldest winter month. Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from cool to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 77.5 °F (25.3 °C) in July.[213]
Nighttime temperatures are often enhanced due to the urban heat island effect. Daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C), although this is a rare achievement, last occurring on July 18, 2012.[215] Similarly, readings of 0 °F (−18 °C) are also extremely rare, last occurring on February 14, 2016.[216] Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936;[213] the coldest recorded wind chill was −37 °F (−38 °C) on the same day as the all-time record low.[217] The record cold daily maximum was 2 °F (−17 °C) on December 30, 1917, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum was 87 °F (31 °C), on July 2, 1903.[215] The average water temperature of the nearby Atlantic Ocean ranges from 39.7 °F (4.3 °C) in February to 74.1 °F (23.4 °C) in August.[218]
The city receives 49.5 inches (1,260 mm) of precipitation annually, which is relatively evenly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall between 1991 and 2020 has been 29.8 inches (76 cm); this varies considerably between years. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area.[219] Hurricane Sandy brought a destructive storm surge to New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, flooding numerous streets, tunnels, and subway lines in Lower Manhattan and other areas of the city and cutting off electricity in many parts of the city and its suburbs.[220] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the city and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[155][156]
The coldest month on record is January 1857, with a mean temperature of 19.6 °F (−6.9 °C) whereas the warmest months on record are July 1825 and July 1999, both with a mean temperature of 81.4 °F (27.4 °C).[221] The warmest years on record are 2012 and 2020, both with mean temperatures of 57.1 °F (13.9 °C). The coldest year is 1836, with a mean temperature of 47.3 °F (8.5 °C).[221][222] The driest month on record is June 1949, with 0.02 inches (0.51 mm) of rainfall. The wettest month was August 2011, with 18.95 inches (481 mm) of rainfall. The driest year on record is 1965, with 26.09 inches (663 mm) of rainfall. The wettest year was 1983, with 80.56 inches (2,046 mm) of rainfall.[223] The snowiest month on record is February 2010, with 36.9 inches (94 cm) of snowfall. The snowiest season (Jul–Jun) on record is 1995–1996, with 75.6 inches (192 cm) of snowfall. The least snowy season was 2022–2023, with 2.3 inches (5.8 cm) of snowfall.[224] The earliest seasonal trace of snowfall occurred on October 10, in both 1979 and 1925. The latest seasonal trace of snowfall occurred on May 9, in both 2020 and 1977.[225]
vteClimate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1991–2020 normals,[b] extremes 1869–present[c]MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearRecord high °F (°C)72(22)78(26)86(30)96(36)99(37)101(38)106(41)104(40)102(39)94(34)84(29)75(24)106(41)Mean maximum °F (°C)60.4(15.8)60.7(15.9)70.3(21.3)82.9(28.3)88.5(31.4)92.1(33.4)95.7(35.4)93.4(34.1)89.0(31.7)79.7(26.5)70.7(21.5)62.9(17.2)97.0(36.1)Average high °F (°C)39.5(4.2)42.2(5.7)49.9(9.9)61.8(16.6)71.4(21.9)79.7(26.5)84.9(29.4)83.3(28.5)76.2(24.6)64.5(18.1)54.0(12.2)44.3(6.8)62.6(17.0)Daily mean °F (°C)33.7(0.9)35.9(2.2)42.8(6.0)53.7(12.1)63.2(17.3)72.0(22.2)77.5(25.3)76.1(24.5)69.2(20.7)57.9(14.4)48.0(8.9)39.1(3.9)55.8(13.2)Average low °F (°C)27.9(−2.3)29.5(−1.4)35.8(2.1)45.5(7.5)55.0(12.8)64.4(18.0)70.1(21.2)68.9(20.5)62.3(16.8)51.4(10.8)42.0(5.6)33.8(1.0)48.9(9.4)Mean minimum °F (°C)9.8(−12.3)12.7(−10.7)19.7(−6.8)32.8(0.4)43.9(6.6)52.7(11.5)61.8(16.6)60.3(15.7)50.2(10.1)38.4(3.6)27.7(−2.4)18.0(−7.8)7.7(−13.5)Record low °F (°C)−6(−21)−15(−26)3(−16)12(−11)32(0)44(7)52(11)50(10)39(4)28(−2)5(−15)−13(−25)−15(−26)Average precipitation inches (mm)3.64(92)3.19(81)4.29(109)4.09(104)3.96(101)4.54(115)4.60(117)4.56(116)4.31(109)4.38(111)3.58(91)4.38(111)49.52(1,258)Average snowfall inches (cm)8.8(22)10.1(26)5.0(13)0.4(1.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.1(0.25)0.5(1.3)4.9(12)29.8(76)Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)10.810.011.111.411.511.210.510. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) relative humidity (%)61.560.258.555.362.765. dew point °F (°C)18.0(−7.8)19.0(−7.2)25.9(−3.4)34.0(1.1)47.3(8.5)57.4(14.1)61.9(16.6)62.1(16.7)55.6(13.1)44.1(6.7)34.0(1.1)24.6(−4.1)40.3(4.6)Mean monthly sunshine hours162.7163.1212.5225.6256.6257.3268.2268.2219.3211.2151.0139.02,534.7Percent possible sunshine54555757575759635961514857Average ultraviolet index2346788864215Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990; dew point 1965–1984)[215][227][211][228]Source 2: Weather Atlas[229]See Climate of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.
Sea temperature data for New YorkMonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage sea temperature °F (°C)41.7(5.4)39.7(4.3)40.2(4.5)45.1(7.3)52.5(11.4)64.5(18.1)72.1(22.3)74.1(23.4)70.1(21.2)63.0(17.2)54.3(12.4)47.2(8.4)55.4(13.0)Source: Weather Atlas[229]
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.See or edit raw graph data.
ParksMain article: List of New York City parksA spherical sculpture and several attractions line a park during a World's Fair.Flushing Meadows–Corona Park was used in both the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fair.The city of New York has a complex park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In its 2018 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported that the park system in New York City was the ninth-best park system among the fifty most populous U.S. cities.[230] ParkScore ranks urban park systems by a formula that analyzes median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents. In 2021, the New York City Council banned the use of synthetic pesticides by city agencies and instead required organic lawn management. The effort was started by teacher Paula Rogovin's kindergarten class at P.S. 290.[231]
National parksMain article: National Park Service
The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, a global symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty, freedom, and opportunity[31]Gateway National Recreation Area contains over 26,000 acres (110 km2), most of it in New York City.[232] In Brooklyn and Queens, the park contains over 9,000 acres (36 km2) of salt marsh, wetlands, islands, and water, including most of Jamaica Bay and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Also in Queens, the park includes a significant portion of the western Rockaway Peninsula, most notably Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden. In Staten Island, it includes Fort Wadsworth, with historic pre-Civil War era Battery Weed and Fort Tompkins, and Great Kills Park, with beaches, trails, and a marina.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Immigration Museum are managed by the National Park Service and are in both New York and New Jersey. They are joined in the harbor by Governors Island National Monument. Historic sites under federal management on Manhattan Island include Stonewall National Monument; Castle Clinton National Monument; Federal Hall National Memorial; Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site; General Grant National Memorial (Grant's Tomb); African Burial Ground National Monument; and Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Hundreds of properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Historic Landmark.
State parksMain article: New York state parksThere are seven state parks within the confines of New York City. Some of them include:
The Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve is a natural area that includes extensive riding trails.Riverbank State Park is a 28-acre (11 ha) facility that rises 69 feet (21 m) over the Hudson River.[233]Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a state park in Brooklyn and Manhattan that borders the East River that was renamed in honor of Marsha P. Johnson.[234]City parksSee also: New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
The Pond and Midtown Manhattan as seen from Gapstow Bridge in Central Park
The Boathouse on the Lullwater in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, almost demolished in 1964New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches.[235] The largest municipal park in the city is Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, with 2,772 acres (1,122 ha).[190][236]
Central Park, an 843-acre (3.41 km2)[190] park in middle-upper Manhattan, is the most visited urban park in the United States and one of the most filmed and visited locations in the world, with 40 million visitors in 2013.[237] The park has a wide range of attractions; there are several lakes and ponds, two ice-skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, and the 106-acre (0.43 km2) Jackie Onassis Reservoir.[238] Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, and the historic Carousel. On October 23, 2012, hedge fund manager John A. Paulson announced a $100 million gift to the Central Park Conservancy, the largest ever monetary donation to New York City's park system.[239]Washington Square Park is a prominent landmark in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. The Washington Square Arch at the northern gateway to the park is an iconic symbol of both New York University and Greenwich Village.Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a 90-acre (36 ha) meadow, a lake, and extensive woodlands. Within the park is the historic Battle Pass, prominent in the Battle of Long Island.[240]Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, with its 897 acres (363 ha) making it the city's fourth largest park,[241] was the setting for the 1939 World's Fair and the 1964 World's Fair[242] and is host to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the annual U.S. Open Tennis Championships tournament.[243]Over a fifth of the Bronx's area, 7,000 acres (28 km2), is dedicated to open space and parks, including Pelham Bay Park, Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Gardens.[244]In Staten Island, the Conference House Park contains the historic Conference House, site of the only attempt of a peaceful resolution to the American Revolution which was conducted in September 1775, attended by Benjamin Franklin representing the Americans and Lord Howe representing the British Crown.[245] The historic Burial Ridge, the largest Native American burial ground within New York City, is within the park.[246]Military installationsBrooklyn is home to Fort Hamilton, the U.S. military's only active duty installation within New York City,[247] aside from Coast Guard operations. The facility was established in 1825 on the site of a small battery used during the American Revolution, and it is one of America's longest serving military forts.[248] Today, Fort Hamilton serves as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and for the New York City Recruiting Battalion. It also houses the 1179th Transportation Brigade, the 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, and a military entrance processing station. Other formerly active military reservations still used for National Guard and military training or reserve operations in the city include Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and Fort Totten in Queens.
