New Jersey Facts and Trivia

  • Name New Jersey: In recognition for all their loyalty during his exile in the 1640s, King Charles II gave George Carteret and John Berkeley a large grant of land in the American colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey Nova Caesarea) after the British Isle of Jersey where the king had been exiled. Several cities in the Roman Empire were named for Caesar and received the designation "Caesarea."

  • Motto: Liberty and Prosperity

  • Slogan: At this time, none whatsoever! It used to be "The Garden State," but with large-scale industrialization and housing developments going up all over the state, the slogan raises questions with out-of-staters. The newly elected Governor Corzine sponsored a contest for a new state slogan in 2005. The announced winner was "New Jersey, Come See For Yourself!" (I preferred the entry: "I'm From New Jersey; Ya Gotta Problem Widdat?"). There was little enthusiasm for the winning entry, so a professional advertising firm has been asked to come up with a slogan. My favorite may still have a chance!

  • Flag: 1896, Buff with state seal in blue. George Washington picked the colors. They reflect the insignia of the Dutch settlers

  • Flower: Purple violet, 1913

  • Bird: Eastern Goldfinch, 1913

  • Animal: Horse, 1977

  • Insect: Honeybee, 1974 (it has been rumored, that it is the mosquito, but this is unfounded)

  • Tree: Red Oak, 1950

Geography

  • NJ is a peninsula

  • NJ is the only state in which all counties are classified as metropolitan areas

  • NJ has the most diverse ecosystem of any state: mountains, seashore, farmland, forests and wetlands.

  • NJ is 9th in population (8.1 million people in 1998)

  • NJ is 46th in size with 8,224 square miles (166 miles top to bottom, 57 miles across)

  • NJ has the highest population density in the US (1,034 people/sq. mile), more densely populated than most of the world’s nations

  • Hudson County is the most densely populated county

  • Burlington County has the largest land area

  • Bergen County has the largest population. Eight states and four European nations have less population

  • NJ has the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi (43% of the state)

  • Two thirds of the state is farmland or forest, with 1,985,000 acres of forest

  • The NJ Highlands is a 1,343 square mile area in the northwest part of the state

  • The Pine Barrens, which is 2,000 square miles, takes up 25% of NJ’s land mass

  • The Pine Barrens is home to 54 threatened plant species and 34 threatened animal species

  • There is a 17-trillion gallon lake under the barrens called the Cohansey Aquifer, a vital source of drinking water for NJ

  • NJ has 319 square miles of inland water including 800 lakes and ponds and 1400 miles of prime trout streams

  • NJ has 130 miles of sandy coastline

  • Island Beach State Park has 3,002 acres

  • Great Swamp (26 miles west of NYC), 7,400 acres

  • Pine Barrens, Greenwood Wildlife Management Area, 27,298 acres

  • Hut Cheson Memorial Forest, East Millstone, 400 acres (trees average 235 years old)

  • Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, Cape May, 10 miles long

  • Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor, 6,000 acres

  • Wharton State Forest, 110,000 acres

  • Cape May Natl. Wildlife Refuge, 16,700 acres

  • South Mountain Reservation, Greater Newark, 2,047 acres

  • Mettler’s Woods, 64 acres of uncut forest

  • NJ’s coastal plain takes up 4,500 square miles

  • The Great Falls of Passaic is the 2nd largest in the US at 77 feet

  • NJ is mostly flat, but Mount Mitchill near Sandy Hook is the highest point along the east coast, at 266 feet

  • 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through NJ

  • The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is 60 miles long and 75 feet wide

  • NJ is the site of the largest gathering of migratory shorebirds

  • There are 270 species of birds in the Hackensack Meadows

  • Cape May is one of the world's favorite spots for bird watchers

  • NJ is divided into two geographical regions called, "Off the Beaten Path" and "The Beaten Path"

Agriculture

  • NJ is first in average value of farmland at $8,290 per acre

  • NJ is second in the US in blueberry production, with 30 million pounds produced per year

  • NJ is second largest producer of potatoes in America

  • NJ is third largest producer of cranberries (behind MA and WI) with 250,000 barrels per year

