Important Historical Events of New York City

Important Historical Events of New York City
Important Historical Events of New York City

Our history shapes our future. This holds true, perhaps even more so, when we consider the history of colonies. When we go back in history to look at how New York City came to be, it brings forth a rich history, with dramatic turning points. 

It was these turning points that led us to where we are today dubbing NYC as “The Big Apple” and “Gotham” City.

So, let’s take a trip into the history of New York City and see what events shaped today’s “City that never sleeps”. A quick overview of New York’s timeline shows a history of diversity.

1524: 1st Expedition to New York

Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian sailor, commissioned by the French King, was the first (aside from the earlier Norse sailors) to lead an expedition to ‘The New World’ and the first to reach the New York Bay.

1609: Exploring the Hudson River

Henry Hudson was the first to sail to New York and all the way up to Albany, through a river that was then named the “Hudson River” after him.

1664: British Rule

Well, probably no history of the world is complete without fighting British rule. When the English warships arrived, they took over the colony from the Dutch and named it “New York”, after the Duke of York.


New York, after more than a century of occupancy under British rule, declared its independence.


The first Constitution of New York was adopted.  A year later it formed the 11th state of the US.


New York ended slavery in the State.

1886: Lady Liberty

Perhaps symbolizing one of the most iconic events in New York history, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the US for celebrating their Union and victory in the Civil War. It acted as a beacon of hope for the destitute, searching for freedom.

1892 – 1954: Immigration through Ellis Island

Ellis Island was the historical gateway for immigrants from all over the world looking for a new life in the States. 

12 million immigrants were processed here, before it was turned into a museum. These numbers indicate one-third of the current US citizens’ ancestors.

1993: World Trade Centre Bombing

A truck bomb was detonated in an attempt to destroy the towers and all the lives inside. Although 6 died in the attempt, it was mostly a failure for the terrorists.

2001: 9/11 Bombing  

Perhaps one of the most prominently engraved events in New York history, rather the entire U.S, is the 9.11 attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. The hijacked plane crashes took 3000 lives and injured 6000 others.

All events, triumphant or tragic, are a part of NYC history and shape the current state and its citizens.

Which historical event in NYC do you think is the most important?

Scott Hamlin
Scott is the editor-in-chief of Spice Market New York. He is also an author and publisher of his own craft.