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Time Line Of Wueens History

10,000-8,000 B.C. — Paleo-Indian/Big Game Hunting Stage. Tools found in Bayside made by Indians who lived in small bands and hunted mammoths and mastodons.
8,000-1,500 B.C. — Archaic/Hunting, Gathering Stage. Sea levels rise creating bays.
1,500-1,800 B.C. — Transition Stage. Shellfish gathering common.
1,000-1,600 A.D. — Agricultural-Woodland Stage. Native Americans establish agricultural based societies.
1,500 A.D. — Beginnings of tribal natives throughout various sections of what today makes up Queens County. Among the tribes are the Mattinecock (predominant in the North Shore) and the Jamaco and the Rockaways on the south shore.
1524, Apr. 15 — Giovanni da Verrazzano entered New York Bay, anchored in the Narrows, and recorded the scene.
1609, Sept. 4 — Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, sailed into New York Harbor, stepped ashore at Congee (Coney Island), and later explored Hudson River to Albany.
1613 — By this year, the Dutch had built a fort on Manhattan Island.
1614 — Adrian Block sailed through Hell Gate into Long Island Sound, becoming first European to see the land now making up Queens County.
1621, June 3 — Netherlands government chartered the West Indian Company to colonize the New World. Probable beginning of Dutch settlements in Manhattan and in Brooklyn at Wallabout.
1637 to 1656 — Dutch farmers obtained grants from Dutch authorities to tracts of land in the Astoria, Hunters Point and Dutch Kills area of Long Island City.
1642 — Dutch Governor Keift issued a charter for 13,332 acres (nearly 21 sq. miles) to 38 Englishmen who occupied lands at Maspeth. Repeated Indian attacks in 1643 forced abandonment of the colony. Charter revoked in 1645.
1645, Oct. 10 — Town of Flushing (called Vissingen) chartered by Governor Kieft.
1645 — Settlement at Tew’s Neck (College Point).
1652 — Maspeth colony revived and relocated further inland. Became known as Newtown (initially called Middleburgh; now Elmhurst).
1655 — Town of Jamaica (called Rustdorp) begun by English at Old Town Neck on Jamaica Bay (site now covered by JFK Airport).
1656, Mar. 21 — Governor Stuyvesant granted charter for Jamaica.
1656, Mar. 21 — Settlers of Springfield obtained permission of Dutch authorities to purchase lands and build a town.
1657 — Quakers came to New Amsterdam. Shortly thereafter, Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Netherland, banned all forms of religious worship except the Dutch Reformed. The Flushing Remonstrance was drawn up by Edward Hart, Town Clerk, and signed on Dec. 27, 1657 by 28 freeholders of Flushing and two from Jamaica. This protest against Stuyvesant’s ban initiated a seven-year struggle for Freedom of Religious Worship in the Colony of New Netherland.
1661 — The first part of Bowne House was built by John Bowne, an Englishman, who came from Boston to reside in Flushing in 1653. Additions in the house were made in 1680 and 1696.
1661 — John Bowne was arrested for permitting Quakers to worship in his home; he was imprisoned and sent out of the country "to wherever the ship shall land." The ship landed in Ireland but eventually John Bowne got to Amsterdam, Holland.
1664 — Freedom of Religious Worship was restored to New Netherland because of John Bowne’s plea before authorities of the Dutch West India Company in Amsterdam, Holland.
1664, Sept. 8 — Dutch surrendered New Netherland to English Settlement at Little Neck (called Cornbury and Little Madnans Neck).
1673-1674 — The Dutch retook New York, Aug. 7, 1673; the Peace of Westminister restored New York to the English, March 6, 1674.
1683, Nov. 1 — Queens County chartered as one of 10 counties in the colony of New York. Named for Catherine of Braganza, Queen Consort of Charles II. Queens County then embraced all of present-day Nassau County, including the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
1684 — Flushing bought all land from Mattinecock Indians.
1685-1686 — Governor Dongan confirmed town patents of Flushing, Newtown and Jamaica.
1703— Colonial legislature enacted law providing for a highway form the East River ferry in Kings County (Brooklyn) through Queens and Suffolk Counties of East Hampton, known as Kings Highway. This route evolved in Queens into Jamaica Avenue.
