New York Quick Facts|
New York State Capitol
New York State Seal
Sugar Maple - The State Tree of New York
Bluebird - The State Bird of New York
Rose - The State Flower of New York
The State Song of New York
New York's Flag - Emblazoned on a dark blue field is the state coat of arms. The goddess Liberty holds a pole with a Liberty Cap on top. Liberty stands for freedom. At her feet is a discarded crown, representing freedom from England at the end of the revolutionary war. On the right is the goddess, Justice. She wears a blindfold and carries the scales of justice. Meaning that everyone receives equal treatment under the law. The state motto "Excelsior" on a white ribbon expresses the idea of reaching upward to higher goals. On the shield a sun rises over the Hudson highlands and ships sail the Hudson river. Above the shield is an eagle resting on a globe representing the Western Hemisphere.
History of New York - Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian-born navigator sailing for France, discovered New York Bay in 1524. Henry Hudson, an Englishman employed by the Dutch, reached the bay and sailed up the river now bearing his name in 1609, the same year that northern New York was explored and claimed for France by Samuel de Champlain. In 1624 the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange (now Albany); one year later Peter Minuit is said to have purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for trinkets worth about $24 and founded the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City), which was surrendered to the English in 1664. For a short time, New York City was the U.S. capital and George Washington was inaugurated there as first president on April 30, 1789. New York's extremely rapid commercial growth may be partly attributed to Governor De Witt Clinton, who pushed through the construction of the Erie Canal (Buffalo to Albany), which was opened in 1825. Today, the 559-mile Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway connects New York City with Buffalo and with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania express highways. Two toll-free superhighways, the Adirondack Northway (linking Albany with the Canadian border) and the North-South Expressway (crossing central New York from the Pennsylvania border to the Thousand Islands) have been opened. New York, with the great metropolis of New York City, is the spectacular nerve center of the nation. It is a leader in manufacturing, foreign trade, commercial and financial transactions, book and magazine publishing, and theatrical production. New York City is not only a national but an international leader. A leading seaport, its John F. Kennedy International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is the largest manufacturing center in the country and its apparel industry is the city's largest manufacturing employer, with printing and publishing second. Nearly all the rest of the state's manufacturing is done on Long Island, along the Hudson River north to Albany, and through the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Southern Tier regions to Buffalo. The St. Lawrence seaway and power projects have opened the North Country to industrial expansion and have given the state a second seacoast. The state ranks fourth in the nation in manufacturing, with 982,000 employees in 1995. The principal industries are apparel, printing and publishing, leather products, instruments, and electronic equipment. The convention and tourist business is one of the state's most important sources of income. New York farms raise cattle and calves, produce corn and poultry, and raise vegetables and fruits. The state is a leading wine producer. Among the major points of interest are Castle Clinton, Fort Stanwix, and Statue of Liberty National Monuments; Niagara Falls; U.S. Military Academy at West Point; National Historic Sites that include homes of Franklin D. Roosevelt at Hyde Park and Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay and New York City; National Memorials, including Grant's Tomb and Federal Hall in New York City; Fort Ticonderoga; the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown; and the United Nations, skyscrapers, museums, theaters, and parks in New York City.
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