In 1524 Giovanni da Verrazano, according to his own account, discovered New York Harbor. In 1609 Henry Hudson, seeking a northwest passage to Asia for the Dutch East India Company, sailed up the Hudson River almost to the mouth of the Mohawk River. His reports on the rich country brought Dutch ships to establish a fur trade with the Indians—Algonquian tribes along the lower river and Iroquois tribes to the north. In 1614 Adriaen Block discovered Long Island Sound. He named the island of Manhattan after the Indians living on it, and gave the name of New Netherland to the whole area.

Important dates in New York
1609 Henry Hudson explored the Hudson River. Samuel de Champlain visited the New York region.
1624 The Dutch established Fort Orange (Albany), the first permanent white settlement in the New York region.
1625 Dutch settlers began building New Amsterdam (New York City).
1664 The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to England.
1735 Publisher John Peter Zenger was found innocent of libel, an important victory for freedom of the press.
1776 New York approved the Declaration of Independence.
1779 Military expeditions under Generals James Clinton and John Sullivan opened Iroquois land to white settlement.
1788 New York became the 11th state on July 26.
1789 George Washington was inaugurated in New York City as the first President of the United States.
1825 The Erie Canal was opened.
1831 New York's first railroad, the Mohawk and Hudson, began running between Albany and Schenectady.
1863 Mobs rioted in New York City in opposition to drafting men into the Union Army.
1901 President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo.
1939-1940 New York held a World's Fair.
1948 New York established its first state university--the State University of New York.
1952 United Nations Headquarters was completed in New York City.
1959 The St. Lawrence Seaway opening made "ocean" ports of New York's ports on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
1960 The New York State Thruway (now the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway) was completed.
1964-1965 New York held another World's Fair.
1967 The state legislature established a lottery with profits going to education.
1986 The voters approved a bond act to finance environmental projects, especially the cleaning up of hazardous waste sites.
2001 The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were destroyed in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.