  • NJ is fourth in the nation for production of tomatoes

  • NJ is fourth in the nation for production of green peppers

  • NJ is fourth in the nation for production of spinach

  • NJ is fourth in the nation for production of peaches

  • NJ is one of the nation’s largest wholesalers of seedlings

  • NJ is ninth nationwide in wine production

Economy

  • NJ is second in the US in per capita income

  • NJ has the highest cost-of-living, property tax and auto insurance rates

  • If NJ were a country, it would have the world’s 24th largest GNP

  • 26 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in NJ

  • Tourism is a $23 billion business, making New Jersey fourth in tourism revenue (behind CA, FL and TX)

  • NJ has 89,000 hotel and motel rooms

  • NJ ranks fifth in the number of millionaires (59,000)

  • 71% of the New Jersey residents own their own home; the average home in NJ costs $201,600 ('05)

  • NJ is third nationwide for number of corporate headquarters (Morris County alone has 20)

  • AT & T is the largest private sector employer with 29,000 employees

  • Bergen County is the second wealthiest county in the nation

  • Prudential in Newark is the nation’s largest insurance company

  • The average daily casino winnings in Atlantic City is $5 million (most of the winnings stay in the casinos!)

  • North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius

Entertainment

  • Fort Lee is birthplace of the motion picture industry

  • NJ has 50+ beach resorts

  • Atlantic City is the #1 tourist destination in the US with 33 million visitors per year!

  • NJ is home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City (held in Las Vegas in 2005, but still headquartered in AC)

  • The game Monopoly is played all over the world. The streets on its playing board are named after the actual places in Atlantic City

  • Atlantic City has the first and longest boardwalk in the world

  • The music industry got its start in NJ with the development of transcription disks, LPs and microphones

  • Rock and roll got its start in NJ with Bill Hailey and the Comets

  • Les Paul built the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, 1940

  • The first drive-in movie theater in the U.S. was in NJ (then called Automotive Movie Theaters)

Famous NJ People

  • "Uncle Floyd" Vivino

  • Aaron Burr

  • Admiral Wm.Halsey Jr.

  • Alan Alda

  • Alan Ginsberg

  • Althea Gibson

  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh

  • Annie Oakley

  • Ben Franklin

  • Bill Haley

  • Bob Reyers

  • Brooke Shields,

  • Bruce Springsteen

  • Bruce Willis

  • Budd Abbott & Lou Costello

  • Buzz Aldrin

  • Caesar Romero

  • Cecille b. DeMille

  • Charles Addams

  • Charles Lindberg

  • Christopher Reeve

  • Clara Barton

  • Connie Frances

  • Count Basie

  • Danny DeVito

  • Dave Thomas (Wendy's)

  • Debbie Boone

  • Dick Buttons

  • Dionne Warwick

  • Doris Duke

  • Ed Koch

  • Eddie Murphy

  • Eileen Donnelly

  • Elisabeth Shue

  • Ernie Kovacs

  • Eugene O’Neill

  • Eva Marie Saint

  • Flip Wilson

  • Francis Albert Sinatra

  • Frankie Valli

  • George Segal

  • Glenn Miller

  • Gorden McCrae

  • Grover Cleveland

  • Ice-T

  • Jack Nicholson

  • James Fennimore Cooper

  • James Gandolfino

  • Jason Alexander

  • Jerome Kern

  • Jerry Herman

  • Jerry Lewis

  • Jimmy Roselli

  • Joan Robertson

  • Joe Pesci

  • Joe Piscopo

  • John Forsythe

  • John Travolta

  • Jon Bon Jovi

  • Joseph Macchia

  • Joyce Kilmer

  • Judy Blume

  • Kelly Ripa

  • Ken Kross

  • Kevin Spacey

  • Lauryn Hill

  • Liberace

  • Linda McElroy

  • Loretta Swit

  • Marilynn McCoo

  • Marvin Creamer

  • Mary Higgins Clark

  • Melba Moore

  • Meryl Streep

  • Mike Tyson

  • Milton Friedman

  • Nathan Lane

  • Nick Adams

  • Norman Lloyd

  • Norman Mailer

  • Norman Schwarzkopf

  • Paul Robeson

  • Paul Simon

  • Phyllis Newman

  • Queen Latifah

  • Ray Liotta

  • Richard Conti

  • Richard Nixon

  • Ricky Nelson

  • Robert Blake

  • Robert Wuhl

  • Sal Martorano

  • Sandra Dee

  • Sarah Vaughn

  • Shaq

  • Stephen Crane

  • Susan Sarandon

  • Tom Cruise

  • Tommy Dorsey

  • Vince Lombardi

  • Walt Whitman

  • Whitney Houston

  • William Carlos Williams

  • William Cooper

  • Woodrow Wilson

  • Yogi Berra

  • Zebulon Pike Lloyd

  • Zack Braff

  • History

    • The first non-native to lay eyes on NJ was daVerazano, a Florentine, in spring 1524, near Sandy Hook.