DemographicsHistorical populationYearPop.±%16984,937— 17125,840+18.3%17237,248+24.1%173710,664+47.1%174611,717+9.9%175613,046+11.3%177121,863+67.6%179049,401+126.0%180079,216+60.4%1810119,734+51.1%1820152,056+27.0%1830242,278+59.3%1840391,114+61.4%1850696,115+78.0%18601,174,779+68.8%18701,478,103+25.8%18801,911,698+29.3%18902,507,414+31.2%19003,437,202+37.1%19104,766,883+38.7%19205,620,048+17.9%19306,930,446+23.3%19407,454,995+7.6%19507,891,957+5.9%19607,781,984−1.4%19707,894,862+1.5%19807,071,639−10.4%19907,322,564+3.5%20008,008,278+9.4%20108,175,133+2.1%20208,804,190+7.7%Note: Census figures (1790–2010) cover the present area of all five boroughs, before and after the 1898 consolidation. For New York City itself before annexing part of the Bronx in 1874, see Manhattan#Demographics.[249]Source: U.S. Decennial Census;[250]1698–1771[251] 1790–1890[249][252]1900–1990[253] articles: Demographics of New York City, New York City ethnic enclaves, and Demographic history of New York CityHistorical demographics2020[258]2010[259]1990[260]1970[260]1940[260]New York City is the most populous city in the United States,[261] with 8,804,190 residents incorporating more immigration into the city than outmigration since the 2010 United States census.[257][262][263] More than twice as many people live in New York City as compared to Los Angeles, the second-most populous U.S. city;[261] and New York has more than three times the population of Chicago, the third-most populous U.S. city. New York City gained more residents between 2010 and 2020 (629,000) than any other U.S. city, and a greater amount than the total sum of the gains over the same decade of the next four largest U.S. cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Phoenix, Arizona combined.[264][265] New York City's population is about 44% of New York State's population,[266] and about 39% of the population of the New York metropolitan area.[267] The majority of New York City residents in 2020 (5,141,538, or 58.4%) were living on Long Island, in Brooklyn, or in Queens.[268] The New York City metropolitan statistical area, has the largest foreign-born population of any metropolitan region in the world. The New York region continues to be by far the leading metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants admitted into the United States, substantially exceeding the combined totals of Los Angeles and Miami.[269]
Population densityIn 2020, the city had an estimated population density of 29,302.37 inhabitants per square mile (11,313.71/km2), rendering it the nation's most densely populated of all larger municipalities (those with more than 100,000 residents), with several small cities (of fewer than 100,000) in adjacent Hudson County, New Jersey having greater density, as per the 2010 census.[270] Geographically co-extensive with New York County, the borough of Manhattan's 2017 population density of 72,918 inhabitants per square mile (28,154/km2) makes it the highest of any county in the United States and higher than the density of any individual American city.[271][272][273] The next three densest counties in the United States, placing second through fourth, are also New York boroughs: Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens respectively.[274]
Race and ethnicityFurther information: African Americans in New York City, Bangladeshis in New York City, Caribbeans in New York City, Chinese in New York City, Dominican Americans in New York City, Filipinos in New York City, Fuzhounese in New York City, Indians in New York City, Irish in New York City, Italians in New York City, Japanese in New York City, Koreans in New York City, Pakistanis in New York City, Puerto Ricans in New York City, Russians in New York City, and Ukrainians in New York CityThe city's population in 2020 was 30.9% White (non-Hispanic), 28.7% Hispanic or Latino, 20.2% Black or African American (non-Hispanic), 15.6% Asian, and 0.2% Native American (non-Hispanic).[275] A total of 3.4% of the non-Hispanic population identified with more than one race. Throughout its history, New York has been a major port of entry for immigrants into the United States. More than 12 million European immigrants were received at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.[276] The term "melting pot" was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side. By 1900, Germans were the largest immigrant group, followed by the Irish, Jews, and Italians.[277] In 1940, Whites represented 92% of the city's population.[260]
Approximately 37% of the city's population is foreign born, and more than half of all children are born to mothers who are immigrants as of 2013.[278][279] In New York, no single country or region of origin dominates.[278] The ten largest sources of foreign-born individuals in the city as of 2011 were the Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago,[280] while the Bangladeshi-born immigrant population has become one of the fastest growing in the city, counting over 74,000 by 2011.[26][281]
Asian Americans in New York City, according to the 2010 census, number more than one million, greater than the combined totals of San Francisco and Los Angeles.[282] New York contains the highest total Asian population of any U.S. city proper.[283] The New York City borough of Queens is home to the state's largest Asian American population and the largest Andean (Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Bolivian) populations in the United States, and is also the most ethnically and linguistically diverse urban area in the world.[284][185] Tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Venezuela have arrived in New York City since 2022.[285]Chinatown, Manhattan
Lower Manhattan's Little Italy
Koreatown, Midtown Manhattan
Upper Manhattan's Spanish Harlem
Little Russia, Brooklyn
Little India, Queens
Little Brazil, Manhattan
Little Manila, QueensThe Chinese population is the fastest-growing nationality in New York State. Multiple satellites of the original Manhattan's Chinatown—home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[286] as well as in Brooklyn, and around Flushing, Queens, are thriving as traditionally urban enclaves—while also expanding rapidly eastward into suburban Nassau County[287] on Long Island,[288] as the New York metropolitan region and New York State have become the top destinations for new Chinese immigrants, respectively, and large-scale Chinese immigration continues into New York City and surrounding areas,[269][289][290][291][292][293] with the largest metropolitan Chinese diaspora outside Asia,[26][294] including an estimated 812,410 individuals in 2015.[295]
In 2012, 6.3% of New York City was of Chinese ethnicity, with nearly three-fourths living in either Queens or Brooklyn, geographically on Long Island.[296] A community numbering 20,000 Korean-Chinese (Chaoxianzu or Joseonjok) is centered in Flushing, Queens, while New York City is also home to the largest Tibetan population outside China, India, and Nepal, also centered in Queens.[297] Koreans made up 1.2% of the city's population, and Japanese 0.3%. Filipinos were the largest Southeast Asian ethnic group at 0.8%, followed by Vietnamese, who made up 0.2% of New York City's population in 2010. Indians are the largest South Asian group, comprising 2.4% of the city's population, with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis at 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.[298] Queens is the preferred borough of settlement for Asian Indians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Malaysians,[299][269] and other Southeast Asians;[300] while Brooklyn is receiving large numbers of both West Indian and Asian Indian immigrants, and Manhattan is the favored destination for Japanese.
New York City has the largest European and non-Hispanic white population of any American city. At 2.7 million in 2012, New York's non-Hispanic White population is larger than the non-Hispanic White populations of Los Angeles (1.1 million), Chicago (865,000), and Houston (550,000) combined.[301] The non-Hispanic White population was 6.6 million in 1940.[302] The non-Hispanic White population has begun to increase since 2010.[303]
The European diaspora residing in the city is very diverse. According to 2012 census estimates, there were roughly 560,000 Italian Americans, 385,000 Irish Americans, 253,000 German Americans, 223,000 Russian Americans, 201,000 Polish Americans, and 137,000 English Americans. Additionally, Greek and French Americans numbered 65,000 each, with those of Hungarian descent estimated at 60,000 people. Ukrainian and Scottish Americans numbered 55,000 and 35,000, respectively. People identifying ancestry from Spain numbered 30,838 total in 2010.[304]
People of Norwegian and Swedish descent both stood at about 20,000 each, while people of Czech, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh descent all numbered between 12,000 and 14,000.[305] Arab Americans number over 160,000 in New York City,[306] with the highest concentration in Brooklyn. Central Asians, primarily Uzbek Americans, are a rapidly growing segment of the city's non-Hispanic White population, enumerating over 30,000, and including more than half of all Central Asian immigrants to the United States,[307] most settling in Queens or Brooklyn. Albanian Americans are most highly concentrated in the Bronx,[308] while Astoria, Queens is the epicenter of American Greek culture as well as the Cypriot community.
New York is also home to the highest Jewish population of any city in the world, numbering 1.6 million in 2022, more than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem combined.[309] In the borough of Brooklyn, an estimated 1 in 4 residents is Jewish.[310] The city's Jewish communities are derived from many diverse sects, predominantly from around the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and including a rapidly growing Orthodox Jewish population, also the largest outside Israel.[297]
The metropolitan area is also home to 20% of the nation's Indian Americans and at least 20 Little India enclaves, and 15% of all Korean Americans and four Koreatowns;[255] the largest Asian Indian population in the Western Hemisphere; the largest Russian American,[289] Italian American, and African American populations; the largest Dominican American, Puerto Rican American, and South American[289] and second-largest overall Hispanic population in the United States, numbering 4.8 million;[304] and includes multiple established Chinatowns within New York City alone.[311]
Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela are the top source countries from South America for immigrants to the New York City region; the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean; Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa from Africa; and El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala in Central America.[312] Amidst a resurgence of Puerto Rican migration to New York City, this population had increased to approximately 1.3 million in the metropolitan area as of 2013.
Since 2010, Little Australia has emerged and is growing rapidly, representing the Australasian presence in Nolita, Manhattan.[313][314][315][316] In 2011, there were an estimated 20,000 Australian residents of New York City, nearly quadruple the 5,537 in 2005.[317][318] Qantas Airways of Australia and Air New Zealand have been planning for long-haul flights from New York to Sydney and Auckland, which would both rank among the longest non-stop flights in the world.[319] A Little Sri Lanka has developed in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island.[320] Le Petit Sénégal, or Little Senegal, is based in Harlem. Richmond Hill, Queens is often thought of as "Little Guyana" for its large Guyanese community,[321] as well as Punjab Avenue (ਪੰਜਾਬ ਐਵੇਨਿਊ), or Little Punjab, for its high concentration of Punjabi people. Little Poland is expanding rapidly in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Sexual orientation and gender identityMain articles: LGBT culture in New York City, Stonewall riots, NYC Pride March, List of largest LGBT events, and List of LGBT people from New York CityFurther information: New York City Drag March, Queens Liberation Front, Queens Pride Parade, Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, and Same-sex marriage in New York
Philippine-born Geena Rocero introducing International Transgender Day of Visibility
Caribbean NYC-LGBTQ Equality Project
The NYC Dyke March, the world's largest celebration of lesbian pride and culture[322]
Spectators at a BDSM street fair in Lower Manhattan
NYC Pride March in Manhattan, the world's largest[323][324]
The Multicultural Festival at the 2018 Queens Pride ParadeNew York City has been described as the gay capital of the world and the central node of the LGBTQ+ sociopolitical ecosystem, and is home to one of the world's largest LGBTQ populations and the most prominent.[48] The New York metropolitan area is home to about 570,000 self-identifying gay and bisexual people, the largest in the United States.[325][326] Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults has been legal in New York since the New York v. Onofre case in 1980 which invalidated the state's sodomy law.[327] Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011, and were authorized to take place on July 23, 2011.[328] Brian Silverman, the author of Frommer's New York City from $90 a Day, wrote the city has "one of the world's largest, loudest, and most powerful LGBT communities", and "Gay and lesbian culture is as much a part of New York's basic identity as yellow cabs, high-rise buildings, and Broadway theatre".[329] LGBT travel guide Queer in the World states, "The fabulosity of Gay New York is unrivaled on Earth, and queer culture seeps into every corner of its five boroughs".[330] LGBT advocate and entertainer Madonna stated metaphorically, "Anyways, not only is New York City the best place in the world because of the queer people here. Let me tell you something, if you can make it here, then you must be queer."[331]
The annual New York City Pride March (or gay pride parade) proceeds southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan; the parade is the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.[332][323] The annual Queens Pride Parade is held in Jackson Heights and is accompanied by the ensuing Multicultural Parade.[333]
Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest international Pride celebration in history, produced by Heritage of Pride and enhanced through a partnership with the I ❤ NY program's LGBT division, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with 150,000 participants and five million spectators attending in Manhattan alone.[334] New York City is also home to the largest transgender population in the world, estimated at more than 50,000 in 2018, concentrated in Manhattan and Queens; however, until the June 1969 Stonewall riots, this community had felt marginalized and neglected by the gay community.[333][140] Brooklyn Liberation March, the largest transgender-rights demonstration in LGBTQ history, took place on June 14, 2020, stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Fort Greene, Brooklyn, focused on supporting Black transgender lives, drawing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 affiliation (2014)[337][338]Christian 59%Catholic 33%Protestant 23%Other Christian 3%Unaffiliated 24%Jewish 8%Muslim 4%Hindu 2%Buddhist 1%Other faiths 1%Religious affiliations in New York City
The landmark Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic St. Patrick's Cathedral, Midtown Manhattan
Central Synagogue, a notable Reform synagogue located at 652 Lexington Avenue
The Islamic Cultural Center of New York in Upper Manhattan, the first mosque built in New York City
Ganesh Temple in Flushing, Queens, the oldest Hindu temple in the U.S.ChristianityFurther information: St. Patrick's Cathedral (Midtown Manhattan), Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and Christmas in New YorkLargely as a result of Western European missionary work and colonialism, Christianity is the largest religion (59% adherent) in New York City,[337] which is home to the highest number of churches of any city in the world.[16] Roman Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination (33%), followed by Protestantism (23%), and other Christian denominations (3%). The Roman Catholic population are primarily served by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn. Eastern Catholics are divided into numerous jurisdictions throughout the city. Evangelical Protestantism is the largest branch of Protestantism in the city (9%), followed by Mainline Protestantism (8%), while the converse is usually true for other cities and metropolitan areas.[338] In Evangelicalism, Baptists are the largest group; in Mainline Protestantism, Reformed Protestants compose the largest subset. The majority of historically African American churches are affiliated with the National Baptist Convention (USA) and Progressive National Baptist Convention. The Church of God in Christ is one of the largest predominantly Black Pentecostal denominations in the area. Approximately 1% of the population is Mormon. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and other Orthodox Christians (mainstream and independent) were the largest Eastern Christian groups. The American Orthodox Catholic Church (initially led by Aftimios Ofiesh) was founded in New York City in 1927.
