One of the nation’s largest July Fourth fireworks shows moves back to the Hudson River this year to celebrate the 400th anniversary of English explorer Henry Hudson’s voyage to New York.
It’s been 9 years since we’ve had the Macy’s extravaganza on this side of Manhattan. Ordinarily it’s held on the East River — although the extravaganza began on the Hudson 50 years ago.
Henry Hudson sailed the river in 1609 in the Dutch-flagged Half Moon while trying to find a passage to Asia. Rumor is he found a few dead wiseguys tied to concrete blocks, several loose tires and flocks of Canada geese.
The Dutch East India Company chose Hudson for the task to open its trade routes. He was told to sail around the Arctic Ocean north of Russia, into the Pacific and to the Far East. But ice got in the way, and Hudson tried to find a detour through North America.
After dallying in the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, he made his way to New York Harbor and onto the river discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524.
Hudson then proceeded north past Wall Street, the Chelsea Piers, the New York Waterways ferry and under the George Washington Bridge — all of which, of course, weren’t in existence at the time.
Hudson actually did make it as far as Albany, when, like many men, he realized he was on the wrong route and had to turn around.
His crew mutineed, setting Hudson adrift.
No one knows what happened to him.
Only the river.
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