ITHACA, N.Y. — To honor what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday, Yoko Ono and thousands of others gathered in Central Park on Tuesday to try and set the Guinness World Record for the largest peace sign comprised of human bodies.
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They fell short, however, of the record set in Ithaca in 2009 — by a few thousand people, according to PBS.
The peace sign yesterday was created just across the park from where Lennon was assassinated in 1980. A Guinness World Records representative reported that about 2,000 people of all ages came together on Tuesday morning to remember Lennon’s aspiration for peace and to attempt the record in his memory.
— Art For Amnesty (@ArtForAmnestyUS) October 6, 2015
In 2009, however, 5,814 people gathered in Ithaca to create a peace sign that stretched across Stewart Park. The attempt was organized by then high school sophomore Trevor Dougherty during the Ithaca Festival.
Ithacans managed to beat the former record set by students at the University of Michigan of 2,500 people.
The World Record Academy noted at the time of the Ithaca record:
First-year Ithaca Festival director Jacob Roberts, enjoying the sun with his shirt off Sunday, said success was marked by a number of different benchmarks: at least 1,700 people marched in Friday’s parade — the largest turnout ever; at least 3,000 people showed up to dine on The Commons even as the world record attempt was occurring; and everyone seemed to be having fun in Sunday’s good weather.
Godfrey Higgs, who was one of the thousands of Ithacans making up the peace sign, said the world record attempt was a chance to make a statement as a community. “It’s a great thing to say with a lot of people,” he said.
Though Ono’s mission fell short, landing only in third place for the Guinness Record, the Associated Press reported that the failure did not quell the peaceful spirit of the day and that Ono said, “This is the best present to John.”
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