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Delaware /ˈdɛləwɛər/, named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. The state, located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, ranks 49th in land area, and 45th in population, but 7th in population density. The highest elevation, located at Ebright Azimuth, in the Brandywine Hundred, does not even rise 450 feet above sea level. Delaware's largest city and economic hub, Wilmington, is located about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., within commuting distance of both Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland.

Delaware quarter, reverse side, 1999.jpg

Before the Dutch established a trading post at Zwaanendael in 1631, the area was home to a number of Eastern Algonquian tribes of Native Americans. Prior to the American Revolution, the territory became known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware", under the control of William Penn and his heirs. Delaware declared its independence from the colony of Pennsylvania and the Kingdom of Great Britain on June 15, 1776. The all night ride of Caesar Rodney to cast the deciding vote for the Declaration of Independence is commemorated in the state quarter issued in 1999.

Delaware's largest private employers include Bank of America, DuPont, Christiana Care Health System, JPMorgan Chase, AstraZeneca, Wal-Mart, Mountaire Farms, Dover Downs, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Perdue Farms, Wilmington Trust, and Pepco Holdings. The state's Congressional Delegation includes Democratic Senators Thomas R. Carper and Chris Coons, and Democratic Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Delaware has several National Historic Landmarks and National Wildlife Refuges, along with other botanical gardens, museums, festivals, parks, houses, lighthouses, and historic places.

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The Delaware Memorial Bridge is the world's longest twin suspension bridge, connecting New Castle, Delaware and Pennsville, New Jersey over the Delaware River. The toll bridge, which is operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, is approximately two and one-half miles long, with the main span measuring 2,150 feet. The bridge was designed with consulting help from famous engineer Othmar Ammann, whose other designs include the Walt Whitman Bridge, the Throgs Neck Bridge and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Construction of the first span began on June 15, 1948, and it was dedicated on August 16, 1951 in honor of the Delaware and New Jersey soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. The American Institute of Steel Construction named it the most beautiful large steel span of its time. Construction of the second span began on April 15, 1964, and it was dedicated on September 12, 1968, in honor of the Delaware and New Jersey soldiers who lost their lives in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In the news

  • Biden questions Bush's "special treatment" of "Scooter" Libby
  • C-5 Galaxy military cargo plane crashes at Dover Air Force Base
  • Intel responds to AMD antitrust suit

Current events on Wikinews

On this day...

On This Date in Delaware, January 17...

  • 1799 - Ten days after his thirtieth birthday, William H. Wells of Dagsboro was elected by the General Assembly to become one of Delaware's youngest US Senators ever.
  • 1872 - Schuetzen Park (present site of Wawaset Park) in Wilmington offered stabling for forty horses for those who wanted to sleigh ride around the track.
  • 1933 - C. Douglass Buck of New Castle became the first Delaware governor to be elected consecutively.
  • 1982 - A record low of twelve degrees below zero was recorded in the Dover area.

Did you know?

  • ...that American Indian poet and Delaware-native James Dillet Freeman is referred to as the "poet laureate to the moon"? His 1941 "Prayer for Protection" was taken aboard Apollo 11 in July 1969 by Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and a microfilm of his 1947 "I Am There" was left on the moon by James B. Irwin on Apollo 15.
  • ...that according to a survey by the National Science Foundation, Delaware has more doctoral-level (Ph.D.) scientists and engineers, as a percentage of the population, than any other state? Delaware also has a higher rate of patent awards, per person, than any other state.


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Selected biography

Official portrait.

Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born 20 November 1942) is an American lawyer and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the incumbent Vice President of the United States.

Biden was born November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph R. Biden, Sr. and Catherine Eugenia Finnegan. He was the first of four siblings and was raised in his Irish American mother's Roman Catholic religion.The Biden family moved to Delaware when Biden was 10 years old, and he grew up in suburban New Castle County, Delaware, where his father was a car salesman. In 1961, Biden graduated from Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware and, in 1965, from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He then attended Syracuse University College of Law, graduated in 1968, and was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1969.

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