Giovanni da Verrazzano enters New York
Sept. 4, 1609
Henry Hudson sails into New York Harbor,
Adrian Block sails through Hell Gate
into Long Island Sound. Astoria settled.
Flushing settled by the Dutch.
Bayside and Little Neck settled. Thomas
Foster is the first settler in Bayside. Adrian
Block makes maps of Little Neck.
Dutch farmers obtain grants to land tracts
in the Astoria, Hunters Point, and Dutch Kills
areas of what is now Long Island City.
Mohawk nation sells Rockaway Peninsula
to the Dutch.
Dutch Governor Kieft issues charter for
13,332 acres to the 38 Englishmen who settle Maspeth.
Long Island City settled by the Dutch.
Repeated Native American attacks force
abandonment of Maspeth colony.
William Hallett is first settler in Astoria.
Town of Jamaica (originally called Rustdorp)
founded by English at Old Town Neck on Jamaica
Bay (site now covered by JFK Airport).
Springfield bought and settled. Governor
Stuyvesant grants charter for Jamaica.
Quakers arrive in New York.
The Flushing Remonstrance is signed. It is the
first-ever declaration of religious freedom in
the New World and the foundation for the U.S.
Constitutions First Amendment.
First part of Bowne House built by John
Bowne, an Englishman who came from Boston to Flushing
in 1653. Additions to the house made in 1680 and
Freedom of religious worship restored
to New Netherland, due in large part to John Bownes
plea before authorities of the Dutch West India
Company in Amsterdam.
Sept. 8, 1664
Dutch surrender New York, called New
Netherland at the time, to an English Settlement
at Little Neck.
Aug. 7, 1673
The Dutch retake New York by force.
March 6, 1674
The Peace of Westminster gives New York
back to the English.
Queens Village settled.
Nov. 1, 1683
Queens County is named for Queens Catherine
of Braganza, and the county embraces all of present-day
Nassau County, including towns of Hempstead and
all land from the Matinecock Indians.
All of Rockaway Neck sold to the English
by Canarsie tribe.
Late 17th Century
African-Americans settle in Queens, beginning
a tradition that will find them occupying a steady
10-12% of Queens total population for the next
Colonial legislature creates law that
will build a highway from the East River ferry
in Kings County (Brooklyn) through Queens and
Suffolk counties to East Hampton. Called Kings
Highway, it would evolve into Jamaica Avenue.
Prince Nurseries established by William
Prince. Reportedly the first of their kind in
America, they operated for almost two centuries
and were named The Linnaean Botanic Gardens,
after the Swedish botanist Linnaeaus.
Flushing revolts against Stamp Act.
British occupation of Flushing. Officers
quartered in Aspinwall House, which adjoined the
present YMCA building on Northern Boulevard. Friends
Meeting House taken over by the British for duration
of the War.
July 4, 1776
Francis Lewis, resident of what was then
part of Flushing, signs the Declaration of Independence
for New York State.
Battle of Long Island. Queens becomes
a quartering area.
Occupation of Queens by British troops
sleeping in make-shift huts and tents.
Treaty of Paris; war formally ends. British
evacuation is complete by November 1783.
Late 18th Century
Owing to a deadly combination of population
explosion and potato famine in Ireland, major
influx of Irish immigrants begins in New York.
The first bridge over Flushing Creek
was built, connecting Flushing with Corona.
The Quaker Meeting House in Flushing was
the site for the signing of the Flushing
Remonstrance, the first step toward religious
freedom in the New World.
Brooklyn, Jamaica and Flatbush Turnpike
Company build the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike
as toll road from the Brooklyn Ferry to 168th
Street, a distance of 12 miles. This represents
a further development of what would later become
Jamaica becomes first incorporated village
on Long Island.
Toll road begun by Williamsburg and Jamaica
Turnpike, Road and Bridge Co. Operated until 1972,
it becomes the farmers route to the Brooklyn
Ferry and also a stagecoach route. Now known as
Apr. 18, 1836
Long Island Rail Road train runs from foot of
Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to Jamaica, Queens.
Parsons Nurseries established by Samuel
Parsons. The nurseries adjoin Bowne House on the
north, the present site of Weeping Beech Park
and the Kingsland Homestead.
Astoria charter issued.
First publication of the Flushing
Journal, issued as a weekly newspaper.
Shoot of a weeping beech tree, acquired
by Mr. Parsons son on a trip to Belgium, is planted
on its present site, part of the original Parsons
Nurseries. The tree was designated an historic
landmark in 1971.
