12. New York Harbor
Pier A, newly restored, hosted 5,000 excited onlookers from all over the country who wanted to greet Admiral Byrd on his return from Antarctica.
We’ll leave you to discover in the book The Stowaway exactly how Billy actually gets to Antarctica after so many setbacks. When Byrd returns to New York on June 19th, 1930, the two main ships, the Eleanor Bolling and the City of New York arrived together into New York Harbor for maximum photographic effect.
The ships were cleared at the Scotland Lightship Quarantine Station in the Ambrose Channel off Sandy Hook (faster than going through Ellis Island) and were greeted by more than five thousand excited onlookers at Battery Park’s Pier A, a half million people elsewhere onshore, and a military flotilla. “A thirteen-gun salute sounded from Governors Island,” writes Shapiro, Ships on the Hudson echoed in whistle salute. The enormous navy dirigible Los Angeles and two smaller British airships passed overhead.” The boats would dock further uptown, charging admission for entry.