JudaismMain articles: Judaism in New York City, History of the Jews in New York, and Jewish arrival in New AmsterdamJudaism, the second-largest religion practiced in New York City, with approximately 1.6 million adherents as of 2022, represents the largest Jewish community of any city in the world, greater than the combined totals of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.[339][340] Nearly half of the city's Jews live in Brooklyn, which is one-quarter Jewish.[341][342] The ethno-religious population makes up 18.4% of the city and its religious demographic makes up 8%.[343] The first recorded Jewish settler was Jacob Barsimson, who arrived in August 1654 on a passport from the Dutch West India Company.[344] Following the assassination of Alexander II of Russia, for which many blamed "the Jews", the 36 years beginning in 1881 experienced the largest wave of Jewish immigration to the United States.[345] In 2012, the largest Jewish denominations were Orthodox, Haredi, and Conservative Judaism.[346] Reform Jewish communities are prevalent through the area. 770 Eastern Parkway is the headquarters of the international Chabad Lubavitch movement, and is considered an icon, while Congregation Emanu-El of New York in Manhattan is the largest Reform synagogue in the world.
IslamMain article: Islam in New York CityIslam ranks as the third largest religion in New York City, following Christianity and Judaism, with estimates ranging between 600,000 and 1,000,000 observers of Islam, including 10% of the city's public school children.[347] Given both the size and scale of the city, as well as its relative proxinity and accessibility by air transportation to the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia, 22.3% of American Muslims live in New York City, with 1.5 million Muslims in the greater New York metropolitan area, representing the largest metropolitan Muslim population in the Western Hemisphere[348]—and the most ethnically diverse Muslim population of any city in the world.[349] Powers Street Mosque in Brooklyn is one of the oldest continuously operating mosques in the U.S., and represents the first Islamic organization in both the city and the state of New York.[350][351]
Hinduism and other religious affiliationsFurther information: Hindu Temple Society of North AmericaFollowing these three largest religious groups in New York City are Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and a variety of other religions. As of 2023, 24% of Greater New Yorkers identified with no organized religious affiliation, including 4% Atheist.[352]
Wealth and income disparityNew York City, like other large cities, has a high degree of income disparity, as indicated by its Gini coefficient of 0.55 as of 2017.[353] In the first quarter of 2014, the average weekly wage in New York County (Manhattan) was $2,749, representing the highest total among large counties in the United States.[354] In 2022, New York City was home to the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world, including former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, with a total of 107.[21] New York also had the highest density of millionaires per capita among major U.S. cities in 2014, at 4.6% of residents.[355] New York City is one of the relatively few American cities levying an income tax (about 3%) on its residents.[356][357][358] As of 2018, there were 78,676 homeless people in New York City.[359]
EconomyMain article: Economy of New York CityFurther information: Economy of Long Island and Economy of New York
Midtown Manhattan, the world's largest central business district[360]see captionThe Financial District of Lower ManhattanNew York City is a global hub of business and commerce and an established safe haven for global investors, and is sometimes described as the capital of the world.[361] The term global city was popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo.[362] New York is a center for worldwide banking and finance, health care and life sciences,[13] medical technology and research, retailing, world trade, transportation, tourism, real estate, new media, traditional media, advertising, legal services, accountancy, insurance, both musical and prose theater, fashion, and the arts in the United States; while Silicon Alley, metonymous for New York's broad-spectrum high technology sphere, continues to expand. The Port of New York and New Jersey is a major economic engine, benefitting post-Panamax from the expansion of the Panama Canal, and accelerating ahead of California seaports in monthly cargo volumes in 2023.[363][364][365]
Many Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in New York City,[366] as are a large number of multinational corporations. New York City has been ranked first among cities across the globe in attracting capital, business, and tourists.[367][368] New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry is metonymously reflected as Madison Avenue.[369] The city's fashion industry provides approximately 180,000 employees with $11 billion in annual wages.[370] The non-profit Partnership for New York City, currently headed by Kathryn Wylde, is the city's pre-eminent private business association, comprising approximately 330 corporate leaders in membership. The fashion industry is based in Midtown Manhattan and is represented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA), headquartered in Lower Manhattan.
Significant economic sectors also include non-profit institutions, and universities. Manufacturing declined over the 20th century but still accounts for significant employment. particularly in smaller operations. The city's apparel and garment industry, historically centered on the Garment District in Manhattan, peaked in 1950, when more than 323,000 workers were employed in the industry in New York. In 2015, fewer than 23,000 New York City residents were employed in the manufacture of garments, accessories, and finished textiles, although efforts to revive the industry were underway,[371] and the American fashion industry continues to be metonymized as Seventh Avenue.[372]
Chocolate is New York City's leading specialty-food export, with up to $234 million worth of exports each year.[373] Godiva, one of the world's largest chocolatiers, is headquartered in Manhattan,[374] and an unofficial chocolate district in Brooklyn is home to several chocolate makers and retailers.[375] Food processing is a $5 billion industry that employs more than 19,000 residents.
In 2017, there were 205,592 employer firms in New York City.[259] Of those firms, 64,514 were owned by minorities, and 125,877 were shown to be owned by non-minorities. Veterans owned 5,506 of those firms.[259]View of Midtown Manhattan from New Jersey, taken in September 2021Wall StreetMain article: Wall StreetA large Flag is stretched over Roman style columns on the front of a large building.The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, the world's largest stock exchange per total market capitalization of its listed companies[376][377]New York City's most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S. financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. The city's securities industry continues to form the largest segment of the city's financial sector and is an important economic engine. Many large financial companies are headquartered in New York City, and the city is also home to a burgeoning number of financial startup companies.
Lower Manhattan is home to the New York Stock Exchange, at 11 Wall Street, and the Nasdaq, at 165 Broadway, representing the world's largest and second largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall average daily trading volume and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.[376][377] Investment banking fees on Wall Street totaled approximately $40 billion in 2012,[378] while in 2013, senior New York City bank officers who manage risk and compliance functions earned as much as $324,000 annually.[379] In fiscal year 2013–14, Wall Street's securities industry generated 19% of New York State's tax revenue.[380]
New York City remains the largest global center for trading in public equity and debt capital markets, driven in part by the size and financial development of the U.S. economy.[381]: 31–32 [382] New York also leads in hedge fund management; private equity; and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions. Several investment banks and investment managers headquartered in Manhattan are important participants in other global financial centers.[381]: 34–35  New York is also the principal commercial banking center of the United States.[383]
Many of the world's largest media conglomerates are also based in the city. Manhattan contained over 500 million square feet (46.5 million m2) of office space in 2018,[384] making it the largest office market in the United States,[385] while Midtown Manhattan, with 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) in 2018,[384] is the largest central business district in the world.[386]
Tech and biotechFurther information: Tech:NYC, Tech companies in New York City, Biotech companies in New York City, and Silicon Alley
View from the Empire State Building looking southward (downtown) at the central Flatiron District, the cradle of Silicon Alley, now metonymous for the New York metropolitan region's high tech sector
The Cornell Tech at the Roosevelt IslandNew York is a top-tier global technology hub.[11] Silicon Alley, once a metonym for the sphere encompassing the metropolitan region's high technology industries,[387] is no longer a relevant moniker as the city's tech Environment has expanded dramatically both in location and in its scope. New York City's current tech sphere encompasses a universal array of applications involving artificial intelligence, the internet, new media, financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency, biotechnology, game design, and other fields within information technology that are supported by its entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments.
Technology-driven startup companies and entrepreneurial employment are growing in New York City and the region. The technology sector has been claiming a greater share of New York City's economy since 2010.[388] Tech:NYC, founded in 2016, is a non-profit organization which represents New York City's technology industry with government, civic institutions, in business, and in the media, and whose primary goals are to further augment New York's substantial tech talent base and to advocate for policies that will nurture tech companies to grow in the city.[389]
The biotechnology sector is also growing in New York City, based upon the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. On December 19, 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a $2 billion graduate school of applied sciences called Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital.[390][391] By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than $30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of $100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.[392]
Real estate
Deutsche Bank Center as seen from Central Park WestReal estate is a major force in the city's economy, as the total value of all New York City property was assessed at US$1.072 trillion for the 2017 fiscal year, an increase of 10.6% from the previous year, with 89% of the increase coming from market effects.[393]
In 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten ZIP codes in the United States by median housing price.[394] Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commands the highest retail rents in the world, at $3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) in 2017.[395] In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States achieved completion in Manhattan, at a selling price of $238 million, for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park.[396] In 2022, one-bedroom apartments in Manhattan rented at a median monthly price of US$3,600.00, one of the world's highest. New York City real estate is a safe haven for global investors.[19]
TourismMain article: Tourism in New York City
Times Square, the hub of the Broadway theater district and a global media center, is one of the world's leading tourist attractions with 50 million tourists annually.[37]
The I Love New York logo designed by Milton Glaser in 1977Tourism is a vital industry for New York City, and NYC & Company represents the city's official bureau of tourism. New York has witnessed a growing combined volume of international and domestic tourists, reflecting over 60 million visitors to the city per year, the world's busiest tourist destination.[16] Approximately 12 million visitors to New York City have been from outside the United States, with the highest numbers from the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, and China. Multiple sources have called New York the most photographed city in the world.[397][398][399]
I Love New York (stylized I ❤ NY) is both a logo and a song that are the basis of an advertising campaign and have been used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City,[400] and later to promote New York State as well. The trademarked logo, owned by New York State Empire State Development,[401] appears in souvenir shops and brochures throughout the city and state, some licensed, many not. The song is the state song of New York.
