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History of New York State/New York State since the Nixon Era

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New York State since the Nixon Era[edit | edit source]

New York City and rising crime rates[edit | edit source]

NYC wide-angle south from Top of the Rock

Crime rate increased drastically during the 1960s due to various reasons. There were many things that were changing for the state of New York, as well as the crimes that were taking place. The reasons for the growing crime rate in New York City (NYC) can be tied to the expanding drug use and an increase in homeless people. Another factor for the increasing crime rates was an ongoing dispute between the NYPD and the government on the under payment and benefit plans of police officers. This labor dispute led to over 75% of the cops in New York City going on strike, which resulted in a crime outbreak in (NYC). Criminals jumped on this opportunity, as they knew law enforcement at this time was very unstable and unreliable. The strike did not last long but throughout the 1960s it caused major damage that would take a long time to fix. Before the 70s, people felt safe to leave their doors unlocked at night. However, beginning in the 70s, this was no longer the case. The suburbs of New York felt this shift in crime the most, as the rate of reported crime in suburbs was rising faster than in cities. One of the possible reasons behind this inclination in crimes was due to the fact that New York was growing so much. The population growth could be a main reason, which in itself breeds crime. Crime rates since the 1960s have also changed seeing as there have been increases and decreases in crime rates in New York over time.

1970s[edit | edit source]

New York City saw a major increase in violent criminal activity throughout the 1970s. Specific examples of this were spikes in murder numbers (from about 80 murders in 1970 to 140 in 1980) and assault cases (from 1500 in 1970 to 2100 in 1980). One factor that correlated with the increase in crime rates was the decrease in police officer numbers in New York City, from approximately 32,000 officers in 1970 to about 21,000 in 1980. Another explanation was the economic state of New York City during the 1970s. The American economy was struggling during the early 1970s, which increased the unemployment rate and therefore decreased the average income of people living in New York City which caused people to branch out to crime. The climax of this repression was the fiscal crisis in 1975, which almost led to the city declaring bankruptcy. These economic struggles directly led to more criminal activity during this decade and also resulted in the dismissal of 5000 junior police officers, contributing to the decline in officer numbers. Another factor in crime rate increase during the 1970's was the “white flight” phenomenon that had occurred in New York City. This resulted in many upper or middle-class Anglo-American families moving out of the city into suburbs, leaving a greater proportion of minority races in the city. Since these minorities generally had less money than Anglo-Americans, criminal activities increased in New York City. Another contributing factor to the rising crime rates are tied to the 1977 blackout, touched on later in the chapter (Economic Decline). Because of New York’s burglary issue at this time, officials decided it was time to do something about it. From 1973 to 1974, there were 700 men that were hired to be a part of Nassau County police force. They also had a crime prevention unit set up, and burglary patrols that would drive around in unmarked vehicles. Measures were enforced to prevent crimes, and did eventually help the crime rate decrease again. There was also a rise in crime in the suburbs, and the amount of theft by youths, which was said to be caused by the increase in narcotics usage and trafficking. However, in 1974 there was a decrease in the total homicide rate, yet an increase in killings by random strangers. This caused problems to the public, as people feared everyone around them in their society. During this time, methadone, which is a narcotic substitute for heroin, was available and this was said to be related to the decrease in narcotic related murders. According to Dr. Blumberg, the Dean of Social Sciences at John Jay College of City University at the time, “assaults and robberies can easily become murders.” This explains that smaller crimes can ultimately lead to much larger and more severe crimes. It is not always intended, but there are cases in which this does happen. An article in New York Times explained New York as being a “very impersonal city with racial and ethnic groups furiously competing for a place in the sun” which is another reason as to why the crime rates were so high in the 1970s.

