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New Jersey Timeline of State History
Chronological History of New Jersey
- 5000 BC - Native Americans had occupied New Jersey for thousands of years before European colonization. Explorers in the 1500s found a peaceful people with an economy of hunting, gathering and small-scale agriculture. They collectively came to be known as the Lenape (which roughly translates as "people") Their descendants today are known as Delaware and Munsee Indians and are dispersed over North America with the largest group living near Bartlesville, Oklahoma. See Delaware Tribe of Indians
- 1524 - Verrazano explores the Jersey coast
- 1609 - Hudson explores Newark Bay
- 1638 - A Swedish colony is established along the Delaware River (but it was taken over by the Dutch in 1655).
- 1660 - Dutch establishes Bergen, now Jersey City, becomes the first permanent town in New Jersey
- 1664 - The British take control of New Jersey from the Dutch
- 1676 - New Jersey Colony is divided into East Jersey and West Jersey
- 1702 - East and West Jersey combined into one colony
- 1721 - William Trent started a village called "Trent's Town," which eventually became Trenton in 1790 and the state's capital city.
- 1738 - Lewis Morris became the first governor of New Jersey.
- 1746 - Princeton University is founded
- 1758 - The Old Barracks in Trenton is built
- 1766 - Rutgers University is founded
- 1774 - The Greenwich Tea Burning
- 1776-1783 -Since more than 100 Revolutionary War battles took place in New Jersey, our state was often known as "The Crossroads of the Revolution."
- 1776 -
- NJ's first newspaper, the New Jersey Gazette, issues its first edition
- New Jersey adopts its first state constitution
- December 25, , Washington made his famous overnight crossing of the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to surprise the British in New Jersey. He defeated the British forces in the Battle of Trenton, changing the course of the war.
- 1777 - Winter - Washington made his headquarters in Morristown
- 1778 - June 28 - Another significant victory was gained at the Battle of Monmouth.
- 1783 - Princeton briefly serves as the nation's capital
- 1784 - Trenton briefly serves as the nation's capital
- 1787 - December 12,- New Jersey became the third state to join the union by ratifying the U.S. Constitution.
- 1789 - New Jersey was also the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights
- 1790 - New Jersey is the first state to sign the Bill of Rights
- 1791 - Alexander Hamilton built the country's first planned industrial city in present-day Paterson, by the Passaic River's 77-foot Great Falls. By the late 1880s, Paterson became so well known for silk manufacturing that it was called "Silk City."
- LATE 1800s - The genius of New Jersey's inventors helped New Jersey grow in new directions. One of the most famous inventors was Thomas A. Edison, who invented the incandescent light bulb, movie camera, and phonograph in his West Orange and Menlo Park labs.
- 1804 - Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr have a famous duel in Weehawken
- 1807 - Women lose the right to vote
- 1824 - The first ferry service in the U.S. opens between Hoboken and Manhattan
- 1844 - New Jersey adopts its second state constitution
- 1858 - The first nearly complete dinosaur fossil is found in Haddonfield
- 1869 - The first intercollegiate football game is played in New Brunswick
- 1876 - Thomas Edison opens laboratories in Menlo Park
- 1879 - Edison invents a practical incandescent lamp
- 1882 - The first amusement pier over the ocean is built in Atlantic City
- 1883 - Roselle is the first U.S. town to be lighted by electricity
- 1884 - Grover Cleveland becomes the 22nd President of the United States
- 1887 - Thomas Edison moves his laboratories to West Orange
- 1912 - New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson is elected President of the U.S.
- 1918 - A German U-boat sinks six American ships off the coast of New Jersey
- 1921 - The first Miss America Pageant is held
- 1927 - The Holland Tunnel opens
- 1933 - The first drive-in movie theater in the U.S. opens in Camden
- 1939-1945 - World War II, More than 500,000 New Jersey residents joined in the war effort. The state produced battleships, heavy cruisers, aircraft engines, along with destroyers for the U.S. Navy.
- 1943 - The U.S.S. New Jersey battleship is put into active service
- 1947 -
- Larry Doby, from Paterson, becomes the second African
- American to play Major League Baseball
- New Jersey adopts its third state constitution
- 1951 - The New Jersey Turnpike opens
- 1957 - The first New Jersey State Little League Baseball Tournament is played
- 1963 - Snowboarding pioneer Tom Sims of Haddonfield creates the "ski board," an early version of the snowboard
- 1967 - Riot in Newark kills 26 and causes $10 million in damage
- 1976 -
- New Jersey organizes a state income tax
- The Meadowlands Sports Complex opens
- 1978 - Gaming became legalized in Atlantic City and the Resorts International Hotel became the city's first casino.
- 1993 - Christine Todd Whitman becomes New Jersey's first female governor
- 1995 - The New Jersey Devils win the Stanley cup, becoming the first New Jersey team to win a major league professional sports championship
- 1998 -
- The Toms River East Little League team wins the Little League World Series
- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that most of
Ellis Island (24 acres)-located in the Hudson
River next to the Statue of Liberty-is part of New Jersey.
- 2000 - The New Jersey population in the 2000 Census is 8,414,350
- 2001 - The U.S.S. New Jersey battleship becomes a museum
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