Most Notable Moments in New York City History

By Rob Cramer on January 31 2020 in World Facts

Firefighters fought vigourously on 9/11 to rescue those who were trapped inside the twin towers in New York City. Source: BusinessInsider
Firefighters fought vigourously on 9/11 to rescue those who were trapped inside the twin towers in New York City. Source: BusinessInsider

New York City is the most populated city in the United States, and the city has experienced a plethora of historic events, including terrorist attacks, assassinations, and financial meltdowns. New York City is the birthplace of American democracy, and the city is famous for being a financial hub and business center.

The American Revolution

New York City was a focal point of the American Revolution. The American Revolutionary War took place from April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783. During the war, British forces heavily attacked New York City. Several important battles took place in and around New York City, including the Battle of Saratoga, the Battle of Long Island, and the Battle of Harlem Heights.

After the war, New York City was named the capital of the United States. New York remained the capital until July 16, 1790.

The Great Depression

The New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1792. Many significant events have happened on Wall Street. The 1920 Wall Street bombing killed 40 people. The Great Depression began in 1929 following the Great Crash, which began on September 4, 1929. Stock market selling intensified. On October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 23% in one day. The Dow continued to slide for a further three years until it bottomed on July 8, 1932, when it closed nearly 90% below its peak on September 3, 1929. Contrary to popular belief, stockbrokers did not commit suicide by jumping out of windows on Wall Street.

The Statue of Liberty and the World's Fair

President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886. The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France. French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi designed the 151-foot copper statue, which serves as a symbol of peace, freedom, and democracy. The World’s Fair opened in New York City on April 30, 1939. The fair took place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The main theme of the fair was futurism, and an estimated 44,000,000 people attended the event.

The Assassination of Malcolm X

On February 21, 1965, civil rights activist Malcom X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam at the Audubon Ballroom in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Malcolm X was the antithesis of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who believed in peace through unity and non-violence. Malcolm X believed in self-defense by any means necessary.

The Assassination of John Lennon

Beatles singer John Lennon was also assassinated in Manhattan. Fanatic Mark David Chapman killed Lennon outside the Dakota on Central Park West in the Upper West Side on December 8, 1980. Chapman said he was motivated by J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, and that he was angered over Lennon’s remarks that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.” Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono earlier in the day. The iconic photos now symbolize enduring love and great loss.

The 9/11 Attacks

On September 11, 2001, New York City experienced the worst terrorist attack in history. Two highjacked planes were flown into the World Trade Center towers. An estimated 2,996 people died in the attack. Firefighters, police officers, and paramedics worked tirelessly to free people from the debris of the fallen towers. The attacks were organized by Al-Qaeda under the orders of Osama Bin Laden. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower at 8:46 A.M. EST, and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower at 9:03 A.M. EST

New York City is the city that never sleeps. The city is a focal point of business, finance, and politics in the United States. New York city has experienced everything from war to terrorist attacks and assassinations. There have been momentous and joyous occasions, too. The 1939 World’s Fair showed us what humanity is capable of, and the Statue of Liberty symbolizes cooperation.

More in World Facts