HISTORIC PHOTO: THE CIVIL WAR BEGINS

Union Square, New York City

On April 20, 1861, an estimated 100,000 people hosted what the New York Times called a “mass meeting” in New York City’s Union Square to “uphold the authority of the Government” after the attack on Fort Sumter that started the American Civil War. At the time, this was the largest public gathering ever orchestrated in the U.S. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the square was lined for days with wreaths and candles left behind by New Yorkers, who had gathered to mourn the horrifying assault on their city.

photo: George Eastman House / Getty Images Credit Claire Suddath TIME

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