The area which is now known as New York was originally inhabited by two very powerful Native American Indian tribes: the Algonquian of the Hudson Valley and Long Island area and the Iroquois of the Western area. These two groups were very powerful and were well organized both militarily and politically.
Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano was the first European to discover the New York area in 1524, when he came upon the New York Bay; however, New York was not colonized until the arrival of Henry Hudson, an English Navigator, who claimed the area for the Netherlands in 1609. The first settlement was established in 1624 at Fort Orange.
New York received it's name in 1665 after the English seized it from the Dutch and renamed it in honor of James, the Duke of York and brother of King Charles II. New York achieved statehood in 1788, as the 11th State in the United States of America.
New York Facts:
Date of Statehood: July 26, 1788; 11th State
Motto: Excelsior (Ever Upward)
Nicknames: Empire State; Excelsior State
State Song: "I Love New York"
State Tree: Sugar Maple
State Flower: Rose
State Bird: Bluebird
Area: 49,108 sq. mi; 30th largest state
Coastline: 127 mi
Highest Point: Mt. Marcy, 5344 ft.
Lowest Point: Sea Level, at the Atlantic Ocean
Electorial Votes: 36
U. S. Congress: 2 senators; 34 representatives
Famous New Yorkers