Bright lights, Time’s Square, the Statue of Liberty – all staples of one of the most famous cities in the world: new York.
Not only is New York City rich and influential, it’s also one of the largest cities in the state. In addition, the Big Apple has been recognized as the most populous place to live in any city in the United States. While the Empire State has not always been defined by its massive skyscrapers, its historical impact spans the gamut in terms of art, culture, finance, and media.
When was New York City built and who founded it?
Early beginnings of New York
A Florentine in the service of France named Giovanni da Verrazzano, who was first explored by the Europeans, is said to have discovered the New York harbor in 1524. Despite this massive find, it was another 100 years before the first settlers came to the area. In 1609, Henry Hudson, an Englishman who was employed by the Dutch, reached the bay in a sailing boat and crossed the river that now bears his name.
Welcome to New Amsterdam
It was in 1624 when the new Dutch West India Company sent the first group of settlers to Lower Manhattan. Later that spring, colonists worked side by side to build a small town that they later named New Amsterdam. Peter Stuyvesant and Peter Minuit were the first two people to rule the territory and helped establish what would later become a bustling trading post.
How did New York City get its name?
The British establishment of 1664
Germans, Walloons, Spaniards, Scandinavians, and Portuguese immigrants were among the earliest settlers to call the area home. In 1634 there were approximately 1,500 residents in the area, along with 18 different languages spoken in the melting pot of individuals.
In order to protect Dutch settlers from the British, Governor Peter Stuyvesant decided in 1653 to build a wall across the expanse of the island (now Wall Street). The endeavor was in vain, however, as Dutch settlers could not defend themselves and surrendered to the British on September 8, 1664. Shortly afterwards, King Charles II honored his brother, the Duke of York, by renaming New Amsterdam New York.
In 1673 the Dutch recaptured the area for a short time and named it “New Orange” for the Prince of Orange. However, just a year later, the British regained control and signed a contract to complete the change of ownership. Later, in the 18th century, the city developed into a city with over 25,000 inhabitants.
With British control, the city was divided between independent “patriots” and loyalists to the Crown. On June 27, 1775, half of these people cheered George Washington as he commanded the Continental Army in Boston, while the other half of the population was down at the harbor, greeting the English governor who was returning from London.
New York remained under British control until the siege of Yorktown in 1781, effectively ending the War of Independence. Two years later, England finally recognized American independence. After Washington’s triumphant return to New York, he became the country’s first president. While Philadelphia officially became the nation’s capital in 1790, New York remained the title of American commercial center.
What are some key events that shaped New York?
The opening of the Statue of Liberty
In 1886, Lady Ellis, one of New York City’s most iconic and iconic landmarks, opened on Ellis Island. The statue of Liberty was a solemn gift from France to commemorate the Union’s victorious victory in the American Civil War. The monument is full of symbolism – with its broken chains, the torch and the tablet of the law that represents hope and freedom.
Ellis Island: A Historic Immigration Site
For over 60 years, from 1892 until it closed in 1954, Ellis Island was a notorious gateway for all immigrants who moved to the east coast of the United States. Between New Jersey and New York – at the mouth of the Hudson River – millions of immigrants came through Ellis Island. It is estimated that nearly 40% of current American citizens are able to trace at least one ancestor back to their arrival on Ellis Island.
The New York World’s Fair: 1930-1940
In the beginning, the world fairs largely concentrated on technology, industrialization and scientific progress. However, this changed when the World’s Fair was held in New York from 1939 to 1940. The theme that revolved around society and culture was the “dawn of a new day”. Not only did Americans attend, but countries around the world attended the celebrations, drawing nearly 44 million people.
United Nations Headquarters
The United Nations (UN), named in 1945 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was founded to help maintain peace and international security, promote relations between nations, promote human rights, and provide a means for nations to act harmonize. Originally established after the end of World War II, the UN started out with 51 member states and has since grown to over 193. The UN Security Council met in London until 1952, when New York City became its official headquarters. New York City is home to four of the main components of the United Nations (with the exception of the International Court of Justice in The Hague), including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council and the Secretariat.
The attacks of September 11th
America and New York City residents will never forget the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda were responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that day, killing 3,000 people and injuring more than 6,000. To this day, first responders have been studying the health effects of responses to the attacks. The painful and heartbreaking events of that day prompted the US to launch a war on terror. A 9/11 memorial was erected in NYC as a way to remember and honor all those who lost their lives that day. It is also a symbol of New York’s resilience and unity in times of crisis.
Before the Empire State was a playground for skyscrapers and buildings, the city was home to a number of famous historical events. The rich history of New York City is responsible for creating the City of Lights and Actions as we know it today.