July 4, 2015- It is easy to forget, but most of the crucial battles and events in our Revolutionary War took place within Downtown New York. In 1776, British ships coming from Staten Island invaded Kips Bay (23rd Street and Lexington Avenue now). Before that, troops led by General George Washington fought in Brooklyn, then retreated to what is now the Financial District, finally leaving Manhattan altogether for New Jersey.
Eventually, George Washington took control again of Manhattan and he made it his headquarters. And of course, in 1789, President Washington was sworn in on Wall Street at Federal Hall.
So, before the fireworks begin this evening, let it all sink in. Walk around Fraunces Tavern on Stone Street or The Battery. Take a look south toward Staten Island and imagine hundreds of British ships coming your way, as they did in 1776.