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What Brooklyn looked like in the 1960s: A Photographic Tour

Brooklyn, ever-evolving and ever-resilient, has been the canvas for countless transformations that have influenced the broader tapestry of New York City. The 1960s stood out as a particularly pivotal era, characterized by socio-political movements, creative awakenings, and infrastructural developments. Join us on this retrospective voyage into Brooklyn’s dynamic 1960s.

Civil Rights and Brooklyn’s Role

The 1960s was a decade of profound social upheaval, and Brooklyn was at the heart of the civil rights movement. Protests, sit-ins, and community organizing became common sights in neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. Brooklynites, both young and old, rallied behind leaders like Malcolm X, demanding equality, justice, and an end to systemic racism.

The Rise of Brooklyn’s Music Scene

While the civil rights movement played out on the streets, a musical revolution echoed through Brooklyn’s clubs and lounges. From soulful R&B to the nascent sounds of hip-hop, venues like the Fox Theatre hosted a medley of influential acts. This period solidified Brooklyn’s reputation as a hotbed for musical innovation and cultural expression.

Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge: Linking Boroughs

1964 marked the completion of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, an engineering marvel connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island. Beyond its architectural significance, this bridge symbolized Brooklyn’s increasing integration with the broader metropolis, facilitating commerce, travel, and an intermingling of cultures.

The Cultural Mosaic Deepens

Building on its legacy as a sanctuary for immigrants, Brooklyn in the 1960s saw a fresh influx of diverse communities. From Soviet Jews escaping persecution to Caribbean folks bringing their vivacious cultures, this influx further enriched Brooklyn’s cultural quilt. Streets came alive with new festivals, cuisines, and dialects, highlighting Brooklyn’s global allure.

Here are some stunning vintage photos that will take you back to the 1960s in Brooklyn. If this exploration of an iconic era resonates with your spirit, we’d be honored if you’d share this post with fellow history buffs and every New Yorker who takes pride in our city’s rich past.

#2 Avenue P and East Second Street, a Brooklyn Melting Pot, 1960

#3 Governor Nelson Rockefeller Eating Hot Dogs at Coney Island, 1960

#4 Allen Gray Hosts “Housewives’ Protective League” in Brooklyn, 1960

#6 Park Slope One Year After the Mid-Air Collision, 1961

#8 Construction of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Begins, 1962

#9 Boro Park Tobacco Shop Shooting, Detectives Slain in Holdup

#10 Sunbathers at Beach Captured from High Angle, Brooklyn, 1962

#11 Brooklyn Waterfront Standstill Due to Anthony Anastasio’s Death, 1963

#13 School Boycott Pickets March Across Brooklyn Bridge

#14 Brooklyn Street Corner After Harlem Police Shooting, 1964

#15 Aerial View of Brooklyn Navy Yard, Ordered Closed

#17 Official Motorcade Crosses Verrazano Narrows Bridge, 1964

#19 Flatbush Avenue Toward Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, 1965

#21 Ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge Under Construction, 1965

#22 Traffic Along Flatbush Avenue, Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, 1965

#23 Local Residents Jeer at NYPD Patrol Car in Brownsville, 1965

#27 Marquee for Murray The K’s Easter Show at Brooklyn Fox Theater, 1965

#28 Crowd During a Political Rally Outside Nathan’s Famous, 1965

#29 Main Entrance to Steeplechase Park at Coney Island, 1965

#30 Brooklyn Crowd Awaits President Lyndon Johnson, 1966

#33 Steve Whitaker and Bill Robinson Visit Children in Brooklyn, 1967

#34 Pedestrians in Front of World in Wax Musee, Coney Island, 1968

#35 Pedestrians in front of World in Wax Musee at Coney Island advertising exhibits like Richard Speck and Nat King Cole, 1968.

#36 Men posing for a photo on a crowded Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn, 1968.

#37 Mounted police officers stand in front of an Army and Navy recruiting station at Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1968.

#38 Contestants gather around the ‘Machine Guns’ arcade at Coney Island, Brooklyn, 1968.