The majority of the most high-profile tourist destinations to the city are situated in Manhattan. These include Times Square; Broadway theater productions; the Empire State Building; the Statue of Liberty; Ellis Island; the United Nations headquarters; the World Trade Center (including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and One World Trade Center); the art museums along Museum Mile; green spaces such as Central Park, Washington Square Park, the High Line, and the medieval gardens of The Cloisters; the Stonewall Inn; Rockefeller Center; ethnic enclaves including the Manhattan Chinatown, Koreatown, Curry Hill, Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Little Italy, and Little Australia; luxury shopping along Fifth and Madison Avenues; and events such as the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village; the Brooklyn Bridge (shared with Brooklyn); the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; the St. Patrick's Day Parade; seasonal activities such as ice skating in Central Park in the wintertime; the Tribeca Film Festival; and free performances in Central Park at SummerStage.[402]
Points of interest have also developed in the city outside Manhattan and have made the outer boroughs tourist destinations in their own right. These include numerous ethnic enclaves; the Unisphere, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, and Downtown Flushing in Queens; Downtown Brooklyn, Coney Island, Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Prospect Park in Brooklyn; the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx; and the Staten Island Ferry shuttling passengers between Staten Island and the South Ferry Terminal bordering Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, at the historical birthplace of New York City.
Media and entertainmentMain article: Media in New York CityFurther information: New Yorkers in journalism
Rockefeller Center, one of Manhattan's leading media and entertainment hubs
Times Square Studios on Times Square is sometimes called the "Crossroads of the World".New York City has been described as the entertainment[16][403][404] and digital media capital of the world.[405] The city is a prominent location for the American entertainment industry, with many films, television series, books, and other media being set there.[406] As of 2019, New York City was the second-largest center for filmmaking and television production in the United States, producing about 200 feature films annually, employing 130,000 individuals. The filmed entertainment industry has been growing in New York, contributing nearly $9 billion to the New York City economy alone as of 2015.[407] By volume, New York is the world leader in independent film production—one-third of all American independent films are produced there.[408][409] The Association of Independent Commercial Producers is also based in New York.[410] In the first five months of 2014 alone, location filming for television pilots in New York City exceeded the record production levels for all of 2013,[411] with New York surpassing Los Angeles as the top North American city for the same distinction during the 2013–2014 cycle.[412]
New York City is the center for the advertising, music, newspaper, digital media, and publishing industries and is also the largest media market in North America.[413] Some of the city's media conglomerates and institutions include Warner Bros. Discovery, the Thomson Reuters Corporation, the Associated Press, Bloomberg L.P., the News Corp, The New York Times Company, NBCUniversal, the Hearst Corporation, AOL, Fox Corporation, and Paramount Global. Seven of the world's top eight global advertising agency networks have their headquarters in New York.[414] Two of the top three record labels' headquarters are in New York: Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. Universal Music Group also has offices in New York. New media enterprises are contributing an increasingly important component to the city's central role in the media sphere.
More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city,[409] and the publishing industry employs about 25,000 people.[415] Two of the three national daily newspapers with the largest circulations in the United States are published in New York: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYT). Nicknamed "the Grey Lady", the NYT has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and is considered the U.S. media's newspaper of record.[34] Tabloid newspapers in the city include the New York Daily News, which was founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson,[416] and The New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton.[417] At the local news end of the media spectrum, Patch Media is also headquartered in Manhattan.
New York City also has a comprehensive ethnic press, with 270 newspapers and magazines published in more than 40 languages.[418] El Diario La Prensa is New York's largest Spanish-language daily and the oldest in the nation.[419] The New York Amsterdam News, published in Harlem, is a prominent African American newspaper. The Village Voice, historically the largest alternative newspaper in the United States, announced in 2017 that it would cease publication of its print edition and convert to a fully digital venture.[420] The television and radio industry developed in New York and is a significant employer in the city's economy. The three major American broadcast networks are all headquartered in New York: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Many cable networks are based in the city as well, including CNN, MSNBC, MTV, Fox News, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, Food Network, AMC, and Comedy Central. News 12 Networks operated News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn. WBAI, with news and information programming, is one of the few socialist radio stations operating in the United States.
New York is also a major center for non-commercial educational media. NYC Media is the official public radio, television, and online media network and broadcasting service of New York City,[421] and this network has produced several original Emmy Award-winning shows covering music and culture in city neighborhoods and city government. The oldest public-access television channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971.[422] WNET is the city's major public television station and a primary source of national Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television programming. WNYC, a public radio station owned by the city until 1997, has the largest public radio audience in the United States.[423]
Climate resiliencyAs an oceanic port city, New York City is vulnerable to the long-term manifestations of global warming and rising seas. Climate change has spawned the development of a significant climate resiliency and Environmental sustainability economy in the city. Governors Island is slated to host a US$1 billion research and education center intended to establish New York's role as the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[424]
EducationMain article: Education in New York City
Butler Library at Columbia University, described as one of the most beautiful college libraries in the United States[425]
The Washington Square Arch, an unofficial icon of both New York University and the Greenwich Village neighborhood that surrounds it
Fordham University's Keating Hall in the BronxNew York City has the largest educational system of any city in the world.[16] The city's educational infrastructure spans primary education, secondary education, higher education, and research.
Primary and secondary educationThe New York City Public Schools system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest public school system in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 separate primary and secondary schools.[426] The city's public school system includes nine specialized high schools to serve academically and artistically gifted students. The city government pays the Pelham Public Schools to educate a very small, detached section of the Bronx.[427]
The New York City Charter School Center assists the setup of new charter schools.[428] There are approximately 900 additional privately run secular and religious schools in the city.[429]
Higher education and researchMore than a million students, the highest number of any city in the United States,[430] are enrolled in New York City's more than 120 higher education institutions, with more than half a million in the City University of New York (CUNY) system alone as of 2020, including both degree and professional programs.[431] According to Academic Ranking of World Universities, New York City has, on average, the best higher education institutions of any global city.[432]
The public CUNY system is one of the largest universities in the nation, comprising 25 institutions across all five boroughs: senior colleges, community colleges, and other graduate/professional schools. The public State University of New York (SUNY) system includes campuses in New York City, including SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY Maritime College, and SUNY College of Optometry.
New York City is home to such notable private universities as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Rockefeller University, and Yeshiva University; several of these universities are ranked among the top universities in the world,[433][434] while some of the world's most prestigious institutions like Princeton University and Yale University remain in the New York metropolitan area.
The city also hosts other smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as Pace University, St. John's University, The Juilliard School, Manhattan College, Adelphi University - Manhattan, Mercy College (New York), The College of Mount Saint Vincent, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Pratt Institute, New York Film Academy, The School of Visual Arts, The King's College, Marymount Manhattan College, and Wagner College.
Much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. In 2019, the New York metropolitan area ranked first on the list of cities and metropolitan areas by share of published articles in life sciences.[435] New York City has the most postgraduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, and in 2012, 43,523 licensed physicians were practicing in New York City.[436] There are 127 Nobel laureates with roots in local institutions as of 2004.[437]
Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Weill Cornell Medical College, being joined by the Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology venture on Roosevelt Island. The graduates of SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx earned the highest average annual salary of any university graduates in the United States, $144,000 as of 2017.[438]
Human resourcesPublic healthMain articles: New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York-Presbyterian Hospital, affiliated with Columbia University and Cornell University, is the largest hospital and largest private employer in New York City and one of the world's busiest hospitals.[439]The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) operates the public hospitals and outpatient clinics in New York City. A public benefit corporation with As of 2021, HHC is the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States with $10.9 billion in annual revenues,[440] HHC is the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States serving 1.4 million patients, including more than 475,000 uninsured city residents.[441] HHC was created in 1969 by the New York State Legislature as a public benefit corporation (Chapter 1016 of the Laws 1969).[442] HHC operates 11 acute care hospitals, five nursing homes, six diagnostic and treatment centers, and more than 70 community-based primary care sites, serving primarily the poor and working class. HHC's MetroPlus Health Plan is one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance and is the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers.[443]
HHC's facilities annually provide millions of New Yorkers services interpreted in more than 190 languages.[444] The most well-known hospital in the HHC system is Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States. Bellevue is the designated hospital for treatment of the President of the United States and other world leaders if they become sick or injured while in New York City.[445] The president of HHC is Ramanathan Raju, MD, a surgeon and former CEO of the Cook County health system in Illinois.[446] In August 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation outlawing pharmacies from selling cigarettes once their existing licenses to do so expired, beginning in 2018.[447]
Public safetyPolice and law enforcementMain articles: New York City Police Department and Law enforcement in New York CityFurther information: Police surveillance in New York City and Crime in New York City
The New York Police Department (NYPD), the largest police force in the United States
NYPD police officers in BrooklynThe New York Police Department (NYPD) has been the largest police force in the United States by a significant margin, with more than 35,000 sworn officers.[448] Members of the NYPD are frequently referred to by politicians, the media, and their own police cars by the nickname, New York's Finest.
Crime overall has trended downward in New York City since the 1990s.[449] In 2012, the NYPD came under scrutiny for its use of a stop-and-frisk program,[450][451][452] which has undergone several policy revisions since then. In 2014, New York City had the third-lowest murder rate among the largest U.S. cities,[453] having become significantly safer after a spike in crime in the 1970s through 1990s.[454] Violent crime in New York City decreased more than 75% from 1993 to 2005, and continued decreasing during periods when the nation as a whole saw increases.[455] By 2002, New York City was ranked 197th in crime among the 216 U.S. cities with populations greater than 100,000.[455] In 1992, the city recorded 2,245 murders.[456] In 2005, the homicide rate was at its lowest level since 1966,[457] and in 2009, the city recorded fewer than 461 homicides for the first time ever since crime statistics were first published in 1963.[456] New York City has stricter gun laws than most other cities in the U.S.—a license to own any firearm is required in New York City, and the NY SAFE Act of 2013 banned assault weapons—and New York state had the fifth lowest gun death rate of the fifty states in 2020.[458] New York City recorded 491 murders in 2021.[459] In 2017, 60.1% of violent crime suspects were Black, 29.6% Hispanic, 6.5% White, 3.6% Asian and 0.2% American Indian.[460]
Sociologists and criminologists have not reached consensus on the explanation for the dramatic long-term decrease in the city's crime rate. Some attribute the phenomenon to new tactics used by the NYPD,[461] including its use of CompStat and the broken windows theory.[462] Others cite the end of the crack epidemic and demographic changes,[463] including from immigration.[464] Another theory is that widespread exposure to lead pollution from automobile exhaust, which can lower intelligence and increase aggression levels, incited the initial crime wave in the mid-20th century, most acutely affecting heavily trafficked cities like New York. A strong correlation was found demonstrating that violent crime rates in New York and other big cities began to fall after lead was removed from American gasoline in the 1970s.[465] Another theory cited to explain New York City's falling homicide rate is the inverse correlation between the number of murders and the increasingly wet climate in the city.[466]
Organized crime has long been associated with New York City, beginning with the Forty Thieves and the Roach Guards in the Five Points neighborhood in the 1820s, followed by the Tongs in the same neighborhood, which ultimately evolved into Chinatown, Manhattan. The 20th century saw a rise in the Mafia, dominated by the Five Families, as well as in gangs, including the Black Spades.[467] The Mafia and gang presence has declined in the city in the 21st century.[468][469]
FirefightingMain article: New York City Fire Department
The Fire Department of New York (FDNY), the largest municipal fire department in the United StatesThe Fire Department of New York (FDNY) provides fire protection, technical rescue, primary response to biological, chemical, and radioactive hazards, and emergency medical services for the five boroughs of New York City. The FDNY is the largest municipal fire department in the United States and the second largest in the world after the Tokyo Fire Department. The FDNY employs approximately 11,080 uniformed firefighters and more than 3,300 uniformed EMTs and paramedics. The FDNY's motto is New York's Bravest.
