Top 10 Historical Moments of New York

“Make your mark in New York and you are a made man”
-Mark Twain
The city of skycrapers, the city of billboards, the city of Times Square, the city of corporates, this city has something special in its air. It is probably the only country that looks better than it is shown on postcards. From being a colony to a democracy, it has been through a lot. Lets see what all did it take to make it the city that we see today.


The French discovered New York in 1524 and the Dutch claimed it in 1609. It became an agricultural hub and a center of fur trade. Initially, named by the Dutch as `New Amsterdam’, the Britishers captured it from the Dutch in 1664 and finally named it New York after the Duke of York. People from all over the Europe like Netherlands, France , Germany and of course Britain started migrating in and slaves were imported in from the African continent.


The beginning of New York Stock Exchange dates back to 17 May 1792. On this day, 24 merchants and traders signed a pact at 68 Wall Street under a Buttonwood tree, which rendered the pact its name – The Buttonwood Agreement. Before this agreement, barter system was prevalent; they would use rice, wheat and other such goods to trade. This pact set up a commission rate. The Tontine Coffee House was decided to be its headquarters. It mainly traded in government bonds. It took a quarter of decade to to rename this thriving center of commerce – New York Stock Exchange Board, which is now called New York Stock Exchange. After being renamed, it expanded its operations from government bonds to securities. The very company to be listed is New York Bank.


Slavery began in New York when the Dutch brought Africans to New York and auctioned them. When Britishers acquired the city, instead of curbing the practice, they expanded it. A law was passed in 1799 which laid down that newborns of the slaves would be, from now on, set free after they had served for a certain time, till the age of 28 for males and 25 for females. Finally in July of 1827, all slaves were let out of the shackles of restrictions and were set free and independent. This was marked by a celebratory parade throughout the New York City. It was given the name “emancipation of slaver”. After 43 years, on 3rd February 1870, after a lot of hiatus, protests and revolts, the blacks finally got the right to vote by the 15th amendment to the United States constitution.


A French gift to the people of the States, the statue was once the tallest structure of the world. A brainchild of Edward Rene Lefebvre, the president of Anti Slavery Society, the statue is a sculpture of Roman goddess signifying liberty. Many designs of the statue were proposed and examined before finally picking up on the one that we see today. The French had financed the statue and the American had paid for the pedestal. The statue, in its initial stages was name, Liberty Enlightening The World. The statue was sculpted and transported to USA in installments. Its head was exhibited at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878. It was finally installed at the Liberty Island in the year 1866.


On May 24, 1883, Brooklyn Bridge was opened opened for public, bringing to reality the dream of its architect. Its opening was attended by the then US president, Chester A Arthur. It was in in its preliminary stage called ` The New York Brooklyn Bridge’ and also ` The East River Bridge’. It shrinks the distance between Manhattan and Brooklyn sprawling over the East River. The construction of the bridge began under the supervision of John Augustus Roebling but soon he got injured in an accident and transferred the charge of the bridge to his son Washington Roebling before he died of tetanus infection. But unfortunately, Washington got down with influenza and had to abandon the project. But his wife was determined, she would supervise the project with the help of chief engineer. She spent 11 years of her life in its construction. It is regarded as one of the seven industrial wonders of the world.


He used to enjoyed meeting people and was always apprehensive of security, little did president McKinley know that one of his own people would stab him. It was 6 September, 1901 when an anarchist shot the president William McKinley in abdomen while he was at reception of an exposition at the Temple of Music, Buffalo. It is often described as the New York City’s darkest moment. The assassin was a 28 year old man named Leon Czolgosz who had a handkerchief wrapped around his hand and in the wake of shaking hand with McKinley dropped the handkerchief to reveal a gun. He fired two shots, one of which bounced from McKiley’s belly while the other penetrated into his abdomen. After this shocking incident, Theodore Roosevelt was immediately appointed the president.


With the theme, “Dawn Of A New Day”, New York world fair changed the world fairs’ focus intensively. Rather than exhibiting social and cultural issues, it focused on technical advancements and attracted an audience of nearly 44 million. Its opening on 30th April coincided with 150th anniversary of former president George Washington’s inauguration ceremony and thus attracted a large footfall of 206,000. President Roosevelt launched the first model of black and white television on that day. Different shades of orange and blue were extensively used for decoration since these are also the colours of New York.


Started as a group of 51 countries, UN today is 193 nations strong. Formed in 1945 initially it had its headquarters at London which however shifted to New York in1952 .General assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council are now conducted in New York. The are of headquarters is not a part of US domestic territory. During the preliminary talk regarding its establishment, the authorities received many proposals. Many litigants wanted it to be established at UN’s predecessor, League Of Nations’s headquarter location in Geneva, Switzerland while a few wanted its structure to be floating in international waters. But after John D Rockefeller offered to donate Dollar 8.5 billion to purchase a piece of land in New York, New York City was finally given a conclusive nod for its location.

2. I Love NY

A pro bono, it was actually an accidental sensation. In fact, even today, in a busy street you can spot at least one person wearing this its logo can be spotted. This logo has been used since 1977 to promote tourism in New York City. In fact, there is also a song by a similar name. The logo was designed in the American Typewriter font. The idea of this symbol was conceived in a car during a meeting between William S. Doyle, deputy commissioner of New York and Milton Glaser, the graphic designer regarding the marketing campaign of the city. The design was widely circulated at the time of September 11 attack to propagate unity among the people and was even modified as “I Love NY More Than Ever”.

1. Bombs and Attacks

The World Trade Center at New York has been attacked twice – in 1993 and 2001. In 1993, it was a truck and in the latter year, an airplane. In 1993, the explosion caused by a bomb was so disastrous that it reached till the 93rd floor of the building and even damaged the elevators. In 2001, it was a hijacked plane that whizzed past Tower 1 and Tower 2 thus damaging them badly.