New Yorkers are rightfully proud of their state's many achievements and contributions. This synopsis is adapted from a brief history previously printed in the Legislative Manual.
After the year 1900:
During the nineteenth century, America became a haven for many of the oppressed people of Europe, and New York City became the "melting pot." The Statue of Liberty, with its famous inscription, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," was the first symbol of America's mission. "Lady Liberty" was formally presented to the U.S. Minister to France, Levi Parsons on July 4, 1884 by Ferdinand Lesseps, representing the Franco-American Union. The cornerstone was laid in August 1884 and the Statue of Liberty arrived in June 1885, in 214 packing crates. President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, when the last rivet was put into place.
The international character of New York City, the principal port for overseas commerce, and later for transcontinental and international airways, has been further enhanced by becoming the home of the United Nations, capital of the free world. Here the people of all nations and races come to discuss and try to solve the world's problems in a free and democratic climate.
As one of the wealthiest states, New York made tremendous strides in industry and commerce. The New York Stock Exchange, founded in 1792, has become the center of world finance. Diversified and rich natural resources, together with unmatched facilities for transport, produced a phenomenal growth in manufacture and industry. Research and inventive genius have been extensive, especially in the field of electronics, power and the peaceful and productive use of atomic energy.
New York City also became a leading national center for art, music and literature, as exemplified by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Opera Company, and large publishing houses.
The state has supplied more than its share of national leaders, beginning with Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury; and John Jay, the first chief justice. Aaron Burr and George Clinton served as vice presidents. Martin Van Buren, Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland went from New York politics to the presidency. In the 1900s, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt achieved the presidency; and Nelson Rockefeller served as vice president. Governors Charles E. Hughes, Alfred E. Smith and Thomas E. Dewey all were candidates for the presidency.