Easter in the Past

francine hardaway
Stealthmode Blog
Published in
3 min readApr 2, 2024

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Easter in New York city in the 1940s and ‘1950s meant I would get a new dress and probably also a new spring coat.

What exactly was a “spring coat” anyway? As I remember it, it was a — often navy blue — lighter coat than my winter coat, which was often red or camel colored. And it didn’t matter what the weather was, we wore our spring clothes on Easter Sunday. Much of the time I remember being freezing. This was before climate change.

And guess what we did? We drove downtown from Riverdale or Washington Heights to Fifth Avenue in our new “spring clothes” and walked down Fifth Avenue. Usually we strolled from 59th St. to 34th St., and looked at other peoples’ Easter outfits. The whole day, if you didn’t attend church, was about Easter outfits. The women wore flowered hats, and from the time I was about ten, even I wore a hat.

If we hit it at the right time we saw the really fancy people getting out of services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 50th St. They were also wearing their spring coats and their hats. Oh, and we all wore white gloves. The white gloves of the fancy people were leather with little buttons.

Of course we were not Christian so Easter had no religious significance to us.

However, it seem to have an American significance, so our family celebrated.. It was a benign religious holiday that had no negative significance to us, the Jewish population of New York City, and it gave us a feeling of belonging to America and something to celebrate and buy new clothes for…

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francine hardaway
Stealthmode Blog

Co-founder, Stealthmode Partners, helping entrepreneurs succeed