NYPD police car

1980s: Peak in crime rates[edit | edit source]

As time went on, crime rates continued to be quite high in New York, even into the 1980s. From 1980 to 1985, the crime rates in New York City dipped slightly, with murder numbers having decreased from 140 in 1980 to about 120 in 1985. Causes for this were an increase in police officers (from 21,000 to 25,000) and a slight economic boom during these five years. However, criminal activity drastically increased during the last five years of the decade. The number of murders rose to about 180, a 50% increase from the 120 murders in 1985, while the number of assaults rose from about 2500 in 1985 to 3800 in 1990, which was an increase of 52%. The crime which saw the greatest increase during this time period was automobile theft, which rose from approximately 6800 in 1985 to 11600 vehicles stolen in 1990, an increase of about 71%. The largest reason for this increase in criminal activity was the crack cocaine epidemic that hit New York City during the 1980s. This increased the numbers of drug-related deaths from 53 in 1985 to 90 in 1989, as well as a large increase in gang member numbers, which directly led to an increase in crime rates. For example, according to police officers there were approximately 200 murders in 1987 that were directly linked to gang involvement. Surprisingly, the number of police officers in New York City increased from about 25,000 to 26,300 during this five-year span, likely in attempt to deal with the rising numbers of gang members. There was an economic boom in the 1980s, which could also be one of the reasons the crime rate was so high.

1990s decline in crime rates[edit | edit source]

Crime rates in New York City dropped significantly from 1990 on wards. Violent crimes fell by approximately 56% from 1990 to 1999. By 1996, the number of murders had decreased from 180 to approximately 80 deaths and assault cases had dropped from 3800 to about 2400 incidents. Robberies fell from about 7200 in 1990 to just below 5000 occurrences in 1996. Non-violent criminal activity, such as burglaries (from 10100 in 1990 to 5100 cases in 1996) and automobile theft (from about 11,600 in 1990 to about 5000 cases in 1996) also declined during the 1990's. One reason for this drop in crime rate was an economic boom which occurred in the 1990s. This economic growth resulted in a decrease in unemployment rate (reduced by 39 percent in New York City during the 1990s), which led to a decrease in poverty and greater average income, therefore reducing criminal activity. Another reason was a change in law enforcement policies during the 1990s. The approach changed to a “broken windows” approach, which is more aggressive enforcement and punishment of lower-level crimes. In addition to this, New York hired more officers (30% increase in officers) and therefore were able to set up a community policing strategy. This meant that police officers were assigned areas in communities to go on foot patrol walks throughout the nighttime. This contributed to the decreased criminal activity during this decade. The number of police officers in New York City also rose during the 1990's. For example, cop numbers increased from about 26,300 in 1990 to nearly 31,000 officers in 1996, an 18% increase.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The people of New York were scared during the 70s and 80s, but things were different after that. Crime rates declined in areas of New York City where high-risk minority populations remained stable and where single-parent households exceeded the national average by a wide margin. Single-parent households were more common in this time period than ever before, and this could have a lot to do with the decrease in crime rates. The change in policing strategies was the factor that had the greatest impact on the decline in crime at this time. Other things like population, drug use and economics could be contributing factors as well, but not as much. The changes that occurred in the policing of New York City were putting more officers on the street, increasing the number of detectives and using crime analysis and crime mapping to locate “crime hotspots which eventually led to a decreased crime rate. New York’s crime rate has fluctuated over time, and will most likely continue to do so, depending on contributing factors like police strategies, economics, population, and governmental issues. From increasing crime rates in the 1960s to decreasing rates in the 1990s one could draw a direct correlation with poverty and the number of cops to the amount of crime in New York City.

New York Stock Exchange

Economic Decline[edit | edit source]

The Nixon Shock (August 15th, 1971) was a series of economic measures that were put in effect by President Nixon. Still not financially recovering from the second world war and having to finance the war in Vietnam, the U.S economy was struggling. When Nixon decided to close the gold window and impose a ten percent surcharge on imported goods he was trying to change the value of other countries' currencies, when in reality all that happened was imports revenue decreased drastically. While the Nixon Shock was not specific to New York, it did affect the amount of goods being imported in the state from other countries. New York City was the first large accessible city for the western hemisphere and as a result saw a lot of immigrants as well as imports arrive and never leave the city.

