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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the 200th anniversary of Fulton’s voyage fit into a quadricentennial?

A: The journeys of Hudson and Fulton are traditionally celebrated together. The first centennial of Fulton’s 150-mile venture from New York City to Albany was postponed two years to jointly celebrate Hudson’s voyage. The early autumn of 1909 hosted the first Hudson-Fulton commemoration, marked with great festivities in New York Harbor and communities along the Hudson River, and featuring exact replicas of Hudson’s Dutch vessel, Halve Maen (Half Moon), and Fulton’s steamship, Clermont. The events drew national and international attention to New York State and served as a prescient example of the Quadricentennial to come.

Benches at the International Court of Trade

Benches at the International Court of Trade, publish courtesy ofwww.pdimages.com/NewYorkpics.htm

Q: What event is being commemorated with the 400th anniversary celebration?

A: It’s actually not just one event, but three landmark passages in New York State and American history. The Quadricentennial will commemorate the explorations of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain in 1609, as well as the 200th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first steamship voyage along the Hudson River.

Q: Why are these events significant?

A: The journeys of Hudson and Champlain, together with the achievements of Robert Fulton, were critical advances in the settlement, expansion and development of North America. The 400th year since the first of these expeditions presents a rare opportunity for reflection and appreciation of the events.

Q: Who is organizing the celebration?

A: The Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission (HFCQC).

Q: What sort of celebration will it be?

A: The key here is to think of the Quadricentennial not simply as one mere celebratory event, but as a collection of celebrations spanning the entire state and neighboring Vermont and Canada. Although the Hudson River and Lake Champlain are natural focal points, the impact of these voyages transcends the banks of the two waterways — and so shall the festivities. Now, back to your question. The celebrations specific to the Quadricentennial are still under consideration, since the actual anniversary is not until 2009. However, your input can help determine the planning of commemorative events.

The Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn

The Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn, publish courtesy ofwww.pdimages.com/NewYorkpics.htm

Q: 2009 is years away, so why are you telling us about this now?

A: You’re right; the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial is still a few years off, which means we must take advantage of this time to increase awareness of the event. The HFCQC, whose charge is no small task and must therefore begin years in advance, is currently planning a campaign to promote the Quadricentennial not only around New York State, but to other states and nations, in addition to private individuals, foundations, and corporations.

Q: Who, or what, is the HFCQC?

A: Consisting of 21 voting members, the HFCQC is a public corporation whose task is the promotion and organization of the Quadricentennial. The aim of the commission is to highlight these singular achievements in New York State history and their significant contributions to national and global development. The following is excerpted from the HFCQC Mission Statement: "The commission…will engage civic, educational, environmental, cultural, and heritage organizations to develop and support related plans and activities including creation of infrastructure benefiting future generations and will focus local, state, national, and international attention on the history, culture, and natural resources of New York State."

Q: How did the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission come about?

A: The commission was created by the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Act, signed into law on February 8, 2002.

Brooklyn Bridge Ramps

Brooklyn Bridge Ramps, publish courtesy ofwww.pdimages.com/NewYorkpics.htm

Q: How can I find out more?

A: Contact:Heather Baker-Sullivan, Executive Director or Alison Lynch, Project Director at mail: info@exploreny400.com or 1-888-HFC-2009