When the first European explorer sailed into New York harbor in 1524, the native civilization found on the banks of the Hudson was a complex and ancient one. The natives' ancestors had entered the Hudson Valley some twelve thousand years earlier, after the last continental glacier receded from North America. The Dutch first settled along the Hudson River in 1624; two years later they established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York.
One of the original 13 colonies, New York played a crucial political and strategic role during the American Revolution.
1524 - Jan 17 - Giovanni da Verrazano, commissioned by France's Francis I, sails from the Madeiras, in la Dauphine, for the New World, probably accompanied by Jacques Cartier.
1614 - Fort Nassau is built near present-day Albany
1624 - The Dutch settled here permanently and for 40 years they ruled over the colony of New Netherland
1625 - The Dutch purchase Manhattan Island from the local Indians
1664 - Expedition led by Colonel Sir Richard Nicolls, one of four Commissioners appointed by the Crown to carry out military acquisition of the Dutch territories in America. Nicolls selected Sir Robert Carr to subdue the Dutch on the South (Delaware) River. Sir Robert Carr drives the Dutch off the Delaware and claims the land for James, Duke of York. Delaware becomes an English colony. Colony of New Netherland was conquered by the English and was then named New York in honor of the Duke of York.
1765 - New York City hosts a colony conference dealing with the King of England's Stamp Act
1776 - July 9 - Existing as a colony of Great Britain for over a century, New York declared its independence becoming one of the original 13 states of the Federal Union
1777 - The Battle of Saratoga, one of the decisive battles of the world, was the turning point of the Revolution leading to the French alliance and thus to eventual victory. New York City, long occupied by British troops, was evacuated
1783 - December 4 - At Fraunces Tavern, General George Washington bade farewell to his officers.
1784 - "The Empire State," an expression possibly originated by George Washington
1788 - With the Revolutionary War ended, New York becomes the 11th US State
1797 - January - Albany became the capital of the State
1789 - April 30 - New York City became the first capital of the new nation, where President George Washington was inaugurated
1792 - The New York Stock Exchange, founded, and has become the center of world finance.
1809 - Robert Fulton's "North River Steamboat," the first successful steam-propelled vessel, began a new era in transportation.
1812 - Robert Fulton's steamboat churns up the Hudson River
1825 - Erie Canal, completed
1831 - Short Lines started
1853 - Railroads started
1860s - The State of New York supplies almost one-sixth of all Union forces during the Civil War
1880s- Overland transportation grew rapidly from a system of turnpikes established in the early 1880s to the modern day Goveror Thomas E. Dewey New York State Thruway.
1886 - The Statue of Liberty, with its famous inscription, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," was the first symbol of America's mission.
1900s - Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt achieved the presidency; and Nelson Rockefeller served as vice president. Governors Charles E. Hughes, Alfred E. Smith and Thomas E. Dewey all were candidates for the presidency.
1901 - President William McKinley is assassinated in Buffalo
1918 - The Erie Canal was replaced by the Barge Canal
1929 - New York stock market crashes
1932 - Lake Placid hosts the Olympic Winter Games
1939 - World's Fair opens in New York City
1946 - New York City is chosen as the site of the United Nations
1959 - St. Lawrence Seaway opens
1964 - World Fair opens (again) in New York City
2001 - World Trade Center attacked by terriorist
2005 - Strike by workers shut down New York City transit system
2006 - Yankees pitcher, Cory Lidle and flight instructor, killed in airplane crash; first beam of the new Freedom Tower placed
2007 - Senator Hillary Clinton entered presidential race
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