Posts Tagged ‘Times Square World War II’

Soft drinks and socializing for GIs in Times Square

May 30, 2016

New York was a welcoming place for sailors and soldiers about the ship out or on furlough during World War II.

Mens Service Center

Besides discounts and freebies when it came to transportation and entertainment, GIs also had special hangouts where they could relax, get a drink, talk, or shoot pool.

One of these was the Pepsi–sponsored Men’s Service Center at 47th Street.

Across town at Grand Central, soldiers had this “Service Men’s Lounge” for relaxing, playing pool and ping pong, and reading in the library.

The afternoon President Roosevelt died

April 21, 2010

“I have a terrific headache” were the last words FDR spoke before succumbing to a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945, at age 63.

It’s a big deal when a president dies in office. But this was monumental: the passing of a wartime president elected to an unprecedented four terms.

Roosevelt was also a former New York governor and descendent of an old Dutch New York family. His death, announced in theaters, schools, and over the radio, stunned the city.

“The news caught millions headed homeward in the evening rush hour. It spread like wildfire in crowded railroad terminals, through Times Square, filtered in bars, theatres, and eating places,” according to an April 13 New York Times article.

“In home communities, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem, Queens, women left their dinners on the stoves to stand in neighborhood groups, passing the word, or discussing it with bated breath.

“Groups, small at first and ever-growing, assembled in silence wherever a shopkeeper had turned his radio speaker toward the street, or where bulletin services were available, as at newsreel theatres.”