Over the last couple of months, I have been looking at some of the most iconic moments in the history of New York City. These events have included the settlements of the British and the Dutch, the expedition of Henry Hudson, and the opening of monuments such as the Brooklyn and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. In the final installment of this blog series, I will look at some of the more recent events in NYC History, including one of the most infamous moments in not only the city’s history but American history as well. So, here is part three of the most iconic moments in NYC history.
Between the years of 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway for immigrants looking to come to the US’s east coast. It was here that immigrant applications were processed and people were either accepted into the US or sent back to their home country. About twelve million people have been processed through Ellis Island, and approximately one-third of the current population has ancestors who passed through Ellis Island. Currently, it serves as a museum connected with the Statue of Liberty.
Early world’s fairs typically focused on industrialization, showing the importance of scientific advances. However, this changed when the World’s Fair was held in New York City from 1939 to 1940. The theme of the fair was “Dawn of a New Day” and countries from all over the world participated, attracting about 44 million people. What made this World’s Fair different from ones in the past was that the focus was more on culture and society instead of science and technology. One of the exhibits was a time capsule which contained a Mickey Mouse Watch, cigarettes, and writings by Albert Einstein.
A list such as this would not be complete without discussing the moment that will forever live in infamy in New York City and American history. On September 11, 2001, terrorists from al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. About 3,000 people were killed with over 6,000 people left injured. The pain was felt by everyone all over the world. The events of 9/11 sparked the United States launching the War on Terror. Today, there is the 9/11 Memorial where visitors have the opportunity to remember and reflect on these events as well as people who lost their lives on that tragic day. The museum along with the memorial, and Freedom Tower all stand together to show the resilience of New Yorkers and Americans all over who will never forget.