Many people think of New York as being a cultural centre, a real melting pot of colours, race and creed.
The Statue of Liberty stands proudly welcoming people from all over the world to her care and protection.
But even she could not save the many who tragically perished on September 11th 2001.
Life goes on in New York as it has to and there is so much history to be explored in the Big Apple. The capital of the world… the home of many of our ancestors.
Life here started as early as 20,000 years ago when natives from the Bering Straights came on over and settled in.
A boatload or two of Vikings arrived in the year 1000 for a wee lookie and a few most probably snagged themselves a nice native American Indian wife or two.
All was fairly peaceful until a huge explosion of migrants from Europe around 500 years later.
Survivors of the harrowing crossing over the Atlantic were subject to catching various nasty diseases and suffering the indignities of living in hovels and crude buildings.
And if they survived those harsh conditions they would inevitably come across a few angry natives who wanted to know what these strange looking people were doing in their country.
However, society did ‘develop’ and in 1619 slaves from Africa were brought to this ‘New World’ not to partake in the bountiful life that was advertised in other countries but to serve the Europeans who had made this Big Apple their home.
History shows that migrants kept pouring in to this land of opportunity and famously very many Irish settled here only to find that perhaps life had been better in their homeland after all.They were housed in tenements and dilapidated buildings and there were more than a few who didn’t make it past their first winter in these harsh conditions.
In 1965 President Lynden Johnson signed the Hart-Cellar act into law. This meant that people from all continents would be allowed to seek citizenship and the quota system that had previously been in effect and had favoured Western European migrants was finally gone.
Immigration continued to sky rocket under this new act and the amount of Asians who came to New York more than quadrupled in the late 1960’s.
FANCY A BITE?
Today New York most certainly is a melting pot and it is quite possible that it has someone from every possible country and walk of life living there.
There are several buildings left from the early days and many visitors to New York go to have a look at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to check out the sights that would have greeted their ancestors all those years ago.
Another Special Feature Coming Soon