The United States (US) went through many peaks and troughs throughout and after the Nixon shock. Although there was never a dramatic economic incline or decline, there were many independent events that impacted the economy of New York State. The Economy was affected not only by the Nixon Shock during the 70's but also the oil crisis, 1972-73 bear market where investors anticipate losses, the statewide blackout in 1977, increasing unemployment rates and the previous great depression.

New York (NY), along with the rest of the US, experienced an oil crisis that had the whole population anxious on what would happen next with the economy. The oil crisis would cause the fuel prices to rise, causing macroeconomic effects throughout the world. Japan is one country that capitalized on the spike in oil prices, producing the first fuel-efficient car. This drastically influenced the American economy, particularly northern states like New York, because American car sales declined and the car industry had changed permanently.

The 1973-74 bear market (a general decline in the stock market) had a strong affect on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and major stock markets around the world. The New York Stock Exchange’s Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 45% between the days of January 11th 1973 and December 6th 1974. New York City is home to one of the worlds main financial districts, Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange is located on Wall Street and it is the worlds largest stock exchange where from 1973-1974 it was in a bear market. Investors prefer to be in a Bull market where there is optimism and prices are rising. The financial institutions on Wall Street run the economy and saw New York go through ups and downs after the economic measures were introduced by Nixon.

Portrait of President Nixon - NARA - 194402

In 1977, there was a blackout that affected almost all of the state of New York. The only places unaffected were southern Queens and neighborhoods that were powered by the Long Island Lighting Company. The blackout caused an increase in crime rates and riots throughout the state, resulting in 4500 arrests and over 550 policemen injured. The city is estimated to have incurred 1 billion dollars in damage due to crime and riots resulting from the blackout. This blackout was significant in New York history because it was one of the first times that the general population living in this era were without power for more than 24 hours (1965 North-eastern blackout lasted about 13 hours).

The Nixon era would bring the New York unemployment rate to its modern day peak. In 1976 the unemployment rate was recorded at 10.3% compared to 4.5% in 1970. 789,000 citizens were unemployed in New York State in the year of 1976, including 125,000 people who were not Caucasian. With unemployment rates this high, the state of New York would experience large monetary losses through lack of tax income and money being paid through unemployment programs. The unemployment rate would eventually average out to 5.6% throughout the next few decades. In 2012, the unemployment rate stood at 8.7%, relatively high compared to rates before the 2008 economic recession when the unemployment rate was at 4.4% in 2006 and 4.7% in 2007.

New York and New York City[edit | edit source]

New York State can be specifically divided into two very distinct areas. Those are, the urban areas of New York City and its surrounding boroughs and other major cities such as Buffalo and Rochester, and the rural areas and suburbs that surround these cities. These major cities are strict contrasts to the rural areas of New York State that are predominantly composed of suburbs closer to urban centers and undeveloped lands and developed commercial lands . The cities of New York State, specifically New York City, have very large immigrant and visible minority populations in contrast to the surrounding suburban and rural areas, which are predominantly affluent, white Americans and Europeans

Culturally[edit | edit source]

The incredibly varied cultural and ethnic diversity combined with the small geographic area of New York City allows for a

mingling of different cultures that only happens in a few places in the world. This allows for cultures to develop together, creating a unique cultural scene in New York City that is renowned around the world. Art, film, music, and theatre are all aspects that flourish throughout New York City due to its cultural diversity. New York City also has different cultures within each neighborhood, giving each their own unique style. Brooklyn, for example, is popular for its development of rap and hip-hop stars such as Christopher Wallace Jr. (The Notorious B.I.G.) and Shawn Carter (Jay Z).

The different boroughs that make up New York City

These rap and hip-hop artists have written their music on the struggles of growing up in New York City which includes: race, poverty, inequality, gang violence and crime in the boroughs, which reached their peak in the early 1990’s because of the increase of individuals with low social economic standing. The large African American populations located in many of the boroughs of New York also contributed greatly to its culture and development. Carter and Wallace have both become heroes amongst those living under the poverty line in the boroughs looking for a way out. During the civil rights movement for example New York City was a center of protest, showcasing its liberal attitudes toward issues such as race relations, gender roles, and homosexuality.

