First settled by the Dutch in 1624, New York achieved statehood on July 26, 1788. The colony of New Amsterdam was renamed New York by the British in 1664 in honor of the Duke of York. One of the 13 original colonies, NY (postal abbreviation) became the nation's 11th state. It is the 27th largest state and has a population of more than 19.5 million people, nearly half of the population living in New York City alone. NYC is the biggest city in the state and was once the capital city of the U.S., but the capital of New York is Albany, named after the Duke of Albany.
Folks who live here are called New Yorkers. Biography.com lists almost 900 famous/infamous people being born here. If the list didn't include crime bosses and criminals, there might only be 700 or so. Since there are so many, I have only listed some of the more noteworthy such as Presidents Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. There have been sports stars, actors/actresses, fashion designers, singers, authors, models, activists, musicians, playwrights, and poets. Edwin Armstrong invented circuits for the FM radio. John Jacob Astor IV built the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and died in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Three of the Baldwin brothers—Alec, Billy, and Stephen—are all actors. Lucille Ball was a very funny woman famous for her "I Love Lucy" show. Joseph Barbera, the other half of Hanna-Barbera, co-created the Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby-Doo. Frank Baum wrote the Wizard of Oz. Clarence Birdseye invented the process of flash freezing. Think about all of the foods in the freezer section of the grocery store that are flash frozen to retain their freshness. Amelia Bloomer was a women's rights activitist; "Bloomers" are named after her. Famous actors like Humphrey Bogart; James Cagney; and Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Iron Man were born here. Cab Calloway, Al Capone, Dick Clark, composer Aaron Copland, and George Eastman who invented the Kodak camera once called New York home. Barbara Bush is the wife of President George H.W. Bush. Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to ride Niagara Falls in a barrel. Melvil Dewey created the Dewey Decimal System used in libraries. Henry M. Flagler took his money to Florida and built hospitals, colleges, etc. Chef Bobby Flay, baseball great Lou Gehrig, and brothers George and Ira Gershwin came from New York. Alex Haley wrote Roots which was made into a miniseries for television. Marvin Hamlisch and Oscar Hammerstein II are famous for their music. Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell were famous artists. Washington Irving, J.D. Salinger, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are)and E.B. White were famous authors. Emma Lazarus wrote the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine to eradicate polio. Isaac Singer invented the sewing machine. Louis Tiffany created beautiful glass lamps. Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Other famous New-York-born people are John Jay, Michael Jordan, The Marx Brothers, Billy the Kid, John D. Rockefeller, Sojourner Truth, George Westinghouse, and Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook).
As the list of famous people born in New York seems endless, so does the list of places to visit. New York City has the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island (12 million immigrants in 62 years), Empire State Building, Broadway, Guggenheim Museum, New York Stock Exchange, United Nations, World Trade Center site, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. There are the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, Niagara Falls, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Thousand Islands, amusement parks, zoos, national parks, ski resorts, and festivals year round.
New York City has been a popular place for movie producers. Some movies filmed here include King Kong, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Gangs of New York, Miracle on 34th Street, West Side Story, Wall Street, Saturday Night Fever, Superman, The Bourne Ultimatum, Spider-Man, Wall-E, The French Connection, Kate and Leopold, Planet of the Apes, The Day After Tomorrow, The Avengers, and Ghostbusters.
It is easy to see some of the things that make up New York's economy—finance, tourism, communications, publishing, and fashion—but international trade and fruit and dairy farming also contribute greatly.
New York's nickname is The Empire State, and the motto is "Excelsior" which means ever upwards. The state bird is the eastern bluebird, and the mammal is the beaver. The nine-spotted ladybug is the state insect, and the brook trout is the state fish. The bay scallop is the shell. The state flower is the rose, and the sugar maple is the state tree. The apple, introduced by European settlers in the 1600s, is the state fruit.
The flag was adopted in 1901. The goddesses Liberty and Justice stand on opposite sides of a shield which shows the sun rising over the Hudson highlands and on top of a ribbon with the state motto, Excelsior, written on it. At the base of Liberty's feet is a crown which represents freedom from Britain. An eagle sits atop a globe.
Play some learning games to test your knowledge of New York.
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By Jonathan Brown & Catherine Gardner(Editor) / Gareth Stevens Publishing
Bolster students' knowledge of the state they live in! Discover the history of the state, including Native American history, colonial history, and modern history, and learn about the current demographics of the state, the land itself, the economy, state government, and cultural attractions. "Fun Facts," "Famous people," and "In history" sidebars provide interesting tidbits of information. Full-color photographs, time line, glossary, and index included. 32 pages, softcover. Grades 2-4.
