New York Fun Facts & Trivia

Joseph C. Gayetty of New York City invented toilet paper in 1857.

Ellis Island Today

Ellis Island Today

From 1886 to 1924, over 14 million immigrants entered through New York harbor into the United States. About 40% of Americans can trace at least one ancestor to Ellis Island.

Lake Placid, New York is the only U.S. city to have hosted the Winter Olympics twice, first in 1932 and again in 1980.

New York City will pay for a one-way plane ticket for any homeless person if they have a guaranteed place to stay elsewhere.

If Manhattan had the same population density as Alaska, only 28 people would live on the island.

The average price of a home in New York that year was $1.3 million, the highest in the United States.

In Ocean City, a law from the early 1900’s prohibits men from going topless on the Boardwalk.

Times Square is named after the New York Times. It was originally called Longacre Square until the Times moved there in 1904.

It is against town ordinances in Kendall, New York to camp out on your own land more than 72 hours a month. If you want to camp out for 2 weeks you need a permit, which can only be obtained once a year.

Dairying is New York’s most important farming activity with over 18,000 cattle and or calves farms.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel once had its own private railroad track at Grand Central so that its guests could clandestinely enter and exit New York City.

In Alaska, more than 80% of adults are registered as organ donors, while in New York, only 12% of adults are organ donors.

New York City is actually rainier than London.

In New York, adultery is still a crime.

While riding in an elevator, the law states that one must talk to no one, and fold his/her hands while looking toward the door.

Clermont Steamboat

In 1807 The Clermont made its maiden voyage from New York City to Albany making the vessel the first successful steamboat.

In November for Boy Scouts and in March for Girl Scouts, the annual Urban Camp-Outs are hosted at the Empire State Building.

In New York, it is against the law for a man to go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match.


The first American chess tournament was held in New York in 1843.


Compiled by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, January 2018.


50 States

Dumb Laws

Fact Reviewer

Fact Slides

List 25

New York Facts

Also See:

United States Trivia, Fun Facts & Firsts

New York (main page)

The Cardiff Giant – A Sucker Born Every Minute

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *