In 1825, Buffalo was chosen as the western end of the Erie Canal, connecting Great Lakes traffic with the East Coast, turning it from a village into a metropolis.
Buffalo's public parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who proclaimed the city “the best planned city … in the United States, if not the world.” Olmstead is known as the father of American landscape architecture and also designed New York City's Central Park.
American writer Mark Twain lived in Buffalo from 1869 to 1871 where he edited the Buffalo Express newspaper. Twain donated his manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the Buffalo Public Library in 1885.
Buffalo is host to the the world's oldest amateur foot race, the YMCA Turkey Trot, first held in 1896.
In 1901, US President William McKinley was shot while visiting Buffalo's Pan-American Exhibition. At his death nine days later, Vice President Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States at the home of Buffalo resident Ansley Wilcox.
You have Buffalo to thank for the arch and tongue in your shoes. Manufacturer John Blocher, purveyor of shoes to the US Army, invented the modern shoe. The Blocher Mausoleum at Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery includes a statue of Blocher's son Nelson sporting a snazzy pair.
Buffalo Chicken Wings were invented at Buffalo's Anchor Bar in 1964. You can still visit the original location and taste the magic.
Buffalo hosts the largest Dyngus Day Celebration in the world, a testament to the Polish-American heritage of the city.