Before the Trump International Hotel and the Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle was a not-glitzy gathering place for Italian-American rallies and parades. This photo was taken in 1943. On Columbus Day of that year, The New York Times wrote:
“Because of the war and especially because Italy, the native land of Christopher Columbus, discoverer of America, is suffering such a tragic fate, the celebration tomorrow and Tuesday of Columbus Day will be more spiritual in character than ever before in the history of the United States.”
On Columbus Day the previous year, 25,000 Italian-Americans came out to show their support for the Allies, and Mayor LaGuardia gave a speech praising their loyalty and urging tolerance of minorities, as Americans of Italian decent were considered back then.