DID YOU KNOW THAT . . .the George Washington Bridge is named in honor of our first president for a specific reason? The bridge sits near Fort Washington in New York and Fort Lee in New Jersey, locations where General Washington built Revolutionary War fortifications for his American forces during the Occupation of NYC.
- With over 105 million motorists crossing it each year, the George Washington Bridge is the busiest motor bridge in the world?
- Prior to 1963, the official name of the John F. Kennedy International Airport was known as the New York International Airport? But people didn’t call it that; it’s popular name was Idlewild Airport, after the marshy tidelands of the defunct Idlewild Golf Course, on top of which the airport was built.
- Newark International Airport, which opened in 1928, was the world’s first major commercial airport? For 15 years after its opening, Newark was the busiest commercial airport in world; at one point, one-third of the world’s air traffic used its runways.
- An amusement park once stood on the same patch of land in East Elmhurst, Queens where LaGuardia Airport now stands? Called the Gala Amusement Park, the theme park was operated by the Steinway Family from the late 19th century until the mid-1920s.
- After realizing that tensions were high in Europe, former White House Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur, commissioned Stewart International Airport into a military base? MacArthur ordered West Point to practice flying planes throughout WWII because he realized that airplanes would play a pivotal role in deciding the war’s victors. He believed Stewart was the perfect location to train West Point Cadets.
- The Port District is roughly an area within a 25-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty? It encompasses many sizeable cities and boroughs, including Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Bayonne, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and parts of Long Island.
- That PATH offered the world’s first fully air-conditioned fleet of rapid transit cars? The first modern PATH cars introduced in 1965 had air conditioning, padded seats and colorful interiors.
- Even though the Outerbridge Crossing, connecting Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Tottenville, Staten Island, is the outermost crossing in the Port District, that’s not why it’s called that. The bridge was named after Eugenius H. Outerbridge, the first Chairman of the Port Authority.