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Before This Week, NYC’s Last Known Curfew Was In 1943

It was also in response to police violence against Black people

By Claire Leaden

Before This Week, NYC’s Last Known Curfew Was In 1943

Earlier this week, Mayor de Blasio issued a curfew for New Yorkers.

It started at 11pm the first night (Monday), and then moved up to 8pm the night after. It seemed like an unprecedented action for those who have been living in New York City in recent years, and that’s because the last known one was over 75 years ago in 1943.

According to CNN.com, which referenced New York Times archived articles, riots took place in Harlem in the summer of 1943 after a white police officer shot a Black man in Manhattan. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia placed a 10:30pm curfew on residents between 110th and 155th Streets and Fifth and St. Nicholas Avenues on August 4, 1943 after four days of rioting.

Of course, the reason for the current curfew has been to curb continuous protests against police brutality and systemic racism that were propelled by George Floyd’s murder by a police officer in Minneapolis. It is a telling instance of history repeating itself.

Though most protests have been peaceful, there has been some property damage and looting that has taken place at night, which initially prompted the curfew.

The current curfew takes place from 8pm-5am each night and is said to be lifted when NYC enters phase 1 of reopening on Monday, June 8. All New Yorkers must be at home, barring essential workforce. As for other regulations: restaurants can still deliver after that hour; Uber, Lyft (any ride shares) and Citibike must shut down at 8pm.

featured image source: Photo by David Hertle on Unsplash