New Jersey became the third state by ratifying the Constitution in 1787. It was named after an island in the English Channel. The state’s nickname is the Garden State, and Trenton is the capital. During the American Revolution, at least one hundred battles were fought in New Jersey. It is one of the most densely populated states. While it contains large cities, it also boasts about its farms and shores. The honeybee is the state insect. Children could visit an Internet site at: New Jersey. They could locate on a map the sites of the Revolutionary War battles. They could find out why so many battles happened in New Jersey.
Lincoln Tunnel opened in 1937. It connects New Jersey with Manhattan and goes under the Hudson River. The tunnel is 1.5 miles long, and over 100,000 cars use it every day. Its original name was the Midtown Vehicular Tunnel, but officials named it after Abraham Lincoln.
General Washington and his army secretly crossed the Delaware River in 1776 and surprised the British troops in Trenton. The American victory was a milestone in the Revolutionary War. A number of children’s books have been written about the event. Lynne Cheyney’s When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots is an excellent book. They can visit the Washington Crossing State Park site at: Washington Crossing.
Battle of Princeton took place in 1777. George Washington and his troops defeated a British assault in Princeton, New Jersey. While the British considered the battle to be minor, the American victory raised the soldiers’ morale.
Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight in the United States in 1793. President George Washington and other officials watched the 46 minute flight, staged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He landed in New Jersey. Children can read an extensive article on the flight at: Blanchard. Children could also read The First Air Voyage in the United States: The Story of Jean-Pierre Blanchard by Alexandra Wallner.
Seeing Eye Guide Dog Organization was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Harrison Eustis of Morristown, New Jersey. Idea: Children could interview one of the dog trainers. Children could also learn more at: http://www.seeingeye.org/about-us/history.html.
First submarine was launched in 1898. John Phillip Holland, owner of the John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company, created the Holland Submarine. It submerged for about 100 minutes in a shipyard in Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
Solar powered battery was first demonstrated in 1954. Scientists of Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, used solar powered batteries to activate a toy Ferris Wheel and a radio transmitter. Children can view a video about today’s solar energy at: Solar Battery.
Hindenburg dirigible exploded in 1937 at 7:20 PM. Thirty-six of the 97 passengers and crew died. It was approaching its mooring mast at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Children could learn how modern-day airships work at: Airships.
John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, died in 1779 in Hopewell, New Jersey. He was born around 1711 in Stonington, Connecticut, but his exact date of birth is unknown. He represented New Jersey at the signing. When the British attacked New Jersey, they placed a bounty on Hart. He was forced to hide. When he was finally able to return to his farm, he found that his wife had died and that his children had moved.