National New Jersey Day

July 27, 1776, is when New Jersey became the 3rd state to join the Union. New Jersey’s location was vital during the American Revolutionary War, and it saw more battles than any other state. In that light, the state hosts one of the nation’s largest numbers of historical museums.  Henry Hudson first colonized the area and initially named it New Netherlands. When the British took over, they renamed it after the UK’s Isle of Jersey in the English Channel.


Known as the Garden State, New Jersey is famous for its tomato crop but also boasts blueberries and cranberries. It also has 4 national parks and 130 miles of shoreline. For a few little-known facts, New Jersey hosted the first drive-in movie theater and the world’s first submarine launch.



More cars are stolen in Newark than in any other US city. Princeton is where cheerleading got its start in 1869.  Beemerville, New Jersey is home to a dormant volcano.



The Monopoly game includes actual streets in Atlantic City, home to the world’s longest boardwalk.


Home to the most diners in the nation, it also has the nation’s highest population density, with 1300 people per square mile. 90% of the population lives in an urban area. In fact, all 21 counties are classified as metropolitan areas.


Photo by Christopher Kuzman

Speaking of people, many famous folks were born in New Jersey. Consider astronaut Buzz Aldrin, US General Norman Schwarzkopf, US Supreme Court justice William Brennan, publisher Malcolm Forbes, and editor Steve Forbes. Plus sportscasters Dick Vitale and Chris Wragge, NFL coach Bill Parcells, quarterback Joe Theismann, NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, and boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler. And there is news anchor Bret Baier, film critic Leonard Maltin, author Fran Lebowitz, comedians Lou Costello and Flip Wilson, and illusionist David Copperfield.


Stepping into the music world we find bandleaders Count Basie and Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Valli, Dionne Warwick, Ricky Nelson, Connie Francis, Gloria Gaynor, Sarah Vaughan, Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, and Queen Latifah. New Jersey also rocks the acting world with household names including, John Travolta, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jerry Lewis, Joe Pesci, Frank Langella, Michael Douglas, Sam Coppola, Bruce Willis, Judith Light, Roy Scheider, Ray Liotta, Nathan Lane, and Danny DeVito.


Way to go, New Jersey!


About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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