In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Moving Day was increasingly assaulted as a bad and uneconomical custom. The moving industry tried to stimulate change by threatening a strike on Moving Day, effectively paralyzing the city; however, this effort came to naught. Attempts to divide Moving Days according to the worth of the real estate failed as well. It would take a great catalyst in the form of World War II to finally topple Moving Day.

With the United States entry into the war, many of the men who worked in the moving industry were drafted to fight overseas. Those who remained chose to work in the defense industry, leaving the moving industry bereft of labor; professional replacements being hard to find.

With the conclusion of the War and the influx of returning GI’s the population of New York exploded. When it came time for the Moving Day of 1945 an unusual event occurred—there was no moving. “Housing Shortage Erases Moving Day” proclaimed a headline. The shortage was able to accomplish that which everyone else had failed to do. In the decades following the last Moving Day, the population of New York City grew slowly as the housing shortage in the city remained, forcing most inhabitants to stay dormant.  Moving Day eventually faded from the memories of New Yorkers until it was finally relegated “the good old days” when the city was a completely different place to live.      

Moving Day As Our Grandchildren Will See it,” Harper’s Weekly, March 16, 1912, p. 18 (Harpweek)


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