On June 28, 1914, in a place far away from Greenwich Village, something happened that changed the world forever. The heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, were assassinated. Of course this act triggered the start of the First World War. Most of Europe was plunged into armed conflict for the next several years, though the United States did not participate until 1917, when Congress declared war on Germany.
What was life like in Greenwich Village during those years? Like the rest of the city and the country, there were mixed feelings about getting involved in foreign wars. Some things never change. Here are some interesting photos of Greenwich Village in 1914. One shows a hotdog vendor, and the other shows children playing, women talking, and laundry hanging on the clothesline.
Speaking of laundry on the clothesline, painter John Sloan, a resident of Greenwich Village, created this winter image of the Village. Sloan, along with Edward Hopper, was among the many artists who lived and worked in the Village during the war and for many years after it.
On November 11, 1918 the Armistice of Compiègne was signed, ending the war. The following year, returning soldiers were honored in two parades that began at Washington Square. And in 1921, local residents paid for a commemorative statue in Abingdon Square Park to honor the soldiers who died in what was called “The World War.” You can read more about the “Doughboy” here , here, and here.