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Fun Facts About New Jersey

New Jersey and its residents have made transformative contributions to the history of our country, even before it was part of today’s United States. Historic sites can be found all New Jersey State Flagaround the State, from prehistoric dig sites to indigenous reservations, to Revolutionary War battlefields, to markers denoting the locations of major innovations. 

  • Known as the “Pathway of the Revolution” with over 100 battles fought here, New Jersey was the first commonwealth to sign the Bill of Rights.
  • The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey, and the Lenni Lenape were the first visitors known to summer at the Jersey Shore.
  • Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, lived in an estate called Point Breeze in Bordentown, New Jersey.
  • The light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture projector were all invented here by Thomas Edison. He built the first film studio – Black Maria – in West Orange.
  • The first fully-complete dinosaur skeleton was found near Haddonfield in 1858, launching the study of paleontology.
  • The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.
  • Roselle was the first city to be lighted electrically.
  • A German U-boat was found off the coast of New Jersey in 1991.
  • U.S. President Grover Cleveland was born in New Jersey.
  • The first robot to replace a human worker was used by General Motors in Ewing Township in 1961.
  • Elizabeth is the site of the largest seaport in the United States.
  • Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly from West Orange are the first blood relatives- in this case, twins – to spend time in space.

New Jerseyans have always been innovators and visionaries, and the State’s modern-day residents are no different. Biopharmaceuticals, manufacturing, healthcare and technology are among the top industries in New Jersey, fostering an environment ripe for innovation. Today’s residents and future generations are well positioned to follow in the footsteps of these inventors, presidents and astronauts. New Jersey is the right place to ask, “What next?”


Published April 13, 2018 in FAQ