1732 — The Prince Nurseries were established by William prince; they are alleged to have been the first of their kind in America. Named "The Linnaean Botanic Gardens" after the Swedish botanist, Linnaeaus, they operated for almost two centuries.
1765 — Flushing revolted against the Stamp Act and showed great enmity against Cadwallader Colden, Lieutenant Governor of New York, whose home was at Spring Hill near what is now Mt. Hebron Cemetery.
1776-1783 — British occupation of Flushing (a Tory stronghold). Officers were quartered in the Aspinwall House, which adjoined the present YMCA building on Northern Boulevard. The Friends Meeting House was taken over by the British and remained in their possession for the duration of the War.
1776, July 4 — Francis Lewis, a resident of what was then part of Flushing, signed the Declaration of Independence for New York.
1776, Aug. 27 — Battle of Long Island; Aug. 22-25; Gen. Howe landed about 20,000 British troops at South Brooklyn, routing about 5,000 rebel forces on the 27th. Gen. Washington withdrew to Manhattan the night of Aug. 29-30. Present-day Queens became a quartering area.
1776, Aug. 28 — American General Nathaniel Woodhull captured at present day Hollis by British. Wounded, he died aboard a prison ship in N.Y. harbor.
1776-1783 — Seven-year occupation. Regular troops quartered in tents in summer and in huts in winter. Officers were often billeted in the kitchens of private houses. Prince William Henry, who later became William IV of England, visited William Prince, and on Aug. 1, 1782 reviewed the British troops stationed in and around Flushing.
1783 — War formally ended by Treaty of Paris. Complete British evacuation by November 1783.
1789, Oct. 10 — George Washington visited Prince Nurseries in Flushing, accompanied by Vice President John Adams and New York Governor George Clinton.
1800 — The first bridge over Flushing Creek was built, connecting Flushing and Corona.
1809 — Brooklyn, Jamaica and Flatbush Turnpike Company built the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike as a toll road from the Brooklyn Ferry to 168th Street, a distance of 12 miles. This represented a further development of what became Jamaica Avenue.
1814 — Jamaica became the first incorporated village on Long Island.
1814-1816 — Toll road begun by the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike, Road and Bridge Co. Operated until 1972, it became the farmer’s route to the Brooklyn Ferry and also a stage coach route. Now known as Metropolitan Avenue.
1821 — Union Course Race Track opened in Woodhaven.
1825 — Eclipse or Centerville Race course opened east of Woodhaven Boulevard and south of Rockaway Boulevard.
1834 — The Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad Co. began construction.
1836, Apr. 28 — First Long Island Rail Road train run between foot of Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn and Jamaica.
1838 — The Parsons Nurseries were established by Samuel Parsons, the nurseries adjoined Bowne House (on the north), present site of Weeping Beech Park and "Kingsland."
1839 — Astoria charter issued, making Astoria the first new village to be incorporated within the present day limits of Queens since the 17th century.
1840-1850 — Hamlet of Middle Village grows up midway along the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike (now Metropolitan Avenue).
1841 — Blissville laid out by Neziah Bliss on west side of what became Calvary Cemetery.
1842 — The Flushing Journal was first issued as a "weekly."
1847 — The shoot of a Weeping Beech Tree, acquired by Mr. Parsons’ son on a trip to Belgium, was planted on its present site, part of the original Parsons Nurseries. The tree was designated an Historic Landmark in 1971.
1848 — Beginning of Calvary Cemetery.
1870-1872 — Establishment of Steinway Piano factory and factory village in Long Island City.
1870s-1890s — During these years, numerous oil refineries developed along the shores of Newtown Creek and the waterfront of Long Island City.
1871 — Queens Village begun.
1872 — Name of West flushing officially changed to Corona. South end below Corona Avenue developed by Benjamin F. Hitchcock.
1872 — Douglaston named. originally laid out in 1835 by Wm. B. Douglas and called Marathon.
1874 — Queens County Courthouse and seat of county government moved from Mineola (in present-day Nassau County) to Long Island City.
1882 — Ozone Park laid out by Benjamin F. Hitchcock.
1884 — Morris Park begun.
1884-1885 — Hollis developed by Frederick W. Dunton in area previously known as East Jamaica.
