215 years ago on November 11th, 1807
Washington Irving gives New York the name "Gotham", which means "goat's town"
Long before Batman started patrolling the streets of Gotham City, the term had been used for centuries by the British to describe a town of simpletons. Poet and author Washington Irving was born in New York City, and also made Tarrytown in Westchester famous in his story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", but also cemented New York's nickname in history when he used it in the November 11, 1807 edition of his satirical literary magazine Salmagundi.
Although meant as a disparaging term, "Gothan" evolved to be a term describing townsfolk who would knowingly play the fool to avoid the wrath of the King.
Amazingly, not only did Washington Irving popularize the name Gotham, he also created the character Diedrich Knickerbocker, a fictional historian who Irving created to promote and publish a satirical look at American life called A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty. The Knickerbocker pseudonym became another nickname for New Yorkers, and went on to give a name to both the type of pants that Knickerbocker wore, a baggy set of knee-breeches that were called knickers that became popular again in the 1920s, but the Knickerbocker name was also used for one of the first organized baseball teams, the New York Knickerbockers. And, if you're thinking of sports, you may notice another, more modern, Knickerbocker team: The New York Knicks! Manhattan's basketball team is also officially named the New York Knickerbockers.