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New Jersey

Nickname: Garden State

7,748,634 (1990)  We all know it is much more than that now.

New Jersey: Liberty and Prosperity


State Flag:   New Jersey's state flag was adopted on March 26, 1896. It carries the state's coat of arms and motto on a field of buff--supposedly chosen to duplicate the color of the uniform facings selected by Gen. George Washington in 1779 for the New Jersey Continental Line.     


State Flower:   Purple Violet     

State Bird:   Eastern Goldfinch     

US State since:   Dec. 18, 1787 (3rd to join the Union)     


1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano explores New Jersey shore. 
Henry Hudson ascends Hudson River. 
Dutch trading post built at Bergen (now Jersey City). 
Fort Nassau built near present Gloucester City by Capt. Cornelius Mey. 
Swedish settlers build forts on east bank of Delaware River; expelled by Dutch in 1655. 
The Dutch establish a permanent colony in Bergen. 
England grants region to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. The Dutch surrender New Jersey to England. 
Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick, Quakers, buy Berkeley's interest in western New Jersey. 
Colony divided into East and West Jersey. 
East and West Jersey surrender government to English Crown; reunited as royal colony under New York governors; separated from New York in 1738. 
College of New Jersey (now Princeton) chartered. 
Queens College (now Rutgers, The State University) founded at New Brunswick. 
First Provincial Congress meets at New Brunswick; adopts constitution in 1776. 
Gen. George Washington retreats across state into Pennsylvania, recrosses the Delaware River, takes Trenton. State adopts its first constitution. 
Americans defeat British at Princeton. 
British retreat across New Jersey from Philadelphia; Washington defeats them at Monmouth. 
Washington and Army winter at Morristown. 
Princeton is national capital, June 30-November 4; Trenton, Nov. 1-Dec. 24, 1784. Washington gives farewell address to Army at Rocky Hill. 
New Jersey represents smaller states at Constitutional Convention; is 3rd state to ratify United States Constitution, December 18. 
Trenton becomes state capital; original Capitol completed in 1792. 
Vice-President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in duel at Weehawken. 
Morris Canal opened; Delaware and Raritan Canal, in 1834. 
Samuel F.B. Morse demonstrates telegraph near Morristown. 
New state constitution grants free-male suffrage. 
In the first organized game of baseball, the New York Nine defeat the Hoboken Nickerbocker Giants 23-1 in Hoboken. 
In the first intercollegiate football game, Rutgers defeats Princeton 6-4 in New Brunswick. 
Thomas Alva Edison demonstrates first effective electric lamp at Menlo Park. 
John P. Holland launches first practical submarine in Passaic River. 
Grover Cleveland, born 1837 in Caldwell, becomes 22nd president of United States; the 24th, in 1893. 
Liberal laws attract corporations to state. 
Woodrow Wilson, governor of New Jersey, becomes 28th United States president. 
Port of New York Authority established. 
Holland Tunnel opened; George Washington Memorial Bridge, in 1931; Pulaski Skyway, in 1933; Lincoln Tunnel, in 1937; Delaware Memorial Bridge, in 1951; Walt Whitman Bridge, in 1957. 
New state constitution adopted, effective 1948. 
New Jersey Turnpike opened. 
Garden State Parkway opened. 
Savannah, world's first nuclear-powered commercial ship, launched at Camden. 
New Jersey is one of four states in federal-state compact to develop Delaware Basin resources. 
Revised constitution approved; effective 1967. 
United States President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin hold summit in Glassboro. Riots break out in Newark among disgruntled black residents; result in 26 deaths. 
Voters approve a state lottery to raise revenue for state schools and state government. 
Voters approve legalized casino gambling for Atlantic City. Meadowlands sports complex opens in East Rutherford. State adopts individual income tax. 
The publicly owned New Jersey Transit Corporation created by legislation. 
Brendan Byrne Arena opens at the Meadowlands sports complex. 
New Jersey joins eight other states in a suit to force the Environmental Protection Agency to establish acid-rain controls in Midwest.
1990 Three major oil spills occur in New York Harbor, the largest of which was 567,000 gallons.

Compton's '99 Interactive Encyclopedia

Major Sights:   

Atlantic City Famous resort; boardwalk; convention facilities; Miss America Pageant; casino gambling 

Berrien House (also known as Rockingham). In Rocky Hill; here Gen. George Washington wrote and delivered his farewell address to the Army in 1783. 

Bordentown Old Clara Barton School, where founder of American Red Cross taught; Thomas Paine House; Bonaparte Park, estate of Joseph Bonaparte.

Burlington Birthplace of James Fenimore Cooper, author of 'Leatherstocking Tales'; home of James Lawrence, hero who said "Don't give up the ship"; Quaker Schoolhouse (1792). 

Cape May Southern tip of state: first resort in United States; re-created 19th-century town; lighthouse; museums. 

Dey Mansion Near Paterson; Washington's headquarters in 1780.

Gingerbread Castle Near Hamburg; model of witch's house in 'Hansel and Gretel'. 

Grover Cleveland Birthplace In Caldwell; furnishings and memoirs of the president. 

Hancock House In Hancocks Bridge; built in 1734; New Jersey militia massacred here by British troops in 1778.

Indian King Tavern In Haddonfield; famous American Revolutionary War meeting place built in 1750; first state legislature met here in 1777. 

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Shrine In New Brunswick; birthplace of author of poem 'Trees'. 

Meadowlands Sports Complex In East Rutherford; horse racing, concerts, professional football, hockey, basketball. 

Monmouth Battlefield Near Freehold; where Molly Pitcher took her husband's battle post in 1778. Old Tennent Church, built in 1751, is nearby.

Princeton Princeton University, including Nassau Hall (1756); Princeton Battle Monument. 

Red Bank Battlefield In National Park; Hessians and British troops attacked Fort Mercer in 1777. 

Somers Mansion In Somers Point; home of Richard Somers, hero of battle of Tripoli. 

Somerville In Somerset County; Wallace House, Washington's headquarters in 1778-79; Old Dutch Parsonage (1751); annual Memorial Day Somerville bike race.

State Parks:  

Allaire State Park Near Allenwood; early ironworks

Edison State Park In Menlo Park; memorial tower; museum. 

Fort Mott State Park On Delaware River near Salem; American Civil War fort.

Island Beach State Park On the Atlantic Ocean just south of Seaside

High Point State Park Near Colesville in Kittatinny Mountain region; highest point in the state.

Washington Crossing State Park In Titusville on Delaware River; Christmas Day reenactment of where Washington crossed river in 1776. 

Washington Rock State Park Near Dunellen; rock on First Watchung Mountain where Washington watched British troops.

National Parks:   

Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge In Oceanville; migratory birds and other wildlife; 20,000 acres (8,100 hectares) of wetlands.

Edison National Historic Site In West Orange; Edison's laboratory and inventions, including the alkaline storage battery, phonograph, motion-picture equipment.

Morristown National Historical Park Near Morristown; sites of military encampments during American Revolution; Ford Mansion, Washington's headquarters in 1779-80.

Internet Sites:   New Jersey: North @ 
New Jersey: South @ 
New Jersey Shore @ 

Copyright 2001- , Terry Muse 
Revised: October 6, 2001
Contact: Terry Muse
Coastal Heritage Trail