1887 — First electric trolley in Queens operated from Jamaica Avenue, East New York to 168th Street, Jamaica (second such line in the U.S.).
1887 — John Lewis Childs settled in Hinsdale and founded a mail-order nursery business so big that the village changed its name to Floral park in his honor. Tulips and carnations blanketed vast fields. Urban encroachment drove him out just before World War I.
1892 — Edgemere developed by Frederick J. Lancaster as "New Venice."
1897 — Elmhurst: the name givers to Newtown Village by Cord Meyer, after he began land development. The public then associated the word "Newtown" with the stink of Newtown Creek
1897 June — Last turnpike in Queens County on Jamaica Avenue goes out of business.
1898, Jan. 1 — The Borough of Queens created out of the towns of Flushing, Newtown, Jamaica and the Rockaway peninsula as one of the five governmental subdivisions of Greater New York City. All village governments cease. Queens County made co-terminus with the borough. Eastern portion of old Queens County became Nassau County.
1898 — St. Albans Railroad station opened July 1. In April 1892, a New York syndicate had laid out the Francis Farm and named it St. Albans.
1898 — Bellerose (partly in Queens, mostly in Nassau) founded by Helen H. Marsh in 1897. Railroad station opened in 1898.
1899 — Flushing and Jamaica linked by trolley line.
1901 — Auburndale developed by L.H. Green from 90-acre farm of Thomas Willets. Railroad station opened in May 1901.
1906 — Forest Hills (originally White Pot) begun north of Queens Boulevard by Cord Meyer.
1907 — Belle Harbor developed near Rockaway.
1907 — Laurelton surveyed by Laurelton Land Company; lot sales begun.
1907 — After the failure of Interstate Park, a private, target-shooting park, in 1904, the land was subdivided into lots named "Bellaire Park," and marketed in 1908.
1907-1911 — South Ozone Park developed by David P. Leahy along Rockaway Boulevard, at 130-135th Streets.
1908 — Malba’s first houses built on land surveyed by Malba Land Company in 1907. Most houses erected in the 1920s.
1908 — The subdivision of Kissena Lake laid out by Paris and McDougall north and west of Kissena Lake (now much reduced from original size).
1909 — Queensboro Bridge opened, the first direct transportation link between Manhattan and Queens, apart from ferry service.
1909 — Forest Hills Gardens; Russell Sage foundation purchased 142 acres through Cord Meyer and began constructing a medical subdivision in 1911. Site plan by Olmstead Brothers. Architecture by Grosvenor Atterbury.
1909-1916 — Jackson Heights; the Queensboro Corporation bought about 325 acres of farms along Jackson Avenue (now Northern Boulevard) in 1909, surveyed it in 1911, and erected the first apartment in 1914. Land purchased 1846. Later purchases increased size to 510 acres.
1910, Sept. 8 — Inauguration of electric train service from Penn Station through East River tunnels, along main line of the Long Island Rail Road, through Queens to Mineola and Hempstead.
1911 — Incorporation of Queens Chamber of Commerce.
1911 — Borough topographical engineers devised comprehensive street-naming and house-numbering plan for entire borough, using the "Philadelphia system" of numbered streets. Public resistance slowed implementation. System first applied to Richmond Hill in 1915. Ninety percent borough compliance by 1932.
1911-1912 — Howard Beach developed by William H. Howard on landfill. Originally called Ramblersville, renamed in 1916.
1912 — Kew Gardens; originally Hopedale, which was begun in 1875 as a railroad stop for Maple Grove Cemetery. Railroad relocated in 1909. The neighborhood and a new station, called Kew, were then developed.
1914 — Construction began on Queens Boulevard as a 200-foot-wide arterial highway for Queens. This entailed the redesigning of two former county roads: Thomson Avenue, from Long Island City in Elmhurst, and Hoffman Boulevard, from Elmhurst to Hillside Avenue. Teddy Roosevelt delivers a Fourth of July speech from the Long Island Rail Road station in Forest Hills Gardens.
1915, June 22 — "Queensboro Subway" opens, with service between Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and Long Island City at Vernon-Jackson Avenues via East River tunnel.