Middle Village settled.
More than half
a million Germans immigrate to New York.
By this year, the vast majority of Western Queens,
which had been solidly English through the 1840s,
had shifted to German immigrants.
Poppenhusen Institute donated to College
Point by the family of Conrad Poppenhusen.
Establishment of Steinway Piano factory
and factory village in Long Island City.
Queens Village founded.
West Flushing officially changes name
Queens County Courthouse and seat of
county government moved from Mineola (in present-day
Nassau County) to Long Island City.
Ozone Park laid out by Benjamin F. Hitchcock.
Morris Park developed.
Hollis developed by Frederick W. Dunton
in area previously known as East Jamaica.
Horse-drawn buses arrive.
First electric trolley in Queens operated
from Jamaica Avenue in East New York to 168th
Street in Jamaica the second such line in the
Richmond Hill settled.
Howard Beach settled.
Edgemere developed by Frederick J. Lancaster
as New Venice.
Jan. 1, 1898
Queens County joins Greater New York
City. Borough of Queens carved out of the towns
of Flushing, Newtown, Jamaica and the Rockaway
peninsula. The eastern half of Queens County becomes
a separate county (Nassau County) the next year.
Flushing and Jamaica linked by trolley
Queens first suspended bridge, the Grand
Street Bridge, connects Queens to Brooklyn.
First Korean immigrants to America arrive in
Hawaii, preparing to work on a plantation there.
June 15, 1904
German communities of Glendale, Middle Village
and Ridgewood were devastated by the sinking of
the General Slocum, which burned on the East River
and killed more than 1,000 people, predominantly
German immigrants. This was the largest loss of
life in a single incident in New York until the
Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Beechhurst, formerly Whitestone Landing,
is laid out.
Forest Hills, originally White Pot, created
north of Queens Boulevard by Cord Meyer.
The Flushing Carnival and Circus, a fundraiser
for Flushing Hospital, was held on Parsons
Avenue, between Elm St. and Central Ave.,
David Leahy develops South Ozone Park
along Rockaway Boulevard, from 130th to 135th
Sons of Israel Congregation opens its doors
in Queens, attracting scores of Manhattan Jews
to the borough.
Belle Harbor developed near Rockaway.
Horse-drawn buses are retired.
The Borden Avenue Bridge is built over
the Dutch Kills.
Jamaica Estates is founded.
Electric train service from Penn Station
through East River tubes is inaugurated. The train
follows the Long Island Rail Roads main line,
through Queens to Mineola and Hempstead.
The Hunters Point Avenue Bridge is built
over Dutch Kills.
William Howard develops Howard Beach
on a landfill. Originally called Ramblersville,
it was renamed in 1916.
LIRR Kew Station opens. Kew Gardens,
originally Hopedale, began in 1875 as a railroad
station for Maple Grove Cemetery. Railroad is
relocated in 1909, opening up space for the neighborhood
and a new station.
Construction begins on Queens Blvd.,
as a 200-foot-wide arterial highway. Teddy Roosevelt
delivers a July 4th speech from the Forest Hills
Gardens LIRR station.
June 22, 1915
Queensboro Subway opens, with service
between Grand Central Terminal and Long Island
City at Vernon-Jackson avenues via East River
Number 7 train
connects with Corona.
Hell Gate Bridge
completion allows New York Connecting Railroad
to cross East River at Hell Gate.
Fledgling bus operations arrive in Queens,
developing a large network.
Cambria Heights begun. Named in 1924
with major growth and development during the 1930s.
Jamaica Avenue receives present name.
Real Good Construction
Co. (REGO) develops Rego Park.
Glen Oaks founded.
Sunnyside Gardens opens. This limited-profit
housing experiment in Long Island City features
block-perimeter housing containing inside-block
yards, gardens and play spaces.
is completed on both the North Channel and Roosevelt
16 Greek families
make the area that will become Little Athens their
Bridge completed, allowing Queensites easy access
Glenn-Curtis Airport built at North Beach,
displacing North Beach Amusement Park and site
of 17th century Bowery Bay settlement.
The U.S. Census pushes Queens population over
1 million, more than double the mark set by the
First trolleys arrive in Queens.
By now, serviceable airfields in Queens
include Grand Central Air Terminal, Glenn-Curtis
Airport, Jamaica Sea Airport, Flushing Airport.
Great Depression ends the building boom in Queens.
