Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

U.S. 5¢ Verrazano-Narrows stamp honors the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge – the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion. Bridging Staten Island and Brooklyn, it also links New England with the southeast section of the U.S. The bridge is named afterGiovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer who discovered the New York Bay in 1524. The stamp was issued at Staten Island, NY on November 21, 1964.

Giovanni da Verrazano and the Verrazano-Narrows. Born in Florence, Italy, Verrazano (1485-1528) moved to France in 1506, beginning his career as a navigator. In 1523, King Francis I of France invited him to explore the area between Florida and Terranova in search of a sea route through the recently discovered Americas to the Pacific Ocean.

Aboard the La Dauphine, he reached Cape Fear in March 1524 and made his way north to what is now known as New York Bay on April 17. There he met the Lenape, a group of Native Americans. He returned to France in July and later made two return trips to North America.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, named in the explorer’s honor, is a double-decked suspension bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn. The upper level opened in 1964 and the lower level five years later. It has been the starting point of the New York City Marathon since 1976 and as the gateway to New York Harbor; all ships must pass under it.

Thank you Merja.

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