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All hail Exit 4! The rest of the world may not know or care about South Jersey’s distinct culture – but we do.  From prehistoric to modern times, there is so much that sets the region apart from towns across the Delaware and our Northern Jersey neighbors. Get ready to be in a permanent South Jersey state of mind.

 

14 ways you know you’re from SJ

You’re annoyed when performers on the Camden waterfront think they’re in Philly.

You went to camp in the Pine Barrens and know multiple versions of the Jersey Devil legend.

You’ve taken countless hayrides, picked thousands of blueberries and live for cider donuts.

There’s no subway or metro. It’s the River line thank you very much.

You still cringe over MTV’s “The Jersey Shore.”

You think Bruce Springsteen songs are about your life.

One of your first pets was a hermit crab.

You have no idea how to pump your own gas.

You’ve had multiple school trips to glass factories and Adventure Aquarium.

You know the difference between the Black Horse and White Horse Pikes.

A beach day can literally be a day trip.

You know the best Philly cheesesteaks are in Camden. End of debate.

Your first amusement park trip was to Storybook Land. 

Exit 4 means you’re home!

 


 

SJ on the map since prehistoric times (a history lesson)

The First Dinosaur

Haddonfield has bragging rights. The Hadrosaurus foulkii was the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton found in 1858 and the first to be mounted for public display. Long after it was unearthed, Haddy the Hadrosaurus sculpture was erected downtown. 

Colonial History: The other tea party

While not as famous as the Boston Tea Party, revolutionaries in the Cumberland County community of Greenwich also burned a shipment of stolen tea to protest taxation without representation. The Greenwich Tea party took place in the town square Dec. 22, 1774.

Battle of Gloucester: Viva Lafayette!

In his debut as a commander, the Marquis de Lafayette, a young French aristocrat, led American troops in a successful surprise attack against British and Hessian forces. The battle took place across six towns from Gloucester City and Bellmawr to Haddonfield on Nov. 25-27, 1777.

Underground Railroad Towns

African slaves fleeing slavery in the South found refuge in many South Jersey towns, including Salem City, Swedesboro, Cherry Hill, Camden, Lawnside and Burlington. Lawnside, originally named Free Haven, was the first independent, self-governing African-American community north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Top Gun

Some 1,500 pilots received advanced training in the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt over Cumberland County skies during World War II. The Millville Army Air Field was known as “America’s First Defense Airport.”

Woodbine: The Other Ellis Island

Woodbine was established as an experimental agricultural community for immigrating Russian Jews in the 1890s. Because of poor soil conditions, it soon became better known as a factory town.

Cold War History 101 – The Glassboro Summit

In 1967, at a tense point in the Cold War, the world’s two superpowers met in Glassboro. Hollybrush, a stately 19th century building on the Glassboro State College campus (now Rowan University), was the scene of the summit between US. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

 


Movies Shot in SJ

Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
Starring: Tom Berenger, Michael Pare, Joe Pantoliano
Spotlight: Vineland
Rock and roll never dies. Or does it? The movie centers around the search for a long-lost lead singer of a popular 1960s band. Vineland’s legendary Palace of Depression was depicted in the film.

12 Monkeys (1995)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe
Spotlight: Camden
The sci-fi flick stars Bruce Willis as a prisoner sent back in time from 2035 to stop a man-made virus from destroying the human population. An early scene features the exterior of the Oasis Motel in Camden before it was torn down.

Jersey Girl (2004)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Liv Tyler
Spotlight: Paulsboro
Ben Affleck plays a man driven to take care of his daughter after the untimely death of his wife. Director Kevin Smith spent several weeks in Paulsboro filming scenes in the town’s municipal building and high school, where he eventually held the movie premiere.

 


 

Musical Notes

Photo: Frank Stefarko

The Rat Pack and all those cool cats…

Cherry Hill’s Latin Casino – stage to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horn and Richard Pryor’s Up In Smoke – was the “it” nightclub throughout the 1960s until it went dark in 1978.

