Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: September 8, 1997

Release #524-97

Contact: Colleen Roche/Jennifer Chait (212) 788-2958



Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today kicked off the "New York City 100: The 1998 Greater New York Centennial Celebration," a year-long commemoration of the consolidation of more than 40 local governments, including the separate cities of Brooklyn and New York into present-day Greater New York. The celebration, which illuminates the City's rich heritage and will officially begin on December 31, 1997, represents a year's planning by the City of New York, and more than 50 major cultural, educational and historic institutions including national public television.

Joining the Mayor were City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Schuyler Chapin. The event was co-hosted by the Centennial Committee's Co-chairmen, New York Times Chairman Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and Chairman Emeritus of the New York Public Library Andrew Heiskell. Actor Tony Randall served as master of ceremonies.

"Today, it is our collective privilege to be witnessing the start of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Greater New York. Think about it -- if somehow you find something 100 years old, how often is it stronger than it was when it was made? How often is it more diverse, more resourceful, richer economically and culturally, more confident and more important to the world as a whole?"

"Well, that is where New York City finds itself today, thanks to a century of inspiration and hard work. It's a wonderful history of triumph and resilience. No matter what the challenge, the people of this City have a way of rising to the occasion, coming together, and moving forward."

The Mayor continued, "We are the home of the Metropolitan Opera Company, the New York Philharmonic, The New York Pops, conducted by Skitch Henderson, and I'm thrilled they're here tonight. . . Broadway and other great theatrical institutions like the National Actors Theater, which is a real jewel of the City -- the world's greatest museums, and the list goes on."

"America begins in New York City. New York 100 will be a year of looking back at our accomplishments and looking ahead with confidence to the challenges of the future, when greater New York will become even greater. I want to thank all the individuals and organizations whose contributions will make this an unforgettable centennial."

The charter which consolidated the City of New York was signed into law on May 4, 1897 by Governor Frank S. Black. The Centennial celebration begins on January 1, 1898, commemorating the date the unification law took effect.

The goal of New York City 100 is to create a permanent legacy. Creating an advertising and marketing campaign, New York City 100 will mount a series of its own special events, including lectures, symposiums and public education programs. New York City 100 will be financed by "The Committee for 100," a roster of corporate, foundation and private contributors. The Greater New York Centennial Celebration will run through December, 1998.

Among the projects are the integration into the public school curriculum of historic site visits, walking tours and use of historic documents; the promotion of official and popular landmarks as destinations for New Yorkers and tourists alike; and the creation of permanent Included in the events planned for next year is the fall release of a ten-hour PBS documentary series on the history of New York City by filmmakers Ric Burns and Lisa Ades.

Sponsors for today's Centennial celebration are (restaurants) Aria, Giovanni, Gargiulo's, The Waters Edge, Parsonage, Glorious Foods Catering, Ben & Jerry's, Main Event Caterers, Junior's; (florists) Fellan Florist; (beverages) Pepsi Cola, Boylan Bottleworks, Chelsea Brewing Co. Seagrams; and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Go to Press Releases | Giuliani Archives | Mayor's Office | Home Page
Contact Us | FAQs | Privacy Statement | Site Map