    • Henry Hudson was the first adventurer to set foot on NJ soil September 1, 1609, when he disembarked from the "Half Moon" at Sandy Hook

    • NJ is called "the cockpit of the Revolution" because most of the eight-year struggle with the British took place here with over 100 battles and skirmishes

    • The first American victory in the Revolutionary War took place in Trenton, December 26, 1776

    • Thomas Paine’s rousing words "These are the times that try men’s souls" were written on the top of a drum during the retreat from Fort Lee to Trenton in 1776

    • NJ’s 1776 constitution was the first in the world to grant women’s suffrage – but revoked in 1807

    • Five NJ citizens signed the Declaration of Independence: Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton and John Witherspoon

    • Princeton was the nation’s capital in 1783 and Trenton was the nation’s capital in 1784 even though the state didn’t ratify the constitution until December 18, 1787 and there was no President until April 30, 1789!

    • Dutch Reformists and Swedish Lutherans settled southern NJ in 1638, but were driven across the Delaware River by mosquitoes! There, they founded the Colony of Delaware at Fort Christiana

    • NJ was the third state to enter the union on December 18, 1787

    • NJ was the first state to ratify the "Bill of Rights"

    • In 1800, there were 12,422 slaves in NJ; slavery was banned in 1846

    • Three Underground Railroad routes passed through NJ. 50,000 slaves were led to freedom through NJ before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed

    • The only NJ native to become President of the US was Grover Cleveland (from West Caldwell); the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms

    • The only NJ resident to become President was Woodrow Wilson, who was President of Princeton University

    • Long Branch was considered the "Summer White House" for seven U.S. Presidents

    • The Hindenburg dirigible, first to offer trans-Atlantic passenger service, burned in Lakehurst on May 5, 1937

    • Historic residents (born, raised or lived here) include Aaron Burr, Thomas Paine, Walt Whitman, suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul and Lucy Stone

    Government

    • NJ has a home rule form of government

    • There are 13 members in the NJ House of Representatives

    • NJ ranks first in the nation for property tax

    • There are 566 municipalities in NJ of which 36% have less than 5,000 people

    • NJ has 300 local authorities and 180 fire districts

    • In 1997, NJ paid $64 billion in Federal taxes and received $39.5 billion in Federal money

    • NJ is #49 on rate of return

    • NJ has the nation’s highest number of state and local police per capita (39.1 per thousand)

    • The Governor’s summer mansion is on Island Beach

    Education

    • There are 616 school districts in NJ; 40% have fewer than 249 students

    • NJ ranks first in the nation in per student spending ($10,800)

    • NJ ranks first in the percentage of students going on to higher education

    • NJ ranks third in the nation for teacher’s salaries (average is $49,000)

    • Clara Barton started the first public school in Bordentown

    • NJ has 52 institutions of higher education

    Ethnicity

    • NJ ranks fifth in international migration

    • NJ has the most diverse mix of national origins of any state in the union

    • 85% of NJ residents are Christian (40% Roman Catholic), 4.3% Jewish (second highest in the nation), 6% Muslim (also second highest in the nation)

    • There are more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than in Havana, Cuba

    • NJ has the fourth largest Asian population in US; the seventh largest Hispanic population

    • 1 in 5 NJ residents is of Italian descent

    • The one-square mile Ironbound district in Newark is home to 35,000 Portuguese immigrants

    • Germans settled in Hoboken, Irvington, Sussex County and in the northwest mountain and lake district, which reminded them of Bavaria

    • Hessians (descendents from the Revolutionary War) and Russians settled in the Pinelands

    • Irish settled in Jersey City, to work on railroads and canals

    • Scotch settled in Kearny and Harrison (mills)

    • Swiss settled in West New York and Union City (embroidery)

    • Swedish settled in Southern NJ (Swedesboro)

    • Russian Jews settled in Vineland and set up farms and clothing factories

    Transportation

    • Liberty International in Newark has more traffic than all NYC airports combined

