Lifestyle & Human Interest

Photo of NYC Skyline on Good Friday 1956 Shows How Much the US Has Changed


An image of skyscrapers with windows illuminated in the shape of a cross to commemorate Good Friday in 1956 is making the rounds on social media and reminding people the U.S. once largely embraced the faith — even in New York City.

Sixty-seven years later, no such display is expected in the country’s most populous city.

An archive of the now-defunct California newspaper the Oxnard Press-Courier shows the image was used by the outlet in its Saturday, March 31, 1956, edition.

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The image was accompanied by a simple headline: “COME TO CHURCH SUNDAY.” The Press-Courier dedicated the entire page to when and where people of any denomination could attend an Easter service.

Many Twitter users who came across the image of 1950s Manhattan commemorating the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary lamented the current state of the country.

“How far we have fallen,” one user commented.

Others struck a more hopeful note. “It’s not too late to go back,” one said.

“Our nation still embraces faith, but it’s a faith in self. We believe that faith in God will be restored,” the group My Faith Votes said.

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One account noted that One World Trade Center recently lit up its spire with the color pink to show support for abortion.

But the Empire State Building did commemorate the Resurrection as recently as 2018.

Christians can still find examples of their faith on display in a secular culture that long ago lost its footing. But they are fewer and farther between.

That stands to reason. A poll taken last month showed Americans are abandoning faith at an alarming rate.

In 1998, 62 percent of respondents said religion was “very important” to them. This year, only 39 percent answered the same way, which was down 9 points from 2019.

On Good Friday, Easter and every other day of the year, Christians should pray our neighbors are brought back to Christ and his enduring love.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.