Brooklyn is not only the most populous borough in New York City, but it is also a historic cultural center with a long and fascinating history. Briefly, Brooklyn's origins date back to 1636, when the town of Breuckelen was founded by Dutch colonists due to its geography on the river.. In more recent years, from 1965 through 1975, the construction of various public housing projects in Brooklyn led to a dramatic shift in the borough's demographics and large-scale economic and social changes.
Before the Dutch came, the Native American Tribes of Wechquerech and Neuendam and their capital at Werckmeister's Hook were located here. Pioneering Dutch settled in Breuckelen which was renamed "Brooklyn" in August 1636, when Fort Goede Hoop was built on Brooklyn heights.
After the secularization of the Society of Jesus from 1710 to 1764, St. Vincent's College operated as a seminary for the young men of New York. This was followed by the founding of Kings County Hospital in 1736. The Town of Brooklyn eventually annexed the neighboring towns of Flatbush and Flatlands and consolidated various nearby communities together in 1894 to become the City of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn became a major industrial center with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 and the Atlantic Basin Terminal in 1897, which were both located in what is now Downtown Brooklyn at Fulton-Riverside. The construction of the bridge led to large-scale migration from homes in Brooklyn Heights to more spacious living quarters in Manhattan.
Brooklyn's manufacturing sector was also boosted by the advent of electric power, which was first demonstrated publicly at the opening gala for the Brooklyn Bridge. The celebration was so impressive that it led to a rash of "wonderful" articles in popular publications. The Brooklyn waterfront was a center of commerce in America during the first part of the 20th century.
The first Brooklyn Dodgers Stadium, Ebbets Field, was built at the corner of Ashland and McCarty Streets near the Atlantic Avenue Elevated railway line in 1913. The park underwent extensive renovations in the 1950s to become Shea Stadium. The team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. The borough was the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair. It is also the site of the Statue of Liberty, which was given to America by France after it won its independence. The Liberty Bell was given by Great Britain.
The Brooklyn Bridge was opened on May 24, 1883. This iconic structure is closely associated with the borough, and it is one of the most widely recognized structures in the world. It has been copied countless times around the world. It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1964.
Social change in the borough's neighborhoods was not always peaceful. In the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, for example, a riot broke out in 1834 between Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics. The Irish population in the United States was on the decline, but there was an influx of Irish immigrants in Brooklyn.
They had been driven from their homeland by their British masters, and many came with the dream of owning land and starting a new life. The backbone of the community was based on a strong work ethic and a devotion to Catholicism. Social tension also broke out between Catholics and Protestants in the 1880s, particularly in Brooklyn, where many of the Irish residents moved after the Potato Famine.