The Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial via Wiki Commons
Did you know NYC has one of the largest collections of memorials erected in the aftermath of World War I? 103 to be exact. And to mark the centennial of the WWI armistice, the Parks Department has announced that they’ve completed refurbishments of several of these sites, including Father Duffy in Times Square, the Pleasant Plains Memorial on Staten Island, the Abingdon Square Doughboy in Greenwich Village, and the Carroll Park monument in Brooklyn.
Photo via Library of Congress
On October 25th, 1917, New Yorkers were celebrating “Liberty Day,” a holiday invented by the federal government to finance the massive effort of entering World War I. One-third of the war’s funding would come from the imposition of progressive new taxes, while two-thirds would come from selling “Liberty Bonds” to the American people. The holiday was part of an unprecedented publicity campaign to convince the public to buy the bonds. New Yorkers are notoriously hard to impress, so it’s no surprise the government rolled out all the punches: a three-engine Caproni bomber plane flew low among the skyscrapers, a parade of military motorcycles traveled up 5th Avenue, and a captured German U-boat submarine lay festooned with American flags inside Central Park.
Read more about the day’s events