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White Plains Celebrates 100th Anniversary As City

Rob Hoch, President of the Historical Society of the City of White Plains, presents the original gavel used by our first Mayor, Ffarrington Thompson, at the first Common Council meeting in 1916, to Mayor Tom Roach.
Rob Hoch, President of the Historical Society of the City of White Plains, presents the original gavel used by our first Mayor, Ffarrington Thompson, at the first Common Council meeting in 1916, to Mayor Tom Roach. Photo Credit: White Plains/Facebook

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The first day of the New Year will mark the 100th Anniversary of White Plains being incorporated as a city.

In recognition of the important milestone, and to kick off the City’s Centennial, the White Plains Historical Society recently presented Mayor Tom Roach with a ceremonial gavel used by the city's first mayor, Farrington M. Thompson, at the first Common Council Meeting Gavel.

The gavel will remain on loan to the city during the Centennial year.

White Plains, the county seat of Westchester County since 1757, came into being in 1683 when several men from nearby Rye purchased 4,435 acres of land from the Weckquaeskeck Indians. They dubbed their purchase “White Plains”, translating the Indian “Quarropas” or white plains.

On July 9, 1776, the New York Provincial Congress, meeting in White Plains, adopted a resolution approving the Declaration of Independence and referring for the first time to the “State of New York” rather than the “Province of New York.” This action made White Plains the “birthplace of New York State.”

In 1790 the population of White Plains was 505; by 1820 it was 675. By 1870 the population of White Plains exceeded 2,500. It was incorporated as a village in 1866 and became a city in 1916. The 2010 population of White Plains was recorded as 56,853.

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