Queens is the most ethnically diverse borough of New York but that’s not the only reason this place is worth our attention. This place also happens to have a long history that goes way back to colonial times. Geographically speaking, Queens is part of Long Island and was first inhabited by the Native Lenape American people.
The Lenape people mostly lived in small bands and led an agricultural way of living. There were numerous bays and creeks in Queens that provided the Lenape people with resources for fishing and other livelihood needs.
Want to know more about the history of Queens, here’s the list of things you should know.
Where Queens Came From
In the 1650s there was a signing of the Flushing Remonstrance, a provision that focused on freedom of religion. In a way, this was deemed as an attack on the American colonies at that time.
In 1683, Queens came under the ruling of the original New York colony. Under the English rule, the place was called Queens County.
There was a revolutionary war wherein Queens remained under English rulership. The battle mostly occurred in Brooklyn with Queens only paying a minor part.
By 1800, Queens remained mostly agricultural. Years after, Long Island City was formed separating it from the town of Elmhurst.
When Queens Became Part Of New York City
The Queens borough became part of New York City on January 1, 1898. New transportation routes were introduced in the years that came by and thus transforming Queens from a sleepy borough into a much more sophisticated one.
In 1909, the Queensland Borough Bridge opened which was followed by a rail tunnel under the East River in 1910.
There was also the IRT Flushing subway line that connected Manhattan and Queens in 1915. Combined with the rise of automobiles, the population of Queens quickly doubled in just about a decade. By 1930, Queens was already populated by over one million people.
Queens In The Recent Years
The 1970s and 2000s have been recorded in Queen’s history as the Great Immigrant experience.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1656 brought legal immigration worldwide. It wasn’t long before Queens became the destination of most immigrants. From then on, most of Queens’ residents have been from overseas with over a hundred languages spoken.
Queens was struck with a tragedy in the 2000s. The 7/11 attacks have been brutal and cost the lives of many people.
In November 2001, more than 200 people died when American Airlines Flight 587 in the rockaways.
In October 2012, low-lying areas in Southern Queens were also devastated due to Sandystorm Sandy. There was also massive fire during the wake of the storm that swept the Breezy Point neighborhood that resulted to more than a hundred homes destroyed.