New Jersey Facts
New Jersey Facts

32 Cool New Jersey Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published September 8, 2021
  • New Jersey’s Hackensack Meadows wetlands preserve is home to over 270 species of birds.[14]
  • The Great Swamp, located in north-central New Jersey, contains over 6,000 acres of freshwater wetlands that were placed under federal preservation when New Jersey locals petitioned to keep it in its primeval condition.[14]
  • More battles of the American Revolutionary War were fought on New Jersey territory than in any other state, for which the state was nicknamed the “Cockpit of the Revolution.”[14]
  • In New Jersey, self-service gasoline pumps are illegal.[14]
  • There are towns in New Jersey named Orange, East Orange, South Orange, and West Orange—but no North Orange.[14]
  • At a population of over 200,000, New Jersey is home to ten times as many state employee retirees as Florida.[14]
  • New Jersey is the largest source of manufactured silk in the United States.[14]
  • Beaches New Jersey
    New Jersey boasts miles of pristine coastline
  • On the eastern border of New Jersey is a stretch of white sand coast that is 120 miles long and contains some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.[14]
  • Serial killer Richard Biegenwald, who was active from 1974 to 1983, was dubbed the Jersey Shore Thrill Killer because he abducted a majority of his female victims from the beaches of the Jersey Shore.[12]
  • The first steam locomotive made in America was built in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1824.[14]
  • Throughout its history, New Jersey has been occupied by populations of the Native American Lenape,  Munsee, and Unlachtigo tribes, as well by Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, and English colonists—all before becoming a US state.[10]
  • Representatives from New Jersey were the first to sign the Bill of Rights on behalf of their state.[10]
  • New Jersey was named for an English colonist who had previously served as governor of the Isle of Jersey in Britain.[10]
  • The famous 4-mile-long Atlantic City Boardwalk isn't actually named for the wooden planks with which it was constructed but for the man who designed it in the 1870s, Alexander Boardman.[3]
  • Atlantic City Boardwalk
    With over 27 million yearly visitors, Atlantic City is one 
    of the United States' hottest tourist destinations

  • New Jersey's nickname, the Garden State, was given in 1876 as a reference to the large amount of food grown in the state at that time.[10]
  • Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. president to have been born in New Jersey.[10]
  • Famous New Jersey natives include Buzz Aldrin, author Judy Blume, and Frank Sinatra.[10]
  • MTV's 2009–2012 reality tv show Jersey Shore, which followed the lives of 8 young adults during their summers in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, set ratings records for MTV when it reached a peak audience of 9 million viewers.[4]
  • New Jersey Elephant
    Lucy is the oldest surviving roadside attraction in the United States (credit: Acroterion)
  • Lucy the Margate Elephant is an elephant-shaped structure, six stories tall and weighing 90 tons, that was built near Atlantic City in 1881 to attract residents to the area and has since been declared a National Historic Landmark.[3]
  • The Seaside Heights, New Jersey, house that was the setting for the reality show Jersey Shore can be rented—for $2000 a night.[4]
  • New Jersey residents voted in 1976 to legalize gambling only in Atlantic City, in the hopes of increasing revenues to fund urban development and revitalization there; it remains the only city in New Jersey in which gambling is legal.[9]
  • Prolific inventor Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, the quadruplex telegraph, DC current, the carbon microphone, the fluoroscope, and the light bulb all while living in Newark, New Jersey.[17]
  • Thomas Edison's laboratory at Menlo Park in New Jersey eventually covered two city blocks, earning Edison the nickname "The Wizard of Menlo Park." It is now the site of a national park with a museum dedicated to Edison and his inventions.[17]
  • Paterson, New Jersey, was the United States' first planned industrial city; it was founded In 1792 by Alexander Hamilton, America's first Secretary of the Treasury. Despite its beginning as the nation's central manufacturing hub, by 1983, Paterson had become the fifth poorest city in the entire United States.[11]
  • New Jersey Springsteen
    The Boss (credit: German Bundesarchive)
  • New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen wrote many of his most famous hits about places he knew and experiences he had while growing up in a working-class family in Long Branch, New Jersey.[1][5]
  • With over 600 diners throughout the state, New Jersey has more diners than any other state in America and is known as the "Diner Capital of the World."[8]
  • New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States. In 2018, there were over 1,200 residents per square mile.[16]
  • The first drive-in movie theater opened in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey, the hometown of the young man who first came up with the idea.[7]
  • Princeton University, founded in 1746, was originally called the College of New Jersey, until its name was changed in 1896. It is the United States' fourth oldest institution of higher eduction.[6]
  • The first ever college football game took place in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1869, when Princeton lost to Rutgers in front of an audience of around 100 people.[13]
  • In the state of New Jersey, it's illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a serious crime.[15]
  • According to data from 2019, New Jersey is ranked the best US state in terms of the cost and quality of their education.[2]
  • Cool New Jersey INFOGRAPHIC
    New Jersey Thumbnail

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