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Back the Invasion: 1944

Back the Invasion: 1944

June 6, 1944. "New York. Part of the parade on D-Day, Madison Square." Medium format negative by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.


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Safe Rainwear Co connection

Funny that Jon commented on the Safe Rainwear Co. - That was actually my wife's grandfather's store. He hailed from Poland, emigrating to Italy in the 1930's, finding himself an Austrian wife (also originally from Poland) and settling down in Rome. Just prior to the start of WWII he prudently realized it was time to say goodbye to Hitler's Europe and emigrate to the US. With his wife and two (soon to be three) small children in tow, he embarked on a 2 1/2 year long journey which took them through France, Cyprus, Spain, and Portugal, finally arriving in NYC in 1941. Not speaking a lick of English when they got here (although they both spoke multiple languages), they quickly achieved English proficiency, and opened up this store on 23rd Street. Over the years he opened up several stores in NYC, including one down on Nassau street. When his son (my father-in-law) took over the 23rd street store, he changed the name to "Victor's", and eventually sold the store in the early eighties.

Update: Talking to my father-in-law yielded the origin of the name "Safe" rainwear - his father concatenated the first two letters of his and his wife's first names (Samuel and Sadie) and last name (Feiwel).


New York City police used Plymouth coupes, white on the top and dark blue-green on the bottom. The one in this picture looks so good to me. That bus type was used on the cross towns.


Nic-Nac is now a Quiznos, the Metro Bar is now Live Bait, a Cajun themed bar/restaurant. The building that housed The Safe Rainwear Co and those to the west of it were destroyed by fire October 17, 1966. Twelve firemen died fighting the blaze.

Bar sign is still there

The bar sign for Metro Bar is still prominent as a sign for the Live Bait Restaurant and Bar. Either it's the original or an identical one.

"Good Like Nedick's!"

Nedick's had a superb orange drink that could never be duplicated and the hot dog on a toasted bun was a special treat. When Mom bought you a "dog and an orange" you knew she loved you dearly. On the radio when the Knicks sank a basket you'd hear announcer Marty Glickman exclaim, "Good like Nedick's!"

Check out that Ambulance

What model of truck was that ambulance? I never saw one with a window in the shape of a cross! Much more stylistic than utilitarian.

Mayor's D-Day Committee

The next morning, the New York Times reported on the events surrounding a rally held on June 6 near the Eternal Light at Madison Square Park, featuring clergy and rabbis, singers of the major allied nations, and of course Hizzoner, Mayor LaGuardia. It also described the work of members of the "Mayor's D-Day Committee" in publicizing the rally through leafleting.

That Nurse better be careful

There are Rogue Sailors going around sweeping Women off their feet and kissing them hard on the lips.

Who Were They?

Any idea what group this was? There seem to be quite a few draft-age men in it: what looks like "ime" and a ship's wheel on the banner makes me wonder if it might be some sort of maritime or merchant marine union.

[National Maritime Union of America - CIO. - Dave]

That's the Flatiron Building at the far right

The Nic Nac, Freud Bar, and Adam Hat buildings are still there. The view looks to the SW from the SE corner of Madison Square Park.

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New York City slickers

Thank goodness I can finally get rid of this unsafe rainwear and pick up some of the good stuff at the Safe Rainewear Co.

Were there any anti-invasion people?

I know during WWII this country had a very small minority of objectors but it's hard to believe at that time there would be any anti-D-Day people out counter-marching. Unless they were daredevils with a death wish. Especially in NYC!

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