New Yorkers Celebrate 400th Anniversary of Hudson’s Discovery

Hudson RiverOn the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson’s 1609 voyage that led to Dutch settlement, celebrations of New York City’s history are in full swing. As colonial settlements go, both Jamestown and Plymouth Rock came before it. But among America’s earliest settlements, only New York now boasts a population of 8 million, with residents from virtually every country in the world—not to mention Broadway, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, the Yankees . . . The contributions of New York, the nation’s largest city since 1790, and of its people to the history and culture of the United States are unmatched.

Though not the first European to sight the coastline where New York would be built, Hudson was the first to reach what we call New York Harbor, in September 1609. Fifteen years passed before the small trading post of New Amsterdam was founded, but New Yorkers mark the city’s beginnings from Hudson’s achievement. An Englishman sailing for the Dutch aboard the Half Moon, Hudson explored the larger area, including the river that bears his name.

Although the Dutch were later eclipsed by the English, and New Amsterdam became New York, for four decades the city was a Dutch outpost, the center of New Netherland. In recognition of the Netherlands’ ties to New York, numerous Dutch dignitaries have paid recent visits to the city, including the Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima; top Dutch government ministers; and the mayor of Amsterdam, the Dutch capital.

Related Links

  • N.Y. Goes Dutch for Anniversary
    This article focuses on the Dutch, who are sponsoring much of the celebration of New York’s 400th anniversary.
    (Source: Washington Post, September 9, 2009)
  • Henry Hudson 400: Celebrating the History of Hudson, Amsterdam, and New York
    This Web site presents a combination of historical and present-day information via interactive Google maps.
    (Source:; accessed September 30, 2009)
  • The New York City 400
    The Museum of the City of New York’s Web site commemorates Hudson’s voyage four centuries ago by honoring 400 famous New Yorkers, A–Z—Horatio Alger, Woody Allen, Louis Armstrong, John Jacob Astor, and John James Audubon being just a few of the As.
    (Source:; accessed September 30, 2009)

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