Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Jersey - #3, December 18, 1787

As the United States Constitution was ratified by the original thirteen colonies, the United States took shape fairly quickly. The third state in our series is the Garden State, New Jersey. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with New Jersey. It is where Mrs. BA and I honeymooned in Cape May after we were married ten years ago (and will return in April to celebrate our anniversary - with a bunch of archivists - but celebrate we will).

I have spent a fair amount of time in New Jersey. My grandmother and aunt used to live in Livingston and we would travel there from our home on Long Island at the holidays. I have been to several meetings in New Jersey - New Brunswick, Trenton, and Morristown. My fascination with lighthouses has brought me to New Jersey to look at the many lighthouses that mark the coast. I have also been to the sin city of the East, Atlantic City. I went there once with my mother to try out for Jeopardy and learned later that Mrs. BA was there that same day.

Running up the middle of the state is the hate part of the relationship, The New Jersey Turnpike. When the road works, it's great. But over the course of several recent trips to New York (more specifically trying to get home from New York), the Turnpike has let me down. It is truly a case of too many cars and not enough road.

The current governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie, a Republican. Both Senators for the Garden State are Democrats, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez. The House delegation is almost evenly split 7-6, with one more Democrat than Republicans.
  • State Capital - Trenton
  • Date of Admission - December 18, 1787
  • Area - 8,721 sq. mi. (47th)
  • State Motto - "Liberty and Prosperity"
  • State Nickname - the Garden State
  • State bird - American Goldfinch
  • State mammal - horse
  • State flower - common meadow violet
  • State University - Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • State Archives - the State Archives
  • Population (2011 est.) - 8,821,155
  • Signers of the Declaration of Independence -Abraham Clark, John Hart, Francis Hopkinson, Richard Stockton, Reverend John Witherspoon

Prominent New Jerseyites (more here and here's another)

  • Both Abbott and Costello
  • Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin
  • Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
  • Count Basie
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan
  • Whitney Houston
  • Jerry Lewis
  • recently announced NFL Hall of Fame inductee Bill Parcells
  • Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (that's three!)
  • Ol' Blue Eyes, the Chairman of the Board
  • The Boss
  • Joe Theismann (whose career was ended by a player that played for the New York Giants)
  • New Jersey is the birthplace of Grover Cleveland and can lay partial claim to another President, Woodrow Wilson, who was president of Princeton shortly before his election. Although he is the last President to have been from Virginia, the mother of the presidency.


Unknown said...

The State of NJ is driving me nuts at the moment. Trying to manage the admissions activities there for my alma mater & determine how best to divide up the state into managable recruiting pieces. If only the Raritan river served as the borderline between counties (instead of running through the middle of several counties), figuring out the North/South split would be sooo much easier. Bah!

Anonymous said...

Lisa says: Anything north of New Brunswick (along the banks of the Raritan) is, in this transplanted New Jerseyan's view, New York. That should make it easier to figure out. And one native New Jerseyan we all know once opined that that true divide is the east/west divide of the turnpike. Just remember that South Jersey always feels snubbed,so don't snub it, and you wil be fine.

Brave Astronaut said...

C - Obviously see Lisa's suggestion for the north/south split. Although, it's more of the Grand Canyon when you think about the two cultures in the north and the south.

Lisa - I agree the Turnpike divide is an easy one to make, but then I would have to agree with him (if we are talking about the same person) and you know how much I hate to do that.