I previously wrote a blog about some of the iconic moments in NYC History. In that previous blog, I covered some of the key moments of New York’s humble beginnings which included Henry Hudson’s expedition, as well as the British and Dutch Establishments of the territory. There is so much more history to cover, so here is Part 2 of the most iconic moments in NYC History.
In 1523, the Italian sailor, Giovanni da Verrazzano traveled to the New World under the commission of French King Francis I. This made him the first explorer since the early Norse sailors to travel to North America. During his expedition, he traveled from Florida to New Brunswick before encountering the Lenape tribe in New York as we entered the New York Bay in 1524. In recognition of his travels, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (which spells his name incorrectly) was named in his honor and opened in 1964.
One of the most iconic symbols in all of New York City is the Statue of Liberty, also known as Lady Liberty which opened in 1886. This monument was inspired by ardent abolitionist, Edouard Rene de Laboulaye and was a gift from France in celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War. Some of the key symbols of the monument include the torch, the tablet of law, and the broken chains. Many people who were downtrodden saw the US as a place of hope and the Statue of Liberty represents the freedom that is available to them. Tourists have the opportunity to climb the steps to the crown and enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of NYC, however, access to the torch has been barred since 1916.
In 1869, John Augustus Roebling started the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge until he became sick. He then passed the challenge on to his son, Washington Roebling. He, too, was physically injured shortly after in 1870, forcing him to watch the construction from his window and his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, worked with him and the bridge’s engineers to the complete the project. The Brooklyn Bridge finally opened on May 24, 1883. Shortly after, in an attempt to dispel any rumors of the bridge’s weaknesses, P.T Barnum led 21 elephants across the bridge on May 30, 1883. At the time, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge, and today, it continues to awe any travelers and onlookers visiting NYC.