Hall of Fame for Great Americans, 1957

NYU’s Hall of Fame For Great Americans was the first of its kind in the country. The brainchild of Chancellor Henry Mitchell MacCracken opened in 1901 and honored distinguished Americans by creating busts in their honor. Any American-born person who had been dead for at least 10 years was eligible for nomination by citizens across the country. In 1901, 29 individuals, including George Washington, Robert E. Lee, and botanist Asa Gray, composed its inaugural class. The early success of the Hall sparked an interest in the "hall of fame" concept and eventually led to the establishment of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, among others. Today, the Hall of Fame for Great Americans no longer inducts members, but the original architecture and busts still stand on what is now a part of Bronx Community College.

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