Some days in New York City history are beyond tragic. Today is one of those days. On this date, back in 1980, Rock Music icon John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side. The first bullet missed, passing over Lennon’s head and hitting a window of the Dakota building. Two of the next bullets struck Lennon in the left side of his back, and the other two penetrated his left shoulder.
Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at nearby Roosevelt Hospital. Shortly after, the local news stations reported his death. Following the news reports crowds gathered at the hospital and in front of the Dakota. Lennon was cremated and two days later the ashes were given to his widow Yoko Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him.
Chapman admitted to the murder and was sentenced to 20-years-to-life imprisonment. He has remained in prison since, having been denied parole nine times amidst campaigns against his release after becoming eligible in 2000.
On what would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday, October 9, 1985, New York Mayor Ed Koch and Yoko Ono ceremoniously dedicated Strawberry Fields, a 2.5 acre site in Central park right across from the Dakota Apartments. The site is named after one of The Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The triangular piece of land has at its focal point a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones gifted by the city of Naples, Italy, with the title of Lennon’s famous song “Imagine” at the center. The memorial is a powerful site of contemplation and is visited by millions every year.
Connect to the defining moments of the modern experience centered in NYC with 5D Guide. Share your thoughts and connect others by sharing this post.
Are you in NYC or will be visiting? Join 5D Guide for in-season guided explorations throughout Manhattan.