May 18, 1940

Pictured below is just one of the 872,406 fabulous vintage photos recently released by New York City’s Department of Records as reported in this article:

That link only offers a glimpse at some of the more riveting pics;  you can see the whole lot at the  NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery.

Remember my article on how pictures tell stories?  A good genealogist is also a good sleuth, putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The picture below, from the archives, is a snapshot of a moment in history.  It immediately screamed out … this is New York!  Aren’t the streets supposed to be crowded?  This intersection, the corner of Sixth Avenue and 40th Street in the heart of Manhattan’s midtown business district, then, as now, would have been bustling with cars and pedestrians… but not on a weekend.  Sure enough, a quick look-up in a perpetual calendar identified May 18, 1940 as a Saturday.

The headline of the newspaper the man is reading: ‘Nazi Army Now 75 Miles From Paris.’  At that time, over 6 million French refugees had fled, convinced they would be occupied at any moment. Populations of cities in Northern France dropped by 90%.  Amongst them were Rosa Marcus Bauer, her husband and little girl, Danielle, who fled Paris for Limoges, 400km to the south.  You’ll learn more about them in another blog post.

© 2012 Copyright Billie Elias

About Billie Tekel Elias

Author of upcoming book, Pearl's Party...and you're invited.
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One Response to May 18, 1940

  1. Boomdeeadda says:

    How fabulous to have that resource, organized and at your fingertips! Loved strolling through old New York.

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