a history of new york

theverge.com
The New York Public Library just uploaded nearly 200,000 images you can use for free
The New York Public Library just released a treasure trove of digitized public domain images, everything from epic poetry from the 11th century to photographs of used car lots in Columbus, Ohio from the 1930s.
By Andrew J . Hawkins

Over 180,000 manuscripts, maps, photographs, sheet music, lithographs, postcards, and other images were released online Wednesday in incredibly high resolution, and are available to download using the library’s user-friendly visualization tool. It’s a nostalgist’s dream come true.

France has suffered the minor misfortune of being a central focus of not one but two world wars. As you might have guessed, this has had a few long-term consequences. World War I in particular, what with its titanic battles confined in narrow corridors, destroyed some regions so badly that they’re still more or less uninhabitable to this day. 

 "Zone Rouge" is the name given to a chain of areas throughout Northeastern France where people are strictly forbidden from entering unless they’re on official business or are looking to check “get obliterated by ancient ordinance” off of their bucket list. The environment within these areas is completely inhospitable to human life. The soil is contaminated with arsenic and chemical weapon residue. The ground is still littered with human and animal remains. And most worryingly, only a few inches into the soil, you can find unspent ammunition and grenades and unexploded artillery shells.

However, it’s not exactly safe to go digging in the ground even outside of the red zone. Agriculture is a major industry in this area of France, and farmers have no choice but to regularly Hurt Locker their way through potentially explosive fields with their tractors to earn a living. This is known locally as the “Iron Harvest,” because you’ve got to have a sense of humor about these things. When a farmer finds a shell, they can take it to a special dumping ground, where a team from the government’s munitions disposal team will pick it up. It’s estimated that 900 tons of munitions are disposed of in this way every year. And yes, people do die while doing it.

6 Disturbing Abandoned Places (Hiding Right In Plain Sight)

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December 31st 1904: First Times Square NYE

On this day in 1904, New Year’s Eve celebrations were held in New York City’s Times Square for the first time. In 1904, the owners of the New York Times newspaper were celebrating their move to new offices in the area, then known as Longacre Square. The paper’s owner, Adolph Ochs, successfully had Longacre Square renamed Times Square in honour of the newspaper. As part of these celebrations, the paper launched a fireworks display at One Times Square/Times Tower in a new year event attended by almost 200,000 people. The popularity of the initial event encouraged efforts to host a more extravagant celebration to inaugurate the new year. Therefore, in 1907, Ochs commissioned the construction of an iron and wood ball which would be lowered from a flagpole at the newspaper’s headquarters to mark the final minute of the year. The ball was lit by one hundred bulbs, weighed 700 pounds, and measured five feet in diameter. It was built by a young Russian immigrant metalworker called Jacob Starr, whose sign company, Artkraft Strauss, became responsible for lowering the ball for most of the twentieth century. As part of the 1907 celebrations, waiters in deluxe restaurants around Times Square were given top hats featuring the numbers ‘1908’ in tiny bulbs, which, upon the stroke of midnight, they lit up to display the new year. While the Times later moved from the square, the tradition of lowering a ball at Times Square has continued ever since, with the exception of wartime years in the early 1940s. The design of the ball has changed several times since 1907, but the Times Square event remains one of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world, and attracts around one million visitors every year.

Happy New Year!