New York State has a varied and intricate territorial history, in part because of its array of borders and terrain types. From Algonquian and Iroquoian Native Americans to the Italians, French, Dutch, and ultimately British settlers who followed them, New York has been a multicultural hub from as early as the 1500s.
With 22 national parks, the oldest state park in the U.S. (Niagara Falls State Park), 27 natural national landmarks, 262 national historic landmarks, and more than five thousand listings on the National Register of historic Places, New York’s tourism industry is never left wanting. Still, New York City is a global siren, attracting tourists by the millions every year. Broadway ticket sales alone contribute more than $1.25 billion dollars to the New York economy annually. Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan are three of the ten most-visited tourist attractions in the world (Niagara Falls is also on the top-ten list).
New York is also the chief entry point for legal immigration to the United States, home of the Statue of Liberty, and four of the world’s top 35 universities. One of the original 13 Colonies, New York followed Virginia in ratifying the Constitution of the United States and became the 11th state admitted to the Union on July 26, 1788.
No matter the interpretation, “The Empire State” seems a fitting moniker.