Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New York: Diversity & Contrast

This Day in History: July 26, 1788

New York, the Empire State, the Excelsior State, the Knickerbocker State

New York is called "The Empire State" because of its wealth and variety of resources. This nickname appeared on New York license plates from 1951 through the mid-1960s. In 2001, "The Empire State" legend returned to New York license plates. It's nickname the Excelsior State comes from the motto of New York, "Excelsior." New York's motto means "ever upward." The nickname, the Knickerbocker State, comes from the pants worn by early Dutch settlers in New York. "Knickerbocker" is a German term made up of two words. "Knicker" means box and "bock" is a male goat. This term was promoted in Washington Irving's character, Diedrich Knickerbocker in "Knickerbocker History of New York."

Aerial America  
New York's Adirondack Park
Covering 20 percent of New York's total territory
Adirondack Park is the largest area of protected wilderness
in the continental United States.


Aerial America
New York: Niagara Falls
Carved by the epic force of melting glacial ice,
Niagara Falls instills awe through its
natural majesty and its raw power.

In 1624, the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange (now Albany). Forty years later, in 1664, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City) was surrendered to the English. Both the state and city were named for the 17th century Duke of York, future King James II of England. After serving as a colony of Great Britain for over a century, New York declared its independence on July 9, 1776, becoming one of the thirteen original colonies. New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788. See Timeline of New York History
[The thirteen colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations]

New York is a state in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

New York State Flag
New York's official flag was adopted in 1901. The flag has a deep blue background. It pictures Liberty (she symbolizes freedom) and Justice (she symbolizes justice before the law). Liberty is holding a pole with a liberty cap, and has a discarded crown at her feet (which represents freedom from Britain after the Revolutionary War). Justice is blindfolded and is holding the scales of justice. A shield between them pictures the sun, hills, and 2 boats sailing on the Hudson River. Over the shield there is a globe and a bald eagle. Under them all is a white, flowing ribbon that reads "EXCELSIOR."
New York State Seal

Beaver photo by Ilyes Laszlo / Wikimedia Commons
New York State Animal: Wild Beaver

The beaver is the state mammal of New York and
whose image adorns the official seal of New York City. Wild beavers have been absent within the city limits since colonial times when the species was hunted to local extinction for its luxurious pelt.
 New York State Insect: Nine-spotted Ladybug
Among several dozen species of ladybugs found in New York state, the nine-spotted ladybug (coccinella novemnotata) was designated the official state insect symbol of New York in 1989.
Eastern bluebird photo © God Vivek (Heavenhated) on Flickr -
noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works
New York State Bird: Eastern Bluebird

The lovely red, white, and blue Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) was designated the State bird of New York in 1970. The bluebird's song is a rich warbling whistle broken into short phrases (Tu-wheet-tudu) or a dry chatter.
 New York State Tree: Sugar Maple

The sugar maple (Acer saccharum) was designated
the state tree of New York in 1956. New York, Wisconsin
West Virginia and Vermont stake claim to the maple tree as their state tree.

 New York State Flower: The Rose

The rose was designated official state flower of New York in 1955. The rose has been around for about 35 million years and grows naturally throughout North America. The petals and rose hips are edible and have been used in medicines since ancient times.

 New York's State Fruit: Apple
New York's State Muffin: Apple Muffin

    For all State Symbols of New York click HERE!

New York State Song: "I Love New York"

New York: Diversity & Contrast

When you hear New York
First thoughts are likely the city
The state holds so much more
Le' naturale oh-so pretty


Thunderous and spectacular
Roars Niagara Falls
Carved by melting glacial ice
As Mother Nature recalls

Rugged Adirondacks, enchanting Catskills
Span the horizon north and south
Scenic ranges, stunning scenes
Spread far and wide by word of mouth


All the lakes great and small
Call forth spirited viewers and chasers
From sprawling lakes of Ontario and Erie
To giant fingerprints of Ice Age glaciers


The lantern of Fire Island lighthouse
Whose fresnel shone o'er a century ago
Resides in the museum's brick tower
As history revives its past golden glow


 Venues, visitations and vacations
Come together, yield, yet fork
Then, there's the city, the Big Apple
Diversity and contrast, that's New York

©2014 Sharla Lee Shults


New York Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #38 Colorado, August 1, 1876