NYC readies to honor Henry Hudson

September 8, 2009 4:37:32 AM PDT
Giovanni de Verrazano was said to be the first European to see the river. But it was Englishman Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch, who was the first European to explore it.That was 400 years ago. How times flies.

And starting Tuesday, the celebration begins.

A 100-foot replica vessel called the Half Moon seamlessly takes you back to the year 1609, when Henry Hudson and a crew of 20 set sail.

"It's extraordinary," captain Chip Reynolds said. "Hudson was right here at this spot 400 years ago."

And to celebrate the occasion, Reynolds and his crew are getting the Half Moon ready for the launch of NY400 week, commemorating Hudson's exploration of our area.

"It is the most compelling untold stories in American history," Reynolds said. "The Dutch made the only settlement in North America that was multicultural."

The Dutch flag is flying high, with an orange one added to honor the crown prince of the Netherlands, who will stop by for a visit and see how Hudson would have felt right at home on the Half Moon.

The festivities an opportunity to lay the foundation for the next 400 years.

"We want to show New York what we have to offer in terms of culture, economy and financial system," Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans said.

So as Reynolds leads the convey of historic ships up the Hudson river early Tuesday morning, he says he won't take it for granted and couldn't if he tried.

"When you come in through the narrows, no matter if there is a bridge now and wasn't 400 years ago or whether you see Manhattan, you still get a thrill," he said.

New York City has issued a warning about possible traffic tie-ups along the West Side Tuesday during the parade.

Beginning at 8 a..m., ships will travel from Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum at Pier 86.

The city is also warning of a 21-gun salute just after 9 a.m. They urge those in the area not to be alarmed by the sound of the gunshots.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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