Grand Central Parkway opens from Kew
Gardens to Nassau County line.
Interboro Parkway, connecting Brooklyns
Pennsylvania Avenue to Kew Gardens, opens.
October 4, 1937
Queens College opens in a former truant
facility as a four-year college with 400 students
and a 56-person staff.
Kew Gardens Hills founded.
April 29, 1939
Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opens.
All in the same year, construction is
finished on the Cross Bay-Veterans Memorial,
Flushing (Northern Blvd.), Kosciuszko, and the
Whitestone Expressway Bridge.
Held in conjunction with the 300th Anniversary
of NYC’s transferal from Dutch to
British control, the 1964 World’s
Fair brought the Unisphere to Flushing
Meadows. The Perisphere and Trylon were
the symbols of the 1939 New York World’s
The First New York Worlds Fair opens in the newly
created Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
October 15, 1939
LaGuardia Airport officially opens. LGA
stands on extensive landfill at North Beach between
Flushing and Bowery Bays.
Large numbers of West Indian immigrants move
into Queens, tripling in number over fifty years.
Belt Parkway opens.
Transit Workers Union (TWU) is formed.
The Mill Basin Bridge is open for use
for Queens and Brooklyn.
Chinese Exclusion Act repealed, which allows Chinese
immigrants to begin making their way to the States.
wave of German immigration, when many Germans
leave their shattered and recovering homeland
in search of a better life in America.
War Brides Act
takes effect, allowing Chinese-Americans who fought
in WWII to bring their wives to the States.
Queens Botanical Gardens formed on old
Worlds Fair site.
United Nations meets in New York City
Building at Flushing Meadows.
The Long Island City Courthouse became
the seat of Queens County in 1874.
1, 1948 Idlewild
Airport, later called John F. Kennedy International
Airport, inaugurated by President Harry Truman.
Subway fare increased to 10 cents. The
fare had been five cents since 1913.
New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)
is formed to operate the Citys subways and buses.
Subway fares are raised to 15 cents and tokens
The Pulaski Bridge is built over Newtown
Hillcrest Country Club becomes St. Johns
Long Island Expressway opens in several
stages, taking over the route of the Horace Harding
Expressway. Many immigrant communities are split
in two as the highway had taken huge swaths of
land for construction.
Construction complete, the Roosevelt
Island Bridge is open for business.
routes become converted entirely to buses with
the replacement of the last streetcar route.
Japanese immigrants first move into Queens in
First major wave of South Asian immigrants to
Queens native Lynn Edythe Burke wins
two gold medals at the Rome Olympics, taking the
100-meter backstroke, and the 4X100 medley relay.
Throgs Neck Bridge opens, connecting
Queens to the Bronx.
The Hawtree Bridge, for use by pedestrians,
Sri Chimoy becomes resident of Jamaica.
(He is now the guru of peace and the official
mediator at the United Nations.)
April 17, 1964
Shea Stadium, home to the New York Mets
and the New York Jets, opens. The first game at
Shea Stadium, Mets vs. Pirates, has 48,736 in
Worlds Fair is held at Flushing Meadows
Park, using the site of the 1939-40 fair and public
parkland created since the 1936 landfill.
The Beatles play to sell-out crowds at Shea Stadium.
as Worlds Fair president, hands over a completed
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the NYC Parks
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) takes control
of the Transit Authority.
leap in Russian and former-Soviet immigration
to the borough, when hundreds of thousands fleeing
Communist oppression make Queens their home.
of Chinese and Korean immigrants begin scooping
up property in Flushing, a nearly empty area filled
with cheap real estate.
Public transportation fare increased
to 30 cents.
Public transportation fare increased
to 35 cents.
Local attorney Mario Cuomo leads Corona
to victory over the proposed height of the LeFrak
The New York Yankees move to Shea Stadium
while Yankee Stadium in the Bronx undergoes renovation.
Public transportation fare increased
to 50 cents.
David Berkowitz, aka Son of Sam, terrorizes
Blackout conquers the city that never
All transit construction
is suspended as focus is on repairing aging facilities
and reversing decay.
Economic downturn in Mexico and Colombia attracts
large numbers of Latino immigrants to New York
Handicapped access to buses are improved
with wheelchair lifts.
Public transportation fare increased
to 75 cents.
Queens celebrates its Tercentennial,
hosting a two-day bash in Flushing Meadows Corona
Queens Chamber of Commerce elects its
first female president, Margaret Swezey of Citibank.