    • Elizabeth Seaport  is the second largest seaport in the US

    • The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway

    • NJ built the first tunnel under a river (Holland Tunnel)

    • The first flight (balloon) in America took place in Deptford, NJ

    • The first airport in the US was Bader Field, in Atlantic City, in 1918

    • The explosion of the Hindenburg in Lakehurst, NJ marked the end of airship travel

    • NJ is the nation’s leader in highway design, with the first traffic circle in 1925, the first cloverleaf in 1929, the first center divider, the "Jersey barrier" in 1949, and the "jughandle" in 1959

    • The NJ Turnpike, at 148 miles long, is the nation’s (and perhaps the world’s) busiest road with 200 million vehicles per year.

    • The NJ Turnpike is also the safest road in the US

    • 46 million vehicles per year cross the George Washington Bridge inbound to Manhattan

    • NJ has the highest density in rail mileage, with high-speed lines that run from Wilmington and Philadelphia to New York City and to Atlantic City

    • NJ also has the highest density of highway traffic in the nation

    • Fort Lee has more traffic per day per capita than any community in the US

    • NJ has more helipads than any other state

    • NJ has 5.8 million drivers

    • The northern end of the Turnpike goes through one of the world’s largest oil refineries

    • The northern end of the Garden State Parkway passes through a huge cemetery

    Technology and Industry

    • NJ is the "Research Center of the World," largely due to Bell Labs in Murray Hill, one of the foremost research labs in the world. With 26,000 patents, it has averaged one per day since it was founded in 1926.

    • Among Bell Labs patents are the artificial larynx (1929), stereo sound (1933), the transistor (1947), solar battery (1954), the laser (1958), the orbiting communication satellite (1962), UNIX (1969), C++ (1983), the transatlantic fiber-optic cable (1988) and the touch tone phone (1964)

    • Thomas Edison alone had 1,093 patents, including the light bulb, phonograph, movie camera and nickel-iron battery

    • NJ is the medical and pharmaceutical research center of the world; headquartered here are Johnson & Johnson, Schering Plough, Hoffman LaRoche, Carter Wallace, CIBA, Merck, Squibb and Sandoz

    • Among the pharmaceutical firsts are Ether (Dr. Squibb), Sulfas (Merck), Penicillin (Squibb), Synthetic Cortisone (Merck), Streptomycin, Valium and Librium (Hoffman LaRoche)

    • NJ is the nation's leading producer of pharmaceuticals, detergents and toiletries

    • In the 18th century, the Pine Barrens was the industrial center of America (iron, glass, bicycles...)

    • Paterson produced 80% of America’s locomotives in 1880

    • In 1910, Paterson produced 1/3 of the nation’s silk, with 25,000 workers in 350 plants

    • NJ’s chemical industry (largest industry in the state) is second only to Texas

    • NJ is first in the nation for hazardous waste sites (190)

    Sports

    • The first game of baseball was played in Hoboken, in the Elysian Fields, 1846

    • The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1869, between Princeton and Rutgers

    • The first professional basketball game was played in Trenton in 1896

    • The first play-by-play radio broadcast of a baseball game was October 5, 1921 by WJZ in Newark (NY Yankees vs. the NY Giants)

    • The first baseball game that broke the color line was played in Jersey City in 1946 with Jackie Robinson

    • NJ is home to both "New York" pro football teams! 

    There are 19 daily newspapers in NJ:

    • Asbury Park Press

    • Bridgeton News

    • Burlington County Times (Willingboro)

    • Courier News (Bridgewater)

    • Courier-Post (Cherry Hill)

    • The Daily Journal (Vineland)

    • Daily Record (Morristown)

    • Gloucester County Times (Woodbury)

    • Herald News (West Paterson)

    • Home News Tribune (East Brunswick)

    • The Jersey Journal (Jersey City)

    • New Jersey Herald (Newton)

    • Ocean County Observer (Toms River)

    • The Press of Atlantic City

    • The Record (Hackensack)

    • The Star Ledger (Newark)

    • The Times (Trenton)

    • Today's Sunbeam (Salem)

    • The Trentonian

    • Philadelphia Inquirer (NJ Edition)

    NJ Products:

    • Cranberries

    • Blueberries

    • Tomatoes

    • Eggs

    • Glass

    • Lenox China (Trenton)

    • Trent Tiles (Trenton)

