Island of the city of New York, USA, forming most of a borough; population (2000 est) 1,537,200. It is 20 km/12.5 mi long and 4 km/2.5 mi wide, and lies between the Hudson and East rivers. The rocks from which it is formed rise to a height of more than 73 m/240 ft in the north of the island. Manhattan Island is bounded on the north and northeast by the Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvil Creek (which separate it from the Bronx); on the south by Upper New York Bay; on the west by the Hudson River (which separates it from New Jersey); and on the east by the East River (which separates it from Queens and Brooklyn). The borough of Manhattan also includes a small port at the Bronx mainland and several islands in the East River. Manhattan is the economic hub of New York City, although there are large residential and industrial areas here also. It includes the Wall Street business centre, Broadway and its theatres, Carnegie Hall (1891), the Empire State Building (1931), the United Nations headquarters (1952), Madison Square Garden, and Central Park. The twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on 11 September 2001, minutes after each was struck by hijacked aircraft piloted by terrorists. The death toll was estimated at around 3,000.
The English explorer Henry Hudson first came here in 1609. A Dutch trading post, called New Amsterdam, was established in 1624; Peter Minuit, the first Dutch governor-general, bought it from the Algonquins in 1626 for the equivalent of $24. The British navy took control of New Amsterdam in 1664; it was retaken by the Dutch in 1673, but they ceded it back to England in 1674. From 1785 to 1790 New York was the seat of the US government; George Washington was sworn in as first president of the USA at Manhattan's Federal Hall. In the 19th century New York experienced a huge influx of European immigrants, and its population rose dramatically. Manhattan became a separate borough of New York City in 1898.
Manhattan is a major cultural and educational centre. It is the seat of many colleges including the City University of New York (1847), Columbia University (1754), Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (1859), Fordham University (1841), New School for Social Research (founded as the New School for Social Research in 1919), New York University (1831), Yeshiva University (1886), Rockefeller University (1901), Pace University (1906), and many others.
Empire State Building
United Nations headquarters
Woolworth Building, Lower Manhattan
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