The fire department faces multifaceted firefighting challenges in many ways unique to New York. In addition to responding to building types that range from wood-frame single family homes to high-rise structures, the FDNY also responds to fires that occur in the New York City Subway.[470] Secluded bridges and tunnels, as well as large parks and wooded areas that can give rise to brush fires, also present challenges.
The FDNY is headquartered at 9 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn,[471] and the FDNY Fire Academy is on the Randalls Island.[472] There are three Bureau of Fire Communications alarm offices which receive and dispatch alarms to appropriate units. One office, at 11 Metrotech Center in Brooklyn, houses Manhattan/Citywide, Brooklyn, and Staten Island Fire Communications; the Bronx and Queens offices are in separate buildings.
Public library system
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Headquarters Building of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd StreetThe New York Public Library (NYPL), which has the largest collection of any public library system in the United States.[473] Queens is served by the Queens Borough Public Library (QPL), the nation's second-largest public library system, while the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) serves Brooklyn.[473]
In 2013, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library announced that they would merge their technical services departments into a new department called BookOps. This proposed merger anticipated a savings of $2 million for the Brooklyn Public Library and $1.5 million for the New York Public Library. Although not currently part of the merger, it is expected that the Queens Public Library will eventually share some resources with the other city libraries.[474][475]
Culture and contemporary lifeMain article: Culture of New York CityFurther information: Broadway theatre, LGBT culture in New York City, List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City, Music of New York City, List of nightclubs in New York City, List of LGBT people from New York City, List of people from New York City, New York Fashion Week, and Met GalaNew York City has been described as the cultural capital of the world by Manhattan's Baruch College.[476] A book containing a series of essays titled New York, Culture Capital of the World, 1940–1965 has also been published as showcased by the National Library of Australia.[477] In describing New York, author Tom Wolfe said, "Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather."[478]
Numerous major American cultural movements began in the city, such as the Harlem Renaissance, which established the African-American literary canon in the United States.[479][480] The city became the center of stand-up comedy in the early 20th century, jazz[481] in the 1940s, abstract expressionism in the 1950s, and the birthplace of hip-hop in the 1970s.[482] The city's punk[483] and hardcore[484] scenes were influential in the 1970s and 1980s. New York has long had a flourishing scene for Jewish American literature.
The city is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art; abstract expressionism (also known as the New York School) in painting; and hip-hop,[189] punk, salsa, freestyle, Tin Pan Alley, certain forms of jazz, and (along with Philadelphia) disco in music. New York City has been considered the dance capital of the world.[485][486] The city is also frequently the setting for novels, movies (see List of films set in New York City), and television programs. New York Fashion Week is one of the world's preeminent fashion events and is afforded extensive coverage by the media.[487][488] New York has also frequently been ranked the top fashion capital of the world on the annual list compiled by the Global Language Monitor.[489]
Midtown Manhattan in January 2020One of the most common traits attributed to New York City is its fast pace,[490][491] which spawned the term New York minute.[492] Journalist Walt Whitman characterized New York's streets as being traversed by "hurrying, feverish, electric crowds".[491]
ResilienceNew York City's residents are prominently known for their resilience historically, and more recently related to their management of the impacts of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic.[493][494][495] New York was voted the world's most resilient city in 2021 and 2022 per Time Out's global poll of urban residents.[494]
ArtsNew York City has more than 2,000 arts and cultural organizations and more than 500 art galleries.[496] The city government funds the arts with a larger annual budget than the National Endowment for the Arts.[496] Wealthy business magnates in the 19th century built a network of major cultural institutions, such as Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which have become internationally renowned. The advent of electric lighting led to elaborate theater productions, and in the 1880s, New York City theaters on Broadway and along 42nd Street began featuring a new stage form that became known as the Broadway musical. Strongly influenced by the city's immigrants, productions such as those of Harrigan and Hart, George M. Cohan, and others used song in narratives that often reflected themes of hope and ambition. New York City itself is the subject or background of many plays and musicals.
Performing artsMain articles: Broadway theatre and Music of New York CityThe corner of a lit up plaza with a fountain in the center and the ends of two brightly lit buildings with tall arches on the square.Lincoln Center in Manhattan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, part of Museum Mile, is one of the largest museums in the world.[497]Broadway theatre is one of the premier forms of English-language theatre in the world, named after Broadway, the major thoroughfare that crosses Times Square,[498] also sometimes referred to as "The Great White Way".[499][500][501] Forty-one venues in Midtown Manhattan's Theatre District, each with at least 500 seats, are classified as Broadway theatres. According to The Broadway League, Broadway shows sold approximately $1.27 billion worth of tickets in the 2013–2014 season, an 11.4% increase from $1.139 billion in the 2012–2013 season. Attendance in 2013–2014 stood at 12.21 million, representing a 5.5% increase from the 2012–2013 season's 11.57 million.[502] Performance artists displaying diverse skills are ubiquitous on the streets of Manhattan.
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to numerous influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is in Union Square, and Tisch School of the Arts is based at New York University, while Central Park SummerStage presents free music concerts in Central Park.[503]
Visual artsMain article: List of museums and cultural institutions in New York CityNew York City is home to hundreds of cultural institutions and historic sites. Museum Mile is the name for a section of Fifth Avenue running from 82nd to 105th streets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan,[504] in an area sometimes called Upper Carnegie Hill.[505] Nine museums occupy the length of this section of Fifth Avenue, making it one of the densest displays of culture in the world.[506] Its art museums include the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie New York, and The Africa Center, which opened in late 2012. In addition to other programming, the museums collaborate for the annual Museum Mile Festival, held each year in June, to promote the museums and increase visitation.[507] Many of the world's most lucrative art sales are held in New York City.[508][509]
CuisineMain articles: Cuisine of New York City, List of restaurants in New York City, and List of Michelin starred restaurants in New York CityPeople crowd around white tents in the foreground next to a red brick wall with arched windows. Above and to the left is a towering stone bridge.Smorgasburg, which opened in 2011 as an open-air food market, is part of the Brooklyn Flea.[510]New York City's food culture includes an array of international cuisines influenced by the city's immigrant history. Central and Eastern European immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants from those regions, brought bagels, cheesecake, hot dogs, knishes, and delicatessens (delis) to the city. Italian immigrants brought New York-style pizza and Italian cuisine into the city, while Jewish immigrants and Irish immigrants brought pastrami[511] and corned beef,[512] respectively. Chinese and other Asian restaurants, sandwich joints, trattorias, diners, and coffeehouses are ubiquitous throughout the city. Some 4,000 mobile food vendors licensed by the city, many immigrant-owned, have made Middle Eastern foods such as falafel and kebabs[513] examples of modern New York street food. The city is home to "nearly one thousand of the finest and most diverse haute cuisine restaurants in the world", according to Michelin.[514] The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene assigns letter grades to the city's restaurants based upon their inspection results.[515] As of 2019, there were 27,043 restaurants in the city, up from 24,865 in 2017.[516] The Queens Night Market in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park attracts more than ten thousand people nightly to sample food from more than 85 countries.[517]
The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the world's largest parade[518]
The annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, the world's largest Halloween parade[519]
The ticker-tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronauts on August 13, 1969
The annual Philippine Independence Day Parade, the largest outside the PhilippinesNew York City is well known for its street parades, which celebrate a broad array of themes, including holidays, nationalities, human rights, and major league sports team championship victories. The majority of parades are held in Manhattan. The primary orientation of the annual street parades is typically from north to south, marching along major avenues. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the world's largest parade,[518] beginning alongside Central Park and processing southward to the Flagship Macy's Herald Square store;[520] the parade is viewed on telecasts worldwide and draws millions of spectators in person.[518] Other notable parades including the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, the NYC LGBT Pride March in June, the LGBT-inspired Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in October, and numerous parades commemorating the independence days of many nations. Ticker-tape parades celebrating championships won by sports teams as well as other heroic accomplishments march northward along the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan.
Accent and dialectMain articles: New York City English and New York accentThe New York area is home to a distinctive regional accent and speech pattern called the New York dialect, alternatively known as Brooklynese or New Yorkese. It has generally been considered one of the most recognizable accents within American English.[521]
The traditional New York area speech pattern is known for its rapid delivery, and its accent is characterized as non-rhotic so that the sound [ɹ] does not appear at the end of a syllable or immediately before a consonant; therefore the pronunciation of the city name as "New Yawk."[522] There is no [ɹ] in words like park [pɑək] or [pɒək] (with vowel backed and diphthongized due to the low-back chain shift), butter [bʌɾə], or here [hiə]. In another feature called the low back chain shift, the [ɔ] vowel sound of words like talk, law, cross, chocolate, and coffee and the often hom*ophonous [ɔr] in core and more are tensed and usually raised more than in General American English. In the most old-fashioned and extreme versions of the New York dialect, the vowel sounds of words like "girl" and of words like "oil" became a diphthong [ɜɪ]. This is often misperceived by speakers of other accents as a reversal of the er and oy sounds, so that girl is pronounced "goil" and oil is pronounced "erl"; this leads to the caricature of New Yorkers saying things like "Joizey" (Jersey), "Toidy-Toid Street" (33rd St.) and "terlet" (toilet).[522] The character Archie Bunker from the 1970s television sitcom All in the Family was an example of this pattern of speech.
The classic version of the New York City dialect is generally centered on middle- and working-class New Yorkers. The influx of non-European immigrants in recent decades has led to changes in this distinctive dialect,[522] and the traditional form of this speech pattern is no longer as prevalent among general New Yorkers as it has been in the past.[522]
SportsMain article: Sports in the New York metropolitan areaThree runners in a race down a street where onlookers are cheering behind barriers.The New York Marathon, held annually in November, is the largest marathon in the world.[523]A tennis stadium pack with fans watching a grass court.The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are held every August and September in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens.A baseball stadium from behind home plate in the evening.Citi Field, also in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, has been home to the New York Mets since 2009.
Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan is home to the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and St. John's Red Storm.New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League,[524] Major League Baseball,[525] the National Basketball Association,[526] the National Hockey League,[527] and Major League Soccer.[528] The New York metropolitan area hosts the most sports teams in the first four major North American professional sports leagues with nine, one more than Los Angeles, and has 11 top-level professional sports teams if Major League Soccer is included, also one more than Los Angeles. Participation in professional sports in the city predates all professional leagues.
The city has played host to more than 40 major professional teams in the five sports and their respective competing leagues. Four of the ten most expensive stadiums ever built worldwide (MetLife Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Citi Field) are in the New York metropolitan area.[529] Madison Square Garden, its predecessor, the original Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field, are sporting venues in New York City, the latter two having been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps. New York was the first of eight American cities to have won titles in all four major leagues (MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA), having done so following the Knicks' 1970 title. In 1972, it became the first city to win titles in five sports when the Cosmos won the NASL final.
American footballThe city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Giants and the New York Jets, although both teams play their home games at MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey,[530] which hosted Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.[531]
BaseballNew York has been described as the "Capital of Baseball".[532] There have been 35 Major League Baseball World Series and 73 pennants won by New York teams. It is one of only five metro areas to host two Major League Baseball teams, the others being Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore–Washington, and until the Athletics depart Oakland, California, the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, there have been 14 World Series in which two New York City teams played each other, known as a Subway Series and occurring most recently in 2000. No other metropolitan area has had this happen more than once (Chicago in 1906, St. Louis in 1944, and the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989).
The city's two Major League Baseball teams are the New York Mets, who play at Citi Field in Queens,[533] and the New York Yankees, who play at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. These teams compete in six games of interleague play every regular season that has also come to be called the Subway Series. The Yankees have won a record 27 championships,[534] while the Mets have won the World Series twice.[535] The city also was once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers), who won the World Series once,[536] and the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), who won the World Series five times. Both teams moved to California in 1958.[537] There is also one Minor League Baseball team in the city, the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones,[538] and the city gained a club in the independent Atlantic League when the Staten Island FerryHawks began play in 2022.[539]
BasketballThe city's National Basketball Association teams are the Brooklyn Nets (previously known as the New York Nets and New Jersey Nets as they moved around the metropolitan area) and the New York Knicks, while the New York Liberty is the city's Women's National Basketball Association team. The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city.[540] The city is well known for its links to basketball, which is played in nearly every park in the city by local youth, many of whom have gone on to play for major college programs and in the NBA.
Ice hockeyThe metropolitan area is home to three National Hockey League teams. The New York Rangers, the traditional representative of the city itself and one of the league's Original Six, play at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The New York Islanders, traditionally representing Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island, play in UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, and played in Brooklyn's Barclays Center from 2015 to 2020. The New Jersey Devils play at Prudential Center in nearby Newark, New Jersey and traditionally represent the counties of neighboring New Jersey which are coextensive with the boundaries of the New York metropolitan area and media market.
SoccerIn soccer, New York City is represented by New York City FC of Major League Soccer, who play their home games at Yankee Stadium[541] and the New York Red Bulls, who play their home games at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, New Jersey.[542] NJ/NY Gotham FC also plays their home games in Red Bull Arena, representing the metropolitan area in the National Women's Soccer League. Historically, the city is known for the New York Cosmos, the highly successful former professional soccer team which was the American home of Pelé. A new version of the New York Cosmos was formed in 2010, and most recently played in the third-division National Independent Soccer Association before going on hiatus in January 2021. New York was a host city for the 1994 FIFA World Cup[543] and will be one of eleven US host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.[544]
Tennis and otherThe annual United States Open Tennis Championships is one of the world's four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens.[545] The New York City Marathon, which courses through all five boroughs, is the world's largest running marathon,[523] with 51,394 finishers in 2016[546] and 98,247 applicants for the 2017 race.[523] The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.[547] The city is also considered the host of the Belmont Stakes, the last, longest and oldest of horse racing's Triple Crown races, held just over the city's border at Belmont Park on the first or second Sunday of June. The city also hosted the 1932 U.S. Open golf tournament and the 1930 and 1939 PGA Championships, and has been host city for both events several times, most notably for nearby Winged Foot Golf Club. The Gaelic games are played in Riverdale, Bronx at Gaelic Park, home to the New York GAA, the only North American team to compete at the senior inter-county level.
International eventsIn terms of hosting multi-sport events, New York City hosted the 1984 Summer Paralympics and the 1998 Goodwill Games. New York City's offer to host the 2012 Summer Olympics was one of five finalists, but lost out to London.[548]
EnvironmentMain article: Environmental issues in New York CityTwo yellow taxis on a narrow street lined with shops.As of 2012, New York City had about 6,000 hybrid taxis in service, the largest number of any city in North America.[549]Environmental issues in New York City are affected by the city's size, density, abundant public transportation infrastructure, and its location at the mouth of the Hudson River. For example, it is one of the country's biggest sources of pollution and has the lowest per-capita greenhouse gas emissions rate and electricity usage. Governors Island is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center to make New York City the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[550]
Environmental impact reductionNew York City has focused on reducing its Environmental impact and carbon footprint.[551] Mass transit use in New York City is the highest in the United States. Also, by 2010, the city had 3,715 hybrid taxis and other clean diesel vehicles, representing around 28% of New York's taxi fleet in service, the most of any city in North America.[552] New York City is the host of Climate Week NYC, the largest Climate Week to take place globally and regarded as major annual climate summit.
New York's high rate of public transit use, more than 200,000 daily cyclists as of 2014,[553] and many pedestrian commuters make it the most energy-efficient major city in the United States.[554] Walk and bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city; nationally the rate for metro regions is about 8%.[555] In both its 2011 and 2015 rankings, Walk Score named New York City the most walkable large city in the United States,[556][557][558] and in 2018, Stacker ranked New York the most walkable U.S. city.[559] Citibank sponsored the introduction of 10,000 public bicycles for the city's bike-share project in the summer of 2013.[560] New York City's numerical "in-season cycling indicator" of bicycling in the city had hit an all-time high of 437 when measured in 2014.[561]
The city government was a petitioner in the landmark Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency Supreme Court case forcing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants. The city is a leader in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings, including the Hearst Tower among others.[197] Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2014 and 2050 to reduce the city's contributions to climate change, beginning with a comprehensive "Green Buildings" plan.[551]
Water purity and availabilityMain articles: Food and water in New York City and New York City water supply systemThe New York City drinking water supply is extracted from the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.[562] As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States the majority of whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification through water treatment plants.[563] The city's municipal water system is the largest in the United States, moving over one billion gallons of water per day;[564] a leak in the Delaware aqueduct results in some 20 million gallons a day being lost under the Hudson River.[565] The Croton Watershed north of the city is undergoing construction of a $3.2 billion water purification plant to augment New York City's water supply by an estimated 290 million gallons daily, representing a greater than 20% addition to the city's current availability of water.[566] The ongoing expansion of New York City Water Tunnel No. 3, an integral part of the New York City water supply system, is the largest capital construction project in the city's history,[567] with segments serving Manhattan and the Bronx completed, and with segments serving Brooklyn and Queens planned for construction in 2020.[568] In 2018, New York City announced a $1 billion investment to protect the integrity of its water system and to maintain the purity of its unfiltered water supply.[564]
Air qualityAccording to the 2016 World Health Organization Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database,[569] the annual average concentration in New York City's air of particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less (PM2.5) was 7.0 micrograms per cubic meter, or 3.0 micrograms within the recommended limit of the WHO Air Quality Guidelines for the annual mean PM2.5.[570] The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in partnership with Queens College, conducts the New York Community Air Survey to measure pollutants at about 150 locations.[571]
Environmental revitalizationNewtown Creek, a 3.5-mile (6-kilometer) a long estuary that forms part of the border between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, has been designated a Superfund site for Environmental clean-up and remediation of the waterway's recreational and economic resources for many communities.[572] One of the most heavily used bodies of water in the Port of New York and New Jersey, it had been one of the most contaminated industrial sites in the country,[573] containing years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million US gallons (110,000 m3) of spilled oil, including the Greenpoint oil spill, raw sewage from New York City's sewer system,[573] and other accumulation.
Government and politicsMain articles: Government of New York City, Politics of New York City, and Elections in New York CityGovernment
New York City Hall is the oldest City Hall in the United States that still houses its original governmental functions.
New York County Courthouse houses the New York Supreme Court and other governmental offices.
Eric Adams, the current and 110th Mayor of New York CityNew York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a Strong mayor–council form of government[574] since its consolidation in 1898. In New York City, the city government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.
The mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms. The City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries.[575] Each term for the mayor and council members lasts four years and has a two consecutive-term limit,[576] which is reset after a four-year break. The New York City Administrative Code, the New York City Rules, and the City Record are the code of local laws, compilation of regulations, and official journal, respectively.[577][578]
Each borough is coextensive with a judicial district of the state Unified Court System, of which the Criminal Court and the Civil Court are the local courts, while the New York Supreme Court conducts major trials and appeals. Manhattan hosts the First Department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division while Brooklyn hosts the Second Department. There are also several extrajudicial administrative courts, which are executive agencies and not part of the state Unified Court System.
Uniquely among major American cities, New York is divided between, and is host to the main branches of, two different U.S. district courts: the District Court for the Southern District of New York, whose main courthouse is on Foley Square near City Hall in Manhattan and whose jurisdiction includes Manhattan and the Bronx; and the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, whose main courthouse is in Brooklyn and whose jurisdiction includes Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and U.S. Court of International Trade are also based in New York, also on Foley Square in Manhattan.
PoliticsThe present mayor is Eric Adams. He was elected in 2021 with 67% of the vote, and assumed office on January 1, 2022.
The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. As of April 2016, 69% of registered voters in the city are Democrats and 10% are Republicans.[579] New York City has not been carried by a Republican presidential election since President Calvin Coolidge won the five boroughs in 1924. A Republican candidate for statewide office has not won all five boroughs of the city since it was incorporated in 1898. In 2012, Democrat Barack Obama became the first presidential candidate of any party to receive more than 80% of the overall vote in New York City, sweeping all five boroughs. Party platforms center on affordable housing, education, and economic development, and labor politics are of importance in the city. Thirteen out of 26 U.S. congressional districts in the state of New York include portions of New York City.[580]
New York City is the most important geographical source of political fundraising in the United States. At least four of the top five ZIP Codes in the nation for political contributions were in Manhattan for the 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections. The top ZIP Code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John Kerry.[581] The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the national and state governments. It receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to the federal government in taxes (or annually sends $11.4 billion more than it receives back). City residents and businesses also sent an additional $4.1 billion in the 2009–2010 fiscal year to the state of New York than the city received in return.[582]
TransportationMain article: Transportation in New York CityA row of yellow taxis in front of a multi-story ornate stone building with three huge arched windows.New York City is home to the two busiest train stations in the U.S., Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.New York City's comprehensive transportation system is both complex and extensive.
