History of New Jersey

Chronology: Important Events in the History of New Jersey

Colonial Period | Revolutionary War | Early National Period | Civil War Era | Industrial Era | The 20th Century

Colonial Period

Lenape of New Jerseyhttp://www.usgennet.org/usa/nj/state/Lenape.htm

1524 - Sailing for France, Giovanni daVerrazano possibly explored New Jersey’s shores

1609 - Henry Hudson on Half Moon sailed up river that will bear his name

1621 - Dutch West India Company chartered.

1623 - Captain Cornelius J. Mey built Fort Nassau near Gloucester City and became Director General of New Netherland

1629 - Michael Pauw received the first Dutch land-grant on the west bank of the Hudson River (Jersey City), known as Pavonia; this is an example of the beginning of the Dutch "patroon system"

1630 - Area of Harsimus was an island claimed by the Dutch West India Company that developed into present-day Jersey City

1633 - Dutch built a house at Communipaw

1638 - New Sweden settled by Peter Minuit who built Fort Christina along the Delaware River

1643 - Colonel Johan Printz became governor of New Sweden (to 1653); Fort Elfsborg (Sussex County) is constructed by settlers of New Sweden; Pavonia (Jersey City) Massacre on February 25 as part of (William) Kieft's war

1647 - Peter Stuyvesant became Director General of New Netherland

1651 - Dutch built Fort Casimir

1655 - Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant forced Swedes to give up forts in South Jersey; Peach Tree War occurred on September 15; second destruction of Pavonia settlement by Indians

1656 - Dutch capture settlement of New Sweden

1660 - Dutch founded the Bergen Township (Jersey City) on site of present-day Bergen Square, Jersey City

1661 - First recorded school at Bergen Township (Jersey City)

1664 - Dutch surrender New Netherland to England; proprietorship granted to John, Lord Berkeley and  Sir George Carteret (Hudson River to Delaware River) by the James, Duke of York (June 24); Philip Carteret named first proprietary governor; Concessions and Agreements offered 60 acres of land to anyone importing an African

1665  - Concessions and Agreement (Part III and Part V) established government for the colony of New Jersey

1666 - Robert Treat founded Newark

1668 - First Assembly meeting held in Elizabethtown

1673 - Third New Jersey Regiment, known as the "Jersey Blues," started at Piscataway

1674 - Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick, Quakers, bought West Jersey from Lord Berkeley

1675 - John Fenwick established a Quaker colony at Salem in West Jersey

1676 - Quintipartite Deed divided colony into East Jersey and West Jersey (from Little Egg Harbor to Delaware Water Gap); West Jersey Proprietors purchase land from Lenape

1680 - New Jersey's first slaves bought for a plantation in Shrewsbury; Grant of 1680; George Carteret died.

1682 - Gov. Philip Carteret died. Carteret Estate sold to 24 Proprietors and establish Board of Proprietors (1685-1998)

1688 - Council of West Jersey Proprietors met in Burlington

1702 - East and West Jersey proprietorships ended, and New Jersey became a royal colony under a common governor with New York; Queen Anne instructed Lord Cornbury to establish the Royal African Company

1726 - There were 2,581 slaves in New Jersey

1738 - New Jersey became a separate royal colony from New York and received its own royal governor, Lewis Morris; there are nearly 4,000 slaves in New Jersey

1746 - The College of New Jersey ( now Princeton University) was chartered

1748 - Land Riots

1756 - Princeton became the home of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University); it was named Prince Town in honor of Prince William of Orange and Nassau (William III); Nassau Hall became the largest academic building in the American colonies for about 50 years; in 1776 it was the first capitol of New Jersey; between June and November of 1783, it was the site of the nation's capitol when the Continental Congress met there

1758 - New Jersey's Native American relocated to Brotherton Reservation in Burlington County by New Jersey Assembly; Barracks built in Trenton as winter quarters for British soldiers

1763 - William Franklin became New Jersey's last royal governor

1766 - William Franklin signed charter for Queen's College (Rutgers University) named after Queen Charlotte; classes started in 1771 at the Sign of the Red Lion tavern at corner of Albany and Neilson streets (Johnson and Johnson property)

Revolutionary War 

New Jersey and the Revolutionary War

1777 - New Jersey state seal is approved at the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield

