If you’re into history, especially American history, then a visit to New York City is a must.
New York state was one of the original 13 colonies and was a major influence in the formation of the United States. There are several places to visit in the Big Apple that will remind people of the important role of the city to the founding of the country.
The first place many immigrant families landed when they came to America was Ellis Island. Almost 40% of all US citizens can trace some of their families’ history to the island.
The immigration center opened in 1892 and operated for more than 60 years before it closed in 1954. Now, the island is home to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where people can learn more about their ancestors even if they didn’t pass through the island.
Statue of Liberty
The sight of Lady Liberty was the first thing many immigrants saw when they made the voyage from their homeland to America. It was a gift from France to the US in celebration of its success in the American Revolution and the end of slavery.
The statue was dedicated in 1886 and became a monument in 1924. It draws tourists from around the world, with over 4.5 million people visiting the statue in 2016. Today, you can visit it while at Ellis Island since the two historical sites stand side by side.
A great way to visit the statue is by boat and see it just as your ancestors may have when they immigrated to the country. Check a Statue of Liberty cruise schedule to find out when the boats are running when you visit the city.
Federal Hall National Memorial
Did you know that George Washington took his oath of office as the first American President in New York? The Federal Hall National Memorial was the site of the first US Capitol Building after the American Revolution and where Washington was sworn in as President.
The original structure was built in 1700, but was razed in 1812. It was rebuilt as the US Customs House in 1842 and today, it stands as an important piece of history on Wall Street. The Park Service does not charge admission, so that you can learn about the start of the country for free.
Historic Richmond Town
Go back in time to experience life in the colonial era by visiting Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. Have a drink at the tavern, visit a farm, and take a guided tour to learn more about the area’s history.
Some of the property is close to Staten Island’s first permanent settlement, which was founded in 1661. There are over 130,000 artifacts, photographs, and collections that date back to the 17th Century that will help you understand life in the area before and after the US was founded.
Check the schedule for the site as there are always events taking place in Richmond Town.
These New York landmarks are only the tip of the iceberg regarding important sites in US history. There were many battles fought in the area during the Revolution to establish the country and many events that lead to the signing of some of America’s most important documents.
If you enjoy history or just want to see where the country began, you cannot miss these sites while visiting New York.