Gay Pride celebrations in New York City in 2011

Politically[edit | edit source]

Politically, urban and rural New York had always been on opposite sides. With its larger and more varied population, urban areas of New York State have been typically liberal whilst rural New York is seen as more conservative and looking to maintain moral values. The contrast between liberal and conservative values can be clearly seen during the rise of homosexual activism in the United States during the 1970s. During this period New York and San Francisco were large metropolitan areas that were centers of the movement that looked to provide equal rights for gays. To this day New York City and San Francisco both have large homosexual populations indicative of their liberal values. Political leaders have also acknowledged this political divide, describing New York State as a "red state and blue city", which refers to the conservative attitudes of the rural areas but liberal ideals of New York City. However, the large discrepancy in population between rural conservatives and urban liberals means the state usually goes Democrat in presidential elections.

The 1970's in New York State also gave rise to an important political movement that would define American politics for decades. The movement, neo-conservatism, was focused on American foreign policy and specifically on stopping the spread of communism. New York intellectuals who had traditionally been associated with the Democratic party began to question their party's approach to foreign policy. Neo-conservatism was the first political movement engineered mainly by people of a Jewish descent. Drawing inspiration from political thinker Leo Strauss, neo-conservatives emphasized an almost empirical United States. Above all else they valued capitalism and placed a great deal of emphasis on the market. Through "Commentary" a journal published by American Jewish Community, they got their message out. Ronald Reagan became a talisman for neo-conservatives and the rise of the Republican party in New York State associated with neo-conservatives became known as the Republican revolution. Neo-conservatives have had a lasting effect on American politics with many presidents since having advisers with strong neo-conservative views. The Iraq war in 2003 can be drawn on as an example of a modern day application of neo-conservatism. New York State's intellectual community helped shape American foreign policy for decades.

John Lennon’s Death in 1980[edit | edit source]

John Lennon was a very talented singer/songwriter as well as a founding member of the legendary band The Beatles. However, Lennon was more than just a musician: he was someone who changed and impressed people all over the world. John believed in world peace and played a huge part in anti war rallies. Originally from the United Kingdom but living in New York City, John Lennon was shot and killed On December 8, 1980. John and his wife Yoko Ono were shooting a photo shoot together for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Little did they know that this photo shoot and interview was going to be his last. The cover of Rolling Stone magazine featured John and Yoko after his death and was one of their most popular issues. Just before 11:00pm, John and Yoko returned from the studio to their apartment Dakota in New York City, right across from Central Park. Mark Chapman, who was there previously to get his copy of Double Fantasy signed earlier that night, shot Lennon five times with a revolver. John managed to stumble towards the Dakota saying, “I’m shot, I’m shot.” What happened next was quite bizarre. The doorman took the gun out of Chapman’s hands and Chapman decided to stay at the scene. He then started reading The Catcher in the Rye, making no attempt to escape. In a statement released later, Chapman said, “I didn't mean to hurt anybody, I like John Lennon.” Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival when he arrived at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

John Lennon was cremated and his remains were given to Yoko Ono who decided not to have a funeral. His death was first announced on Monday Night Football. On December 14, 1980 Yoko asked everyone to pause for 10 minutes resulting in a radio silence in New York City. Since Lennon's death, Mark Chapman has been denied parole seven times and is still in jail after pleading guilty to first-degree murder, despite the fact that his lawyer urged him to plea insanity.

John Lennon's Effect on Society[edit | edit source]

Lie In 15 -- John rehearses Give Peace A Chance

Lennon was involved in many movements in the US, seeking equality for African-Americans and women before he died. In an age of cynical superstars, he struggled against becoming a commodity. He was also part of a movement to end the Vietnam War. John and Yoko were about selling peace, with slogans such as “Give peace a chance.” The Beatles not only gave people faith to change themselves, but also to change the world around them. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, John became more politically active by using his songs and celebrity status. Before his death, Lennon shaped the culture of wanting peace as his song “Imagine” became an international anthem for peace. After his death, John Lennon the Beatle was reinvented, being seen as a political activist, spiritual leader and contemporary philosopher.

