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NEW JERSEY FUN FACTS


New Jersey was named after the Isle of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France.

New Jersey is a peninsula.

The first set of twins to have both flown space are Mark and Scott Kelly, identical twins born in West Orange, NJ. In March 2011, the Kelly brothers will be the first set of blood relatives to meet in space. In October 2010, Scott Kelly started his 5 1/2 month mission to the International Space Station, and Mark Kelly will blast off in February and reach the Space Station on March 1, 2011.

Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.

New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

On August 16, 2010, 50-year old NJ resident Cathy Mumford of Colts Neck was the first woman to complete a single-trip solo paddle of the entire 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Fewer than 30 paddlers have completed the full length of the trail in a single trip. The Trail follows historic American Indian paddling routes on major watersheds from northern New York to southern Quebec, Canada. It is the longest inland water trail in the northeast.

NJ resident Mike Stavola of Medford Lakes set the speed record in 2009 for the fastest solo paddle of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (32 days, 3 hours and 56 minutes).

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, spanning NJ from Bay Head to Atlantic City, is the largest shoreline nature preserve on the East Coast. It covers 47,000 acres, and 80% of it is salt marsh, which rivals only tropical rainforests as one of the most biologically productive habitats on earth.

New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.

The official state animal is the horse.

New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the US.

On November 11, 2010, 671 students and staff members of The Lawrenceville School in central New Jersey set the new Guinness World Record for the biggest custard pie fight. The record is based on the number of participants. The school needed at least 435 people to break the previous record.

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World."

New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts food: Taylor Ham (aka Pork Roll).

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.

New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The official state folk dance is the Square Dance.

In 1884, a young Milton S. Hershey learned the art of candy making as an apprentice at Day's Restaurant in Morristown, after which he returned to Pennsylvania to start the world-famous Hershey chocolate candy empire.

The Passaic River in Paterson was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.

The world's largest statue of a tooth (15 feet tall) is located in Trenton.

New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation's most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May.

New Jersey has the most stringent testing along our coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country.

New Jersey is a leading technology & industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy.

The first national historic park in America was established in 1933 in Morristown.

The first saltwater taffy in the world was produced at the Jersey shore in the 1870s.

New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production.

The first cultivated blueberries were marketed by Elizabeth White of Whitesbog in 1916.

The world's largest elephant statue, Lucy the Elephant, is in Margate.

New Jersey’s first brewery was built in Hoboken in 1641 by Dutchman Aert Teunissen Van Putten.

In 1935, the G. Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey became the first brewer to sell beer in steel cans.

The official state seashell is the knobbed whelk (Busycon carica gmelin).

The first copper mine in America was opened by enterprising Dutch settlers in the Kittatinny Mountains, circa 1640.

The famous Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.

New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the US, located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.

The first airplane passenger flight flew from New York and landed in Atlantic City on May 3, 1919.

New Jersey is home to one of the nation's busiest airports (in Newark), Liberty International.

The first recorded, official baseball game was played on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken.

In order to meet the increasing demand for his wire rope, John Roebling opened a factory in Trenton, New Jersey in 1848. John Roebling, along with his two sons, Washington and Ferdinand, built a suspension bridge across the gorge of the Niagara River. They then built the Brooklyn Bridge, plus many other suspension bridges in the United States.

The game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after actual streets in Atlantic City.

The first phonograph records were made in Camden, NJ.

The first ferry service in the U.S. operated between Hoboken and Manhattan in 1811.

The official state flower is the Common Violet (Viola sororia).

The Great Falls in Paterson is the second-tallest waterfall east of the Mississipi.

The first balloon flight in America was made by Jean-Pierre Blanchard. On January 9,1793, he landed a balloon at Deptford carrying a letter from George Washington.

On January 19, 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires began service in Roselle, New Jersey.

Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.

The first seaplane was built in Keyport, and the first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport.

The first professional basketball game was played in Trenton in 1896.

Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world, which was the first one built in the world in 1870.

In 1893, the world's first film production studio, the Black Maria, was completed by Thomas Edison in West Orange.

The official state tree is the red oak (Quercus borealis maxima).

The first condensed soup in America was cooked and canned in Camden County in 1897.

Jersey is the only state that you can leave off the "New" and it still makes sense (unlike New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, etc.)

The light bulb, phonograph and motion picture projector were all invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park.

Union is home to the world's tallest water tower.

NJ built the first tunnel under a river, the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson River.

The first robot to replace a human worker was used by General Motors in Ewing Township in 1961.

