"The idea of separatism is harkening to the past and it is undesirable even if it could be realized, because the progress of mankind has been based upon . . .social, intellectual and cultural contact." —A. Philip Randolph, 1969
This park is named for Asa Philip Randolph (1889-1979), labor and civil rights leader. The site was acquired by the City in 1896. It formerly contained one of the many brownstone milestone markers, c. 1769, that denoted the distance of various sites from City Hall. The area was named Dewey Square by the Board of Aldermen in 1922 for Admiral George B. Dewey (1837-1917), a naval hero of the Spanish American War, for whom the promenade in Battery Park along New York Harbor is named. Dewey Square also provided the inspiration for and title of a 1947 song by saxophonist Charlie Parker, who lived in the area at the time.