1787 - John Fitch demonstrated the first steamboat on the Delaware River; he received patent in 1791

Early National Period

1789 - New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights

1790 - Trenton selected as state capital; there are 14,185 slaves in the state, approximately eight percent of population

1791 - Governor William Paterson signed charter for the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures

1792 - New Jersey State House is built by Jonathan Doane; it is the second oldest state capitol in continuous use

1804 - Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery (1804) allowed for emancipation of slaves born after July 4 and only when the male reaches the age of 25 and the female age 21; Hamilton -Burr duel at Weehawken (July 11)

1805 - Robert Fulton built the first ship dry-dock in US in Jersey City

1807 - Legislation passed that limited the franchise to "free, white, male citizens"

1813 - Captain James Lawrence (Burlington) and War of 1812

1816 - Proposal for a colony to be established "in Africa or elsewhere" for free blacks

1824 - Gibbons v. Ogden decision on regulation of interstate commerce

1825 - Construction for Morris Canal begun; Queen's College is renamed Rutgers College after Col. Henry Rutgers who donated $5000 and a bell to the college

1827 - Joseph Dixon Crucible Company founded in Jersey City

1830 - Camden and Amboy RR and Delaware and Raritan Canal chartered; of the 3,568 blacks in the North who remain slaves, two-thirds were in New Jersey

1831 - The Morris Canal is opened

1833 - Camden and Amboy Line, state's first railroad began service

1834 - The Delaware and Raritan Canal completed

1835 - A six-month strike at Paterson cotton mills

1836 - Morris Canal extension to Jersey City completed

1837 - The first locomotive in state built in Paterson

1838 - F.B. Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrated telegraph in Morristown

1840 - Cranberries first cultivated in the state

Civil War Era

1843- North American Phalanx founded near Red Bank

1844 - Second Constitution of New Jersey adopted; it provided suffrage only to white males

1846 - State legislature passed an act abolishing slavery but substituted "apprenticeship for life" unless voluntarily freed by owner; baseball played between the Knickerbockers and the New York at Elysian Fields, Hoboken; New York won 23 to 1 (June 19)

1847 - Colgate-Palmolive Co. established its first factory on Jersey City waterfront; site was later known for its 54 foot high clock; company closed in 1985; clock is now located on the waterfront south of the Morris Canal

1848 - First state hospital opened at Trenton due to efforts of Dorothea Dix

1852 - Clara Barton established a free public school in Bordentown

1854 - Railroad line from Atlantic City to Camden

1855 - The first normal school in New Jersey founded at Trenton

1860 - The Underground Railroad and Map

1863 - Draft riots occurred in Newark (July 13) as well as Bloomfield, Orange, Jersey City and Princeton

1864 - George B. McClellan of West Orange carried New Jersey in presidential race against Abraham Lincoln; Rutgers is selected as New Jersey's land grant college

1866 - New Jersey State Board of Education started

Industrial Period

1869 - First intercollegiate football game played between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick; Rutgers beat Princeton, 6- to-4; City of Bayonne incorporated

1870 - The first boardwalk in Atlantic City completed by Alex Boardman; Monmouth Park opened; John A. Roebling's Sons Company founded

1871 - Statewide free public school system established; Steven Institute of Technology founded; Asbury Park established by James Brady

1872 - Political cartoonist Thomas Nast moved to Macculoch Avenue in Morristown

1873 - Singer sewing machine factory opened in Elizabeth

1874 - School attendance made compulsory in New Jersey

1876 - John D. Rockefeller began the operation of Standard Oil Company in Bayonne

1877 - Thomas A. Edison invented the first phonograph at Menlo Park; Prudential Insurance Company founded

1878 - On June 6, John P. Holland took the first successful submarine ride on the Passaic River in Paterson; the fourteen-foot sumarine was finished in Paterson

1879 - Edison invented the incandescent lamp at his Menlo Park laboratory

1880 - John P. Holland demonstrated the submarine in the Passaic River; the first commercially produced electric light bulb was manufactured by Edison in Menlo Park

1881 - President James A. Garlield died at Elberon after being shot on September 19 in Washington, D.C.

