State Information

Nickname(s):                              The Garden State

Motto(s):                                        Liberty and prosperity

State song(s):                               I’m from New Jersey

 Capital                                            Trenton

Largest City                                Newark

Admitted to US                           12/18/1787                 3rd State

Brief History of New Jersey

Here are a few interesting facts about New Jersey:

  • It has the highest population density in the Nation. 

  • New Jersey gave us the first drive-in movie theater and the first baseball game. 

  • Edison’s Menlo Park was built in New Jersey. 

  • The area with the Guerny Street houses is known as “Stockton Place” in Cape May, NJ.  

  • Some famous people from or who lived in New Jersey include Albert Einstein (scientist), Frank Sinatra (singer/actor), Michael Douglas (actor), Paul Simon (songwriter), Jack Nicholson (actor), Franko Harris (football), Rick Berry (basketball), Shaquille O’Neal (basketball), Joshua Lederberg (Nobel Prize winner in medicine), and many others.

Interesting Stories

Frankie Valli. It’s impossible to hear “New Jersey” without thinking of Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, aka Frankie Valli, from Newark.  His music and falsetto voice take you back to a beautiful nostalgic period.  Broadway and Hollywood immortalized his life in “Jersey Boys.”  But his own words reveal his philosophy, “I grew up proud – we didn’t have much, but we had a lot of love.”  Pride is supported by love.  

Ellis Island was the Nation’s busiest immigration processing station for those who wanted to come to this country legally.  Twelve million people passed through those doors between 1892 and 1954.  A beautiful building representing America’s finest architecture was the welcoming portal.  Once inside, customs agents verified that each person met the requirements.  People with physical and mental disabilities, as well as children without adults, were turned away.  Each immigrant had to have a sponsor and prove that their income would be sufficient to support them.  About 80 percent of the people who arrived at Ellis Island were allowed into the US.  Immigration hubs such as this lead to America being today’s dynamic melting pot.

Antonin Scalia, from Trenton, was one of the most significant Supreme Court Justices.  He was appointed by Ronald Regan and became a beacon for interpreting the Constitution as it was written.  He was a religious and kind person with a touch of dry humor.  His most notable contribution was his decision that the second amendment allows responsible citizens the right to bear arms in defense of health and home.   

Bell Labs, located in Murray Hill, had engineers who developed the transistor.  Until the transistor, all electronics were made using vacuum tubes.  Some still remember removing the vacuum tubes from an old radio and trotting down to the hardware store to test them.  The vacuum tube processed one signal at once and used an enormous amount of energy.  The transistor changed all that.  Transistors made the function of vacuum tubes fit on a single chip.  Today, the industry is pushing billions onto a single chip the size of a fingernail.  A billion vacuum tubes would take up several city blocks and require ten nuclear plants to power.  Bell Labs is one of many corporations that have made our lives better through cutting-edge innovation.