15 Intriguing Facts About New York State

Were you aware that Buffalo wings were actually created in New York?

New York, also known as the Empire State, became the 11th state to join the United States of America on July 26, 1788.

It has a population of 19,453,561 people (as of 2019), making it the fourth most populous state.

New York is bordered by the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey.

With 54,555 square miles (141,300 square kilometers) of land and water, it is the 27th largest state.

The capital of New York is Albany, located in the far east of the state by the Vermont and Massachusetts border.

But let’s move on to some lesser-known facts about the Empire State!

People have been living in New York for over 12,000 years.

The Paleo-Indians were the first group of people to ever inhabit the Americas.

They arrived via the Bering Strait from the far east of modern-day Russia into modern-day Alaska around 13,000-15,000 years ago, and slowly spread throughout the American continent.

As predominately hunter-gatherers, they moved across the land while searching for better food sources.

By 10,000 BC, they had reached the region now known as New York.

Many different Native American tribes lived in New York when Europeans first arrived.

By the time Europeans made contact in the 16th century, there were already many well-established tribes living in the modern-day New York region.

These people had fully developed societies with complex economies, languages, and traditions.

Each tribe had its customs, history, and culture, but they were generally categorized according to their language group.

The Algonquian language group included the Nanticoke, Wampanoag, Lenape, and Mohican people, while the majority of other tribes, including the Mohawk, Iroquois, and Petun, belonged to the Iroquoian language group.

The first European to explore the New York region was actually Italian.

The first European to pass by the coast of modern-day New York was an Italian explorer named Giovanni da Verrazzano.

He was exploring the region on behalf of the French monarchy during the early era of naval exploration, searching for a fabled sea passage through to the Pacific Ocean.

In 1524, he passed by New York and sailed into the estuary of what would later be called the Hudson River.

He made landfall quite near to where New York City stands today, a place which he named New Angoulême.

The first European nation to lay claim to New York was the Dutch.

Almost 100 years later, Europeans returned to lay claim to the region.

The first to do so were the Dutch.

In 1609, a Dutch East India Company-financed expedition led by English explorer Henry Hudson reached the same estuary Verrazzano had before sailing up the Hudson River (later named after him).

The Dutch explorer sailed upstream and claimed the region for the Netherlands, where the first Dutch settlement in North America was established five years later, in the present-day capital of Albany. Interestingly, New York City was once called New Amsterdam. However, the colony of New Netherlands met an abrupt end when Britain claimed the area for themselves and renamed it New York. During the American Revolution, New York City was held by British forces until the end, despite the fact that almost one-third of the revolutionary battles took place in the state. New York was also the nation’s capital city for a brief period after the end of the American Revolution. More than 400,000 men from New York fought during the American Civil War, making it the most populous of all the Union states. Despite contributing high numbers, no battles were fought on New York soil. Finally, Niagara Falls is home to the oldest state park in the United States, which was inaccessible for a long time due to private ownership of the surrounding land.

Frederick Law Olmsted spent years lobbying the state government in the 1860s to purchase the land surrounding Niagara Falls for public access, and his efforts paid off in 1885 when the Niagara Reservation was established. This state park has been in operation since then, and it is the oldest of its kind in the US. The Niagara Reservation was declared a US National Historic Landmark in 1963 due to its 435-acre size.

On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building’s 79th floor because of foggy conditions. This incident nearly caused the plane to hit the Chrysler building instead. The accident occurred on a Saturday, so only 11 people inside the building were killed. The Empire State Building was repaired despite the gaping hole.

A secret train station exists beneath the Waldorf Astoria hotel, connected to the off-limits-to-the-public track 61 on the New York Central Railroad. The platform transported important people to and from the hotel in secret since the 1930s, and it was reportedly in use until 2014.

Grand Central Terminal, located in the heart of Manhattan, is the largest railway station globally, with 44 platforms on two levels and 67 tracks. The terminal covers 49.95 acres and has been in operation since February 2, 1913. It’s also one of the busiest stations, with over 1 million commuters passing through every week.

New York is the second-largest maple syrup producer in the US.

When people think of New York, they usually think of New York City or Albany. However, the state is much larger than these two cities and borders a large part of Canada to the north. This northern positioning makes it a great place for producing maple syrup. In 2018, the state became the second-highest producer of maple syrup in the US, harvesting 800,000 gallons (3028329.43 liters) in one year.

New York is the birthplace of Buffalo wings.

While cooking chicken wings separately from the rest of the bird has been around for a long time, buffalo wings are a more recent invention. The trend began in Buffalo, New York. In 1964, the owner of the Anchor Bar created the tasty treat while making a snack for her son and his friends. Despite being an unheard-of combination at the time, the wings were so good that they quickly made their way onto the bar’s menu and then spread to all corners of the US and the world.

The origin of New York’s nickname, Empire State, is unknown.

There are many theories about how New York became known as the Empire State, but none have much proof behind them. By the 1820s, the nickname was already commonly used. One theory attributes the nickname to George Washington, who used the expression “the Seat of the Empire” in a letter addressed to the New York City mayor in 1785. However, he didn’t refer to the state directly as the Empire State. The origin of the nickname remains a mystery.

New York is an incredible state with a rich history and amazing landmarks, both natural and artificial. It has played a pivotal role in making the US what it is today, making it an excellent place to visit.


1. What is the origin of New York’s nickname “The Empire State”?

The nickname “The Empire State” was first used in the early 19th century to describe New York’s wealth and influence. The term became popularized after George Washington referred to the state as “the seat of the empire” during a visit in 1783. Today, the nickname remains a symbol of New York’s economic, cultural, and political power.

2. What is the tallest peak in New York State?

The tallest peak in New York State is Mount Marcy, which stands at 5,344 feet (1,629 meters). Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Mount Marcy is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The peak offers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness and is a challenging climb for even the most experienced hikers.

3. What is the most famous waterfall in New York State?

The most famous waterfall in New York State is Niagara Falls, which is located on the Niagara River between the United States and Canada. The falls are made up of three separate waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Niagara Falls is a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year.

4. What is the oldest city in New York State?

The oldest city in New York State is Albany, which was founded by Dutch colonists in 1614. The city played an important role in the American Revolution and was the site of many key battles. Today, Albany is the capital of New York State and is known for its rich history and cultural landmarks.

5. What is the significance of the Statue of Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and democracy, and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. The statue was a gift from the people of France to the United States, and was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, and is a popular tourist destination. It is also a symbol of hope for immigrants, who passed by the statue as they arrived in America through Ellis Island.

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