Bruce Springsteen: the Haddonfield sessions

South Jersey photographer Frank Stefanko shot the iconic portrait of Bruce for the cover of 1978’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” in the bedroom of his Haddonfield home. After connecting through punk rocker Patti Smith (another SJ legend), the two Jersey natives hit it off, starting a 40-plus year collaboration. 

Which brings us to Patti Smith…

Called the punk poet laureate, Smith, who grew up in Deptford, was an influential member of the New York City punk scene in the mid 1970s. “Because the Night,” her collaboration with the Boss, is her most widely known song. She won the National Book Award for her memoir “Just Kids” in 2010.

South Jersey rocks!

BB&T Pavilion in Camden was named the No. 2 amphitheater for worldwide ticket sales in 2018, according to Pollster Magazine, the leading trade publication of the concert industry. Can we have an encore?

 


 

Boardwalks & Beaches

4 truths we all know about going down the shore

  1. Being called a Shoobie is not a compliment.
  2. Custard, when eaten on a boardwalk, is a major food group.
  3. A recorded warning to “Watch the tram car,” means move out of the way, and there’s no need to turn around and look.
  4. Shaking sand out of your shoes (or towel) is a hopeless cause.

 


 

Varsity Athletes

Hockey – Johnny Goudreau, left winger for the Calgary Flames, is from Carney’s Point.

Football – Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens quarterback, is from Audubon.

Baseball – Mike Trout, seven-time MLB MVP playing for the LA Angels, is from Vineland.

Track – Carl Lewis grew up in Willingboro. He won nine Olympic gold medals in track and field from 1979 to 1996.

Soccer – Carli Lloyd is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, two-time FIFA Player of the Year and a three-time Olympian. She grew up in Delran.

Boxing – Pennsauken native Arnold Raymond Cream, best known as Jersey Joe Walcott, was a boxer who competed from 1930 to 1953. He held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952, and broke the record for the oldest man to win the title, at the ripe age of 37.

 


 

Diner Musts

5 Food Favs you’ve ordered more than once

  1. Grilled cheese the cheesier the better
  2. Greek salad anchovies optional
  3. Piece of pie displayed in a revolving glass case
  4. Fries, as a meal or side, doesn’t matter
  5. Breakfast – any time (2 am is maybe the best time)

 


 

Invented Here

Teflon™

Chemist Roy Plunkett was experimenting with Freon (the refrigerant gas) at DuPont’s Jackson Lab in Pennsville in 1938. An experiment gone wrong led him to the serendipitous discovery of a slippery, heat-resistant polymer that could be used to coat cookware

The Victrola

RCA – The Victor Talking Machine Company – rolled out the first mass-produced, motorized record player in 1906. Made in Camden, the Victrola was memorialized by the image of the dog Nipper listening to “his master’s voice.”

Condensed Soup

In 1897, chemist John T. Dorrance joined his uncle’s business, Joseph Campbell & Company,which madesoup, but only for Camden locals. Dorrance came up with a method for condensing the soup, reducing the weight and making soup much cheaper to package, store and ship.

Drive-in Movie

Richard Hollingshead, a movie fan, debuted the drive-in movie on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, Inc. in Camden in 1933. Today, the Delsea Drive-In in Vineland is the only theater of its kind in the state.

 


 

And now…

How South Jersey Are You?

Take the quiz and find out.
Enter here!

 

A winner will be randomly selected on Feb. 20 and will win…
4 combo day passes + $25 dining card for Morey’s Piers (help celebrate their 50th anniversary)
4 family passes to Paws Discovery Farm
Dinner for 4 at Iron Hill Brewery
Signed copies of “Fearless” by Sal Paolantonio & “When Nobody Was Watching” by Carli Lloyd
4 family passes to the Garden State Discovery Museum
3.5 gallon tin ofJohnson’s Popcorn

February 2019
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