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New Jersey

New Jersey History Timeline

1500s - 1600s
  • (1524) Giovanni de Verrazano explored coastline
  • (1609) Henry Hudson sailed into Newark Bay, claimed land for Dutch, named it New Netherlands
  • (1638) Swedish colony established along lower Delaware River
  • (1660) Dutch settled Bergen, first permanent town
  • (1664) British took control of New Jersey from Dutch; renamed it New Jersey
  • (1676) New Jersey colony divided into East and West
  • (1702) East and West Jersey became Crown Colony under supervision of governor of New York
  • (1736) New Jersey formed own government
  • (1774) Tea burning at Greenwich in protest of taxes
  • (1776 - 1783) Over 100 battles took place in New Jersey during Revolutionary War
  • (1776) New Jersey adopted first state constitution; George Washington crossed Delaware River from Pennsylvania in surprise attack on British; Washington defeated British at Battle of Trenton
  • (1777) Washington headquartered at Morriston
  • (1778) Washington victorious at Battle of Monmouth
  • (1783) Princeton served as U.S. capital
  • (1784) Trenton served as U.S. capital
  • (1787) New Jersey became third U.S. state
  • (1790) Trenton declared state capital; New Jersey first state to sign Bill of Rights
  • (1791) Alexander Hamilton built country's first planned industrial city in Paterson
  • (1804) Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr dueled in Weehawken; new legislation enacted - any person born after July 4, 1804, considered free
  • (1824) First ferry service in U.S. opened between Hoboken and Manhattan
  • (1835) Colt firearms begins production in Paterson
  • (1838) Samuel Morse demonstrated telegraph
  • (1844) New Jersey adopted second state constitution
  • (1846) First baseball game held at Hoboken
  • (1858) Dinosaur fossil found at Haddonfield
  • (1860) New Jersey granted electoral votes to Stephan Douglas, running against Abraham Lincoln
  • (1861 - 1865) 88,000 New Jerseyites fought in Civil War; state became component of Underground Railroad
  • (1864) New Jersey granted electoral votes to George McClellan, running against Abraham Lincoln; only free state that rejected Lincoln twice
  • (1869) First intercollegiate football game played at New Brunswick
  • (1879) Thomas Edison invented incandascent lamp
  • (1882) First amusement pier over ocean built in Atlantic City
  • (1883) Roselle is the first United States town to be lighted by electricity
  • (1884) Grover Cleveland, New Jersey native, elected U. S. President
  • (1911) U.S. Supreme Court ordered dissolution of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey for violation of Sherman Antitrust Act
  • (1912) New Jersey Governor, Woodrow Wilson, elected U. S. President
  • (1918) German U-boat sunk six American ships off New Jersey coast
  • (1919) First passenger flight in America flew from New York City to Atlantic City
  • (1921) First Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City
  • (1927) Holland Tunnel, under Hudson River, opened
  • (1932) Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., son of aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh, kidnapped
  • (1933) Camden opened first drive-in movie theater
  • (1937) Hindenburg dirigible crashed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station killing 35
  • (1938) Orson Welles produced War of the World radio broadcast resulting in widespread panic
  • (1939 - 1945) World War II; state produced battleships, cruisers, aircraft engines and destroyers for U.S. Navy; over 500,000 residents enlisted for the war
  • (1943) U.S.S. New Jersey began active service
  • (1945) German U-boat sunk off New Jersey coast
  • (1947) Larry Doby of Paterson became second African American to play Major League Baseball; New Jersey adopted third state constitution
  • (1951) New Jersey Turnpike opened
  • (1964) Race riots broke out in Jersey City, 71 stores damaged, 46 people injured
  • (1967) Race riots in Newark killed 26, caused $10 million in damages
  • (1976) New Jersey began state income tax; Meadlowlands Sports Complex opened
  • (1978) Casinos opened in Atlantic City
  • (1985) Port Newark- Elizabeth Marine Terminal became busiest in world
  • (1988) South side of Ellis Island came under jurisdiction of New Jersey
  • (1993) Christine Todd Whitman became first female governor in New Jersey
  • (1995) New Jersey Devils won Stanley Cup
  • (1998) Supreme Court ruled most of Ellis island located in Hudson River part of New Jersey
  • (2000) New Jersey Devils won Stanley Cup
  • (2001) United Flight 93 left Newark, crashed into World Trade Center in New York City; U.S.S. Battleship New Jersey became museum; four postal facilities tested positive for anthrax, four people died
  • (2003) Three charged with conspiring to sell missiles to terrorists to use for shooting down American airliners
  • (2004) Governor James McGreevey resigned due to charges of extortion, pay-to-play; Dept. of Homeland Security raised threat level at key financial sites
  • (2006) Constitutional amendment created position of Lieutenant Governor
  • (2007) Six suspected Islamic militants arrested on charges of plotting to attack Fort Dix army base and kill US soldiers; New Jersey became third US state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples; death penalty abolished
  • (2009) Three mayors, two state legislators among 40 people arrested for money laundering, corruption in FBI probe
  • (2011) Winter storm caused travel disruptions, over 12 inches of snow fell in New Jersey
  • (2011) Hurricane Irene caused mandatory evacuations in part of the state

New Jersey Photographs

Giovani da VerazanoHenry HudsonBattle of MonmothWashingston crosses DelewareSamuel morseHindenburgHolland Tunnel

New Jersey Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Egg Harbor Township Atlantic 609
Hackensack Bergen 201
Marlton Burlington 856
Camden Camden 856
Cape May Cape May 609
Vineland Cumberland 856
Newark Essex 973
Williamstown Gloucester 856
Jersey City Hudson 201
Flemington Hunterdon 908
Trenton Mercer 609
Edison Middlesex 732
Freehold Monmouth 732
Morristown Morris 973
Toms River Ocean 732
Paterson Passaic 973
Penns Grove Salem 856
Somerset Somerset 732
Newton Sussex 973
Elizabeth Union 908
Hackettstown Warren 908

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.