At 6:30 a.m. London time on Tuesday, June 6, 1944, the German news agency DNB issued the first reports that thousands of Allied paratroopers were touching down near the mouth of the Seine River, with fierce fighting near the city of Caen.
When the sun rose in New York City, thousands of troops had already landed on the beaches of Normandy and had been fighting for hours. The Daily News proclaimed in bold lettering, "INVASION BEGINS."
A special 6 a.m. edition of the New York Times carried the first terse communique from the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force.
%shareLinks-quote="Under the command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France." type="quote" author="Communique from Supreme headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Force" authordesc="On D-Day" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Further accounts trickled in, including one from a correspondent who had ridden along in a C-47 transport plane and watched as the first groups of paratroopers leapt out into darkness and sporadic fire.
The Normandy landings were the largest seaborne invasion in history, and came almost exactly four years after the Allies were driven from Western Europe in the evacuation of Dunkirk — a painful memory still fresh in the minds of those watching and waiting for news.
In churches and synagogues across Manhattan, people bowed their heads in prayer, while in Times Square, crowds craned their necks to watch the latest reports creep across the electronic ticker on the New York Times building.
The New York Stock Exchange observed two minutes of silence and thousands gathered in Madison Square for a rally led by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.
%shareLinks-quote="We, the people of the City of New York, in meeting assembled, send forth our prayers to the Almighty God for the safety and spiritual welfare of every one of you and humbly petition Him to bring total victory to your arms in the great and valiant struggle for the liberation of the world from tyranny." type="quote" author="Mayor La Guardia" authordesc="Address to Madison Square rally" isquoteoftheday="false"%