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7 Pieces Of History Near Washington Heights, NY

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Washington Heights is a bustling neighborhood located in the northern region of Manhattan and is rich in history. It has been the site of numerous significant historical events that shaped the city of New York and the United States. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Washington Heights.

1. The Battle of Harlem Heights

The Battle of Harlem Heights was fought on September 16, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. It took place in the vicinity of present-day Morningside Heights, just south of Washington Heights. American troops under General George Washington defeated the British army commanded by General William Howe. This victory was the first significant military triumph for the Continental Army and boosted the morale of the colonial soldiers.

2. The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II to create the first atomic bomb. The project was initiated by the United States government in response to fears that Nazi Germany might develop nuclear weapons. Columbia University, located near Washington Heights, played a significant role in the project. It provided scientists and engineers, including the physicist Enrico Fermi, who led the first successful nuclear chain reaction.

3. The Polo Grounds

The Polo Grounds was a baseball stadium that served as the home of the New York Giants from 1911 to 1957. It was located in Upper Manhattan, near Washington Heights. The Polo Grounds was the site of many significant baseball events, including the first radio broadcast of a baseball game and Babe Ruth's famous "called shot" home run during the 1932 World Series.

4. Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation

The Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) was founded in 1979 to address the housing crisis in Washington Heights and Inwood. NMIC has helped to preserve affordable housing for low-income families, provide legal services, and develop economic opportunities for residents. It has been an essential organization in the revitalization of northern Manhattan.

5. The 1964 World's Fair

The 1964 World's Fair was an international exhibition held in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York. The fair was visited by over 51 million people and featured various attractions, including a Sinclair Oil dinosaur exhibit, NASA's Apollo space program, and Disney's It's a Small World attraction. The fair was accessible from the Washington Heights neighborhood via the nearby George Washington Bridge.

6. The George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Hudson River, connecting New York City to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The construction of the bridge began in 1927, and it was opened to traffic on October 25, 1931. The bridge played a crucial role in the growth and development of the Washington Heights neighborhood and remains a significant transportation link for the region.

7. The Civil Rights Movement

The civil rights movement of the 1960s had a significant impact on the Washington Heights neighborhood. In the summer of 1963, over 100,000 people marched to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. Many Washington Heights residents participated in the march, and civil rights organizations such as the Harlem Youth Opportunities Program, which was based in Washington Heights, advocated for equal rights and opportunities for minorities.

In conclusion, Washington Heights is a neighborhood steeped in history, with significant events ranging from the Revolutionary War, World War II, civil rights movements, to baseball games, and the construction of one of the world's most iconic bridges. These events have left a permanent mark on the community and continue to shape the history of New York City and the United States.
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