The Bronx is known as the purported birthplace of hip hop culture, as well as the home of the New York Yankees. Excluding its minor islands, the Bronx is the only borough of the city that is on the mainland of the United States. The Bronx takes its name from Bronck's Farms, after an early settler (1641) in the area, Jonas Bronck, a Dutch sea captain, whose 500 acre (2 kmē) farm lay between the Harlem River and the Aquahung, which now bears his name. The borough's name is officially The Bronx, but the county's name is officially just Bronx, without the definite article. According to a 2003 census estimate, the population of Bronx County was approximately 1,363,198
The Bronx underwent rapid growth after World War I. Many immigrants, most notably the Irish settled here. Author Willa Cather, Pierre Lorillard who made a fortune on tobacco sales, and inventor Jordan Mott were famous for settling the land. After the war, thousands of immigrants flooded the Bronx. French, German and Polish immigrants crowded into the city and changed it forever. In the prohibition days, bootleggers and gangs ran rampant in the Bronx. Mostly Polish and Italian immigrants smuggled in the illegal whiskey. By 1926, the Bronx was noted for its high crime rate and its many speakeasies. After the 1930s, the Polish immigrant population in the Bronx decreased as a result of better living conditions in other states. The German population followed suit in the 1940s and so did many Italians in the 1950s, leaving a thriving Hispanic and African-American population which would continue to live and dominate in the Bronx to this day.
The Bronx's attractions include Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees baseball club of the American League; the Bronx Zoo, Bronx High School of Science, Walton High School, Morris Park, the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, Fordham University and Manhattan College. It includes two of the largest parks in NYC, Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park. Pelham Bay Park also has a large man made public beach called Orchard Beach created by Robert Moses.
The Bronx also has The Hall of Fame for Great Americans: a national landmark which overlooks the Harlem and Hudson Rivers. It was designed by the renowned architect Stanford White.
The Bronx is also the only Borough that has a freshwater river (the Bronx River) running through it. A smaller river, the Hutchinson River, passes through the northeast Bronx to empty into Eastchester Bay.
Woodlawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City. Opened in 1863, at a time when The Bronx was still considered as being out in "the country." Built on gentle, rolling hills, its tree-lined roads provide a beautiful setting in today's bustling city.
The Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the Bronx, New York. Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in The Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island.
The Bronx now has the distinction of being the Birthplace of Hip-hop music, circa 1973.