Even 25 years after his death he is still being remembered for everything he contributed to the world during his shortened life. In 2001, Liverpool, England, where Lennon was from, changed the name of the Airport to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. On Oct 9th, 1985, a section of Central Park was named Strawberry Fields as a memorial for John Lennon, named after his song “Strawberry Fields Forever” which was about an orphanage in Liverpool. Countries from around the world donated trees to Central Park to be placed in the memorial, showing how Lennon’s songs and messages reached people all around the world. An Imagine tile mosaic was also placed in Central Park, right across the street from the Dakota where Lennon was killed. Every year on December 8th, crowds gather in Strawberry Fields in memory of the great John Lennon.

John Lennon used his popularity as a musician to touch on sensitive topics that were important to him and what he wanted the world to be. John Lennon will forever be remembered as a great musician but also as a peace activist and humanitarian who strived to change the world. New York City was very multicultural with many different genres of music.

Significant Events in New York City in the 21st Century[edit | edit source]

September 11, 2001[edit | edit source]

Early in the morning, on September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked in the United States by members of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, with the intention to attack the United States in New York City and Washington, D.C. These four passenger airliners were hijacked with the coordinated intent to fly into buildings in a series of suicide-terrorist attacks. American Airlines Flight 11 was the first, it was flying from Boston to Los Angeles that morning with al-Qaeda hijackers onboard. The hijackers became violent within fifteen minutes and, it cannot be known for sure but, it is believed that someone onboard died within these first fifteen minutes. After these fifteen minutes the hijackers had control of the plan; they turned off the plane's transmitter, which was alarming to air traffic control. Hijackers did not confiscate the passengers' cell phones, therefore many people on board were able to contact people on the ground. Air traffic control tried unsuccessfully to contact the cockpit and after receiving passenger confirmation, authorities knew that Flight 11 had been hijacked. At 8:46am the plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) complex. New York City is a huge tourist destination, therefore many people witnessed this attack. With wide access to camera phones civilians on the ground took pictures of the tower just after the attack, showing the significant impact and destruction. The media first speculated the crash to be an accident, however authorities soon confirmed that the plane was, in fact, hijacked.

The World Trade Center Buildings after impact

South Manhattan was in a state of terror in the aftermath of the crash. People were falling from buildings while buildings were falling on people. Civilians on the ground were running to get as far away from the attack as possible.

While all this was happening, another plane, United Airlines Flight 175 (also departing from Boston headed for L.A.) was overpowered by al-Qaeda terrorists within thirty minutes of its flight. Unlike Flight 11, the lead hijacker on Flight 175 was a trained pilot, and therefore the plane's transmitter was left on. Because of this, the plane had deviated from its path for four minutes before air-traffic control had even noticed. At 8:51am (5 minutes after the initial crash) air-traffic control noticed the deviation and tried, in vain, to contact the cockpit. Like Flight 11, many passengers were able to make cell phone calls onboard and therefore, would have known about the first crash and predicted their fate. At 9:03am–seventeen minutes after the first attack–Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC complex. The crash became, and is to this day, the only impact ever to be seen live on TV right as it happened. The South Tower was in ruins within 56 minutes of the crash and within 2 hours both buildings had completely collapsed. The debris and resulting fires damaged and destroyed all other building in the WTC complex and ten other large surrounding structures.

Outside of New York, but within the same coordinated attack, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93 were both hijacked by al-Qaeda members and destined to crash into buildings in Washington, D.C. At 9:37am, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, which is the Headquarters for the U.S. Department of Defense. This lead to the partial collapse of the western side of the building.

