Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Saturday, June 20, 1998

Release #290 -98

Contact: Colleen Roche (212) 788-2958
Jennifer Chait (212)788-8479


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, joined by New York City 100 (NYC 100) Centennial Committee President Marie Salerno, tonight set off the NYC 100 Fireworks display over the five boroughs, lighting the skies tonight with the largest geographic pyrotechnic display in history. The Mayor led a five-second City-wide countdown from the "Fireworks Command Center" at the Top of the World Observation Deck in Two World Trade Center as part of the NYC 100: Centennial Weekend celebration for the 100th anniversary of New York City.

"The NYC 100 Fireworks that we set off here tonight light up all five boroughs in what is, geographically, the largest pyrotechnic display in history," the Mayor said. "Tonight's display is the perfect expression of how far we have come as a City. We mark not only the 100th anniversary of the consolidation into Greater New York but also the spirit and excitement that electrify the City -- making it the Capital of the World.

"One hundred years ago, when the cities of New York, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island decided to pool their collective resources and talents and become one, we grew not only in size but in spirit," the Mayor said. "Today, New York City is stronger than it has been in a very long time; our economy is thriving; tourism is booming; crime is down in record numbers; and New York is seen, worldwide, as an urban success story. As we wish New York City a happy birthday, let's remember that what was once described as the 'greatest experiment in municipal government the world has ever known' is now proudly known as the Capital of the World."

NYC 100 President Marie Salerno said, "It is a great honor to join the Mayor in setting off the NYC 100 Fireworks. There is perhaps no greater way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the joining of the five boroughs than by uniting them again under a sky filled with sound and light. This year is one of the most successful New York City has ever seen, and tonight we honor the greatness of this City over the past century, and the greatness yet to come."

The NYC 100 Fireworks were synchronized by Fireworks by Grucci. The colorful display capped daylong celebrations in all five boroughs. Music graced each location: the Queens Philharmonic performed at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park; golden oldies rang out at Orchard Beach in the Bronx; music played on the boardwalk at South Beach on Staten Island; rock played at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan and melodies flowed at the all-day beach party at Coney Island.

The NYC Fireworks marked the second day of the NYC 100: Centennial Weekend, a three-day, 320 square-mile festival, which marks the historic consolidation of 1898 that created the five-borough New York City of today.

Settled in 1625 by the Dutch, present-day New York was first known as New Amsterdam. In the later part of the 18th century, named after the British Duke of York, New York was the first capital of the colonies. The Charter of New York was ratified on January 1, 1898 uniting more than forty municipal governments into today's New York City. What was once mostly farm land and country estates is known today as the business, cultural and entertainment Capital of the World.

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