Urban Milestones 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000






AUGUST 25, 1718

New Orleans is founded by the French Governor of Louisiana, Jean-Baptiste le Moyne.

JULY 1, 1731
The Library Company of Philadelphia, the first public library in America, is established by Benjamin Franklin and others.

AUGUST 4, 1735
John Peter Zenger, publisher of the New-York Weekly Journal, is brought to trial for seditious libel after his newspaper criticizes New York Governor William Crosby. This case establishes freedom of the press in the American colonies.

MAY 11, 1751
A charter is issued to Benjamin Franklin and others in Philadelphia to open the first hospital in the American colonies.

FEBRUARY 14, 1764

Pierre Laclede and his stepson Auguste Chouteau establish the city of St. Louis, which quickly becomes the fur trading capital of America.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1784
The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser of Philadelphia is the first daily newspaper published in the United States.

APRIL 30, 1789

George Washington is inaugurated in New York as the first president of the United States

AUGUST 26, 1791
Pierre L’Enfant designs the French baroque plan for Washington, D.C., utilizing diagonal avenues to connect the city’s major squares. Detroit adopts this plan after being totally destroyed by fire in 1805.

1939 1940 1941
New York City’s master builder Robert Moses with a model of his proposed, but never built, Brooklyn Battery Bridge, 1939. The bridge was stopped by a coalition of good government forces who argued it would have negative effects on Battery Park and real estate values in lower Manhattan. Moses eventually conceded defeat and built the Brooklyn- Battery Tunnel. Children playing marbles on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, New York, c. 1940. Inside the Rand Tea & Coffee Stores, located in Manhattan’s San Juan Hill neighborhood, 1941. As part of urban renewal, this neighborhood was condemned and replaced by the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, public housing and middle-income apartments.