What facts about Brooklyn do you know? How eager are you to know more about Brooklyn’s past?
Brooklyn boasts several great stories that are worth sharing. If you are interested in knowing them, this post is for you.
It’s time to beef up your knowledge of Brooklyn. Prepare for trivia night and sweep your friends off their feet with your knowledge of Brooklyn.
Check out the 27 hot facts about Brooklyn, N.Y.C.
FACT 1: Brooklyn Is Bigger Than Manhattan:
Though buildings in Brooklyn aren’t as tall as Manhattan’s, the former is bigger. Brooklyn’s neighborhood boasts a more open and residential feel.
Manhattan is a great place though. It’s the ideal destination for people seeking fast-paced N.Y.C. lifestyles, including proximity to cultural institutions. However, Brooklyn is bigger in terms of population and land area.
Let’s put some figures to make it clearer. Brooklyn’s land area is 71 square miles, while Manhattan’s is 21 square miles (such a massive difference, as you can see).
Another area you can compare both boroughs is that Brooklyn beats Manhattan in population size. It has a population of 2.577 million, while Manhattan had 1,629 million in 2020.
Here is another interesting thing about Brooklyn’s size. If it were a city, it would have been the third largest city in the United States of America. It’s tied with Chicago in this regard.
A Handy Tip: It’s cheaper to live in Brooklyn than in Manhattan. Everything is expensive in Manhattan, from dining to home prices and shopping. You’ll need a substantial paycheck to live there.
FACT 2: Most Populous Borough In The United States Of America:
Brooklyn is large! But do you know how large it is? Here is something you need to know.
Brooklyn remains the most populous borough in the largest city in the United States of America.
FACT 3: Brooklyn Is Geographically Located On Long Island But Is Considered Part Of New York City:
Geographically, Brooklyn doesn’t belong in New York City. The merging took place in the 1890s after a long political battle.
Anyway, Brooklyn is its city and remains so in the eyes of Brooklynites.
FACT 4: Do You Remember This? Dear Jealous Manhattanites:
Today, most Manhattanites won’t find many reasons to be jealous of Brooklyn, but this wasn’t the case in the 1800s.
Can you believe that the New York guidebook once classified Brooklyn as a narrow, disagreeable, and dirty place? The idea was to discourage tourists from trooping into the region.
Well, it’s easy to understand why Manhattanites had such jealousy for Brooklyn. The historic sites, centers, parks, and many good things that attracted tourists to the area, gave rise to jealousy. But that’s in the past now, right Manhattanites?
FACT 5: Brooklyn’s Dutch Name:
Brooklyn got its name after a Dutch town known as Breukelen.
FACT 6: What Brooklynites call “The Great Mistake.”
Brooklyn was a city, and Brooklynites loved it that way. But the political powers back then didn’t like it that way or probably had other reasons.
Brooklyn was merged into New York City in 1898 and is now one of the five boroughs of N.Y.C. It is clear the residents didn’t fancy this idea, so they named this decision “The Great Mistake.” But then, was it a mistake?
FACT 7: Brooklyn Is Home To Many Famous People In America:
Did you know many famous people in the Entertainment industry came from Brooklyn? Check out the names below.
- Mike Tyson
- Michael Jordan
- Eddie Murphy
- Anne Hathaway
- Lj Ugarte
- Lena Horne
- Woody Allen
- Marisa Tomei
- Adam Sandler
- Alyssa Milano
- Leah Remini
- Gabourey Sidibe
- Michael Jai White
- Harvey Keitel
- Michael Angarano
- Jessica Walter
- Rita Hayworth
- Busta Rhymes
- Louis Gossett Jr.
- Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace)
FACT 8: Brooklyn Boasts 30 Miles Of Shoreline:
Did you know Brooklyn is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States of America? It sure is.
Many visitors are surprised to see these nice beaches in and around the borough. If you fancy water sports or want to get wet, you can explore these places the next time you visit Brooklyn.
FACT 9: Brooklyn’s Bomb Shelter Discovery:
In 2006, city workers were working on the bridge when they came across a bomb shelter built during the Cold War.
The uncovered shelter had several items for people who were supposed to live there. The items found were medical supplies, water drums, paper blankets, and over 350,000 crackers that were still edible.
FACT 10: The First Bank Credit Card Was Invented In Brooklyn:
John C. Biggins, president of Flatbush National Bank in Brooklyn, created the first credit card known as Charg-It in 1946.
Though Biggins died in 1971, his invention (credit card) is making life easy for people all over the world today, not just Brooklynites.
FACT 11: A 23-Year-Old Elvis Presley Boarded Transport At The Brooklyn Army Terminal During World War Ii:
Many people assume the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis, joined the army involuntarily, but that isn’t true. He enlisted voluntarily, and this was a period in the middle of his musical and acting career.
Elvis joined the army in 1958 and served for two years. During his service, the rock ‘n’ roll king got the same treatment as other soldiers. He made sure this was the case. Elvis was honorably discharged from service in 1960.
FACT 12: Brooklyn Plane Crash:
On December 6, 1960, Brooklynites were thrown into mourning. How? A horrible plane crash took place. A Trans World Airlines and a United Airlines flight collided in midair.
The collision sent the plane’s wreckage careening into the Park Slope intersection in the borough, killing six bystanders on the ground and 128 passengers on the flight.
The crash site is Park Slope and it’s called “Park Slope Plane Crash.”
You can still see the remnants of the plane crash today. The crash forever changed Park Slope.
FACT 13: Brooklyn Hot Dog Invention:
Credit card isn’t the only popular thing invented in Brooklyn. The hot dog was also discovered in the borough.
