9. A Notorious 20th Century Jewel Heist Occurred Here

Star of India sapphire at the American Museum of Natural History
The Star of India. D. Finnin/ © American Museum of Natural History

Since the museum is filled with such rare and priceless objects and specimens, it’s not too surprising that a major heist took place here. On October 29, 1964, Jack Roland Murphy and Allan Dale Kuhn jumped a fence, climbed a fire escape, crawled along a ledge and swung down to the fourth floor with a rope. Beforehand, to plan such an elaborate entrance, they spent a week visiting the museum to familiarize themselves with its layout.

They then took $410,000 worth of jewels (worth $3 million today), including one of the world’s largest sapphires. However, the burglars were soon caught. Three important jewels, the Midnight Star and De Long Star Ruby, and the Star of India were found in Miami. However, another priceless jewel, the Eagle Diamond, was never found.