History and Geography of the State of New York
New York (NYS) was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States, and is the fourth most populous state. NY is geographically diverse, bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east. The state also has an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The large Upstate New York region consists of several ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, in addition to the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern section of the state. The western part of the state is considered part of the Great Lakes Region, bordering Lakes Ontario and Erie. The Finger Lakes dominate the south – central region of the state, a popular vacation and tourist destination due to the many vineyards and breweries.
Immigration is an important part of New York’s history. New York City has been the largest port of entry for legal immigration into the United States since the early 18th century. Ellis Island, considered by many to be the central gateway to the American Dream, opened on January 1, 1892, operating until the National Origins Act of 1924 greatly reduced immigration into the United States. Thereafter, the only immigrants to pass through were displaced persons or war refugees. In 1954, Ellis Island ceased all immigration processing. More than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954, permanently shaping the demographics of the United States. More than 100 million Americans trace their ancestry to the people who landed there seeking a better life.
Interestingly, Ellis Island was the subject of a contentious and long-running dispute between NY State and New Jersey, as both claimed it. The issue was settled in 1998 by the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled that the original 3.3-acre island was New York State territory and that the balance of the 27.5 acres added after 1834 by landfill was in New Jersey. Ellis Island became a museum of immigration in 1990.
New York – Sports – Tourism
There are countless ways to enjoy the Empire State, as it is colloquially named. NY has many professional sporting teams, including the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills. The NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets also represent the state, but play in New Jersey. New York also hosts two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. New York is home to three National Hockey League teams: the Buffalo Sabres, The New York Rangers and the Islanders.
NY State has several U.S. national sports halls of fame located within its boundaries. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cooperstown, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is in Saratoga Springs, honoring thoroughbred horse racing. Though the physical facility of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta closed in 2010, the organization has continued inductions. The International Boxing Hall of Fame is located in Canastota. In addition to these, the annual United States Open Tennis Championships, one of the world’s four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, is held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the NYC borough of Queens.