Verrazano Day

Verrazano (Giovanni da) Day

April 17
Observed in New York state, Verrazano Day commemorates the discovery of New York Harbor by the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano on April 17, 1524. With the backing of King Francis I of France, Verrazano sailed his ship La Dauphine to the New World, reaching the Carolina coast in March 1524 and then sailing northward, exploring the eastern coast of North America. In addition to discovering the present-day site of New York City's harbor, he also discovered Block Island and Narragansett Bay in what is now Rhode Island, plus 32 islands off the coast of Maine, including Monhegan. Verrazano was the first European explorer to name newly discovered sites in North America after persons and places in the Old World.
In naming the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York gave Verrazano official recognition. Spanning New York Harbor from Brooklyn to Staten Island, the 4,260-foot suspension bridge, built between 1959 and 1964, succeeded the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as the world's longest suspension bridge until the Humber Bridge was completed in 1981 in Kingston upon Hull, England. Upon its completion in 1998, Japan's Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge took over the title with a span of over 6,500 feet.
AnnivHol-2000, p. 63
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.