Today Times Square is known for its lighted billboards, theatres, shops, and of course, its New Year’s Eve celebration. But originally, the area was farmed by Dutch settlers who appreciated its access to three streams and the Hudson River.
- Times Square is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Over 330,000 people visit daily and 50 million people come here every year.
- Times Square is home to the Broadway Theater District. It has been called Crossroads of the World, and The Center of the Universe.
- The area sits in Manhattan over several city blocks.
- John Morin Scott, an American military leader during the Revolutionary War owned the land in the late 1700s, using it for farming and a horse and carriage operation.
- In the early 19th century, John Jacob Astor purchased the land and made a fortune selling it off in pieces to developers. It became known as Longacre Square.
- Later, theaters and restaurants came and in 1904, it became Times Square when The New York Times built the Times Building for their office.
- During the Great Depression, theaters and restaurants closed and were replaced by seedy establishments. The area became known for its crime.
- A huge crowd gathered there on August 15, 1945 to celebrate V-Day, the end of World War II. During the 1960s and 1970s, the area went downhill further, becoming one of New York City’s most dangerous areas.
- In the 1990s, city government decided to clean it up. Today Times Square is a bustling tourist attraction.
- Bustling: busy, crowded
Questions and Answers
Question: When did the New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square begin?
Answer: The first celebration took place in 1907 and has continued every year (except during World War II). More than 1 million people join the party every year.
Watch a video about things to do at Times Square.
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Declan, Tobin. " History of Times Square ." American History for Kids, Jan 2021. Web. 20 Jan 2021. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/times-square/ >.
APA Style Citation
Tobin, Declan. (2021). History of Times Square. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/times-square/