17. Robert Moses Hated Coney Island

In 1938, Robert Moses persuaded Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to let him regulate Coney Island’s beach and boardwalk. Moses, who had a reputation for being strictly orderly, felt that Coney Island’s carnival workers and sideshow advertisers were too rowdy, so he issued violations that ended many of their businesses. Moses also established prohibitions within the bathing and boardwalk areas, which Berman described as an attempt to “clean up Coney Island’s anarchic beach culture.”

Thus, during the years leading into World War II, Coney Island had a slightly different atmosphere. Moses again conveyed his disdain for Coney Island in the 1950s, a time of decline for the park. Moses did nothing to stop this decline and wanted to let the island’s amusements die out on their own and pave the way for his plans for its urban renewal.