- The history of Harlem is multi-layered. The artistic, musical and intellectual impact of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s-1930s is reflected in the vibrant community that exists today. Traces of America’s history at the Morris Jumel Mansion (General George Washington’s headquarters in 1776), the Alexander Hamilton Grange (first Secretary of State) and Trinity Cemetery uptown.
- Harlem is the place for living legacies involving new emerging talented individuals similar to the caliber of figures a Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes.
- Many streets and avenues in Harlem are co-named for its famous leaders and residents like Lenox Avenue co-named Malcolm X Blvd., 125th Street co-named Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., and Eighth Avenue co-named Frederick Douglass Blvd.
- The Battle of Harlem Heights began on Sept. 16, 1776, when George Washington ordered his Continental troops to maintain their position at Harlem Heights to prepare to fight the British Army.
- African American began moving to Harlem in 1904, when many of them living downtown were displaced due to the construction of Pennsylvania Station.
- The Harlem Renaissance began in the 1920’s when more and more black writers, artists and other intellectuals began moving there, leading to a boom in artistic activity.
- Since the late 1990s Harlem has become more upscale, with middle-class people attracted to the somewhat more affordable rents and convenient accessibility to other areas.
- Harlem was settled by Dutch colonists in 1658, with the name coming from a city in the Netherlands, and was spelled “Haarlem.” When the British took over in 1664, they removed the extra “A.”