On the morning of June 6, 1944, New Yorkers gathered around the New York Times buildings to celebrate the Historic Invasion. By the time people had gathered around Time Square and other landmarks of New York City, some 156,000 allied troops had landed on five Normandy beaches under the command of General Eisenhower. It was one of the largest and historic invasions with nearly 5,000 landings and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating.
News of the invasion spread quickly and New Yorkers had their ears and eyes glued to radio stations and newspapers. In churches and synagogues across Manhattan, people bowed their heads in prayer, while in Times Square, crowds craned their necks to watch the latest reports creep across the electronic ticker on the New York Times building. The New York Stock Exchange observed two minutes of silence and in Madison Square, WNYC held a D-Day rally, featuring speeches and songs presided over by the city’s mayor Fiorello La Guardia.