The official state fish is the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis).

The first steam locomotive to actually pull a train on a track was built by John Stevens of Hoboken in 1824.

NJ is home to both of New York's professional football teams.

The worlds largest brown bear (12 ft tall and over 2000 lbs) resided at Space Farms Zoo and Museum in Bemmerville until his death. "Goliath" is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest brown bear ever on record. His stuffed body is now on display at Space Farms.

The beaches in NJ are all located "down the shore". You don't go "to the shore", you go "down the shore". When you are on a beach in NJ, you are not "at the shore", you are "down the shore". When you leave a beach in NJ, you are not "leaving the shore", you are "coming from down the shore".

The first Indian reservation was in the NJ Watchung Mountains.

The world's largest spoon collection (over 5400) is housed at the Lambert Castle Museum, in Paterson. This spoon collection is so famous that it was the subject of a question on the popular game show "Jeopardy".

The first nearly-complete skeleton of a dinosaur was discovered in 1858 by William Parker Foulke in Haddonfield.

The dinosaur excavated by William Parker Foulke in 1858 is the official state dinosaur of NJ: Hadrosaurus foulkii.

NJ's Pulaski Skyway, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway ever built.

NJ has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East.

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden in 1933.

The official state insect is the honey bee (apis mellifera).

The world's largest lightbulb (13 feet tall) sits atop the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison.

On November 6, 1869, Rutgers met Princeton in what is considered the first intercollegiate game of American football, although it bore no resemblance to today’s sport. The game was played with 25 players on a side and under Rutgers’ rules, meaning that the ball could only be advanced by kicking or batting it with the feet, hands, heads or body. Catching, carrying, and throwing the ball were all illegal. Rutgers won the game six goals to four. A week later, a rematch was held using Princeton rules, one of which was the rewarding of a “free kick” to a player who caught the ball. Princeton won this game eight to zero.

The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.

The "Buddy Christ" statue from Kevin Smith's movie "Dogma" is housed in Jay and Silent Bob's Comic Book store in Red Bank.

Rutgers University hosts a Cockroach Derby each year in mid-August.

Leo the MGM Lion, Cheetah the chimp and Elsie the Borden Cow are buried in New Jersey.

In 1778, Alexendar Hamilton noticed the natural beauty and power of the Great Falls while travelling with General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. 1790, he stressed the importance of a domestic manufacturing capability, and he had but one place in mind for his "New National Manufactory". Paterson was founded in 1791 by the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), a group championed by Hamilton.

The official state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch.

Famous NJ natives include William "Bud" Abbot, Alan Alda, Jason Alexander, Robert Blake, David Copperfield, Lou Costello, Tom Cruise, Sandra Dee, Brian DePalma, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, Kirsten Dunst, John Forsythe, James Gandolfini, Janeane Garafolo, Savion Glover, Ethan Hawke, Frank Langella, Jerry Lewis, Ray Liotta, Bette Midler, Frankie Muniz, Ozzie Nelson, Bebe Neuwirth, Jack Nicholson, Joe Pesci, Christopher Reeve, Paul Robeson, Susan Sarandon, Roy Schneider, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, Loretta Swit, John Travolta, Lee Van Cleef, "Uncle" Floyd Vivino, Bruce Willis, Clerow "Flip" Wilson, Scott Wolfe, William "Count" Basie, Jon Bon Jovi, Connie Francis, Deborah Harry, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Les Paul, Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Vallie, Sarah Vaughn, Dionne Warwick, Yogi Berra, Franco Harris, Derek Jeter, Vince Lombardi, Shaquille O'Neal, Joe Theismann, Buzz Aldrin, Aaron Burr, Clara Barton, Thomas Paine, Molly Pitcher, Betsy Ross, Harriet Tubman, President Woodrow Wilson, President Grover Cleveland, Judy Blume, James Fenimore Cooper, Stephen Crane, Allen Gingsburg, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Toni Morrison, Norman Mailer, Dorothy Parker, Philip Roth, Albert Payson Terhune, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman, Malcolm Forbes, Robert Wood Johnson II, "Stormin" Norman Schwarzkopf, Samuel Colt, Thomas Edison, John P. Holland, Joe Piscopo, Marilynn McCoo, Eddie Money, Joyce Kilmer, Caesar Romero, Nathan Lane, Eva Marie Saint, Elisabeth Shue, Dave Thomas (Wendy's), Robert Wuhl, Ernie Kovacs and Kelly Ripa.