The front end of a subway train, with a red E on a LED display on the top. To the right of the train is a platform with a group of people waiting for their train.The New York City Subway, the world's largest rapid transit system by number of stationsRapid transitMass transit in New York City, most of which runs 24 hours a day, accounts for one in every three users of mass transit in the United States, and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in the New York City metropolitan area.[583][584]
RailThe New York City Subway system is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by stations in operation, with 472, and by length of routes. Nearly all of New York's subway system is open 24 hours a day, in contrast to the overnight shutdown common to systems in most cities, including Hong Kong,[585][586] London, Paris, Seoul,[587][588] and Tokyo. The New York City Subway is also the busiest metropolitan rail transit system in the Western Hemisphere, with 1.76 billion passenger rides in 2015,[589] while Grand Central Terminal, also referred to as "Grand Central Station", is the world's largest railway station by number of train platforms.
Public transport is widely used in New York City. 54.6% of New Yorkers commuted to work in 2005 using mass transit.[590] This is in contrast to the rest of the United States, where 91% of commuters travel in automobiles to their workplace.[591] According to the New York City Comptroller, workers in the New York City area spend an average of 6 hours and 18 minutes getting to work each week, the longest commute time in the nation among large cities.[592] New York is the only U.S. city in which a majority (52%) of households do not have a car; only 22% of Manhattanites own a car.[593] Due to their high usage of mass transit, New Yorkers spend less of their household income on transportation than the national average, saving $19 billion annually on transportation compared to other urban Americans.[594]
New York City's commuter rail network is the largest in North America.[583] The rail network, connecting New York City to its suburbs, consists of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, and New Jersey Transit. The combined systems converge at Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station and contain more than 250 stations and 20 rail lines.[583] In Queens, the elevated AirTrain people mover system connects 24 hours a day JFK International Airport to the New York City Subway and the Long Island Rail Road; a separate AirTrain system is planned alongside the Grand Central Parkway to connect LaGuardia Airport to these transit systems.[595][596] For inter-city rail, New York City is served by Amtrak, whose busiest station by a significant margin is Pennsylvania Station on the West Side of Manhattan, from which Amtrak provides connections to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. along the Northeast Corridor, and long-distance train service to other North American cities.[597]
The Staten Island Railway rapid transit system solely serves Staten Island, operating 24 hours a day. The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH train) links Midtown and Lower Manhattan to northEastern New Jersey, primarily Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark. Like the New York City Subway, the PATH operates 24 hours a day; meaning three of the six rapid transit systems in the world which operate on 24-hour schedules are wholly or partly in New York (the others are a portion of the Chicago "L", the PATCO Speedline serving Philadelphia, and the Copenhagen Metro).
Multibillion-dollar heavy rail transit projects under construction in New York City include the Second Avenue Subway, and the East Side Access project.[598]
Port Authority Bus Terminal, the world's busiest bus station, at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street[599]New York City's public bus fleet runs 24/7 and is the largest in North America.[600] The Port Authority Bus Terminal, the main intercity bus terminal of the city, serves 7,000 buses and 200,000 commuters daily, making it the busiest bus station in the world.[599]
AirFive jumbo airplanes wait in a line on a runway next to a small body of water. Behind them in the distance is the airport and control tower.John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, the busiest international airport to the United States with over 12 million inbound and outbound flights as of 2021New York's airspace is the busiest in the United States and one of the world's busiest air transportation corridors. The three busiest airports in the New York metropolitan area include John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and LaGuardia Airport; 130.5 million travelers used these three airports in 2016.[601] JFK and Newark Liberty were the busiest and fourth busiest U.S. gateways for international air passengers, respectively, in 2012; as of 2011, JFK was the busiest airport for international passengers in North America.[602]
Plans have advanced to expand passenger volume at a fourth airport, Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, New York, by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.[603] Plans were announced in July 2015 to entirely rebuild LaGuardia Airport in a multibillion-dollar project to replace its aging facilities.[604] Other commercial airports in or serving the New York metropolitan area include Long Island MacArthur Airport, Trenton–Mercer Airport and Westchester County Airport. The primary general aviation airport serving the area is Teterboro Airport.
Staten Island Ferry shuttles commuters between Manhattan and Staten Island.The Staten Island Ferry is the world's busiest ferry route, carrying more than 23 million passengers from July 2015 through June 2016 on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) route between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan and running 24 hours a day.[605] Other ferry systems shuttle commuters between Manhattan and other locales within the city and the metropolitan area.
NYC Ferry, a NYCEDC initiative with routes planned to travel to all five boroughs, was launched in 2017, with second graders choosing the names of the ferries.[606] Meanwhile, Seastreak ferry announced construction of a 600-passenger high-speed luxury ferry in September 2016, to shuttle riders between the Jersey Shore and Manhattan, anticipated to start service in 2017; this would be the largest vessel in its class.[607]
Taxis, vehicles for hire, and tramsSee also: Taxis of New York City
Yellow medallion taxicabs are a widely recognized icon of New York City.Other features of the city's transportation infrastructure encompass 13,587 yellow taxicabs;[608] other vehicle for hire companies;[609][610] and the Roosevelt Island Tramway, an aerial tramway that transports commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan Island.
Streets and highways
8th Avenue in Manhattan looking north (uptown)Despite New York's heavy reliance on its vast public transit system, streets are a defining feature of the city. The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 greatly influenced the city's physical development. Several of the city's streets and avenues, including Broadway,[611] Wall Street,[612] Madison Avenue,[369] and Seventh Avenue are also used as metonyms for national industries there: the theater, finance, advertising, and fashion organizations, respectively.
New York City also has an extensive web of freeways and parkways, which link the city's boroughs to each other and to North Jersey, Westchester County, Long Island, and southwestern Connecticut through various bridges and tunnels. Because these highways serve millions of outer borough and suburban residents who commute into Manhattan, it is quite common for motorists to be stranded for hours in traffic congestion that are a daily occurrence, particularly during rush hour.[613][614] Congestion pricing in New York City will go into effect in 2022 at the earliest.[615][616][617]
New York City is also known for its rules regarding turning at red lights. Unlike the rest of the United States, New York State prohibits right or left turns on red in cities with a population greater than one million, to reduce traffic collisions and increase pedestrian safety. In New York City, therefore, all turns at red lights are illegal unless a sign permitting such maneuvers is present.[618]
River crossings
The George Washington Bridge, connecting Upper Manhattan (background) and Fort Lee, New Jersey across the Hudson River, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.[619][620]New York City is located on one of the world's largest natural harbors, and the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island are primarily coterminous with islands of the same names, while Queens and Brooklyn are at the west end of the larger Long Island, and the Bronx is on New York State's mainland. This situation of boroughs separated by water led to the development of an extensive infrastructure of bridges and tunnels.
The George Washington Bridge is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge,[619][620] connecting Manhattan to Bergen County, New Jersey. The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Americas and one of the world's longest.[621][622] The Brooklyn Bridge is an icon of the city itself. The towers of the Brooklyn Bridge are built of limestone, granite, and Rosendale cement, and their architectural style is neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the stone towers. This bridge was also the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and is the first steel-wire suspension bridge. The Queensboro Bridge is an important piece of cantilever architecture. The Manhattan Bridge, opened in 1909, is considered to be the forerunner of modern suspension bridges, and its design served as the model for many of the long-span suspension bridges around the world; the Manhattan Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Triborough Bridge, and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge are all examples of structural expressionism.[623][624]
Manhattan Island is linked to New York City's outer boroughs and to New Jersey. The Lincoln Tunnel, which carries 120,000 vehicles a day under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan, is the busiest vehicular tunnel in the world.[625] The tunnel was built instead of a bridge to allow unfettered passage of large passenger and cargo ships that sailed through New York Harbor and up the Hudson River to Manhattan's piers. The Holland Tunnel, connecting Lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey, was the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel when it opened in 1927.[626][627] The Queens–Midtown Tunnel, built to relieve congestion on the bridges connecting Manhattan with Queens and Brooklyn, was the largest non-federal project in its time when it was completed in 1940.[628] President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first person to drive through it.[629] The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel (officially known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel) runs underneath Battery Park and connects the Financial District at the southern tip of Manhattan to Red Hook in Brooklyn.
Cycling networkMain article: Cycling in New York CityCycling in New York City is associated with mixed cycling conditions that include urban density, relatively flat terrain, congested roadways with stop-and-go traffic, and many pedestrians. The city's large cycling population includes utility cyclists, such as delivery and messenger services; cycling clubs for recreational cyclists; and an increasing number of commuters. Cycling is increasingly popular in New York City; in 2017 there were approximately 450,000 daily bike trips, compared with 170,000 daily bike trips in 2005.[630] As of 2017, New York City had 1,333 miles (2,145 km) of bike lanes, compared to 513 miles (826 km) of bike lanes in 2006.[630] As of 2019, there are 126 miles (203 km) of segregated or "protected" bike lanes citywide.[631]
PeopleMain article: List of people from New York CityGlobal outreachMain article: List of sister cities of New York CityIn 2006, the sister city Program of the City of New York, Inc.[632] was restructured and renamed New York City Global Partners. Through this program, New York City has expanded its international outreach to a network of cities worldwide, promoting the exchange of ideas and innovation between their citizenry and policymakers. New York's historic sister cities are denoted below by the year they joined New York City's partnership network.[633]The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a New Deal agency created in 1937 to combat rural poverty during the Great Depression in the United States. It succeeded the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937).[1]
The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty. The photographs in the FSA/Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy Stryker, who guided the effort in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937–1942), and the Office of War Information (1942–1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and nongovernmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations.[2]
In total, the black-and-white portion of the collection consists of about 175,000 black-and-white film negatives, encompassing both negatives that were printed for FSA-OWI use and those that were not printed at the time. Color transparencies also made by the FSA/OWI are available in a separate section of the catalog: FSA/OWI Color Photographs.[2]
The FSA stressed "rural rehabilitation" efforts to improve the lifestyle of very poor landowning farmers, and a program to purchase submarginal land owned by poor farmers and resettle them in group farms on land more suitable for efficient farming.
Reactionary critics, including the Farm Bureau, strongly opposed the FSA as an alleged experiment in collectivizing agriculture—that is, in bringing farmers together to work on large government-owned farms using modern techniques under the supervision of experts. After the Conservative coalition took control of Congress, it transformed the FSA into a program to help poor farmers buy land, and that program continues to operate in the 21st century as the Farmers Home Administration.