But this time, it’s not John C. Biggins. It’s Charles Feltman. He came up with the idea in 1867, and the hot dog is now one of the favorite foods of many households today.
Hot dog is consumed not only in America but worldwide. And for the record, did you know Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs yearly? It is true, according to the report of the NHSC (National Hot Dog and Sausage Council).
FACT 14: Brooklyn’s Teddy Bear’s Invention:
Have you ever wondered how teddy bears came to be? Well, first, you need to know that they were invented in Brooklyn.
So, who invented the teddy bear? It’s no other but Morris Michtom and Rose, his wife.
At first, teddy bears were called “Teddy’s Bears,” a reference to a bear Theodore Roosevelt refused to kill while on a hunting trip in 1902.
Many people thought that Roosevelt invented the teddy bear, but it was Michtom and his partner. Michtom was a Brooklyn shopkeeper at that time.
A Handy Tip: Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot the old bear because he felt it was unsportsmanlike.
He felt for the injured and suffering bear. So he ordered that the old bear be put down to end its misery.
FACT 15: Brooklyn Bridge Fun Fact:
Every Brooklynite is familiar with the borough’s bridge fact: when it gets super cold outside, the bridge rises about three inches.
Why does this happen? The cable contracts when it’s super cold.
A Handy Tip: The Brooklyn Bridge spans the Eastern River between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. It’s a cable-stayed/suspension bridge too.
FACT 16: New York’s Fastest-Growing Borough:
Brooklyn isn’t just the most popular borough in New York, with millions of people across 70 neighborhoods. It is also the fastest growing.
FACT 17: Brooklyn Is The Fastest Borough:
Brooklyn isn’t only the fastest-growing borough in N.Y.C.; it’s also the fastest borough for runners.
N.Y.C. marathon runners can attest to this. And the simple reason is that Brooklyn boasts a flat surface all around. If you can run fast, you could do 8.14 minutes per mile.
So, if you want to increase your running speed in the N.Y.C. marathon, you have a better chance in Brooklyn.
FACT 18: Brooklyn’s Dutch Motto:
Brooklyn’s official motto, translated from Dutch, “Een Draght Mackt Maght,” is “Unity Makes Strength.”
FACT 19: The 21 Elephants, 7 Dromedaries 10 Camels Once Crossing The Brooklyn Bridge:
Famous circus showman P.T. Barnum wanted to demonstrate the strength of the Brooklyn Bridge and decided to put on a show. The impresario isn’t a man that would turn down such a massive public relations opportunity.
So, on May 17, 1884, the crowd watched as P.T. Barnum crossed the Brooklyn Bridge with his animals (21 Elephants, 7 dromedaries, and 10 camels) barefooted.
He wanted to prove that the bridge would not collapse under the massive weight, and he surely proved that. After his demonstration, the rest, they say, is history.
A Handy Tip: An adult male elephant weighs 1800 to 6300 kg. Now, do the math. You’ll understand how strong the Brooklyn Bridge is.
FACT 20: The Dutch Settled In Brooklyn In The 17th Century.
The Dutch settled in Brooklyn many years ago. The borough got its name from the Dutch settlers who called it Breukelen.
FACT 21: Topps Co. Discarded Valuable Baseball Cards!
What will you do if you have the 1952 Mickey Mantle cards today? Most people would keep or sell them.
Guess what the value of those cards is today. They’re worth around half a million dollars.
Unfortunately, Topps Co. didn’t think the value would rise this much. They thought they were just ordinary baseball cards occupying so much space in their Brooklyn warehouse and decided to dump them in the ocean.
They dumped boxes of these cards in the Atlantic Ocean. Can you believe it?
FACT 22: America’s First Roller Coaster:
Did you know the first-ever roller coaster in the United States of America debuted in Brooklyn, Coney Island? It debuted on June 16, 1884.
The rollercoaster was called the “switchback railway.” Another fact is that it can travel six miles in one hour.
FACT 23: The World’s Coffee Capital:
Did you know Brooklyn was the world’s coffee capital in the 1900s? The Arbuckle Brothers were the ones that put the borough on the map.
But how much coffee was Brooklyn supplying the world? The Arbuckle Brother’s factory roasted approximately 25 million pounds of coffee each month in 1906. The factory was on John Street.
A Handy Tip: The world has over 1 billion coffee drinkers. Coffee is the second most popular drink after water.
Furthermore, 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day.
FACT 24: Brooklyn Is Home To About 700 Arts And Cultural Institutions:
The most prolific include the following museums:
- Barclays Center
- New York Transit Museum
- The Brooklyn Museum
- Brooklyn Historical Center
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
- Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
- Brooklyn Academy of Music
FACT 25: Brooklyn Resident’s Median Age Is 35.4:
Can you believe it? Residents in Brooklyn have a median age of 35.4, while the national average of 38.31 years. The difference is about 3 years.
FACT 26: Obama In Brooklyn:
Did you know that president Barack Obama once lived in Brooklyn? Anyway, this was before he became the president of the United States of America.
Barack Obama lived with his ex-girlfriend at Prospect Park. They both lived on the top floor of one brownstone house.
FACT 27: The Largest Public Park In The Borough:
Brooklyn boasts a large public park called Prospect Park. The park spans 585 acres of land, and it was designed by the duo that designed the central park: Calvert B. Vaux and his partner, Fredrick Law Olmsted.
Prospect Park was designed in 1867.
So, these are the 27 Interesting facts about Brooklyn. You can see that the borough has a rich history and is such a great place to live.
Several things got invented in this borough. These include the first credit card, the hot dog, and the teddy bear.
Brooklyn also boasts several historical sites visitors can tour and have a great time doing so. You can read this post to know more about the historic events that have taken place in Brooklyn if you plan to visit the borough in no time.