The Empire State: Test Your New York State IQ
Excelsior meaning ever upward. In 1784, during a tour of the state’s harbors, waterways and fertile interior, George Washington referred to New York as the “Seat of Empire.” Since then, New Yorkers have worked ambitiously to live up to the state's motto and to make “The Empire State” the national leader it is today.
The device of arms of the state flag was adopted in 1778, and the present flag is a modern version of a Revolutionary War flag. It is dark blue with the State Coat of Arms in the center. The Coat of Arms shows Liberty and Justice standing on either side of a shield upon which is emblazoned the sun rising behind a range of mountains. A three-masted, square-rigged ship and a Hudson River sloop signify commerce. Beneath the shield is the state motto. The original flag is at the Albany Institute of History and Art.
Apples were introduced in the 1600s by European settlers who brought seeds to New York. Dried apples were a staple for colonists, and hard apple cider was a popular drink.
The sugar maple yields a sweet sap for syrup and sugar in the spring; its heavy crown of leaves turns brilliant colors in autumn. The wood makes fine furniture and burns well in woodstoves and fireplaces.
The rose, wild or cultivated, in all its variety and color, was made the state flower in 1955. Ever popular, it was at the top of a school children’s poll of favorite flowers in 1891.
The Bay Scallop is our state shell and comes in a variety of colors with about 17 to 20 ribs. The Bay Scallop lives in shallow waters, usually where eel grass is present, and can live up to 20 months.
The apple muffin was created for the Bear Road Elementary School children in North Syracuse, who were instrumental in making it the official state muffin.
The once-prolific, red-breasted bluebird has been making a comeback from low numbers in the 1950s. Many people provide special nesting boxes along fence rows for bluebirds.
Found in hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Mountains and scattered in cool, clear streams throughout the state, native brook trout, called brookies or speckles, provide fine angling and the best of eating.
To provide beaver pelts to European markets, fur traders settled in the early 1600s near the present capital at Albany to trade with Indians. Adult beavers are three to four feet long and weigh 40 to 50 pounds.
The wine-red garnet, which is an eye appealing gem as well as a prized industrial abrasive, is the state gem.
During the Silurian Age (over 400 million years ago), Eurypterus Remipes, an extinct relative of the modern king crab and sea scorpion, crawled along the bottom of the shallow, brackish sea that extended from Buffalo to Schenectady and south to Poughkeepsie, roughly along the route of the New York State Thruway.
Milk contains vital nutrients that keep us healthy, and it is an important element for helping to develop strong bones and teeth. There are also many products that we all enjoy derived from milk including ice cream, butter, yogurt and cheese.
Lady beetles, also known as ladybird beetles or ladybugs, are beneficial insects which help control many pests that can destroy crops.
"I Love New York” Words and music by Steve Karmen
I love New York. (repeat three times) There isn’t another like it. No matter where you go. And nobody can compare it. It’s win and place and show. New York is special. New York is diff’rent ‘cause there’s no place else on earth quite like New York and that’s why I love New York. (repeat three times)
Five days after the Declaration of Independence, the people of New York met in convention in Kingston to vote their support and form their own state government. Although their state was the scene of nearly a third of the battles fought in the American Revolution, and their major port and city was occupied, New Yorkers still managed to supply large quantities of food, clothing, lead and iron to General Washington, as well as to serve valiantly in the Continental Army. New Yorkers saw the christening of the American flag when the Stars and Stripes was first flown in battle at the defense of Ft. Stanwix in Rome.
The Colony of New York became a state on April 20, 1777, with the adoption of its first constitution -- 12 years before the Federal Constitution. After the adoption of the Federal Constitution, New York City was chosen to be the nation’s first capital and was the site of the inauguration of George Washington as President on April 30, 1789.
A number of presidents have been closely associated with the history of New York State, including Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Elected officers of the state government, chosen for four-year terms, are the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller. Legislative power of the state is vested in two houses: the Senate, consisting of 61 members, and the Assembly, consisting of 150 members.