December 18, 1787
New Jersey Approved the
It is nicknamed the "Garden State," and yet it is one
of the most developed and industrialized states in
America. Famous for its beaches and for hosting the
Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, it also exports
manufactured goods around the world.
- What state is it?
Approving the Constitution on December 18, 1787, New
Jersey became the third state to join the Union, following
Delaware and Pennsylvania. This diverse state has a
long history. Prior to the American Revolution, New
Jersey was part of the original land grant to the Duke of
York. It was divided up among different caretakers in
1676, and divided again and again until Queen Anne, in
April 1702, reunited the land into one province with one
New Jersey gained its nickname of the "Garden State" in
the 18th century, because it had so much rich and fertile
soil. But over the next two centuries, farmland has
given way to urban industry. In addition to exporting
goods all over the world, New Jersey is also a popular
tourist destination. One hundred twenty-five miles of
coastline with cool ocean breezes tempt city dwellers to
vacation here. President Grant was among the
vacationers in the 1800s who flocked to resorts at
Longbranch and Cape May. Open in 1870, the famous
Atlantic City Boardwalk continues to draw visitors from
all around the world.
New Jersey is home to Princeton University and Rutgers
University. Singer Frank Sinatra was from "Jersey,"
as were suffragist Alice Paul, football coach Alonzo
Stagg, and musicians Bruce Springsteen and Lauryn Hill. It
is also home to Lucy the Elephant, an American landmark
built in Atlantic City in 1881. President Woodrow
Wilson stepped inside the giant elephant-shaped building,
Lucy, as did car manufacturer Henry Ford. New Jersey often
is seen in the shadow of its metropolis neighbor New York.
But residents know the amazing resources the state has to
offer, as well as its diverse and lively personality.
New Jersey has more diners than any other state and is
the shopping mall capital of the world, with seven malls
in a 25-mile radius. The "Garden State" still
manages to produce two-thirds of the world's eggplants.
New Jersey is a state of many firsts too: the first
ever baseball game was played in Hoboken; inventor Thomas
Edison had his first lab here; and John P. Holland took
his invention, the submarine, for its first ride down the
Passaic River in New Jersey. Visit the "Garden
State" and see for yourself what's growing in New Jersey.