Skip links

New York (NY): State Guide and Fun Facts

When was New York Founded? 1624 by Dutch settlers; originally called New Amsterdam

Who Founded New York? Peter Minuit and Henry Hudson

First settlers: Lenape Indians inhabited the area before any European explorers reached the land

Square Miles: 54,475

US Rank: 27th largest state

State Flower: Rose

State Bird: Bluebird

State Motto: Latin: “Excelsior”. The English translation: Higher

Capital City


What is New York famous for?

1. Empire State Building – The Empire State Building was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon architects and is modeled after the design for the Reynolds Building in North Carolina. Construction was completed in 1931, just around the time of the Great Depression in the United States. The building gave jobs to over 3,000 construction workers during some of the hardest times the country faced. It stood as the tallest building in the US until the completion of the twin towers in New York City. It was again surpassed by the former Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in Chicago. Today the building stands as a symbol of New York City and is one of the tallest buildings on its iconic skyline.

2. Wall Street – New York City is known as the Financial Capital of the World. Wall Street is the central hub for the majority of that financial activity. Home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, AMEX, NYMEX and NYBOT, the area is constantly encircled by a swarm of organized chaos, as the world’s top financiers carry about their daily trading activities.

3. New York Yankees – The Yankees, interestingly enough, originated as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901. Two short years later, the team decided to relocate to New York City and play ball under a different name; the New York Highlanders. In 1913, the Yankees received their permanent name. The team has the most outstanding championship record in Major League Baseball with 27 World Series titles and 40 American League Pennants. Anyone that is not a Yankees fan is likely a Yankee hater, however there is no arguing the talent that the team has produced in the past, including notable players such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.

What is New York’s economy?

1. Finance – New York, the Financial Capital of the World, lives up to its nickname as it pushes ahead in this recession attempting to bolster stock trading, real estate and insurance sales. The state acts as a beacon to which other states look for guidance, and as such is working overtime in the financial industry with the hope that the rest of the country will follow their lead on the road to repairing the economy.

2. Manufacturing – Although not as important monetarily as Finance and Real Estate, manufacturing has and will continue to be important to the state revenue. Goods produced in New York include clothing, metals, foods, chocolate, furniture and chemicals.

3. Real Estate – Real estate contributes to a significant portion of the state revenue in New York. The state, and New York City in particular, has one of the highest costs of living in the world. Commercial space is equally expensive, allowing for a booming real estate market.


New York Historical Landmarks

1. Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace – The only president born in New York City, Teddy Roosevelt was born into wealth. His home is restored to the condition it was in during the 1860s when Theodore was a child. The house is open to the public and tours are given daily. In addition to five rooms that have been meticulously restored, there are two galleries located within that display memorabilia that was donated by family of Theodore for the museum.

2. Bayard-Condict Building – This structure, located in New York City on well-known Bleecker Street. The architect, Louis Sullivan, mainly focused his architectural efforts on metropolitan Chicago rather than New York, teaching and influencing Frank Lloyd Wright and the beliefs of the Chicago School. As such, New York is home to only one of this architect’s creations. Sullivan was a pioneer in high-rise and steel technology, both in their infancy when he was a practicing architect. The Bayard Condict Building was one of the first high-rise towers, at thirteen stories, to use steel skeleton frame technology.

3. Brooklyn Bridge – Construction of the bridge was completed in 1883 and it allowed for an easy connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn. When it was built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and the first suspension bridge to use steel wire suspensions. The original designer of the project, John Augustus Roebling was unfortunately injured during the project, and the injury ultimately caused his death shortly thereafter. He placed his son, Washington in charge of the project, however Washington became paralyzed due to the side effects of working underwater in the caisson tubes. His wife Emily managed the project alongside her husband for 11 years.

4. Dyckman House – This Manhattan Farmhouse is the last of its kind. Manhattan did not always look as it does today, and nearly everyone gave in to the crushing pressure of development and urbanization. Everyone except the Dyckman family. William Dyckman built the house in 1784 and owned over 100 acres of land around the home. The house remained in the family until the city of New York purchased it in 1910 to turn it into a museum, forever solidifying the rural history of New York City on one of its neighborhood streets.

Timeline of New York

Timeline of New York 1500′s – 1600′s

1524: Giovanni da Varrazano of France, sails into New York Harbor on the Dauphine in search of the Northwest Passage.
1525: Esteban Gomez, searching for gold and silver, sojourns briefly in the estuary of the river later to be called the Hudson River.
1609: Henry Hudson sails into New York Harbor on the Half Moon
1610: Fur trading, in the hands of a few experienced, profit-seeking traders, begins on the Atlantic Coast.
1624: Belgian and Dutch settlers arrive at Manhattan, mostly French-speaking Walloons employed by the Dutch West India Company. The new colony is called New Amsterdam.
1626: Dutch purchased Manhattan Island from local Indians
1664: English conquered New Netherland
1673: Anglo-Dutch war occurred
1674: English recaptured New Amsterdam and New Amsterdam was renamed New York City

Timeline of New York 1700′s

1702: Yellow fever epidemic killed over 500
1774: Colonists disguised as Indians dumped load of tea into harbor
1775: American Revolution began
1776: New York declared independence from England
1777: First constitution adopted
1783: Battle of Saratoga occurred
1785: New York City named nation’s capitol
1788: New York became 11th state
1789: George Washington inaugurated as first U. S. president
1792: New York Stock Exchange founded
1795: Yellow fever epidemic killed 732
1797: Albany named state capitol
1798: Great epidemic killled 2,086

Timeline of New York 1800′s

1802: West Point Military Academy opened
1812-15: War of 1812
1825: Erie Canal completed
1827: Slavery abolished in New York
1831: New York’s first railroad opened.
1831: New York University is chartered as a nonsectarian, privately endowed, coeducational institution of learning, in contrast to Columbia University which was largely an Anglican and Episcopalian establishment.
1871: Explosion on Staten Island Ferry Westfield II
1876: Stage fire at Brooklyn Theater
1883: Brooklyn Bridge opened
1886: Statue of Liberty dedicated
1888: Great Blizzard of ’88
1896: Nine-day heatwave in NYC

Timeline of New York 1900′s

1901: President William McKinley assassinated in Buffalo
1918: Great Influenza Pandemic killed 851
1920: Wall Street bombing killed 40
1929: New York Stock Exchanged crashed; Great Depression began
1932: Lake Placid hosted Olympic Winter Games
1933: New York Giants won World Series
1938: New England Hurricane struck Long Island, 10 killed
1939: World’s Fair opened in New York City; North Beach Airport
1943: Race riots in Harlem, several looters killed, 500 injured
1945: B-25 bomber crashed into Empire State Building
1948: New York International Airport JFK was opened
1952: United Nations Headquarters completed in New York City
1957: New York Giants move to San Francisco
1959: St. Lawrence Seaway opened
1964: World Fair opened in New York City
1965: Black nationalist leader, Malcom X, assassinated
1973: 40 workers killed in LNG tank explosion
1975: Bomb exploded in TWA baggage claim area at LaGuardia
1980: John Lennon, murdered in front of home
1993: Terrorist attack killed six, injured over 1000 at World Trade Center
1996: TWA Flight 800 crashed, killed 230

Timeline of New York 2000′s

2000: Hillary Clinton elected to U.S. Senate
2001: 9/11 – Terrorists hijacked, then crashed two planes into World Trade Center, nearly 3,000 killed, with billions in property loss.
2003: Staten Island ferry crash kills 10, injures 43
2005: Strike by workers shut down New York City transit system
2006: First beam of the new Freedom Tower placed