The State Nicknames Part 16 – New York

Florida Guide > Florida History

Next time you are in Florida, take a look at the state license plates on cars. They are fascinating, and each one highlights aspects of the states which are important from a historical, political, geographical or economic perspective.

New York State
What a diverse and beautiful state New York is. Not only does it boast the amazing city that never sleeps – New York – but it has the spectacular Niagara Falls, a myriad of large and small lakes, the Hudson River, the mountains of the Adirondack State Park, as well as Fire Island, a popular tourist destination.

Of course, New York city, with Times Square, complete with neon flashing signs, the Empire State Building with its spectacular views over the Hudson River and Manhattan, Carnegie Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and the Rockefeller Building is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Once the tallest building in the world – a title which it maintained for 40 years – the Empire State Building opened in May, 1931. It now boasts numerous tall and beautiful buildings which have joined that most famous of skylines.

Who has not visited the Big Apple and not been bowled over by it?

New York state was named by the British in honour of the Duke of York who later became King James 11, and who was the brother of King Charles 11. It took the name soon after New Amsterdam was taken from the Dutch in 1664. Both the city and the state were named New York. It is the USA’s third most populous state, and the city of New York is the most populous state in the country.
Its most famous nickname is ‘The Empire State’ and this appears on New York license plates.

However, it does have many names, including Excelsior State, named for the motto which means ‘ever upward, ’ and Knickerbocker State, which comes from the trousers worn by the early Dutch Settlers. The word, knickerbockers is a German word.

It is hardly surprising that the commemorative quarter, released in 2001, bears the Statue of Liberty, superimposed over a map of New York State. New York was the eleventh state to enter the union in 1788, and if you look carefully on this coin you will see the eleven stars which represent these eleven states. The words, Gateway to Freedom also appear on the coin, and this signifies the fact that the Empire State was the first point of entry for millions of immigrants seeking a new life of freedom and democracy in the USA. Whilst not appearing in the original design, those two most important waterways, the Hudson and the Eerie Canal are etched into the outline of the state.

Adirondack Park is the largest state park in America, even larger than the Yellowstone or Yosemite parks. In fact the first state park was established at Niagara Falls in 1885. This spectacular and most popular attraction is situated on the Niagara River, which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

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