    • Wire Rope used for Brooklyn, Golden Gate and Niagara Bridges

    • Campbell’s Soup (Camden)

    • Franco American Spaghetti (Camden)

    • Salt Water Taffy (Atlantic City and other shore resorts)

    • Crystal (Flemington)

    • Mason Jars (Millville) at Wheaton Glass Factory

    • Monopoly game (Atlantic City)

    • Welch Grape Juice (Vineland)

    • Textiles (Passaic)

    • Bricks (Perth-Amboy)

    • Locomotives (Paterson)

    • Heavy Machinery (Jersey City)

    • Flexible Flyer Sled (Moorestown)

    • Singer Sewing Machines (Elizabeth)

    • Clark Cotton Thread

    • Colgate

    • Polident

    • Johnson & Johnson

    • Mennen

    • Mars Candy (M&M etc)

    • Frigidaire

    • Benjamin Moore paints

    • Congoleum flooring

    • Marcal paper

    • Haagen-Daz ice cream

    • Roebling Steel

    • Sunshine Biscuits

    • Trojan Condoms

    • RCA Victor televisions

    • Faber Castell pencils

    • Caviar (Delaware Bay in the late 19th century)

    • Drakes Cakes, 1881

    • Esso Oil (Standard Oil of NJ)

    • Wheatena

    • 3-in-1 Oil

    • Laird’s Apple Jack

    Trivia:

    • NJ is the "Diner Capital of the World"

    • Barnegat Light is the "Tile Fish Capital of the World"

    • Hammonton is the "Blueberry Capital of the World"

    • Vineland is the "Dandelion Capital of the World"

    • Leamings Run Gardens in Swainton is the "Hummingbird Capital of the World"

    • The most varieties of iris in one garden in the world is the Presbyterian Garden of Mountainside Park, Montclair with 6,000 varieties

    • Welch’s grape juice was invented in Vineland, NJ by T.B. Welch, a teetotaler, as an alternative to communion wine

    • NJ has the most stringent testing of coastline water quality control in the nation

    • NJ has more race horses than Kentucky

    • NJ has the lowest suicide rate in the U.S.

    • NJ is fourth for number of AIDS cases

    • NJ is home to the original "Mystery Pork Parts Club" (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll!

    • NJ is home of the best Italian hot dogs and sausage w/peppers and onions

    • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are located in NJ

    • The famous Lindbergh kidnapping took place in Hopewell

    • Santa Claus as we know him was created by NJ cartoonist Thomas Nast, for Harper’s Weekly, in 1863. He also created the donkey and elephant caricatures for the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as Uncle Sam

    • The 2005 Miss America Pageant was held in Las Vegas, but Atlantic City is still the home city of this occasion

    • The Salem Oak tree, in Salem, is estimated to be 500 years old, is 30 feet in circumference

    • Lucy, the giant elephant, at Margate City, is 6 stories high and 38 feet long. Now it is a museum

    • Popcorn Park Zoo, founded 1977, is America's only asylum for abused animals

    • A Trash Museum opened in Lyndhurst, 1989

    • New Jersey is the only state with daytime harness racing, Freehold Raceway

    • Paterson is the only industrial district designated as a National Historic Landmark (1976)

    • Elsie the Cow, from Plainfield, was first exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair. She traveled all over the country promoting milk from 1932 to 1941. She died in a car crash in 1941

    • Route 9 was originally a Lenni Lenape Indian Trail. It was later called "The King’s Highway"

    • Route 40, which begins in Atlantic City and ends in San Francisco, is the first transcontinental highway in America

    • In the movie "War of the Worlds," Martians landed in Grovers Mill, NJ, west of Princeton

    World Firsts:

    • The first phonograph (record player) invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, 1877

    • The first phonograph records were made in Camden, NJ.

