Important NYC Dates

1000 Manhattan, Canarsee, Hackensack and Rockaway Indians occupy lands now known as New York City.
1524 Giovanni DaVerrazano (for France) enters Narrows.
1526 Estavan Gomez (for Spain) sails along shoreline.
1609 Henry Hudson (for Netherlands) lands party to explore Manhattan.
1613 Adrian Block builds four trading houses on Manhattan.
1625 Town of Nieuw Amsterdam becomes seat of government for Nieuw Netherlands. Peter Minuit appointed first Director-General by Dutch West India Company.
1626 Minuit purchases Manhattan Island from Indians.
1635 Dutch build Fort Amsterdam.
1636 "Breukelen" colonized.
1639 Colonists, arriving from Holland, sent to Staten Island by deVries.
1648 First fire wardens appointed.
1653 City's first tavern (site of 73 Pearl St.) becomes site of first city hall.
1654 "Vlissingen" (Flushing) founded.
1658 Nieuw Harlem founded at Montagne's Point.
1664 Peter Stuyvesant turns town and fort over to British. Nieuw Amsterdam renamed New York.
1665 Thomas Willet appointed first mayor (one year term)
1670 Gov. Francis Lovelace purchased Staten Island from the Indians. This was the final deed; earlier ones had been repudiated by the Indians.
1673 City recaptured by Dutch, renamed Nieuw Orange.
1674 Nieuw Orange ceded to England, Province and City are renamed New York.
1683 City divided into six wards, each with an alderman.
1686 Dongan Charter granted by King James II.
1693 First printing press set up by William Bradford.
1700 New City Hall completed at Broad and Wall St. (site of Federal Hall).
1725 New York Gazette, City's first newspaper, published.
1730 Montgomerie Charter increases municipal powers.
1736 Alms house established.
1762 First street lamps installed with City funds.
1765 Stamp Act Congress held at City Hall.
1770 Jan. 19 Battle of Golden Hill, first conflict of Revolution.
1774 "Tea Party" in New York harbor.
1775 First Provincial Congress met in New York; Staten Island was represented by five delegates.
1776 Aug. 27 Battle of Long Island;
1776 Sept. 11 Conference in the Billopp House between Franklin, Rutledge, Adams 643 Factual Highlights and Lord Howe. Sept. 16 Battle of Harlem Heights;
1776 Oct. 16 Battle of Pell's Point;
1776 Nov. 16 New York City occupied by British.
1783 Evacuation Day. New York City returns to American control.
1784 Governor appoints a mayor. Common Council meets. City seal presented.
1785 New York City becomes state capital (until 1789) and national capital (until 1790).
1788 City Hall becomes Federal Hall.
1789 George Washington takes oath of office at Federal Hall as first President of the United States. Alms house reorganized as Belleview Hospital.
1799 State of New York acquired thirty acres of the Duxbury Glebe for a quarantine.
1812 Present City Hall completed.
1827 July 4: Celebration in honor of the abolition of slavery on Staten Island.
1832 First horse railroad starts on Fourth Avenue.
1834 City of Brooklyn established including towns of Williamsburg, Utrecht, Flatlands, Bushwick, and Flatbush.
1844 First uniformed police force organized.
1846 First telegraph line opened, New York to Philadelphia.
1847 A "free academy" established, later City College.
1848 First piping of water to city via Highbridge from Croton system.
1853 World's Fair at Crystal Palace. (near 40th St., 5th Ave.)
1856 Land purchased for Central Park.
1865 First paid Fire Department organized.
1867 Single track elevated railroad begins from Battery to 13th Street.
1871 Explosion of the Ferryboat "Westfield."
1874 Morrisania, West Farms and Kingsbridge annexed to City.
1883 Brooklyn Bridge opens.
1886 Statue of Liberty unveiled.
1895 Part of Pelham and Wakefield annexed to City.
1898 Act of Consolidation. City of Brooklyn, all of Staten Island and area that is now Queens become part of the City of New York.
1903 Williamsburgh Bridge opens.
1904 First subway begins operation.
1914 Bronx County, the 62nd and last County of New York State, is established.
1915 City adopts new flag. Catskill Water Works supply City water.
1924 Democratic National Convention meets in NYC.
1927 Holland Tunnel opens.
1929 Multiple Dwelling Law passed. 644 Official Directory
1930 Miller Highway along Hudson River opens.
1931 George Washington Bridge, Floyd Bennett Field (first municipal airport) begin operations.
1932 IND subway opens.
1935 East River Drive construction begins.
1936 Triboro Bridge opens, links Manhattan, Bronx & Queens
1937 Lincoln Tunnel opens. Delaware River water supply project begins.
1939 World's Fair held at Flushing Meadows (1939-40). North Beach Airport (LaGuardia) dedicated; Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opens.
1940 BMT, IRT acquired by City, unifying the rapid transit system.
1948 New York International Airport (renamed JFK) opens.
1951 United Nations Headquarters completed at UN Plaza.
1956 New York Coliseum begins operations. First commercial City heliport constructed at 30th St. Restoration project at City Hall.
1960 New comprehensive zoning resolutions adopted.
1961 Throgs Neck Bridge opens.
1964 Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens. World's Fair held at Flushing Meadows, Queens (1964-5).
1968 New Building Code adopted (Local Law 73).
1972 South Street Seaport restoration established.
1973 Police Headquarter opens at One Police Plaza; Consolidated Passenger Ship Terminal opens at Piers 88-90; World Trade Center dedicated.
1975 Fiscal crisis begins.
1976 May 18 Roosevelt Island Tramway begins operation. July 3 "Operation Sail," international naval review of 225 vessels from 35 nations.
1983 Recovery from '75 fiscal crisis marked by successful issuance of new City notes.
1989 City Council redistricted and enlarged to 51 members; Public Advocate made an elected office; Board of Estimate disbanded, its functions split between City Council and Procurement Policy Board.
1996 Merger of Emergency Medical Service into FDNY; merger of Transit, Housing Police & Traffic Enforcement into NYPD; creation of Trade Waste Commission.
1999 City Hall Park restoration complete.
2001 World Trade Center Disaster.
2002 State grants Mayor authority over City public schools; mayor signs bill banning smoking in all workplaces.
2003 3-1-1 Citizen Service Center opens.
2005 Governors Island re-opens to the public for the first time; the public art exhibit The Gates runs in Central Park.
2007 City begins work planting 1 million trees.
2010 New stadiums for the Yankees and Mets open.
2011 World Trade Center Memorial opens.