State Facts - History Firsts
New York State
Facts - New York History Firsts
Catch up on your state trivia with these New York history firsts and interesting fun facts
about the state.
|Location & Region
||42.66575 N, 073.79901 W
||July 26, 1788
|Number of Counties
||58 Counties in New York
|New York City
||309 sq mi.
- 1600 - European settlers who brought seeds to New York introduced apples in the
- 1747 - The oldest cattle ranch in the US was started at Montauk on Long Island.
- 1763 - First international sports hero, boxer Bill Richmond of Staten Island,
was born August 5, 1763.
- 1778 - The coat of
arms of the State of New York was formally adopted in 1778, and appears as a component
of the State's flag and seal.
- 1789 - First capital of the United States was New York City. In 1789 George Washington
took his oath as president on the balcony at Federal Hall.
- 1801 - The popular tabloid New York Post was originally established
in 1801 as a Federalist newspaper called the New York Evening Post by Alexander Hamilton,
an author of the Federalist papers and the nation’s first secretary of the treasury.
- 1803 - "New York Post," founded in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton, is the oldest
running newspaper in the United States.
- 1807 - The Clermont made its maiden voyage from New York City to Albany making
the vessel the first successful steamboat.
- 1812 - Sam Wilson, a meatpacker from Troy who's caricature Uncle Sam came to
personify the United States is buried at Troy's Oakwood Cemetery. During the War of 1812,
he stamped "US Beef" on his products which soldiers interpreted the US abbreviation as meaning
- 1820's -The Erie Canal, built across New York State in the 1820s, opened
the Midwest to development and helped New York City become a worldwide trading center.
- 1843 - First American chess tournament was held in New York.
- 1848 - First women's rights convention met at Seneca Falls.
- 1857 - Joseph Gayetty of New York City invented toilet paper.
- 1861 - A brewer named Matthew Vassar founded Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.
- 1869 - John Babcock invented both the indoor rowing machine and the sliding seat
during the winter of 1869/1870.
- 1876 - First Boy's Club was established in New York City.
- Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood (October 24, 1830 –
May 19, 1917) was on a farm in Royalton, New York, She was an American attorney, politician,
educator, and author. She was active in working for women's rights. She graduated from law
school in Washington, D.C. and became one of the first female lawyers in the United States.
She successfully petitioned Congress in 1879 to be allowed to practice before the United
States Supreme Court, becoming the first woman attorney later in the year
given this privilege.
- 1885 - Niagara Reservation became the first state park in the US
- 1886 - The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France in
honor of the United States’ enduring dedication to freedom and democracy and of the
alliance held between the two countries during the American Revolution. Erected in 1886
on Bedloe’s Island (later renamed Liberty Island) in New York Harbor, the statue stood
as a welcoming symbol to the 14 million immigrants who entered the United States through
New York until 1924.
- 1896 - Hartsdale has a pet cemetery established in 1896 and containing 12,000
- 1899 - Sam Schapiro began the Kosher wine industry on New York's Lower East side
with their famous extra heavy original concord wine.
- 1907 - Mount Kisco's landmark, a statue of Chief Kisco, was once an elaborate
fountain for watering horses. The statue stands at the intersection of Routes 117 and 133.
D.F. Gorham, a strong supporter of prohibition, presented it to Mount Kisco in 1907. The
inscription on the base to the statue reads "God's Only Beverage for Man and Beast."
- 1912 -
- Arthur Eldred became the first Eagle Scout in May 1912, in Oceanside.
- The Titanic was scheduled to arrive at Chelsea Piers on April 16, 1912 at the conclusion
of her maiden voyage. The “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg and sank on
April 14. Of the 2,200 passengers aboard, 675 were rescued by the Cunard liner Carpathia,
which arrived at the Chelsea Piers on April 20th.
- 1915 - First presentation of 3D films before a paying audience took place at
Manhattan's Astor Theater on June 10, 1915.
- 1945 - On July 28, 1945 an Army Air Corps B-25 crashed into the Empire State
Building at the 79th floor level.
- 1971 - The bloodiest prison rebellion in US history resulted in the deaths of
43 people at the Attica State Correctional Facility.
- 1979 - Vassar students were the first from a private college to be granted permission
to study in the People's Republic of China.
- 1882 - Find out more about
New York State Great seal
- 1885 - The first daily Yiddish newspaper appeared in 1885 in New York
- 1901 - Find out more about
New York State Flag
- 1955 - The Rose
is New York State Flower
- 1956 - The Sugar maple
(Acer saccharum Marsh) was designated as
New York State Tree
- 1969 -
- Garnet was chosen
to be New York State Gem
- After the towns of Woodstock and Wallkill refused permission to host what ultimately
became the country’s most renowned musical festival, a dairy farmer in nearby Bethel
agreed to provide access to his land for “Three Days of Peace and Music.”
