New Jersey


Italian Giovanni da Verrazano, in 1524, was the first European to explore the area we know today as New Jersey. One of the original 13 states (it joined the Union in 1787), it was named after the island of Jersey in the English Channel. New Jersey is referred to as the “Garden State” because of its fertile farmland. General George Washington won a key Revolutionary War battle at Trenton when he crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania and surprised the Hessian soldiers stationed there. Trenton is the state capital, and the flower is the purple violet. “Atlantic City, a resort town and former home to the Miss America pageant, attracts visitors from around the world.”

Capital City: Trenton
Nickname: Garden State
Motto: Liberty and Prosperity
Statehood: December 18, 1787 (3rd)
Origin of State’s Name: Named for the Channel Island of Jersey in honor of Sir George Carteret, one of the two men to whom the land was given
Largest Cities: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton
Border States: Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania
Land Area: 7,419 sq. mi., 46th largest
State Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
State Flower: Violet (viola sororia)
State Tree: Red Oak (quercus borealis maxima)
State Song: None