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We had some fun and wrote down everything and anything we could about South Jersey. (It’s kind of what we do – make that, it’s what we love to do.)

 

13 Moments that matter in SJ history

You can’t say nothing interesting ever happens here…

1. 80 million BC
The first settlers
The Hadrosaurus foulkii roamed SJ during the Cretaceous Period. We know because the first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton EVER found was unearthed in Haddonfield in 1858.

2. 1739
First in glassmaking
Never mind the water. The Pine Barrens’ sand is the real deal – and the reason glassmaking started here. The Wistarburgh Glass Works in Alloway was first in the nation in 1739.

3. 1777
A hotbed of revolution
The New Jersey General Assembly in 1777 met in Haddonfield’s Indian King Tavern to officially ratify the Declaration of Independence and adopt the state’s Great Seal. Raise a glass to freedom!

4. 1855
The Summer White House
Five United States presidents escaped the heat of Washington D.C. in cool Cape May. Franklin Pierce made America’s first seashore resort trendy in 1855, followed by James Buchanan, Ulysses Grant, Chester Arthur and Benjamin Harrison.

Photo of the Summit meeting between Premier Aleksei Kosygin and President Lyndon B. Johnson. Credit: Paul Leakan

5. The 1870s
Boardwalk Empire I (Rated G)
The Atlantic City boardwalk was built to be just a foot above the beach to keep sand out of hotel lobbies.

6. The 1920s-30s
Boardwalk Empire II (PG-13 version)
New Jersey was the first state to ratify prohibition, and Atlantic City became a magnet for vices of all sorts: gangsters, underground distilleries, speakeasies, you name it. So yes, the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” was based on real history.

7. 1930s
The birth of the jug handle
The jug handle, sometimes referred to not so flatteringly as a “Jersey left,” is as much a part of SJ culture as full-service gas.

8. 1942
Derby Days Begin
The Garden State Park Racetrack puts Cherry Hill (then Delaware Township) on the map.

9. 1961
The Cherry Hill Mall opens. Delaware Township responds by changing its name to Cherry Hill.

10. 1967
The Cold War thaws in SJ
The world’s two superpowers met in a stately 19th century mansion in Glassboro to try to de-escalate cold war tensions. Hollybrush, on the Glassboro State College campus (now Rowan University), was the scene of the important summit between U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

11. 1969
PATCO Hi-Speedline debuted in 1969, offering a rapid rail link from Camden County to Center City for the first time.

Photo: David Michael Howarth

12. 1978
Pinelands Preservation
An act of Congress, championed by NJ Governor Brendan Byrne, established the Pinelands as America’s first National Reserve. The law set aside 1.1 million acres of protected forest for recreation and agriculture.

13. 2010
Camden begins rising
The largest municipal takeover in U.S. history ended with the “Camden Freedom Act,” returning the troubled city to local control and its young mayor Dana Redd, paving the way for changes visible today.

 

 

18 SJ experiences you’ve definitely had

1. Out-of-state friends teaching you to pump gas

2. Explaining why you love Philly sports

3. Having to answer, “What exit?”

4. Beach sand in your car year-round

5. Having people ask you what “Wooder” is

6. Fall trips to the Jersey Shore

7. Comparing all convenient stores to Wawa

8. A runaway hermit crab

9. Correcting people who say “Sprinkles”

10. Cementing your teeth together with saltwater taffy

11. Hanging out at any of the 6 malls by your house

12. Explaining how no one you know is like the “Real Housewives of New Jersey”

13. Feeling upset, yet kind of proud, by Jersey jokes

14. Knowing exactly how to “Watch the tram car please”

15. Hitting at least one fruit festival (blueberry, cranberry, peach, apple) every year

16. Dancing the Mummers’ strut

17. Seeing half your graduating class in the same diner

18. Getting lost on a jug handle

 

  1. Carli Lloyd
  2. Bruce Willis
  3. Kelly Ripa
  4. Tasha Smith
  5. Patti Smith
  6. Joe Flacco
  7. Gaten Matarazzo
  8. Madeline Brewer

 

1. Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen

2. We’re having a party
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

3. Atlantic City
Bruce Springsteen

4. Livin’ on a Prayer
Bon Jovi

5. Wildwood Days
Bobby Rydell

6. On The Way to Cape May
Maurice “Buddy” Nugent

7. Under the Boardwalk
The Drifters

8. Jersey Girl
Tom Waits

9. Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Bon Jovi

 

 

 

Oh, the Places to Go in SJ (16 of them)

1. Walt Whitman House

2. Palace of Depression

3. Indian King Tavern Museum

4. Adventure Aquarium

5. Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center

6. Cape May County Park & Zoo

7. Air Victory Museum

8. African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey

9. Burlington County Prison Museum

10. Rowan University’s Edelman Planetarium

11. Grounds for Sculpture

12. Paulsdale

13. Rancocas Nature Center

14. Battleship New Jersey

15. Lucy the Elephant

16. Cooper River Park

 

 

1. May 19, 1974
Rick MacLeish’s Stanley Cup-winning goal in the final seconds of game 6 vs. the Boston Bruins.

2. Nov 19, 1978
Miracle at the Meadowlands #1 – Herman Edwards’ TD return on a fumble against the Giants.

3. May 31, 1983
“Fo’, fo’, fo’:” Moses Malone’s famous prediction that the Sixers would sweep the playoffs almost comes true. (It was fo’, fi’, fo.)

4. Jan 11, 1981
Wilbert Montgomery’s 42-yard TD run vs. Dallas leads to the Eagles’ first Super Bowl visit.

5. June 30, 1992
An arbitrator ruling brings Eric Lindros to the Flyers.

6. Oct. 27, 2008
Chase Utley’s Game 5 fake and throw to home plate in Game 7 of the World Series.

7. Dec 19, 2010
Miracle at the Meadowlands II – DeSean Jackson’s punt return to advance to the Super Bowl.

8. Oct 7, 2015
Carli Lloyd’s hat trick in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

9. 2015-16
The 76ers abysmal 10-72 record signals the start of “Trust The Process.”

10. Sept 28, 2018
Gritty is introduced to the world. (Ok, nothing athletic to this but we insist.)

11. Feb 4, 2018
Corey Clement, Trey Burton and Nick Foles pull off the “Philly Special” (and then win the Super Bowl).

March 2020
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