Founding of the New York Public Library
On May 23, 1895, the New York Public Library was established. Exactly 16 years later, on May 23, 1911, the main branch of the library opened its doors to the public.
At the suggestion of friend and librarian Joseph Cogswell, businessman John Jacob Astor included a donation of $400,000 in his will to be used to start a public library. After his death in 1848, a board of trustees founded the Astor Library, which opened in the East Village of New York City in 1854.