Queens has been a county since 1683 (just as the USA originally had 13 states, the state of New York has 12 original counties: Albany, Cornwall, Dukes, Dutchess, Kings (ultimately Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Orange, Richmond, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester). Nassau County? In 1898, when four counties voted to become part of New York City, becoming Greater New York, half the county of Queens—the three easternmost towns of North Hempstead, Hempstead and Oyster Bay—chose to become independent and in 1899 created a county of their own, Nassau.

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