Home to over 8 million people, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York metropolitan area, which encompasses approximately 19 million residents spread across different counties in New York and New Jersey. The city traces its roots back to the founding of a Dutch trading post in 1624 and the purchase of land from Native Americans, which became known as Manhattan Island. The city became an important financial center when New York City was designated as the seat of the United States government shortly after independence from Britain during the American Revolution in 1783. Despite its rich history, you may not know that…
1) Native Americans lived there before Europeans
The land that is now New York City was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking groups. The first European explorer to visit New York was Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524, who sailed past it and claimed it for France.
2) It was started by Dutch
Fort Amsterdam was built on Manhattan island in 1625 by Dutch settlers. It would go on to become New York City, but it wasn’t actually named that until 1664—over 50 years later.
3) John Jacob Astor
What many don’t know is that Astor was America’s first multimillionaire. He was worth about $20 million in today’s money, but lost it all and died broke. His secret to success? Focus on one thing: real estate. If you want to be rich, real estate is a good place to start – buy low and sell high!
4) When it was founded
Dutch settlers founded New Amsterdam, which would eventually become NYC, in 1626. The British took over and renamed it New York when they seized control of Manhattan Island in 1664. One year later, NYC was declared a city.
5) Which states are around it?
Around The City of New York there are 5 different states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) that border it. What’s in its boundaries?: Manhattan is considered to be its own island but it actually has a few small islands around it: Staten Island, Liberty Island and Ellis Island just to name a few.
6) When were the five boroughs named?
Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. Most people think that these names were always how they were, but in fact they were named by law as of Jan. 1, 1898. Before then they had official numbers: Manhattan was called Borough No. 1; Staten Island Borough No. 2; The Bronx Borough No. 3; Brooklyn was Borough No. 4, and Queens was borough 5.
7) How many square miles does it span?
Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island make up a total of 468.6 square miles across three boroughs. To put that into perspective, New York is larger than San Francisco (428.9 square miles), Boston (135.5) and Washington D.C. (68). In fact, it’s slightly smaller than Chicago (522.4).
8) There are hidden waterfalls in Central Park
The Central Park Conservancy has created two man-made waterfalls, located along a rocky outcropping on East Drive at 75th Street and along Terrace Drive near West 81st Street. Both are on land that was donated to the park. Native plants surround them so they blend into their surroundings.