The Empire State Building

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Empire State Building: Trivia.

Empire State BuildingWhat do you know about the Empire State Building? Here’s a series of weird and wonderful facts.

Bore Fascinate your friends with Empire State Building trivia 🙂

oneFor the golden anniversary of the building’s opening in 1981, workmen opened the time-capsule that had been buried in its cornerstone. The contents hadn’t stood the test of time. The items within it had rotted away during their fifty years burial.

twoIt should have contained a newspaper dating from September 9th, 1930, coins and currency, plus one hundred and ten photographs of the construction of the building.

threeOn July 28th, 1945, a B-25 bomber was flying over New York. Because of thick fog, it hit the Empire State Building. The area caught fire and in total, fourteen people were killed.


This caused an elevator to plummet from the seventy five storeys to the ground. Inside was the operator, Betty Lou Oliver. She had been burned when the plane hit and rescuers put her in the elevator but the accident had weakened the cables, hence the plummet. She survived.

fiveIn 1981, when the original time capsule was found to be empty a replacement was buried in the cornerstone of the building. When the building celebrates its centenary in 2031, it will be opened as part of the celebratory events. Officials claim that this time, it is properly sealed.

sixOnce the construction workers who built the Empire State Building were up on the girders for their shift, they stayed up there until their shift was over. Food and beverages were sent up for them. And oh yes, sanitary facilities were provided up there too. (Good to know!)

sevenOne couple went to the top of the building on their first date. He proposed to her ‘with Manhattan at her feet’. Many years later when she was dying she asked him to scatter her ashes from the top of the building – from the exact spot they met. He complied with her request.

eightOn April 24th, 1986, a guard saw two men perched on a fence on the eighty sixth observatory floor. He told them to get down and they did – by parachute. Michael McCarthy and Alastair Boyd, both from London and in their twenties, glided 1,015 feet down to the safety of Fifth Avenue.

nineThe most famous portrayal of the building was in the film King Kong, when the giant gorilla seemed to scale the side of the building holding actress Fay Wray in his hand. When the actress died aged ninety six in 2004, the building’s lights were extinguished for fifteen minutes in tribute.

tenIn 1938, a group of dancers from the Congo, Shogola Olaba, were having an unsuccessful American tour. Deciding that this was due to evil spirits they  performed a ceremony at the top of the Empire State Building to be rid of them.




Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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