With musical acts kicking off on August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival attracted
more than 400,000 attendees—most of whom were admitted for free since the organizers
of the event were unprepared to control access for such a large crowd. The Woodstock
Music and Arts Fair was actually held in Bethel.
- 1970 - The Bluebird
(Sialia sialis) was selected New
York State Bird
- 1975;2006 - Brook or
Speckled Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) was chosen to be
New York State Fresh-water fish
- 1975 - The Beaver
(Castor canadensis) was designated
New York State Animal
- 1981 - Milk was selected as New York State
- 1976 - The Apple
(Genus Malus) is New York State Fruit
- 1984 - The Sea scorpion
(Eurypterus remipes) was adopted as
New York State Fossil
- 1987 - The
Apple muffin was designated the
New York State Muffin
- 1988 - The Bay
scallop (Argopecten irradians) was chosen as the
New York State Shell
- 1989 - The Ladybug
(Coccinella novemnotata) was designated as
New York State Insect
- 2006 -
- 2009 - "I
love New York" was made
New York State Slogan
- 2011 - New York City contains roughly 660 miles of subway track connecting
468 subway stations—the lowest of which is located 180 miles below street level. In
2011, more than 1.6 billion people rode the subway.
More New York History Firsts - New York State Facts
- Delta Phi, the oldest continually operated fraternity, is located at Union College.
Sigma Phi was also started on this campus.
- Hartsdale has a pet cemetery that contains over 12,000 plots.
- The longest game in baseball history was played between Rochester and the Pawtucket
Red Socks. The game lasted a total of 33 innings.
- L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz, lived in Chittenago. The city
now has a yellow brick road and many other Oz-themed businesses, including an annual Munchkin
- The world's smallest church, only 3.5X6 feet, is located in Oneida.
- The Genesee River is one of the few rivers in the world to flow south to north
- New York has the most extensive public library facilities in the United States, including
the New York Public Library, one of the nation's largest.
- New York was the first state to require license plates for cars.
- The 641 mile transportation network known as the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway is
the longest toll road in the United States.
- Jell-O, marshmallows, French's Mustard, and gold teeth were all developed in Rochester.
- The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan is the only school in the world offering
a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing.
- Union College in Schenectady is regarded as the Mother of Fraternities because Delta
Phi is the oldest continually operating fraternity and Kappa Alpha and Sigma Phi Societies
were started on the campus.
- Dairying is New York's most important farming activity with over 18,000 cattle and or
- New York City has 722 miles of subway track.
- Power Mill Park situated outside Rochester has a house on Park Road shaped like a group
- Chittenago is the home of L. Frank Baum, author of the "Wizard of Oz". It features a
yellow brick inlaid sidewalks leading to Aunti Em's and other Oz-themed businesses. Chittenago
is the location of an annual Munchkins parade.
- Oneida has the world's smallest church with the dimensions of 3.5' X 6'.
- The first railroad in America ran a distance of 11 miles between Albany and Schenectady.
- In November for Boy Scouts and in March for Girl Scouts the annual Urban Camp-Outs are
hosted at the Empire State Building.
- The Catskills are the home of the legend of Rip Van Winkle, brown trout and flycasting.
- The Genesee River is one of the few rivers in the world that flows south to north.
- Rochester is known as both the Flour City and the Flower City. The community is home
to the first abolitionist group, bloomers, marshmallows, Jell-O, French's Mustard, baby
shoes, gold teeth and the mail chute.
- Gennaro Lombardi opened the first United States pizzeria in 1895 in New York City.
- New York's largest lake in Oneida measures 79.8 square miles.
- New York's highest waterfall is the 215 foot Taughannock.
- The Big Apple is a term coined by musicians meaning to play the big time.
- Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp in Narrowsburg is the largest council owned camp in the
- Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. played against each other in Rochester vs. Pawtucket Red
Sox in the longest game in baseball history. The game went a total of 33 innings.
- Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic
- Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh was the first publicly owned
- New York State is home to 58 species of wild orchids.
- New York has over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.
- The first public brewery in America was established by Peter Minuit at the Market (Marckvelt)
field in lower Manhattan.
- The name Canandaigua (pronounced Can-an-DAY-gwa) is derived from a Native American word
meaning the chosen spot.
- Horseheads is the first and only village in the United States dedicated to the service
of the American military horse.
County Information and County History
Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, New York City, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming, Yates
Britain's American colonies broke with their mother country in 1776 and were
then recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions.