Delaware Firsts, Facts, and Trivia
Delaware Famous Firsts, Delaware Interesting Facts, Delaware Trivia
Delaware has relatively lenient corporate tax laws, attracting many businesses to incorporate in the state even though virtually all their activities are carried out elsewhere.
More Delaware Firsts, Facts, and Trivia
- Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States
constitution. It did so on December 7, 1787.
- Delaware shares a semi-circular border with Pennsylvania. The
border was drawn at the time of the original land grants to William
Penn from King Charles II and the Duke of York.
- The nation's first scheduled steam railroad began in New Castle
- The United States battleship Delaware was commissioned in 1910.
- Delaware is the only state without any National Park System
units such as national parks, seashores, historic sites,
battlefields, memorials, and monuments.
- Delmar is popularized as the little town too big for one state.
The community has the distinction of being located partly in
Delaware and partly in Maryland.
- The most historic site in Frederica is Barratt's Chapel east of
town. The chapel is where the Methodist Church of America was
organized in 1784.
- Today about 500 descendants of the original Nanticoke Indians
reside in Delaware. They celebrate their heritage each September
with the Nanticoke Indian Pow Wow.
- The log cabin originated in Finland. Finnish settlers arrived in
Delaware in the mid-1600s and brought with them plans for the log
cabin, one of the enduring symbols of the American pioneer. One of
the cabins has been preserved and is on display at the Delaware
Agricultural Museum in Dover.
- John Dickinson was called the Penman of the Revolution for his
writings on independence. His boyhood home is preserved in Dover.
- Tradition holds the first time Betsy Ross's famous flag was
flown was at the Battle of Cooch's Bridge. This historic site is
located on route 4 in Newark.
- The Blue Hen chicken is the official state bird. The hens were
noted for their fighting ability. Delaware is sometimes referred to
as the Blue Hen State.
- The Lady Bug is Delaware's official state bug.
- Eleven years after the landing of the English pilgrims the first
white settlement was made on Delaware soil.
- In 1785 Oliver Evans of Newport invented the automatic
flour-milling machinery that revolutionized the industry.
- "Our Delaware" is the official state song. The words are by
George Hynson, music by William Brown.
- In total area Delaware ranks 49th in the nation. It contains
1,982 square miles. It is 96 miles long and varies from 9 to 35
miles in width.
- Ebright Road in New Castle County is the highest state elevation
at 442 feet above sea level. The lowest elevation is along the coast
at sea level.
- Thomas Garret lost his entire fortune in his battle against
slavery. He was sued by a Maryland slave owner and fined for aiding
a black family in flight. Over his lifetime, Garrett reportedly
helped more than 2,000 fugitive slaves move through Delaware, an
important stop on the Underground Railroad.
- Rehoboth Beach is the state's largest coastal resort town.
Methodists who purchase the land for a summer camp and meeting place
originally constructed it.
- The 87-foot Fenwick Island Lighthouse was painted in 1880 for a
total cost of about $5.00.
- Twelve concrete observation towers along the coast were
constructed during World War II to protect the state's coastal towns
from German u-boat attacks.
- Fisher's popcorn is a famous coastal caramel corn. It has been
ordered from as far away as Vietnam and Indonesia.
- The American holly is the official state tree. The tree can
reach a maximum of 60 feet in height and a trunk diameter of 20
- The peach blossom is Delaware's official state flower and has
prompted Delaware's nickname as the peach state.
- New Sweden was founded as a colony in 1638 and is recognized as
the first permanent colony on Delaware soil.
- Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, six miles northwest of
Wilmington features one of the world's finest naturalistic gardens.
- Hagley Museum was originally the du Pont black powder
manufactory, estate, and gardens.
- The state's Coastal Heritage Greenway consists of a corridor of
open space running along 90 miles of coast and spanning the area
between Fox Point State Park and the state line at Fenwick Island.
- Thousand Acre Marsh is the largest freshwater tidal wetland in
northern Delaware. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canals border the
- In 1812 Port Penn was considered the best port in Delaware.
- Augustine Beach was named for Augustine Hermann. He was a
Bohemian adventurer who mapped the Delmarva Peninsula and
surrounding areas in the mid-1600s.
- Odessa possesses one of the finest collections of late 18th- and
early 19th-century architecture in the middle Atlantic region. The
center of town is on the National Register of Historic Places and
the entire town has been zoned as historic.
- Barratt's Chapel is known as the Cradle of Methodism. It was
built in 1780 and is the oldest surviving church built by and for
Methodists in the United States.
- The 80-food Great Dune is the state's highest. It is located at
Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.
- The Maryland/Delaware boundary and the Mason-Dixon Line divide
Delmar. A double crown stone marker was erected in 1768 as the
southern end of the only North-South portion of the Mason-Dixon
- Horseshoe crabs may be viewed in large numbers up and down the
Delaware shore in May. The crabs endure extremes of temperature and
salinity. They can also go for a year without eating and have
remained basically the same since the days of the dinosaur.
- The Du Pont Laboratories first produced nylon at its plant in
Seaford. This earned the town the distinction of being the Nylon
Capital of the World.
- In recognition of sportfishing's overall recreational and
economic contributions to the state of Delaware and of the specific
values of the weakfish (Cynoscion genus) as a game and food fish,
the state Legislature adopted the weakfish as Delaware's State fish
in 1981. This fish is also known as sea trout, gray trout, yellow
mouth, yellow fin trout, squeteague, and tiderunner.
- Colonial blue and buff are Delaware's official state colors.
- Delaware was named for Lord de la Warr. He was the first
governor of Virginia.
- The sheaf of wheat, ear of corn, and the ox on the state seal
symbolize the farming activities of early Delaware.
- The Delaware Indians were one of the most advanced tribes of the
eastern United States.
- New Castle County includes the largest population and smallest
area of Delaware's three counties.
- Wilmington's Delaware History Center is housed in a renovated,
art deco former Woolworth five-and-ten-cent store.
- America's newest tall ship is ten stories high and 139 feet
long. The recreation is the Kalmar Nyckel that landed on the
Christina River in 1638.
- Quaker merchant Thomas Garret is thought to be the model for a
Quaker farmer in the novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Garret and famed
abolitionist Harriett Tubman worked closely with Delaware's
- The frying pan built in 1950 for use at the Delmarva Chicken
Festival is 10 feet in diameter and holds 180 gallons of oil and 800
- The Delaware Breakwater at Cape Henlopen State Park was the
first structure of its kind in the western hemisphere.
- The town of Milton was named after the English poet John Milton in 1807.
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