By Gareth Stevens Publishing
|Celebrating New York: 50 States to Celebrate
By Marion Dane Bauer & C.B. Canga(Illustrator) / Sandpiper
Join Mr. Geo and discover all kinds of fun facts about New York! Filled with facts and illustrations, this beginning reader is perfect for your child who's reading independently with longer text, richer vocabulary, and engaging content. Includes a glossary, fast facts about New York, important dates in New York history, and activities that are all about New York!
|Primary Source History of the Colony of New York - Unabridged Audiobook on CD
By Paul Kupperberg & Jay Snyder / Brilliance Audio
Through primary source documents, listeners will learn all about the colony of New York. From the discovery of the island of Manhattan and the founding of a tiny Dutch trading village to New York's emergence as one of the world's most influential cities, this audiobook is sure to please any history buff!
Unabridged audio CD; approximately 1 hour; 1 CD.
|Peter Stuyvesant: New Amsterdam and the Origins of New York - Unabridged Audiobook on CD
By Brilliance Audio
Learn about the last director-general of New Amsterdam, Peter Stuyvesant. He ruled with an "iron fist" but he loved New Amsterdam and its people, staying on after the colony fell to the English. To this day, street, neighborhood, and borough names (Broadway, Harlem, the Bronx, and Brooklyn), and the popularity of some foods (pretzels), reflect the early Dutch influence in New York.
Unabridged audio CD; approximately 1 hour; 2 CDs.
|Scenes of Olde New York Coloring BookGreen Edition
By Peter F. Copeland / Dover Publications
|The New York Yankees: Legendary Sports Teams - eBook
By Matt Christopher & Glenn Stout / Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
|A History of New York - eBook
By Washington Irving / Penguin Classics
|A History of New York
By Washington Irving / Penguin Putnam Inc.
|New York, The Empire State
By Margery Facklam / Charlesbridge Publishing
Get to know all about New York with this region-by-region tour of "The Empire State." Vibrant watercolors bring the countryside and the city to life, as the text extols the features, people, landscape, museums, and unique aspects of New York. Sidebar notes allow for additional illustrations and more information on what makes New York so special. From the Five Nations across the state to the pirate legends of Fire Island to the dairy industry today, you'll learn fascinating facts about the whole state of New York! 43 pages with resource and symbols page. Softcover.
|New York's Bravest
By Mary Pope Osborne / Random House, Inc
|The Empire State Building: When New York Reached for the Skies
By Elizabeth Mann / Firefly Books LTD
It was 1929 and the race was on to put up the tallest building in the world. Less than two years later, the race was over, and the age of skyscrapers had its exclamation point. This book tells the story of an American icon. From demolition to finishing touches, author Elizabeth Mann tracks the wonders of its architecture, engineering, and construction. From millionaires to laborers, she captures the human stories behind the technical wizardry. From the rise of a great city to the depths of the Great Depression, she traces the historical forces behind the creation of the world's most famous skyscraper. This book is a fascinating look at this enduring symbol of New York.
|People Of New York
By Mark Stewart / Heinemann Raintree
This look at the people of New York explores the vast and diverse heritage of the state. Noting its many immigrants that came in through Ellis Island, the Native Americans who first--and still--live there, the Dutch & English settlers, and the African-Americans who had a major influence in places like Harlem, this book is filled with information on New Yorkers. Photographs, charts, and historic illustrations make this a unique exploration of NY from early days until the present. A list of famous New Yorkers is also included. 48 pages with index, glossary and state map.
|State Shapes: New York
By Workman Publishing
These colorful, fact-filled books are irresistible! Die-cut in the shape of the state, each one takes readers on a fascinating journey to visit intriguing places, meet famous and historic figures, learn about animals and wildlife, and experience the culture that makes each state unique. Packed with fun facts, exciting history and fascinating folklore, State Shapes are illustrated with a warmth, humor, and flare that will appeal to kids and parents alike. Hardcover, 45 pages.
|New York DVD
By Worldwide Media
|If You Lived 100 Years Ago
By Scholastic Trade
If you lived 100 years ago, life was changing, and fast. Find out what life was like in New York City in the 1890s. With the rich very rich and the poor very poor, learn about tenement buildings, NYC mansions that took up a block, new inventions, getting water for your bath from a fire hydrant (the rich had bathrooms), the importance of clotheslines, how iceboxes worked, new inventions (typewriters & postcards), fashions & hairstyles, what people did for fun, and more, all through short, engaging "chapters" and fun illustrations. 80 pages, softcover.
|Sojourner Truth: American Abolitionist
By W. Whalin / Barbour Publishing
|John Jay: Founding Father
By Walter Stahr / Continuum International
|The Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook
By John Doherty,John Harrisson / Hachette Book Group
|Edward Hopper's New York
By Avis Berman / Pomegranate Communications