By baptizing the new Spring Garden tulip, Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands officially opened the 60th edition of the international flower exhibition, Keukenhof, on March 18. In this jubilee year the theme 'USA, New Amsterdam: New York, 400' strengthens the bonds of friendship with the numerous American visitors, as well as Dutch discoverer Henry Hudson. Approximately 10 percent of customers purchasing tickets from the Keukenhof box office originated from the United States. And four centuries ago, Hudson stepped ashore on what is now Manhattan — on behalf of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the Dutch East India Company, who in those times ruled the seas — thus establishing New Amsterdam, later re-named New York. It made Hudson and the Dutch indirectly responsible for establishing the city as we know it today.
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