On this day in 1910, New York’s Pennsylvania Station opened its doors for the first time. And on this day, hundreds of thousands of Americans will be pushing through them, suitcases trailing behind, and rushing to catch their trains home for Thanksgiving. The crowds will likely exceed 650,000, the number of people who pass through the 93-year-old station every day¡—more than Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK airports combined. At this writing, every train out of Penn Station is delayed.
Not exactly the birthday party the famed transportation hub was expecting. But travelers are Penn Station’s lifeblood, and there have been many in its history. When you sprint down the escalators to your gate or squint at the flickering timetable this week, take a second to think of the millions of anxious footsteps that came through the concourse before yours. Here are some visual reminders, courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
And, once you board your train, keep your eyes peeled for government officials chatting about nonholiday topics.