Today in History: Empire State Building

Painted glass located in the lobby of the Empire State Building
Today in History–May 1–the Library of Congress features New York’s Empire State Building, opened on this day in 1931. President Herbert Hoover participated in the event by pressing a ceremonial button in Washington, D.C., thus, “turning on” the lights. The Empire State Building held the record for tallest building in the world until 1972. Still a New York tourist attraction, it is infamous for being the building that King Kong climbs. Learn more about this iconic building and other early skyscrapers by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources.

Empire State Building image set

Empire State Building historical newspaper coverage

S.380 – Durbin-Kennedy Empire State Building Counter-Terrorism Act of 1997

Skyscraper primary source collection