Early 20th Century (1898-1945)

Spanish Flu

What: Spanish flu hit New York City less drastically than some other American cities
When: 1918
Where: New York City


Birth Control Clinic

What: One of Margaret Sanger’s first contraceptive clinics
When: 1930 to 1973
Where: 17 West 16 Street, Manhattan


Typhoid Mary’s Exile

What: Cook Mary Mallon was forcibly detained on North Brother Island to stem the spread of typhoid
When: Early 1900s
Where: North Brother Island, in the East River


Cleaning the Hudson

What: Contamination of the Hudson River with PCBs led to its designation as a Superfund site
When: 1970s to the present
Where: The Hudson River from Hudson Falls down to the harbor


Malaria Therapy

What: A misguided effort to fight one disease, syphilis, with another, malaria.
When: 1930s
Where: The Rockefeller Institute


The Low Line

What: Abandoned tracks and an unused terminal are being converted into a subterranean park.
When: 1903 to 1948, and present
Where: Lower East Side, Manhattan


The Fly Room

What: Critical work on genetics by Thomas Hunt Morgan and Alfred Sturtevant.
When: Early 20th century
Where: Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 116 Street and Broadway, Manhattan


Lighting the Tree

What: A tradition created in the early 20th century
When: 1931 to the present
Where: 50 Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan


Factory Fire Horror

What: A fire that killed 146 employees in a factory in Greenwich Village led to the creation of the American Society of Safety Engineers and improved labor laws.
When: 1911
Where: Washington Place, Greenwich Village, Manhattan


Sandhogs, Fresh Air and the Holland Tunnel

What: First direct connection for automobiles between Manhattan and New Jersey. A National Historic Landmark.
When: 1922 to 1927
Where: Under the Hudson River, close to Soho, Manhattan


Stargazer Gatherings

What: An association created when directors from The American Museum of Natural History began thinking about building a planetarium
When: 1927
Where: American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side, Manhattan


Walking the Line on Ellis Island

What: Officers from the Public Health Service examined thousands of immigrants who arrived by ship, controlling who could enter the country
When: 1929
Where: Ellis Island, Upper New York Bay


A Celebration of Exploration

What: A club founded by adventurers who undertook scientific expeditions to remote places.
When: 1904
Where: 70th Street and Madison, Manhattan


Power Trips

What: A secret facility in Grand Central Station housed turbines that powered electric trains
When: 1906
Where: Grand Central Station


Cold Blood

What: A discovery by physician Charles R. Drew enabled blood to be stored for a year, instead of the usual seven days. The finding had huge importance during the World War II.
When: 1938
Where: Columbia University’s Presbyterian Hospital, Manhattan


Infamous Lung Block

What: A tenement rife with tuberculosis that was eventually razed
When: Early 1900s
Where: Between Catherine, Cherry, Hamilton and Market streets on the Lower East Side in Manhattan


Manhattan Project in…Manhattan

What: The birth of the Manhattan Project
When: World War II
Where: At three locations on Broadway, including the Woolworth Building