Flight 93 saw a different fate. When passengers and employees onboard learned about the other attacks, by contacting the ground via cell phone, they immediately knew their fate. Some passengers and employees of Flight 93 attempted to regain control of the plane, the exact events of this struggle remain unknown. We do know, however, that the plane never reached Washington, D.C. Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03am, killing everyone onboard. If this plane had of crashed into its al-Qaeda-planned target, there would have been many more innocent casualties; however, because of modern technology and civilian heroism many lives were spared. In total almost 3,000 people died during the day's attacks including all 227 civilian plane passengers and 19 hijackers.

For weeks after the attack people in NYC were trapped under buildings. The rescue effort was huge but dangerous–it is considered the deadliest incident for firefighters in United States history. The United States (under the Bush Administration) responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan then Iraq in order to remove the Taliban from power. The Taliban had been supporting the al-Qaeda. After the attacks, the United States, and many other countries around the world, increased security and border control. New security features were put in place at airports including bolted pilot doors so no one can take over a plane and new screening measures such as full body scans to make sure nothing dangerous got on a plane.

Osama bin Laden was the known leader of the al-Qaeda and the man behind the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001. He evaded capture for almost ten years but was located and killed by U.S. forces (under the Obama Administration) in May 2011. The killing of Osama bin Laden has become controversial because under the United States law, he should have been given a fair trial and a subsequent death sentence at a federal penitentiary. His killing is not, however, considered unlawful and his killer's identity is hidden from the public in order to ensure his or her safety and privacy.

The destruction of the Twin Towers caused closings, evacuations, and cancellations worldwide, some of these were out of fear of further attacks while others were out of respect for those directly impacted. Lower Manhattan saw serious economic damage and Wall Street was closed until September 17, making a significant effect on global markets. Cleanup of the WTC site was finished in May 2002 and some time it was undecided what would be done with it. On November 18, 2007 the construction of One World Trade Centre began, at the site–the building was complete scheduled to open November 2013. Previously called the Freedom Tower, the One World Trade Centre is the tallest building in the United States and the fourth tallest in the world. The skyscraper was built more architecturally sound to be able to sustain a terrorist attack if attacked again.

Many memorials have been constructed to remember the events of that day and the lives that are forever changed. New York City has a National September 11 Memorial & Museum while Washington and Pennsylvania had memorials for their respective crashes. The attacks on September 11th took place in a postmodern world with internet, live TV, and camera cell phones, therefore when the planes hit, the world was quickly informed and today, people all over the world still remember where they were on September 11th, 2001.

In the past twelve years, the events and outcome of September 11, 2001 have been depicted in the media and entertainment industry as a major historical event in the history of the United States of America.

Occupy Wall Street Movement[edit | edit source]

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is the title given to a politically and financially motivated protest that started in the financial district of New York City. The protest began on September 17th, 2011, however the movement initiated in the preceding weeks. The inaugural call for action was made outside of New York, stemming from the anti-consumerist Canadian magazine Adbusters. A poster they created became the antecedent for the entire movement, culminating on September 17th with an organized protest in Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street district of New York City.

Occupy Wall Street

The protest garnered immense media coverage, and gained many supporters in its 2 month span. The main focuses of the movement were based upon political corruption, and economic inequality, and protestors lobbied for equal wealth distribution in the United States. The Occupy Wall Street movement boasted the slogan “We are the 99%.” This slogan made reference to the 99% of the population who felt that they were unfairly represented economically and in regards to taxation. It petitioned for the 1% of the population who control the majority of America’s wealth to be taxed proportionally, alleviating taxation on the lower class citizens of the 99%. The OWS protest also sought to diminish the influence of large corporations on American politicians, an increase in jobs in the country, as well as student debt forgiveness.