    • The first motion picture projector invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park

    • The first motion picture was shown in 1889, by Edison in West Orange

    • The first seaplane was built in Keyport , NJ

    • The first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport, NJ

    • The first motor-ferry service in the world was between Hoboken and Manhattan, 1811

    • The first patent leather was developed by Seth Boyden in Newark, in 1815

    • John Stevens developed the first working steam locomotive in Hoboken, in 1824

    • The first repeating firearm, the Colt revolver, was made in Paterson, 1836

    • The first telegraph was sent in Speedwell, NJ on January 6, 1838 by Samuel Morse

    • The first game of baseball was played in Hoboken, in the Elysian Fields, in 1846

    • The first intercollegiate football in New Brunswick between Princeton and Rutgers, 1869

    • The first professional basketball game was played in Trenton in 1896

    • The first incandescent light was invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, 1870

    • The first boardwalk in the world was Atlantic City, 1870

    • The first celluloid was developed in Newark, in 1870, by John Wesley Hyatt

    • The first use of asphalt for street paving was in Newark, in 1870

    • The first formula for root beer was developed by Charles Hires in 1876

    • The first submarine was invented in 1878, by John P. Holland in Passaic

    • The first salt water taffy was produced in Atlantic City in 1880

    • Roselle was the first city in the world to be lit by incandescent lights in 1883

    • The first "picture postcards" were produced in Atlantic City, in 1895

    • The first demonstration of wireless transmission was in Navesink, in 1899, by Gugielmo Marconi

    • The first frozen foods for mass consumption were made at Seabrook Farms in 1913; Quick freezing was done by Seabrook Farms in the 1930’s

    • The first Bandaid was produced by Johnson and Johnson in 1921

    • The first air conditioner was developed in Newark in 1922 by Willis Haviland Carrier

    • The golf tee was invented in NJ in 1921, in Maplewood, by William Lowell

    • The first station to televise a human image was WRNY in Coytesville, 1928

    • The first guide dog school (Seeing Eye dogs) was created in Morristown in 1929

    • The first drive-in movie was in Camden, 1933. (In the 1950’s there were more than 5000 in the U.S. NJ’s last one closed in 1991, but reopened 2004 in Vineland)

    • The first nuclear chain reaction was initiated by Enrico Fermi of Leonia

    • The first Teflon was developed by Dr. Roy Plunkett in 1938, at DuPont in Deepwater

    • The first transistor was developed in 1947 at Bell Labs in Murray Hill by William Shockley

    • The first highway center divider in the US (called the Jersey Barrier) was developed in 1949

    • The first rock and roll was performed in NJ in the early 50s by Bill Haley and the Comets in the Twin Bar

    • The first bar code (universal pricing code) was developed in Atlantic City by Joseph Woodland in 1952

    • The first scientific paper on communication with extraterrestrials was written in 1959 by Philip Morrison

    • The first robot used to replace human workers was at GM in Ewing Township in 1961

    • The first commercial fertilizer was marketed in NJ

    • The first fiber-optic trans-Atlantic cable is in Tuckerton

    • The first shopping mall was opened in Cherry Hill

    • The first cow to be artificially inseminated was in Readington Township

    • The first talcum powder was developed in Newark by Gerhard Mennen

    • The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson, NJ

    • The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong in 1933

    National Firsts:

    • The first brewery in the US was in Hoboken, 1642

    • The first log cabins in the US were built in southern NJ, by the Swedes

    • The first glass company in the US was in Millville in 1739

    • The first Indian reservation in the US was in Burlington County in 1758

    • NJ was the first state to ratify the "Bill of Rights" in 1789

    • The first balloon flight in America took place in Deptford NJ in 1793, carrying a message from George Washington

    • America’s first planned suburb was Llewellyn Park in West Orange, in the 1850’s

    • The first condensed soup was made in Camden, NJ in 1897 by Joseph Campbell. He won a gold medal for excellence at the Paris Exhibition. In 1915 Campbell introduced Franco American spaghetti, in 1932 Cream of Tomato soup, and in 1934, cream of mushroom soup

    • The first ferris wheel in America was built in Atlantic City in 1891, by William Somers

    • The first public art museum in the US, the Montclair Art Museum, was opened in NJ 1914

    • Blueberries were first cultivated for commercial use in Whitesbog, in 1916

    • The first official airport in the US was Bader Field in Atlantic City, in 1918

    • The first airplane passenger service in the US was from Atlantic City in 1919

    • The first Miss America was chosen in Atlantic City in 1921

    • The first play-by-play radio broadcast of a baseball game was October 5, 1921 by WJZ in Newark. The teams were the NY Yankees vs. the NY Giants

    • The 1st traffic circle in the US was at Airport Circle in 1925 in Camden County. At their peak in the 1970’s there were 67 in the state. Now there are 40

    • Woodbridge was the first town in the US to have a cloverleaf intersection in 1929

    • The first National Historic Park was in Morristown in 1933

    • The first submarine sandwich was served in Atlantic City in the 1940’s, at White House Sub Station

