5. Jackie Robinson: Cypress Hills Cemetery

Jackie Robinson's tomb
Jackie Robinson rests in Cypress Hills Cemetery, which is located in Cyprus Hills, Brooklyn.

Legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, known for being the first African American baseball player in the Major League, passed away in his Connecticut home in 1971. Attended by over 2,500 mourners, Robinson’s funeral was held at Riverside Church, which is adjacent to Grant’s Tomb. Afterward, the procession traveled to Cypress Hills Cemetery where Robinson was laid to rest next to his son, Jackie, and mother-in-law, Zelle Isum. 25 years later, the Interborough Parkway used to transport Robinson’s body was named Jackie Robinson Parkway in his memory.

Established in 1848 as a rural cemetery, Cypress Hills Cemetery was the first non-sectarian cemetery corporation in Brooklyn and Queens. While most cemeteries at the time were situated in church courtyards, the founders of Cypress Hill sought a location that harbored a sense of tranquility and seclusion. The land they selected is on a small hill with a vantage point of the ocean. During the Civil War, the cemetery was used as a military burial for soldiers, including 235 Confederate prisoners who had died on Hart Island.