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26 Disturbing Pictures From New York Subway History

And New Yorkers think they have it bad today...

Posted on July 17, 2017, at 5:18 p.m. ET

Paul Brown/ REX / Shutterstock

Graffiti on a New York subway train in 1982.

Jamel Shabazz / Getty Images

A young couple look through the window of a graffiti-covered subway car in 1980.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Transit Police Officer Ed Provenzana and his dog named Hang On ride the subway on Dec. 15, 1980, as the city began patrolling its subway system with German shepherds.

Getty Images

An NYPD officer (left) inspects a homeless man sleeping in a subway car in 1982. A group of suspected criminals (right) is apprehended in the subway system in 1980.

New York Post Archives / Getty Images

Cops seal off a station after a quarrel ended in a man murdering his girlfriend and shooting the subway conductor who tried to shield her from him on Feb. 27, 1992.

Wiltshire / Wiltshire/REX/Shutterstock

A conductor peers out from his booth, circa 1980.

New York Post Archives / Getty Images

An NYPD officer tends to a stabbing victim on July 29, 1992.

Barbara Alper / Getty Images

Passengers ride the subway on April 26, 1980.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Transit Police Officer Joe Ehlers checks the platform at a subway station, circa 1980.

Uncredited / Uncredited / AP/REX/Shutterstock

Paramedics remove the body of a woman shot and killed by an unknown shooter on a subway train, circa 1990.

New York Post Archives / Getty Images

Transit cops apprehend a suspected shooter on July 17, 1980.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

A team of "Guardian Angels" meets before leaving to patrol the city's 230-mile subway system, circa 1980. The young people were part of a civilian volunteer patrol committed to making the subway system safe.

Ron Frehm / AP

A man jumps the turnstile as confusion prevailed among subway riders when the long-awaited 60-cent fare took effect at the stroke of midnight on June 27, 1980.

Barbara Alper / Getty Images

Advertisements for a photo-processing service in a stairway at Times Square subway station, circa 1977.

Susan Ragan / AP / REX / Shutterstock

A homeless man sleeps near a high-voltage rail as a subway train races by in 1991.


Commuters point to a poster sporting a caricature of a nearly nude Walter Mondale — a Democratic challenger for president — promoting an issue of Penthouse Magazine at a Times Square Station on May 12, 1984. The posters were stripped from city subways after Mayor Ed Koch declared them obscene.

Barbara Alper / Getty Images

Teenagers kiss in the subway in September 1983.

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A smiling youth (left) is arrested after he and four others tried to rob a Brooklyn teenager aboard a subway on May 4, 1988. (They were turned away as the victim pulled out a gun and fired.) A Guardian Angels flyer (right) hangs in a shop window in the Lafayette Station on June 5, 1991.

New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Guardian Angels picket in support of a vigilante subway shooter court case near City Hall on Dec. 29, 1984.

Barbara Alper / Getty Images

Graffiti on the inside of a subway train, circa 1980.

Jw / AP

Graffiti on the subway walls on July 27, 1972.

Oliver Morris / Getty Images

Lisa Sliwa, a member of the Guardian Angels who was married to the group's founder, Curtis Sliwa, patrols the subway with an unidentified fellow member of the group in the mid-1980s.


Mayor Ed Koch talks to reporters after announcing his "war" on subway crime on March 19, 1979.

Barbara Alper / Getty Images

A "closed" sign hangs across a subway station entrance during the transit strike on April 1, 1980.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.