1882 - Peter McQuire of Camden and Matthew Maquire of Jersey City succeeded in idea for a Labor Day parade; first one held in Union Square, New York City; Roselle became the first New Jersey community fully lit by electricity

1884 - Grover Cleveland of New Jersey was nominated for President by Democrats

1889 - Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal built at Jersey City

1885 - Johnson and Johnson began its operation in New Brunswick

1892 - Ellis Island Immigration Station opened

1893 - Edison's studio, the Black Maria, opened in West Orange

1895 - Mary Philbrook became first woman to pass the bar in New Jersey

1898 - Rev. Hannibal Goodwin of Newark received patent for rollable film for movies

The 20th Century to Present

1904 - The Great Train Robbery is filmed by Edison

1908 - First route of Hudson and Manhattan tubes (now PATH) opened under the Hudson River

1908 - Legend of the "Jersey Devil" revived

1912 - Woodrow Wilson elected US President

1913 - Paterson, NJ Silk Strike; Botto House in Haledon served as headquarters for 20,000 silk mill workers during the strike

1915 - Standard Oil Strike in Bayonne

1916 - Black Tom ammunition depot explosion at Jersey City coast (July 30)

1917 - Fort Dix established; Frank (Boss) Hague became mayor of Jersey City

1918 - New Jersey College for Women (Douglass College) opened

1919 - Paterson textile workers strike for 44 hour week

1921 - Port of New York Authority established; Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier heavyweight championship fight in Jersey City at Boyle's 30 acres (July 2); first Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City and continued to 2004

1922 - WOR began broadcasting; Campbell Soup Co. incorporated in Camden

1925 - Standard Oil of New Jersey established an eight-hour work day

1926 - Passaic Textile Strike; first Scholastic Aptitude Test was prepared by Carl C. Brigham at Princeton University for the College Entrance Examination Board

1927 - Holland Tunnel opened as the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel

1928 - Newark Airport is opened; Goethals Bridge opened to traffic; Margaret Sanger opened a birth control clinic in New Jersey; the first drive-in-movie theater opened in Camden

1930 - The Institute for Advanced Study was founded in Princeton; Albert Einstein was one of the first professors at the institute for scholars

1931 - George Washington Memorial Bridge opened to traffic as is the Bayonne Bridge on November 25, both designed by Othmar H. Ammann, (connecting Bayonne and Staten Island), the Kill Van Kull bridge (connecting New Jersey to Staten Island) and the Holland Tunnel; Parker Brothers received patent for board game "Monopoly"

1932 - Lindbergh baby is kidnapped at Hopewell; Bruno R. Hauptmann was executed in Trenton in 1936 for the murder

1933 - Pulaski Skyway completed; first "drive-in" movie theater in New Jersey in Camden; Radio astronomy developed at AT&T Bell Labs; the first drive-in movie opened in Camden

1934 - The Morro Castle, sailing to New York City from Havanna, caught fire off the coast of New Jersey, killing 135 or 137 passengers and crew; the cause of the fire was not determined

1937 - On May 6, German airship Hindenburg exploded over Lakehurst Naval Air Station; 36 of the 97 passengers died

1938 - On October 30th, Orson Welles broadcast the radio play War of the Worlds; it told of a landing of Martians in West Windsor

1942 - US government seized the General Cable plant in Bayonne to end a strike

1943 - USS New Jersey was commissioned on May 23 and began service in the Pacific under Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.

1945 - New Jersey Legislature designates Rutgers as the state university

1946 - Jackie Robinson broke organized baseball's "color line" at Roosevelt Stadium that opened at Jersey City in 1937; a statue of Robinson was dedicated at PATH , Journal Square in Jersey City, in 1998

1947 - New Jersey's third state constitution adopted;it included non-gender language for a type of equal rights clause in the state constitution and outlawed school segregation; the Educational Testing Service opened in Princeton to administer the SAT

1948 - Transistor as a substitute for radio tubes developed at Bell Labs in Murray Hill

1949 - New Jersey Civil Rights Acts passed

1950 - USS New Jersey was commissioned on November 21 to serve during the Korean War

1951 - Opening of first 53 mile of New Jersey Turnpike; "Jersey Joe" Walcott won heavyweight championship

1955 - Opening of Garden State Parkway

1961 - The first enclosd shopping mall on the East Coast opened in Cherry Hill; Rutgers Medical School, now the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is founded

