5. 1st Avenue, 1965
In 1965, devout Catholic and pacifist Roger Allan Laporte sat outside the Dag Hammarskjold Library at the United Nations building and burned himself alive to protest the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. LaPorte’s suicide was the third such anti-war immolation that took place in America in 1965. Before he died, the 22-year-old told reporters, “I’m a Catholic Worker. I’m against war, all wars. I did this as a religious action.”
The author, Avram Billig, is the creator of the website and mobile app Pastport, which explores New York City’s fascinating history. Avram is also a researcher and writer with work published in The Atlantic and The Huffington Post.