Top 5 Moments In New York City History ...
... That Changed The World
New York City is rich in history, from the time the continent split at the Palisades to the Attacks at the World Trade Center on 9 / 11 and beyond; if I had to pick out 5 (although hard-pressed to do so) it would be the following moments in time that were all game changers.
911 Memorial at the WTC
photo Â© by Judy Ferony
The sites I picked are actual places you can go to and visit; that's why I chose them; of course there are other, arguably more important events; like when Henry Hudson sailed The Half Moon up the Hudson River, or when the Dutch bought Manhattan (then called Mannahatta) from the Native American Lenape (who really had no concept of land ownership at the time, and didn't know what they were getting into). If you look closely at the intro photo I took at the 911 Memorial, you'll see a reflection of one of the older buildings in one of the new structures.
The Peace Treaty at the Conference House
On September 11, 1776 The Staten Island Peace Conference took place at Billop Manor, home of Colonel Christopher Billop; this historic house located in Staten Island, New York is also known as The Conference House and Bentley Mansion. At the time the house was occupied by British Troops and was being used as a barracks. British Admiral Lord Richard Howe and members of The Second Continental Congress, Edward Rutledge, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were some of the participants. The conference was held just days after the British capture of Long Island; the Americans were doubtful about the meetings outcome as Lord Howe had limited authority (although he was more sympathetic with the patriots than many others, years earlier he had fought along side the patriots in The French and Indian War against the British Colonies that lasted 7 years). The Americans insisted on British recognition of their recently declared independence.
The Revolutionary War had been going on for about a year prior to the meeting at The Conference House and The Peace Conference had been called in hopes of cutting the war short and preventing further loss of life; the meeting was unsuccessful and the war raged on for another 5 years ending in October of 1781, the British formally abandoned any claims to The United States in 1783 at The Treaty of Paris.
As soon as I'm able I plan on visiting this historic house and posting some of my own photographs (as I always try to do).
George Washington's Inauguration at Federal Hall
At the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets right by the New York Stock Exchange is the very Historic Federal Hall where President George Washington made his inauguration speech from the second floor balcony. The building looks different now than it did back then; and if you go inside you'll see models of the various versions of Federal Hall; also on display are various Inaugural Memorabilia that was produced back in those days (like china, medallions and coins). The exhibits change from time to time, if you visit this historic location try to go into the building; many Tour Groups don't do this due to time constraints.
Washington's Farewell Speech at Fraunces Tavern
At the corner of Broad Street and Pearl Street is the famous Fraunces Tavern; a building that played an important roll in pre-Revolution and American Revolution history; and has been owned by the Sons of the Revolution since 1904. It is a must see for tourists as it is the oldest surviving building, and part of The Whiskey Trail and The New York Freedom Trail; built in 1719, the small yellow bricks used in its construction were imported from the Dutch Republic and was sold to Samuel Fraunces in 1762 and was then converted to a tavern. The original name of the tavern was Queen's Head.
The Sons of Liberty met here to discuss the Tea Crisis of 1774; these American Patriots dressed up like American Indians and dumped the cargo of British tea into New York Harbor, after a British naval captain tried to bring it into New York (sound familiar?). The naval captain was forced to apologize at Fraunces Tavern.
It was on December 4th in the year of 1783 General George Washington made his farewell speech to his Officers of the Continental Army in the Long Room of the Tavern. General Washington said "With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable."
Abraham Lincoln's Speech at Cooper Union
Cooper Union Â© 2012 Judy Ferony
On February 27, 1860 Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at Cooper Union in New York City; he wasn't the Republican nominee yet the convention was set for May. This is perhaps his most important speech and one thought to be responsible for him being elected President of The United States; it certainly earned him the GOP nomination. New York City was famous for not liking Lincoln, as a matter of fact The New York Historical Society did on exhibit about it.
Photo Credit: Mathew B. Brady
The 911 Attacks at The World Trade Center
The Day The World Changed
Everyone remembers where they were at the moment the first plane struck the North Tower (WTC 1) at 8:46 AM, up until that moment it was one of the most beautiful sunny New York City days, blue skies and fluffy clouds dotted the New York City skyline. At first, like many others who were watching the news (or actually in Manhattan eye-witnessing the plane crashing into the building), I thought there was a possibility that a catastrophic accident had taken place; it wouldn't be the first time a plane hit a skyscraper in NYC. At 9:03 AM when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower (WTC 2) it became obvious that this was no accident, it was an act of war. By the end of the day 2977 people lost their lives (I do not include the 19 cowardly ghouls who carried out this diabolical atrocity against humanity; I don't even think of them as human beings, no apologies here). My fellow New Yorkers understand how it felt to be personally attacked; and to this day the loss of our personal freedoms and privacy can be felt whenever we enter a building or get on a plane, I can't even imagine the sense of loss experienced by the families whose loved ones never came home that day. I was one of those lucky people who actually didn't know anyone who was murdered on 911.
I love my firemen, and have two members of the FDNY in my family; my cousin Frank was working out of Red Hook that day, 8 of his men were among the 343 of our bravest that ran into those buildings, while others were running out. They were murdered, and many others that worked at the site during the recovery efforts have or will die too (who knows how many more are sick now. and will die from 911 related illnesses).
911 Memorial at the WTC Â© 2012 Judy Ferony
I went to the 911 Memorial this Friday that just passed (June 15, 2012); it was the first time visiting and standing on the spot where the attacks took place, and I have to tell you that I was moved to tears to think about how many people lost their lives on this terrible day in our Nation's History.
The Lincoln Conspiracy
My Visit To The 911 Memorial on June 15, 2012
You might want to mute the sound.
5 More Tragic Events That Shaped NYC History - In the aftermath ...
... laws that were put in place to protect and prevent such terrible disasters from happening again.
- PS General Slocum June 15, 1904; 1,021 German Americans die in a fire on this passenger steamship, this way NYC's worst disaster in terms of loss of life before 911.
- Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on March 25, 1911, there was a terrible fire in a sweatshop that claimed the lives of 146 Garment Workers; most were young seamstresses of Italian - American and Jewish ethnicity.
- Titanic Sinks on April 15, 1912 and some 710 survivors are brought to New York City by way of the Carpathia; they docked near what is now The Chelsea Piers.
- The 23rd Street Fire October 17, 1966 - This was the worst loss of life for the FDNY before 911; 12 firefighters lost their lives on this dark day in NYC history.
- Wall Street Bombing September 16, 1920 the blast killed 38 people and seriously injured 143; it was carried out by Italian Anarchists.
Thanks to all my fellow Lensmasters for your thoughts on 9/11 & for nominating this LOTD.
I am blown away by this gesture; I actually struggled with including 9/11 in this Lens unfortunately its part of our history now and
WE MUST NEVER FORGET
My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives on a beautiful September day; there only sin was to go to work and try to make an honest living, they were cut down in the prime of their lives, my prays are with all those affected on this day.
If you're drawing a blank, feel free to say "Hi" and or add your 2 cents or you can round up and make it a nickel.