New York City History Quiz


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About This Quiz

With around 8 million residents, New York City has become one of the world's biggest and most vibrant metro areas. How much do you know about NYC's history?

In what year did the New York subway begin operating?

Nearly 8,000 workers helped to build the subway, which opened in 1904.

In 1960, what happened to TWA flight 266 as it flew near a NYC airport?

A 11-year-boy was the sole survivor of the incident, which claimed the lives of 128 people, including six on the ground.

Which Europeans were the first to settle the NYC area?

The Dutch began settling the area in the early 17th century.

Which iconic NYC structure was built in 1931?

The 102-story building immediately became a symbol of American progress and ingenuity.

Governor's Island was formerly known by which name?

Nutten Island was probably so named because of the many nut-bearing trees gracing its terrain.

When did the first African slaves arrive the NYC area?

The first slaves arrived right after the first Europeans, beginning a long, shameful era for the New World.

What percentage of New York's population was made up of slaves in the 1740s?

Slaves made up nearly a quarter of the area's early population.

When the area was first settled, what was it called?

The Dutch called it New Amsterdam, which quickly changed once the British took control.

In 1832, of the city's 100,000 residents, how many died from an outbreak of cholera?

About 3,500 died, which would be like 100,000 people dying in the city's current population of 8 million.

In which year was the city's first mayor appointed?

Thomas Willet was appointed (not elected) in 1665.

How were cholera victims treated during the 1832 epidemic?

The disease struck hardest in poor, crowded areas, and these people were scorned as filthy "scum."

Which Stamp Act caused NYC residents (and citizens of other colonial areas) to explode in anger at the British?

The Stamp Act of 1765 was regarded as unfair "taxation without representation" and helped sow the seeds of the American Revolution.

The Boston Post Road connected NYC to which other city?

The road was used to deliver mail to and from areas around NYC and Boston.

Which disease turned into a deadly epidemic in 1702?

Yellow fever killed around 500 people in 1702, reducing the area's population by around 10%.

What event likely helped to spark the New York Slave Revolt of 1712?

When the British took NYC from the Dutch, they clamped down on the "freedoms" of slaves, making their lives more miserable than they already were.

How many whites were killed during the 1712 slave revolt?

The revolt killed nine whites and resulted in even more restrictive rules for slaves, including capital punishment for a wide variety offenses.

Which factions fought in the Dead Rabbits riot of 1857?

The Dead Rabbits and Bowery Boys clashed in a two-day riot that left eight people dead and injured dozens more.

In what year did the Americans finally uproot British military forces from NYC during the American Revolution?

It wasn't until the final year of the Revolution (1783) that the British finally gave up on NYC.

What caused massive rioting in 1863?

The Civil War draft riots caused tens of thousands of people to lash out in anger; more than 100 people died.

True or False: New York City once served as the location for the nation's capital.

The Residence Act of 1790 moved the capital from NYC to the now-famous location on the Potomac River.

The Bowery Boys gang was largely made up of which group of men?

The gang was at first made up largely of firefighters, and they wore red shirts in homage to the firefighter tradition.

Emily Warren Roebling was instrumental in help to build which NYC structure?

Roebling's husband was in charge of the project but fell ill, leaving her to do much of the communication and supervision of the bridge's construction.

What was the city's population in 1825?

In 1825, there were around 160,000 living in the New York area, which would shortly experience a population boom.

In 1850, what was the city's population?

From 1825 to 1850, the city's population more than tripled, making New York the nation's most important economic hub.

In what year did the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade begin?

Started in 1924, the parade is now a nationally-televised extravaganza.

Which organization was founded in 1878?

The Society is now known as the New York Symphony Orchestra.

How did P.T. Barnum help prove that the Brooklyn Bridge was stable and safe?

Before his publicity stunt, there were widespread fears that the bridge was entirely too long to be truly safe.

In which year did the city's Metropolitan Museum of Art open?

Beginning in 1872, the museum has served as a centerpiece of the city's culture with its many diverse installations.

In what year was the Erie Canal completed?

Completed in 1825 (years ahead of schedule), the canal quickly transformed NYC into a thriving metropolitan area.

How many championships had the New York Yankees baseball team won by the end of the 1927 season?

The Yankees won their second title in 1927, thus beginning a tradition of drawing the ire and jealousy of sports fans everywhere.

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