1962 - Sandy Hook State Park opened

1965 - Mildred Barry Hughes was first woman elected to the New Jersey Senate

1967 - Cold War summit between LBJ and Kosygin at Glassboro (Rowan University); Riots in Newark killed 23 people and injured 1500 over six days in July

1968 - USS New Jersey went into service off the coast of North Vietnam (September 29); Princeton University admitted its first women undergraduates

1969 - New Jersey lottery approved to raise money for state government and education; Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin of Glen Ridge landed on moon with Neil Armstrong; New Jersey Office on Women established; Millicent Fenwick was first elected to the state assembly

1971 - Women granted further equal-rights protection under law by legislature

1972 - Vote in New Jersey extended to eighteen-year olds; Rutgers College becomes coeducational

1974 - New Jersey Supreme Court declared that Little League Baseball, Inc. was a public accommodation and could not discriminate against girls who wanted to join teams

1976 - State income tax became law under Gov. Brendon Byrne; New Jersey approved privately owned casinos only in Atlantic City with tax revenue intending to support education, the old and poor; Meadowlands sports complex opened; on opening day at Giants Stadium, October 10, the Giants lost to the Dallas Cowboys; Liberty State Park in Jersey City opened; Karen Ann Quinlan decision

1978 - On May 26, Resorts International opened the nation's first legal casino outside Nevada in Atlantic City

1979 - The Pinelands Preservation Act was passed

1981 - On July 2, Bruce Springsteen opened the 20,000-seat Brendan Byrne Arena; in January 1, 1996, it was renamed the Continental Airlines Arena

1982 - Gov. Thomas Kean reinstated the death penalty for certain murders; USS New Jersey was recommissioned to serve in Persian Gulf on December 28; a fire destroyed about one-third of the length of the Atlantic City Steel Pier; Drumthwacket (354 Stockton Street) became the official residence of the governor of New Jersey and replaced the use of Morven built in the 1750s; it was home of Richard Stockton III, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and his wife Annis Boudinot Stockton, a published poet

1983 - Mt. Laurel II decision issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court

1985 - On May 7, the demolition of Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City began to make way for housing; the stadium is where Jackie Robinson played baseball for a year before breaking the Major League's "color barrier"

1986 - Ferry service between Weehawken and 38th Street in Manhattan crossing the Hudson River was re-instated after 29 years

1987 - The remaining male-only eating clubs (Tiger Inn and Ivy Club) at Princeton University were ordered to admit women by the state Division on Civil Rights based on a sex discrimination suit filed by Sally Frank in 1979

1989 - Construction of Interstate 78 was completed

1991 - USS New Jersey was decommissioned on February 8

1992 - The last class of graduates received basic training at Fort Dix after 75 years of preparing new recruits

1993 - Christine Todd Whitman became first woman governor; Liberty Science Center and Hall of Technology opened in Jersey City

1994 - Megan Kanka was killed by a convicted sex offender in Hamilton Township; Megan's Law was signed into law on May 17, 1996

1995 - New Jersey Devils won the NHL’s Stanley Cup; they also won in 2000 and 2003

1997 - The New Jersey Performing Arts Center opened in Newark with soprano Kathleen Battle at its first performance; state removed regulations preventing same-sex couples from adopting children, making it the first to place gay and lesbian couples on an equal basis with heterosexual couples in adoption

1998 - The US Supreme Court ruled that New Jersey had the right to control 24.5 of the 27.5 acres of Ellis Island, ending a conflict with New York

1999 - Hurricane Floyd caused major flood damage

2000 - Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service began operation from Bayonne; the rail system now extends to Weehawken; a fire at Seton Hall University killed three students in a dormitory; Gov. Christine Whitman bcame the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under the administration of President George W. Bush

2001 - On September 11, 700 New Jerseyans were killed in the attack on the Twin Towers; Shirley M Tilghman named the first woman president of Princeton University; she was a professor of molecular biology

2004 - On August 12, then governor James E. McGreevey resigned as his office

2005 - In April, the General Motors plant in Linden closed; the Pentagon announced the closing of the 80 year old Fort Monmouth; New Jersey was the first state to award public funding for stem-cell research

2007 - On February 17, the State recognized the civil union of same-sex couples