1917 — Hell Gate Bridge: Its completion permitted New York Connecting Railroad (funded 50/50 by the Pennsylvania and New Haven RRs) to cross East River at Hell Gate, thereby linking Pennsylvania RR lines from southern and mid-western states in New England via tunnels under Hudson River, Manhattan and the East River.
1917 — Astoria subway line extended to Ditmars Boulevard.
1918 — Elevated structure extended to 168th Street in Jamaica from old terminal at Cypress Hills.
1920 — Cambria Heights founded. Named in 1924, with major growth and development during 1930s.
1920 — Jamaica Avenue receives present name. Formerly the Brooklyn and Jamaica turnpike (to Van Wyck Boulevard). Fulton Street within Jamaica, and Hempstead and Jamaica turnpike east of 168th Street.
1923 — Rego Park developed by Rego (acronym for Real Good Construction Co.).
1924 — Sunnyside Gardens: a limited-profit (six percent) housing experiment featuring block-perimeter housing restricted to two-and-a-half stores, and inside-block yard, garden and play space. Built by City Housing Corp. Designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright. In Long Island City, bounded by 43rd and 49th Streets, and by 39th and Skillman Avenues. Still exists.
1928, Jan. — IRT subway extended to Main Street, Flushing
1929 — Grand Central Air Terminal: the first airfield terminal in New York City. Built on 220 acres of swampland between Northern Boulevard and Astoria Boulevard, using fill from IND subway and Queens Boulevard excavation. Service began March 16.
1929 — Glenn-Curtis Airport built at North Beach, displacing North Beach Amusement Park and site of 17th century Bowery Bay settlement.
1932 — Great Depression ends the boom in Queens.
1932 —Serviceable airfields in Queens: Grand Central Air Terminal, Glenn-Curtis Airport, Jamaica Sea Airport, Flushing Airport.
1933 — Grand Central Parkway opened from Kew Gardens to Nassau County line.
1935 — Interboro Parkway opened, connecting Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn to Kew Gardens.
1936 — Triborough Bridge opened. First planned in 1916, construction began in 1929, and resumed in 1932 after a two-year lapse. Completed as a Robert Moses Public Works Administration project.
1936 — Grand Central Parkway extension opened from Kew Gardens to Triborough Bridge in preparation for 1939-1940 World’s Fair.
1937, Oct. 4. — Queens college opened as a four-year college with 400 students, a staff of 56, and Paul Klapper as its first president. utilized site and buildings of a parental school operated since 1908 by the Board of Education for truant boys from the New York City school system.
1939, April 29 — Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opened.
1939-1940 — New York World’s Fair opened for two years at Flushing-Meadows Park. To create the site, an immense tidal marsh, 1 1/2 times as large as Central Park, was filled — beginning in 1936 with dirt from subway excavations, and garbage and ash from Brooklyn, much of it already dumped there since 1914 by the Brooklyn Ash Removal Company. This dump, made famous by F. Scott Fitzgerald in "The Great Gatsby" as the "valley of ashes," included one heap 90 feet high, known as Mount Corona. The fair’s opening day marked the first regular television service in America, opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Visited in June 1939 by the King and Queens of England, Albert Einstein inaugurated the fair’s spectacular night lighting.
1939, Oct. 15 — LaGuardia Airport officially opened. Built on extensive landfill at North Beach between Flushing and Bowery Bays.
1940 — Belt Parkway opened.
1946-1950 — United Nations met in the New York City Building at Flushing Meadows. International Declaration of Human Rights adopted. State of Israel created here.
1946 — Queens Botanical Gardens formed on old World’s Fair site.
1948, July 1 — Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) opened to traffic on landfill dumped into eastern Jamaica Bay. Opened by President Harry S. Truman.
1950 — IND line extended to 179th Street in Jamaica.
1955-1960 — Long Island Expressway opened in several stages, taking over route of Horace Harding Boulevard.
1961 — Throgs Neck Bridge opened.
1964, April 17 — Shea Stadium, home of NY Mets and NY Jets opened.
1964-1965 — World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Park, using site of 1939-1940 World’s Fair and public parkland created since 1936 landfill. Opened by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Visited by Pope Paul VI in October 1965. Time capsule buried on grounds for 5,000 years. Grand Central Parkway, Northern Boulevard, Van Wyck Expressway and Long Island Expressway intensively redeveloped in preparation for the event.
