Curfew in World War II (1945)

Times Square wartime blackout on BroadwayDimout in September Times Square during World War II.  Photo by Marjory Collins from Library of Congress

In 1945 during World War II, the federal government instituted a nationwide curfew on nightlife, ordering all entertainment establishments across the country to close at midnight. Broadway was subject to “dim-outs.” In order to “conserve fuel and manpower for the boys overseas,” the federal government implemented a midnight curfew, which was met with frustration by residents of many urban areas. Yet New York City resisted the curfew and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia changed the local closing time to 1 A.M., even though he was not granted special permission. Yet, despite this extension of the curfew, the curfew was lifted in April of that year as the war began to end.