3. A Lot of People Snuck In To Ride the First Train

The first New York City subway was obviously a big deal to residents and six to seven thousand people came to wait outside the opening exercises in City Hall. Two hundred policemen were ready, forming a line to hold back the crowd. Despite the police force, many were able to slip in. As a result, The New York Times reports, “both the two sections [of the same train] were crowded uncomfortably. Many passengers stood in every car, and the total loads probably aggregated at least 1,100 passengers.”

In addition, people were trying to get on the train from other stations, although the afternoon passes given out were not to be used on the first train. A police inspector, in plainclothes, tried to get on and was refused. The Chicago Tribune describes the mob as utilizing “football tactics.”