Portal:Delaware

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Introduction

Delaware (/ˈdɛləwɛər/ (About this sound listen)) is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeastern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the north by Pennsylvania, and to the east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.

Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. It is the second smallest and sixth least populous state, but the sixth most densely populated. Delaware is divided into three counties, the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County is more industrialized.

Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, and has since been known as "The First State".

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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.

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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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George Read from the Delaware Hall of Governors Portrait Gallery.

George Read (September 18, 1733–September 21, 1798) was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the Federalist Party, who served as U.S. Senator from Delaware and Chief Justice of Delaware.

Read was born in 1733 in Cecil County, Maryland, near North East, the son of John and Mary Howell Read. John Read was a wealthy English resident of Dublin, Ireland who came to Maryland as a young man and was one of the founders of Charlestown in Cecil County. When George Read was an infant the family moved to New Castle County, Delaware, settling near the village of Christiana. As he grew up, Read joined Thomas McKean at the Rev. Francis Alison's Academy at New London, Pennsylvania and then studied law in Philadelphia with John Moland. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1753 and a year later he returned home to establish a practice at New Castle.

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Peach delaware.jpg
"Picking Peaches in Delaware" from an 1878 issue of Harper's Weekly.

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