1967 — Robert Moses, as World’s Fair president, handed over a completed Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the NYC Parks Department. The 1,258-acre site included Queens Botanical Gardens, Queens Zoo, Hall of Science, Aquacade, NY City Building, NY State Pavilion, United States Pavilion and other recreational facilities. The Unisphere, symbol of the 1964-1965 Fair, remained, becoming the unofficial symbol of Queens County.
1968 — The Long Island Star Journal closed.
1969 — The "Lindsay Snowstorm" hit Queens, as a blizzard crippled the borough for one week in March.
1969, October — Mets win World Series
1974 — The New York Yankees moved to Shea Stadium during renovation of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
1977 — Borough President Donald Manes announced plans for the renovation of the U.S. Army Pictorial Center in Astoria as a television and film production center; by 1980, business at the renovated center was reported to be booming.
1978 — MTA began operation of "The Train to the Plane," which provides express subway service Manhattan to Howard Beach, with a bus connection to terminals at Kennedy Airport. U.S. Open moved from the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills to new facilities in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
1980 — State officials announced that there will be no further construction of the Clearview Expressway; originally planned to connect the Throgs Neck Bridge with Kennedy Airport, the highway now ends at Hillside Avenue.
1981 — The Flushing Meadows World’s Fair Association formed a committee to study the possibility of holding a World’s Fair in Queens in 1989.
1982 — Queens Chamber of Commerce endorsed Port Authority’s plans for redevelopment of Hunter Point area of Long Island City, and also a proposal to hold an annual New York Grand Prix auto race in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
1983 — Margaret Swezey of Citibank was elected as the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s first woman president.
1984 — Work began on renovations of two Long Island City buildings to create a new industrial Design Center on Thomson Avenue. New York Telephone instituted a new "718" area code covering Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Queens Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was chosen as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee.
1985 — Ground was broken for a new Greenpoint Avenue bridge, connecting Queens and Brooklyn, replacing the 55-year-old span. Port Authority outlines plans for a central transportation center at Kennedy Airport, with people-mover access to individual airline terminals.
1985, May — First edition of The Queens Courier created by Victoria Schneps and John Toscano.
1986 — Cable television service became available in parts of Queens. New York Hall of Science reopened after major renovation; ground was broken for American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. Citibank announced plans for a 42-story building in Long Island City.
1988 — Gertz Plaza opened in the former Gertz Department Store in Jamaica. Flushing Hospital Medical Center took over Parsons Hospital and redesignated it as its North Division.
1988, Sept. — American Museum of the Moving Image opened.
1989 — U.S. Supreme Court held that City board of Estimate violated Constitutional "one person, one vote" principle.
1990 — The Queens Borough Public Library became the highest circulation library system in the Untied States.
1991 — United States Tennis Association planned expansion of U.S. Open tennis facility in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
1993 —Port Authority proposed a "light rail" system from Manhattan’s East Side to LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.
1994 — Ground broken for a park as the first part of the Queens West development at Hunters Point.
1996 — The New York Hall of Science and the American Museum of the Moving Image reopened after major renovations. Port Authority proposed scaled back airport access plan from Kennedy Airport to Howard Beach and Jamaica; ferry service planned for LaGuardia Airport.
1996 — In January Queens Borough President Donald Manes is discovered by police driving erratically on the Grand Central Parkway. He is found with his wrists slashed in a suicide attempt. Within days it is discovered that the powerful chief executive of Queens was at the center of a massive city corruption scandal. In March, Manes stabs himself in the heart, killing himself immediately. His deputy borough president, Claire Shulman, became the new borough president.
1997 — Arthur Ashe Stadium, the new main arena for the U.S. Open is dedicated.
1998 — Major new improvements are made to JFK Airport including a new terminal, central tower and construction begun on a new International Arrivals building.
1999 — Construction begins on AirTrain, a $1 billion monorail-type system connecting JFK Airport with downtown Jamaica and Howard Beach.
1999 — A surprise news conference by Mayor Giuliani in College Point over the Labor Day weekend disclosed that mosquitoes bearing a virus for encephalitis had been infecting residents. He ordered a citywide spraying with the insecticide malathion.
2000, Jan. 1 — The millennium and the 21st century begin.
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