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The world’s first organization that has been specifically designated as a “Hall of Fame” was established in New York City in 1900. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans honors 102 Americans. It has served as a model for hundreds of other “halls of fame,” the most prominent being baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, established in 1939. While the Hall of Fame for Great Americans remains the original icon in a history of popular culture museums visited by millions each year, the Hall today is little known, visited by scant few, and in a state of both physical and organizational decline. This article is a call to reawaken this institution from, depending on how you see it, comatosis or hibernation.


Halls of fame; New York University. Hall of Fame for Great Americans; New York; Popular culture; Popularity; United States


Cultural History | History | Political History | Social History | United States History