New York History Timeline

Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in New York History

Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in New York history.

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.

16th Century New York History Timeline

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.

17th Century New York History Timeline

1609 -

  • Hudson River was first explored by Henry Hudson.
  • Samuel de Champlain explores the northeastern New York area .

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.

18th Century New York History Timeline

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 -

  • April 20 - New York's first constitution was adopted
  • June - Election for the first governor took place.
  • July 9 - George Clinton was declared elected
  • July 30 - George Clinton was inaugurated as Governor at Kingston

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

  • September 19th (The Battle of Freeman Farm)
  • October 7th (The Battle of Bemis Heights)

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.

19th Century New York History Timeline

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.

20th Century New York History Timeline

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

21st Century New York History Timeline

2000 -

  • New York Yankees won World Series;
  • former first lady 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.
  • Later in the year, American Airlines plane crash in New York City kills 260

2003 -

  • Power outage across eastern U.S. and Canada;
  • Staten Island ferry crash kills 10, injures 43

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

2008 -

  • Governor Eliot Spitzer resigned after being linked to prostitution ring
  • Investment bank, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy

2009 -

  • US Airways plane with 155 people on board crash-landed in Hundson River after striking bird on takeoff, all aboard were safe
  • Bernard Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison for masterminding massive fraud robbing investors of $65 billion

2010 -

  • Car bomb found parked in Times Square, New York City
  • Blizzards struck New York, forced cancellation of flights, disrupted road and rail traffic

2011 -

  • Protests held at Wall Street
  • Protesters moved to Times Square, over 70 arrested
    2011 -
  • Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans, provide missiles and material support to terrorist organization

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