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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Manhattan Island

Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the service of the Dutch Republic, discovered Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there on September 11, 1609. He continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present day Albany.

The name "Manhattan" derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's ship Halve Maen.

Dutch government official and explorer Peter Minuit acquired Manhattan Island on May 24, 1626 from unnamed American Indian people, (believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape). He exchanged the island for beads, cloth and trinkets valued at 60 guilders (In today’s dollars the island of Manhattan would have cost the American Indians about $1,050.)

Peter Minuit, early 1600s.

The first commercial brewery in the New World opened in New Amsterdam on Manhattan island in 1612 after colonists advertised in London newspapers for experienced brewers.

Central Park was created on July 21, 1853 when more than 600 acres of land in Upper Manhattan were set aside as permanent park land.

The oldest North American zoo is in Central Park. It was founded in 1865.

At 3pm on September 4, 1882, Thomas Edison flicked a switch to turn on the world’s first electricity power station in Pearl Street, Manhattan, New York City. This is considered by many as the day that began the electrical age.

Long Acre Square in Manhattan, New York, was re-named Times Square on April 8, 1904.


The population density of Manhattan peaked in 1910 at the height of European immigration to New York,  when it reached 101,548 people per square mile (39,208/km²).

The New York City borough of Manhattan consists not only of Manhattan Island, bounded by the East, Hudson, and Harlem Rivers, and also includes several small adjacent islands and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood on the mainland.


Manhattan is the only borough in New York City that doesn't have a Main Street.

Wall Street is so named because there actually was a wall across Manhattan Island, designed to keep the Indians from the small city then huddled on the tip of the island.

Several buildings in Manhattan have their own zip code.

By Anthony Quintano - Flickr, Wikipedia Commons

If Manhattan had the same population density as Alaska, there would only be about 28 people in Manhattan.

"Manhattanhenge" is a biannual solar event where the rising or setting sun aligns with the east-west grid of Manhattan streets.

There are 1.6 million people in Manhattan and 1.2 billion ants.

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