Walker Evans portrait of Allie Mae Burroughs (1936)
Arthur Rothstein photograph "Dust Bowl Cimarron County, Oklahoma" of a farmer and two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma (1936)
Dorothea Lange photograph of an Arkansas squatter of three years near Bakersfield, California (1935)The projects that were combined in 1935 to form the Resettlement Administration (RA) started in 1933 as an assortment of programs tried out by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The RA was headed by Rexford Tugwell, an economic advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[3] However, Tugwell's goal moving 650,000 people into 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2) of exhausted, worn-out land was unpopular among the majority in Congress.[3] This goal seemed socialistic to some and threatened to deprive powerful farm proprietors of their tenant workforce.[3] The RA was thus left with only enough resources to relocate a few thousand people from 9 million acres (36,000 km2) and build several greenbelt cities,[3] which planners admired as models for a cooperative future that never arrived.[3]
The main focus of the RA was to now build relief camps in California for migratory workers, especially refugees from the drought-stricken Dust Bowl of the Southwest.[3] This move was resisted by a large share of Californians, who did not want destitute migrants to settle in their midst.[3] The RA managed to construct 95 camps that gave migrants unaccustomed clean quarters with running water and other amenities,[3] but the 75,000 people who had the benefit of these camps were a small share of those in need and could only stay temporarily.[3] After facing enormous criticism for his poor management of the RA, Tugwell resigned in 1936.[3] On January 1, 1937,[4] with hopes of making the RA more effective, the RA was transferred to the Department of Agriculture through executive order 7530.[4]
On July 22, 1937,[5] Congress passed the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act.[5] This law authorized a modest credit program to assist tenant farmers to purchase land,[5] and it was the culmination of a long effort to secure legislation for their benefit.[5] Following the passage of the act, Congress passed the Farm Security Act into law. The Farm Security Act officially transformed the RA into the Farm Security Administration (FSA).[3] The FSA expanded through funds given by the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act.[3]
Relief workOne of the activities performed by the RA and FSA was the buying out of small farms that were not economically viable, and the setting up of 34 subsistence homestead communities, in which groups of farmers lived together under the guidance of government experts and worked a common area. They were not allowed to purchase their farms for fear that they would fall back into inefficient practices not guided by RA and FSA experts.[6]
The Dust Bowl in the Great Plains displaced thousands of tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and laborers, many of whom (known as "Okies" or "Arkies") moved on to California. The FSA operated camps for them, such as Weedpatch Camp as depicted in The Grapes of Wrath.
The RA and the FSA gave educational aid to 455,000 farm families during the period 1936-1943. In June, 1936, Roosevelt wrote: "You are right about the farmers who suffer through their own fault... I wish you would have a talk with Tugwell about what he is doing to educate this type of farmer to become self-sustaining. During the past year, his organization has made 104,000 farm families practically self-sustaining by supervision and education along practical lines. That is a pretty good record!"[7]
The FSA's primary mission was not to aid farm production or prices. Roosevelt's agricultural policy had, in fact, been to try to decrease agricultural production to increase prices. When production was discouraged, though, the tenant farmers and small holders suffered most by not being able to ship enough to market to pay rents. Many renters wanted money to buy farms, but the Agriculture Department realized there already were too many farmers, and did not have a program for farm purchases. Instead, they used education to help the poor stretch their money further. Congress, however, demanded that the FSA help tenant farmers purchase farms, and purchase loans of $191 million were made, which were eventually repaid. A much larger program was $778 million in loans (at effective rates of about 1% interest) to 950,000 tenant farmers. The goal was to make the farmer more efficient so the loans were used for new machinery, trucks, or animals, or to repay old debts. At all times, the borrower was closely advised by a government agent. Family needs were on the agenda, as the FSA set up a health insurance program and taught farm wives how to cook and raise children. Upward of a third of the amount was never repaid, as the tenants moved to much better opportunities in the cities.[8]
The FSA was also one of the authorities administering relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico during the Great Depression. Between 1938 and 1945, under the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, it oversaw the purchase of 590 farms with the intent of distributing land to working and middle-class Puerto Ricans.[9]
ModernizationThe FSA resettlement communities appear in the literature as efforts to ameliorate the wretched condition of southern sharecroppers and tenants, but those evicted to make way for the new settlers are virtually invisible in the historic record. The resettlement projects were part of larger efforts to modernize rural America. The removal of former tenants and their replacement by FSA clients in the lower Mississippi alluvial plain—the Delta—reveals core elements of New Deal modernizing policies. The key concepts that guided the FSA's tenant removals were: the definition of rural poverty as rooted in the problem of tenancy; the belief that economic success entailed particular cultural practices and social forms; and the commitment by those with political power to gain local support. These assumptions undergirded acceptance of racial segregation and the criteria used to select new settlers. Alternatives could only become visible through political or legal action—capacities sharecroppers seldom had. In succeeding decades, though, these modernizing assumptions created conditions for Delta African Americans on resettlement projects to challenge white supremacy.[10]
FSA and its contribution to societyThe documentary photography genre describes photographs that would work as a time capsule for evidence in the future or a certain method that a person can use for a frame of reference. Facts presented in a photograph can speak for themselves after the viewer gets time to analyze it. The motto of the FSA was simply, as Beaumont Newhall insists, "not to inform us, but to move us."[citation needed] Those photographers wanted the government to move and give a hand to the people, as they were completely neglected and overlooked, thus they decided to start taking photographs in a style that we today call "documentary photography." The FSA photography has been influential due to its realist point of view, and because it works as a frame of reference and an educational tool from which later generations could learn. Society has benefited and will benefit from it for more years to come, as this photography can unveil the ambiguous and question the conditions that are taking place.[11]
Photography programThe RA and FSA are well known for the influence of their photography program, 1935–1944. Photographers and writers were hired to report and document the plight of poor farmers. The Information Division (ID) of the FSA was responsible for providing educational materials and press information to the public. Under Roy Stryker, the ID of the FSA adopted a goal of "introducing America to Americans." Many of the most famous Depression-era photographers were fostered by the FSA project. Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks were three of the most famous FSA alumni.[12] The FSA was also cited in Gordon Parks' autobiographical novel, A Choice of Weapons.
The FSA's photography was one of the first large-scale visual documentations of the lives of African-Americans.[13] These images were widely disseminated through the Twelve Million Black Voices collection, published in October 1941, which combined FSA photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam and text by author and poet Richard Wright.
PhotographersFifteen photographers (ordered by year of hire) would produce the bulk of work on this project. Their diverse, visual documentation elevated government's mission from the "relocation" tactics of a Resettlement Administration to strategic solutions which would depend on America recognizing rural and already poor Americans, facing death by depression and dust. FSA photographers: Arthur Rothstein (1935), Theodor Jung (1935), Ben Shahn (1935), Walker Evans (1935), Dorothea Lange (1935), Carl Mydans (1935), Russell Lee (1936), Marion Post Wolcott (1936), John Vachon (1936, photo assignments began in 1938), Jack Delano (1940), John Collier (1941), Marjory Collins (1941), Louise Rosskam (1941), Gordon Parks (1942) and Esther Bubley (1942).
With America's entry into World War II, FSA would focus on a different kind of relocation as orders were issued for internment of Japanese Americans. FSA photographers would be transferred to the Office of War Information during the last years of the war and completely disbanded at the war's end. Photographers like Howard R. Hollem, Alfred T. Palmer, Arthur Siegel and OWI's Chief of Photographers John Rous were working in OWI before FSA's reorganization there. As a result of both teams coming under one unit name, these other individuals are sometimes associated with RA-FSA's pre-war images of American life. Though collectively credited with thousands of Library of Congress images, military ordered, positive-spin assignments like these four received starting in 1942, should be separately considered from pre-war, depression triggered imagery. FSA photographers were able to take time to study local circ*mstances and discuss editorial approaches with each other before capturing that first image. Each one talented in her or his own right, equal credit belongs to Roy Stryker who recognized, hired and empowered that talent.
John Collier Jr.John Collier Jr.
Jack DelanoJack Delano
Walker EvansWalker Evans
Dorothea LangeDorothea Lange
Russell LeeRussell Lee
Carl MydansCarl Mydans
Gordon ParksGordon Parks
Arthur RothsteinArthur Rothstein
John VachonJohn Vachon
Marion Post WolcottMarion Post Wolcott
These 15 photographers, some shown above, all played a significant role, not only in producing images for this project, but also in molding the resulting images in the final project through conversations held between the group members. The photographers produced images that breathed a humanistic social visual catalyst of the sort found in novels, theatrical productions, and music of the time. Their images are now regarded as a "national treasure" in the United States, which is why this project is regarded as a work of art.[14]Photograph of Chicago's rail yards by Jack Delano, circa 1943Together with John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (not a government project) and documentary prose (for example Walker Evans and James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), the FSA photography project is most responsible for creating the image of the Depression in the United States. Many of the images appeared in popular magazines. The photographers were under instruction from Washington, DC, as to what overall impression the New Deal wanted to portray. Stryker's agenda focused on his faith in social engineering, the poor conditions among tenant cotton farmers, and the very poor conditions among migrant farm workers; above all, he was committed to social reform through New Deal intervention in people's lives. Stryker demanded photographs that "related people to the land and vice versa" because these photographs reinforced the RA's position that poverty could be controlled by "changing land practices." Though Stryker did not dictate to his photographers how they should compose the shots, he did send them lists of desirable themes, for example, "church", "court day", and "barns". Stryker sought photographs of migratory workers that would tell a story about how they lived day-to-day. He asked Dorothea Lange to emphasize cooking, sleeping, praying, and socializing.[15] RA-FSA made 250,000 images of rural poverty. Fewer than half of those images survive and are housed in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. The library has placed all 164,000 developed negatives online.[16] From these, some 77,000 different finished photographic prints were originally made for the press, plus 644 color images, from 1600 negatives.
Documentary filmsThe RA also funded two documentary films by Pare Lorentz: The Plow That Broke the Plains, about the creation of the Dust Bowl, and The River, about the importance of the Mississippi River. The films were deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
World War II activitiesDuring World War II, the FSA was assigned to work under the purview of the Wartime Civil Control Administration, a subagency of the War Relocation Authority. These agencies were responsible for relocating Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast to Internment camps. The FSA controlled the agricultural part of the evacuation. Starting in March 1942 they were responsible for transferring the farms owned and operated by Japanese Americans to alternate operators. They were given the dual mandate of ensuring fair compensation for Japanese Americans, and for maintaining correct use of the agricultural land. During this period, Lawrence Hewes Jr was the regional director and in charge of these activities.[17]
Reformers ousted; Farmers Home AdministrationAfter the war started and millions of factory jobs in the cities were unfilled, no need for FSA remained.[citation needed] In late 1942, Roosevelt moved the housing programs to the National Housing Agency, and in 1943, Congress greatly reduced FSA's activities. The photographic unit was subsumed by the Office of War Information for one year, then disbanded. Finally in 1946, all the social reformers had left and FSA was replaced by a new agency, the Farmers Home Administration, which had the goal of helping finance farm purchases by tenants—and especially by war veterans—with no personal oversight by experts. It became part of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty in the 1960s, with a greatly expanded budget to facilitate loans to low-income rural families and cooperatives, injecting $4.2 billion into rural America.[18]
The Great DepressionThe Great Depression began in August 1929, when the United States economy first went into an economic recession. Although the country spent two months with declining GDP, the effects of a declining economy were not felt until the Wall Street Crash in October 1929, and a major worldwide economic downturn ensued.
Although its causes are still uncertain and controversial, the net effect was a sudden and general loss of confidence in the economic future and a reduction in living standards for most ordinary Americans. The market crash highlighted a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits for industrial firms, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth.[19]

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