#39 Passengers waiting at the upper-level entrance to the Long Island Rail Road at Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 1968.

#40 Leslie Campbell (Jitu Weusi) and demonstrators block the front steps of JHS 271, Brooklyn.

#41 Vendor sells produce from his pushcart at the Belmont Avenue market, Brooklyn, 1962.

#42 Peter Udell, his wife Joan, and their children Christopher and Jennifer against the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge, 1969.

#43 Construction crane of the World Trade Center visible under the Brooklyn Bridge, 1960s.

#44 Detective examines burned-out police car after a night of rioting in Brooklyn, July 1964.

#45 Opening day traffic jam on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island, 1964.

#46 Anna Kelter looks at damage to her store after a night of rioting in Brooklyn, July 21, 1964.

#47 Closing of pushcart market at Saratoga Avenue and Prospect Place, Brooklyn, 1962.

#48 Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Heights Branch, 1964.

#49 Chrysler New Yorker parked on a salt-covered street in Brooklyn, 1960s.

#52 Policemen confront a group after a night of rioting in Brooklyn, July 21, 1964.

#53 African American woman carried to police patrol wagon during a demonstration in Brooklyn, 1963.

#54 Officers document confiscated items after a night of rioting in Brooklyn, July 22, 1964.

#55 Senator Robert Kennedy discusses school with Ricky Taggart in Brooklyn, 1966.

#56 Parachute Jump at Steeplechase Park in Coney Island, 1960s.

#57 Ken Rice and Stan Brezenoff lead a march from Brooklyn to City Hall, 1964.

#58 Brooklyn Piers #1 & 2 with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline in the background, April 1959.

#59 Aerial view of piers in Brooklyn, March 22, 1962.

#60 Amusement Park Ride in Coney Island, August 1961.

#61 CORE members in Brooklyn join the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

#62 Teens dance the ‘Twist’ outside the Brooklyn Fox Theatre, 1961.

#63 Manhattan’s skyline in darkness, offset by lights at a Brooklyn pier, November 9, 1965.

#64 CORE members in Brooklyn join the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

#65 Manhattan’s skyline in darkness, lights at a Brooklyn pier, November 9, 1965.

#66 Senator Robert Kennedy discusses school with Ricky Taggart in Brooklyn.

#67 Rabbi Emmanuel Rackman cuts Challah for Succoth at Brooklyn Museum, 1969.

#72 Intersection of Third Avenue and Pacific Street, Brooklyn, 1964

#74 Intersection of Livingston Street and Hanover Place, Brooklyn, 1964

#75 Intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#76 Intersection of Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#78 Intersection of Franklin Avenue and Wallabout Street, Brooklyn, 1964

#79 Intersection of Grove Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#80 Intersection of Hanson Place and Ashland Place, Brooklyn, 1964

#83 Ocean Avenue Between K and L Avenues, Brooklyn, 1964

#84 Intersection of Thatford Avenue and Riverdale Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#85 Intersection of 86th Street and 19th Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#86 Intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, 1964

#87 Intersection of Hanson Place and Ashland Place, Brooklyn, 1964

#88 Intersection of Henry Street and Clark Street, Brooklyn, 1964

#89 Young Street Racers on Third Avenue, Brooklyn, 1968

#90 Dodgers-Giants Baseball Game Listeners on a Brooklyn Street, 1960

#92 Dead Body Found in Car Trunk on 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, 1962

#93 Children Flee Police During Bedford-Stuyvesant Race Riot, 1964

#95 Last Rites Given to Joseph Magnasco on 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, 1961

#97 Diverse Restaurants on Avenue P and East Second Street, 1960

#100 Brooklyn College Student Arrested During Anti-War Protest, 1967

#101 Accused Killer George Whitmore Jr. Arraigned, 1964

#104 Jazz Musician Sonny Rollins on Williamsburg Bridge, 1966

#109 Brooklyn Navy Yard Workers Protest Shutdown, 1964

#111 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Restaurant Crowd, 1961

Written by Makayla White

An amateur content creator and dreamer. I Run, Cycle, Swim, Dance and drink a lot of Coffee.

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