A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 27, 2014
“He made so many of them” (Daily News Building quote)

"He made so many of them” is a quote on the Daily News Building at 220 East 42nd Street in Manhattan. The New York (NY) Daily News occupied the building from 1930 until 1995. although its name and the quotation are still on the building. The Daily News was founded as the newspaper for the common people, and the quote was believed to have been taken from Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), “The Lord must love the common people—he made so many of them.”

It’s not known with any certainty that Lincoln ever said the quotation because the first printed citations appeared over 20 years after his death. “The common people—whom Lincoln believed God liked because He had made so many of them” was cited in print in 1886. “The Lord must love the common people, he made so many of them” was cited in 1889. “The Almighty must prefer common looking people, because He made so many of them” was cited in 1890. “Seward, do you know, I have often thought God must love the common people; He made so many of them” was also cited in 1890.


Wikipedia: Daily News Building
The Daily News Building, also known as The News Building, is a 476-foot (145 m) Art-Deco skyscraper located at 220 East 42nd Street between Second and Third Avenues in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Built in 1929–1930, it was headquarters for the New York Daily News newspaper until 1995. It was also the headquarters of United Press International until the news service moved to Washington, DC in 1982. Its design by architects Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells, among the first skyscrapers to be built without an ornamental crown, can be seen as a precursor to Hood’s design of Rockefeller Center.

Skyscraper.org
DAILY NEWS PLANS AND ENTRANCE
The monumental limestone entrance on 42nd Street that Hood described as a “small explosion or architectural effect” features a polished granite bas relief--a city scene that places the News Building at the apex of the skyline and shows a crowd of New Yorkers grouped under the banner “HE MADE SO MANY OF THEM.” The phrase was taken from a quotation of Abraham Lincoln: “God must love the common man. He made so many of them.”

Wikiquote: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809 - 15 April 1865) was the 16th President of the United States and led the country during the American Civil War.
(...)
Posthumous attributions
The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he made so many of them.
. Conversation with private secretary John Hay (23 December 1863), describing a dream Lincoln had that evening, in Abraham Lincoln: A History (1890) by John Hay

23 January 1886, The American Register (London, UK), “American English,” pg. 2, col. 6:
God apparently meant them (languages—ed.) for the common people—whom Lincoln believed God liked because He had made so many of them—and the common people will use them freely, as they use other gifts of God.
(W. D. Howells, in Harper’s Magazine.—ed.)

Google Books
French Traits:
An Essay in Comparative Criticism

By William Crary Brownell
New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons
1889
Pg. 321:
No one has eulogized Mr. Lincoln as sympathetically as Mr. Lowell, exercising his noble poetic faculty. But it is difficult to fancy the man who said “the Lord must love the common people, he made so many of them,” laying much stress upon the “duty of the intelligent to govern the unintelligent.”

Chronicling America
13 April 1890, Omaha (NE) Daily Bee, “Millet of the ‘Angellus,’"pt. 3, pg. 17, col. 6:
... those very multitudes, of whom our own Lincoln, said, with pathetic humor: “The Almighty must prefer common looking people, because He made so many of them.”

25 September 1890, Idaho Daily Statesman (Boise, ID), “A Monster Meeting,” pg. 1, col. 5:
This class is what you may call the “common people,” if you please; nevertheless, it is the class of people which Uncle Sam always relies when he is in trouble. Mr. Lincoln once told Mr. Seward that he contemplated a certain public measure. Mr. Seward replied that he thought the measure a desirable one, but was afraid it would be misunderstood; that the common people would not understand it. The great president dropped his head upon his chest for a moment, and then said, “Seward, do you know, I have often thought God must love the common people; He made so many of them.”

Google Books
June 1907, The American Magazine, “Talks with Walt Whitman” by Horace Traubel, pg. 281:
There was a saying attributed to Lincoln which he liked to swing into his estimate of men: “The Lord must have loved the common people, he made so many of them.”

Ephemeral New York
The mystery quote on the Daily News building
June 27, 2014
(...)
This bas relief features the newspaper name, an urban cityscape, and a crowd of people, with this inscription: “he made so many of them.”

What does it mean?

It’s part of a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “God must love the common people; he made so many of them.”

Sounds like an homage to the regular New Yorkers who made the Daily News, which got its start in 1919 as the city’s first tabloid, one of the nation’s biggest newspapers throughout the 20th century.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Saturday, September 27, 2014 • Permalink