- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 29, 2006

NEW YORK — Americans are being asked to choose the greatest moments in the history of Madison Square Garden, a battle that pitches Muhammad Ali against the late Pope John Paul II.

Since opening its doors at its original location in the late 19th century, the venue has hosted rock concerts, presidential birthday parties, mass weddings and some of the most memorable moments in sports.

Among the favorites for the top 50 historic events are the “Fight of the Century,” when Muhammad Ali faced off against Joe Frazier in 1971 and “Smokin Joe” managed to deal Ali his first professional loss.

Also in contention are Elvis Presley, who sold out four shows in the arena in 1972, and John Paul, who as the newly elected pope held a rally for 20,000 young people at the Garden in 1979.

In one of the Garden’s previous locations, then-President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 45th birthday in May 1962, with about 15,000 people on the guest list and Marilyn Monroe providing a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

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