    • The first baseball game that broke the color line was played in Jersey City in 1946 with Jackie Robinson

    • The first direct distance calling, coast to coast, was from Englewood in 1951

    • NJ was the first state to establish an endangered species project in 1973

    • NJ was first state in U.S. to allow gay couples to adopt children in 1997

    • The first tomato eaten in the new world was eaten in Salem, NJ (they were thought to be poisonous)

    • The first "road" in the US was the Old Mine Road, which ran from the Hudson Valley to the Delaware Valley

    • The Pine Barrens is America’s 1st National Reserve

    • The first American flag to be woven from a loom was created in Paterson

    • The first documented dinosaur discovery in the New World was in NJ, the Hadrosaurus, NJ’s first state bird

    • The first Indian reservation was in the Watchung Mountains

    • The first medical center was in Jersey City

    Oldest

    • NJ has the oldest seaside resort: Cape May, a national historic landmark

    • Union City’s Passion Play is the oldest in the nation, formed in 1931

    • The oldest log cabin in the U.S. is C. A. Nothnagle Log House in Gibbstown, built between 1638 and 1643 by Swedish immigrants

    • Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the nation

    • Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn is the oldest continuously operating non-profit theater in the U.S.

    • Atlantic City’s boardwalk is the oldest and most popular in the world, built in 1870 to keep the sand out of the ladies shoes

    • The oldest continuously operating winery in the US is Renault Wineries in Egg Harbor (1870’s)

    • The oldest county park system in the US is in Essex County

    Largest

    • The world’s largest glass bottle is in Millville, at the Wheaton Glass Factory (188 gallons)

    • The world’s largest stone museum is in Monroe, at Display World

    • The world’s largest golf museum, with 13,000 volumes, is in Far Hills (Golf House)

    • The largest selection of cut glass in the world is in Flemington, at the Cut Glass Factory

    • The world’s largest campus for the study of Hasidic Judaism is in Morristown-the Rabbinical College of America

    • NJ has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East

    • NJ has the tallest water-tower in the world. (Union, NJ)

    • NJ is the poultry center of the east coast, the "egg basket of the nation" and has the largest egg co-op in the world

    • The largest miniature railway in the world is in Flemington, at Northlandz

    • The largest pipe organ in the world, with 32,913 pipes, is in the Atlantic City Convention Hall

    • The largest American holly farm in the US is in Millville

    • The Franklin-Ogdensburg area of eastern Sussex County has yielded a greater variety of minerals than any place on earth

    • Newark’s Branch Brook Park has 2700 cherry trees, making it’s springtime display larger than Washington D.C.’s. The famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead designed the park

    • Newark’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart has the largest rose window in the Western Hemisphere

    • The longest viaduct in the world is the Pulaski Skyway at seven miles, built in 1928

    • The Sheraton - Atlantic City has the largest collection of Miss America memorabilia

    • Seabrook Farms is one of the largest agricultural farms in the world, with 60,000 acres

    • The largest rodeo on the east coast is in Woodstown, known as "Cowtown"

    • The largest lake in NJ is Lake Hopatcong

    • Vernon Valley/Great Gorge has world’s largest snowmaking facility

    • The Franklin-Ogdenburg area of eastern Sussex County has yielded a greater number of species 340) and varieties (360) of minerals than any other place in the world (Franklin Minerals)

    Victorian Homes

    • Cape May (600)

    • Salem (60)

    • Flemington

    • Ocean Grove

    • Lambertville

    • Phillipsburgh

    • Spring Lake

    • Island Heights

    • Ocean City

    • Long Beach Island

    Famous Diners

    • Roadside Diner, Asbury Park

    • Truckstop Diner, Kearny

    • White Circle Diner, Bloomfield

    • White Diamond Diner, Westfield

    • White Manna, Hackensack

    • Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights

    • Forked River Diner, Route 9

    • Harris Diner, E. Orange

    • Salem Oak Diner, Salem

    • The Point Diner at Pole Tavern

    • Miss America Diner, Jersey City

    • Excellent Diner, Westfield

    • The Shore Diner, Rio Grande

    • Mom’s Diner, East Windsor

    • Key City Diner, Phillipsburg

    • Nicks Loop Luncheonette, Maplewood

    • White Star Diner, Plainfield

    • Kless’s Diner, Irvington

    • North Arlington Diner

    • Short Stop Diner, Bloomfield

    • Peter's Diner, Williamstown

    Amusement Parks

    • Keansburg Amusement Park (Bay Shore)

    • Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Long Beach Island

    • Wildwood Boardwalk

    • Clementon Amusement Park

    • Great Adventure

    • Vernon Valley/Great Gorge

    • Jenkinson’s South Amusement Park, Point Pleasant

    • Bowcraft Amusement Park

    • Asbury Park Boardwalk

    Boardwalks

    • Long Branch

    • Atlantic City

    • Asbury Park

    • Ocean Grove

    • Belmar

    • Spring Lake

    • Seaside Heights

    • Point Pleasant

    • Wildwood

    Ferry Service

    • Seastreak, 9 trips daily from Highlands and Atlantic Highlands to Manhattan

    • Cape May Ferry

    • Ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (Liberty Park)

    • Three Forts Ferry on the Delaware River

    • Ferry to Manhattan from Guttenberg

    Lighthouses

    • Conover Beacon, Bayshore/Sandyhook, 1856

    • Twin Lights, Highlands

    • Sandy Hook Lighthouse

    • Cape May Lighthouse

    • East Point Lighthouse

    • Cohansey Lighthouse

    • Egg Island Light

    • Barnegat Lighthouse, LBI

    • Sea Girt

    • The largest lighthouse in the US is the Statue of Liberty

    Historic Museums

    • Waterloo Village,

    • Wheaton Village Glass, Millville

    • Fosterfields Farm

    • Village of Greenwich

    • New Sweden/Farmstead Museum, Bridgeton

    • Ocean City Historical Museum

    • Museum of Early Trades and Crafts

    • Hunterdon Historical Museum

    • Howell Living History Farm, Titusville

    • Old Barracks Museum, Trenton

    • Historic Allaire Village, Allaire State Park

    • Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Allaire, 1520 acres

    • Barclay Farmstead, Cherry Hill

    • Batsto Village, Hammonton

    • Ocean County Historic Museum

    • Long Beach Island Historic Museum

    • Twin Lights Museum, Highlands

    • Lonstreet Farm (300 years old), Holmdel

    • Monmouth County Historical Association Museum, Freehold

    • Spy House Museum, Port Monmouth

    • Historic Cold Spring Village, Cape May

    • Leaming’s Run Garden and Colonial Farm

    • Tom’s River Maritime Museum

    You are From New Jersey if...

    • You know that there are no "beaches" in NJ--there's the shore

    • you don't go "to the shore," you go "down shore" or "down Jersey."

    • You've known the way to the Shore since you were seven

    • You know how to properly negotiate a circle

    • You knew that the last sentence had to do with driving

    • You know what a "jughandle" is

    • When people ask you where you live, you give them your exit number

    • You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers

    • You know that this is the only "New" state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (try . . . Mexico . . . York ..! . . Hampshire-- doesn't work, does it?)

    • You know that a "White Castle" is the name of a fast food chain 

    • Your school cafeteria made good Italian subs (not "submarine sandwiches", "hoagies" or "heroes"

    • You consider putting American cheese on an Italian sub a sacrilege

    • You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege

    • You know that nobody from Jersey studies at Princeton--that's for out-of-staters

    • You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls

    • Every year you have at least one kid in your class named Tony

    • You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.

    • You aren't from New Jersey--but either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey

    • You don't consider Newark or Camden part of the state

    • You remember Palisades Amusement Park

    • You've had a boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries

    • You never pump your own gas

    • You know that the only people who call it "Joisey" are from the Bronx or Texas

    • You don't think of citrus when people mention "The Oranges"

    • You know that it's called "Great Adventure," not "Six Flags"

    • You've shopped at "Two Guys"

    • You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery

    • You can name the location of at least 10 WAWA stores

    • You know why NJ is called the Garden State

    • You know that a "Piney" isn't a tree

    • You know that "Acme" is a food store

    • You know how to translate: "Jeet yet?" "No, Jew?"

    • You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February

    • You know that "youse" is not a synonym for utilize but for y'all

    • You know when it's low tide by the smell

    • You swim in “de wooder”

    • You buy your kid a kellern book

    • You don't have to go to Red Lobster to get fresh seafood

    • There's a fruit and vegetable stand down the road

    • You have voted for at least one member of the Mafia