A program managed under the Department of the Education's State History Office was started in 1926 to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the Revolutionary War, placing small historical markers through out New York State. The smaller markers commemorated specific events and or individuals.
In 1960, 139 larger format Historical Area Markers were put up across New York State. These larger area markers focused on significant trends in New York's history.
The program ended in 1966. There are 2825 historical markers in New York State. An archive of the historical markers is now maintained by the New York State Museum.