718 area code designated for Queens,
which also covers Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Democratic Queens Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro
is nominated for Vice President.
Queens native Nancy Lynn Hogshead wins
three gold medals at the Los Angeles Olympics.
She swims the 100 meter freestyle, 4X100 meter
medley relay, and the 4X100 meter freestyle relay.
Public Transportation fare increased
to 90 cents.
Groundbreaking for new Greenpoint Avenue
Bridge, connecting Queens and Brooklyn, replacing
the 55-year old span.
Borough President Donald Manes takes his life
after an earlier failed suicide attempt.
New York Hall
of Science reopens after major renovations; ground
is broken for American Museum of the Moving Image
(AMMI) in Astoria.
Bulls Eye transportation token introduced.
Its more difficult to counterfeit than the older
Private bus companies Queens Transit
and Steinway Omnibus merge to form Queens Surface
Public Transportation fare increased
to a dollar.
Claire Shulman becomes first woman to
be elected borough president of Queens County.
Furor erupts after an African-American
man is chased to his death on the Belt Parkway
in Howard Beach. Jon Lester, Jason Ladone, Richard
Riley, and Scott Kern are sent to prison.
Museum of the Moving Image opens.
Shulman Baker, daughter of Claire Shulman, blasts
off into space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
Along with her, she takes a Queens flag, messages
from the Queens Hall of Science, and a CD-ROM
disc containing an issue of the Queens Tribune.
United States Tennis Association (USTA)
plans expansion of U.S. Open tennis facility in
Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
USAir Flight 405 crashes while leaving
LaGuardia Airport. The Fokker F28-4000 slides
into Bowery Bay, killing 27 of the 51 passengers.
Queens ranked as the most ethnically
diverse county on the planet.
fare increased to $1.25.
Work begins to
connect the 63rd Street tunnel to the Queens Blvd.
subway lines. Completion is scheduled for 2002.
The Army announces plans to abandon most of Ft.
Totten in Bayside, and planning for future uses
Flushing Town Hall is restored and opened.
million people pack Aqueduct Racetrack to celebrate
a mass with Pope John Paul II.
Flight 782 sheds a nine-foot section of wing flap
that falls on 156th Avenue between 89th and 90th
Streets in Howard Beach. There are no injuries,
but TWA fails to report the incident to the FAA.
President Clinton and a sell-out crowd
celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinsons
breaking of baseballs color barrier. The Interboro
Parkway is re-named after the ballplayer.
U.S. Open unveils the new Arthur Ashe
Two-fare zones, the public transit areas
in Queens that forced residents to pay two fares
for rides into Manhattan, are eliminated.
Queens County marks a century as part
of Greater New York City.
Queens Tribune completes a nearly year-long
crusade to put the names of Queens neighborhoods
back on envelopes, instead of being clumped into
Flushing, Jamaica or Long Island City.
Flushing Library is reborn at the intersection
of Main Street and Kissena Boulevard.
The 7 Train, dubbed the International
Express, becomes one of 16 sites in the country
designated part of the Millennium Trail, making
it a mobile landmark.
Francis Lewis of Flushing signed the Declaration
Billboards screaming immigration is eroding
our Quality of Life are repelled. The Tribune
lashes back, noting the diversity and multicultural
experience that is Queens.
Sept. 11, 2001
Two hijacked planes are piloted into
the World Trade Centers tallest towers. The terrorist
attack shuts down Queens highways, airports,
subways and busesand takes the lives of many
Queens residents and their loved ones. There is
an immediate backlash against Middle Eastern and
South Asian Queens residents.
Nov. 12, 2001
Flight 587 bound for the Dominican Republic explodes
in mid-air over Queens, slamming into homes in
Belle Harbor. More than 267 people are killed
in the crash, including seven people on the ground.
A dozen homes burn as investigators try to determine
the cause of the crash.
The first Hispanic Councilman from Queens, Hiram
Monserrate, and the first Asian Councilman, John
Liu of Flushing, are elected to the City Council.
A strike by workers from Queens private
bus lines leave thousands of commuters with transit
headaches for weeks.
26 years after the first big blackout,
another one befalls New York.
AirTrain makes its first run at Howard Beach,
shuttling folks from the subway to JFK.
The first Asian is elected to the State Assembly,
Jimmy Meng from Flushing.
- A bill is introduced in City Council to grant
voting rights to non-citizens in municipal elections.
© 2004 TribCo, LLC | Return to Queens Tribuner home page