During the Zuccotti Park encampment, donations were made by all those involved to cover the costs of living in the park. The average donation was $22, however some affluent members of the movement donated much more. Approximately 100-200 people slept in the park during the 2 month span, and initially tents were not allowed. Protestors brought sleeping bags or blankets to keep them warm, as temperatures were relatively low at night. The Occupy Wall Street movement was generally peaceful; however local residents began to raise concern over the sanitation condition of the park in November. Just before 1:00am on November 15th, police began removing protestors from the park after failing to vacate the area for a scheduled cleaning. Several protestors, including journalists, were arrested through the night. The Occupy Wall Street movement garnered a vast amount of social media attention, using Twitter as its basis for communicating with the masses. Over the course of the 2 month initial encampment, millions of people tweeted using the Twitter hashtag “#OccupyWallStreet” to voice their opinions regarding the protests. Many people joined in on the discussions and the movement soon gained worldwide support from others who shared in their struggle. The movement was not without tribulation, though. As many people disagreed with the protestors, and felt that they were merely whining, without legitimate reason for protest. The movement was covered by the media as a very black and white issue, pitting young against old; however the age and affluence of the protestors varied greatly.

Without the use of social media, the OWS movement would not have gained anywhere near the support that it did. Twitter and Facebook were integral in the process of raising awareness for the protest, as well as gathering supporters throughout the state of New York who came to join the movement in Zuccotti Park. Prior to Occupy Wall Street, social media had never played such a vital role in a protest; past movements relied upon word of mouth, local news outlets and small market advertising to rally activists. Although the internet had been used effectively in the past, most notably during the WTO protests in Seattle, Occupy was the first to use the internet as its main source of communication and mobilization. The Seattle WTO protests used the internet to assemble nearly 40,000 protestors, made up of anti-capitalist groups, environmentalists and labor supporters; it was also the first protest to popularize the use of online petitions, assisting in its notoriety.

To mark the one year anniversary of the original Occupy Wall Street encampment, protestors gathered on September 17th, 2012 to form a human barrier around the New York Stock Exchange, as well as barricading other intersections in the area. This protest sparked much controversy, as police involvement grew violent throughout the city. In total, 185 protest related arrests were made, and the demonstration was broken up relatively quickly. The movement gained even more attention with this final demonstration, and though it is not still an active protest physically, the Occupy Wall Street movement is still active throughout social media, and its ideals continue to amass support around the world. Although the movement has yet to cause the amount of change it endeavored to, it has brought its issues to the attention of leaders across the globe, and may still be further explored in the future.

Hurricane Sandy[edit | edit source]

New York was severely affected by Hurricane Sandy on October 29–30, 2012, particularly New York City, its suburbs, and Long Island. Sandy's impacts included the flooding of the New York City Subway system, of many suburban communities, and of all road tunnels entering Manhattan except the Lincoln Tunnel. The New York Stock Exchange closed for two consecutive days. Numerous homes and businesses were destroyed by fire, including over 100 homes in Breezy Point, Queens. Large parts of the city and surrounding areas lost electricity for several days. Several thousand people in midtown Manhattan were evacuated for six days due to a crane collapse at Extell's One57. Bellevue Hospital Center and a few other large hospitals were closed and evacuated. Flooding at 140 West Street and another exchange disrupted voice and data communication in lower Manhattan.

At least 43 people died in New York City as a result of the storm, and 53 in the state. Thousands of homes and an estimated 250,000 vehicles were destroyed during the storm, and the economic losses in New York City were estimated to be roughly $19 billion with an estimated $32.8 billion required for restoration across the state.

COVID-19 pandemic in New York State[edit | edit source]

New York State suffered greatly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused lockdowns and store closures, devastating the economy.

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. state of New York during the pandemic was confirmed on March 1, 2020, and the state quickly became an epicenter of the pandemic, with a record 12,274 new cases reported on April 4 and approximately 29,000 more deaths reported for the month of April than the same month in 2019. By April 10, New York had more confirmed cases than any country outside the US. As of January 30, 2023, the state reported 126.8 million tests, with 6,557,018 cumulative cases, and 77,761 deaths.

New York had the highest number of confirmed cases of any state from the start of the U.S. outbreak until July 22, 2020, when it was first surpassed by California and later by Florida and Texas. Approximately half of the state's reported cases have been in New York City, where around 40% of the state's population lives.

This period of time saw New York State gain its first female governor.[1]

References[edit | edit source]