The Night Madison Square Garden Filled With Nazis

Footage Recalls the Night Madison Square Garden Filled With Nazis by Jason Daley (Smithsonian)

The torch-lit rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this summer may have been surprising to many Americans. But for Academy Award-nominated documentary director Marshall Curry, it was a call back to an event he was already investigating: a 1939 Nazi rally on George Washington’s birthday that drew 20,000 Americans to Madison Square Garden. Curry collected together the existing bits and pieces of film footage from that rally and put them together into a short documentary called “A Night At the Garden,” that premiered on The Atlantic this week.

In 1939, New York’s Madison Square Garden was host to an enormous—and shocking—gathering of 22,000 Americans that has largely been forgotten from our history.