73 Delaware Facts and Wired Laws

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Delaware attained statehood on December 7, 1787. It became the first state to join the Union. Delaware has many nicknames, The First State, The Blue Hen State, The small Wonder State, and The Diamond State. 

Corporate law is a major part of Delaware’s appeal as a corporate haven. Delaware is however much more than just corporations. With 974,000 residents, the Diamond State is a jewel of a state to live in.

If you are thinking of visiting the State of Delaware or maybe even moving there. You may want to take a look at these facts about Delaware before you do so.

Let’s learn some fun Delaware facts you may not know. Be sure to check out the top 10 weird laws in Delaware.

Best Fun Facts About Tennessee

  1. Delaware was first discovered by Dutch in 1631 and established the trading post in Zwaanendael, now Lewes, Delaware.
  2. Delaware is the second smallest U.S. State. Its area comprises 5133 square km and is the 7th least populated State in America with a population of only 990,334.
  3. “DuPont,” one of the largest American conglomerates on the planet, was founded by E.I. Du Pont de Nemours in Wilmington in 1802.
  4. The enduring and iconic concept of construction “Log Cabins” were first made in the new Sweden colony (now Delaware) in 1638.
  5. The U.S. flag was flown in the air for the first time in Delaware by the Continental Army during the fight in September 1777.
  6. Thomas Garrett was a worthy Delawarean who fought his whole life against slavery. He was the leader of the Underground Railroad Movement. It was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape into free states. He has helped more than 2,500 African Americans to run free of slavery.
  7. Dover is the capital of Delaware and is equally small as its State. It was founded in 1683 and is regarded as one of the oldest cities in the U.S.

Delaware Facts — Politics And Government

  1. Delaware’s government consists of the General Assembly, made up of a State Senate and House of Representatives, the Governor, and the judiciary.
  2.  Joe Biden is probably the most famous person in the world that has strong Delaware connections. He was the sixth-youngest senator in American history when he was elected to represent Delaware in 1972, and he also served as Barack Obama’s Vice President for eight years.
  3. The current Governor of Delaware is John Carney Jr. (D). He was first elected in 2016 and took office on January 17, 2017.
  4. The only state to hold a primary on February 1 in 2000 was Delaware, while in 2004, it was one of five states that held a primary on February 3.
  5. There are only two Senators from Delaware in the United States Senate and one representative from Delaware in the United States House of Representatives.
  6. Delaware is one of the only five states where there is no sales tax imposed by the government. Other states that do not have a sales tax are Alaska, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire.
Credits: Getty Images

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Delaware Facts — History

  1. Delaware was the first State to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787, five days before any other province or colony. In 2002, a first-grade class requested that the nickname “The First State” be made official.
  2. Delaware was the first State to fly the first Betty Ross U.S. flag in 1777.
  3. The first known inhabitants of Delaware were the Lenni Lenape and the Nanticoke, tribes that combined to form the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape confederation.
  4. In 1923, a woman named Cecile Long Steele who lived in Ocean View, ordered 50 baby chicks — but was accidentally given 500. This more or less started the chicken industry in Delaware, as the enterprising Steele spent the next few months raising and fattening up the chicks into robust, juicy chickens to sell. By 1928, Steele and her husband were ordering 26,000 chicks a year, and local companies like Perdue were also getting into the chicken game. It’s a big reason why we eat so much chicken today.
  5. Georgia is known as the Peach State, but the first peach orchards were actually grown in Delaware City in 1832.
  6. ILC Dover, located in Frederica invented the spacesuit. The company outfitted every American astronaut that has walked on the moon.
  7. Delaware has not changed its license plate design since 1959. It is the longest-running license plate design in the history of the United States.
  8. Delaware’s Sussex County was a leading supplier of the holly often used for wreaths and other Christmas decorations during the 19th century. Because of this, the American holly is the official state tree of Delaware.
  9. The Delaware River and the Delaware Bay both predate the name of the State. In 1610, English naval officer Samuel Argall named the bodies of water after the governor of Virginia, Thomas West, the 12th Baron De La Warr.
  10. Delaware was home to reggae royalty for a brief period. Bob Marley lived in the State between 1965 and 1977 and worked for the Dupont Company and at the Chrysler assembly plant in Newark. One of his children, Stephen Marley, was born in Wilmington.
  11. The University of Delaware offered the country’s first study abroad program in 1923.
  12. Delaware is home to the nation’s first scheduled railroad, starting in New Castle in 1831.
  13.  Delawarean Oliver Evans built the first automobile in America, though it would be hardly recognizable as an automobile by today’s standards.
  14. Brigadier-General Caesar Rodney of Dover, the guy on the back of the 1999 Delaware state quarter, rode 80 miles on horseback overnight to Philadelphia on July 1, 1776, to cast an important vote despite suffering from asthma and skin cancer. His vote was the deciding factor in favor of the nation’s independence.
  15. One of the first “resort beauty pageants” was held in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1880. Thomas Edison served as one of the judges. 
  16. Thomas Jefferson called Delaware a “jewel” because of its strategic location along the East Coast. Thus giving it one of its nicknames, “The Diamond State.
  17. Henry Hudson is credited with Delaware’s discovery in 1609.
  18. The nickname “Blue Hen State” was given to Delaware after fighting the State Bird Blue Hen Cocks with the Delaware Revolutionary War Soldiers for entertainment during Cockfights.
  19. The Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was founded in Milton, Delaware in 1995 and now sells its 25 styles of beer in more than 25 states across the country. They even introduced a beer with scrapple in it back in 2014.
Credits: Mental Floss

Delaware Facts — Geography

  1. The world’s tallest Lego tower was built in Wilmington, Delaware. It is 11 stories tall and made of more than 500,000 bricks. This 112-foot masterpiece beat out the previous 106 foot champion in Prague.
  2. Delaware is the second smallest state in the United States, with a land area of 1,948 sq. miles. The smallest State is Rhode island consisting of 1,214 sq. miles of land area.
  3. Delaware has the 22nd-longest coastline among all U.S. states, which is 28 miles long.
  4. Delaware has the lowest altitude of just 60ft above sea level.
  5. Twelve-Mile Circle is an arc that marks the northern boundary of Delaware.
  6. There are only three counties in Delaware. New Castle, Kent, and Sussex.
  7. The highest point in Delaware is Ebright Road in north Wilmington, a mere 442 feet above sea level.
  8. Delaware is the only state in the U.S. that doesn’t have a national park.
  9. Delaware is bordered in the north by Pennsylvania and in the south and west by Maryland. To the northeast of Delaware, across the Delaware River and Delaware Bay lies New Jersey. On the east, Delaware is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.
  10. Sussex (950 square miles) is the largest county of Delaware, followed by Kent (594 square miles) and then New Castle (438 square miles).
  11. Delaware has the lowest mean elevation (450 feet) of any state. Bright Azimuth – 447.85 ft. above sea level near Ebright Road in New Castle County is the highest elevation in Delaware.
  12. The Delaware Memorial Bridge that connects Del. with New Jersey is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.
  13. Delaware was last to the party in terms of getting a National Monument, which didn’t happen until 2013. The First State National Monument, dedicated by President Obama and Vice President Biden, is comprised of 1100 acres of preserved land, plus a handful of historic buildings—including Dover Green, where Delawareans ratified the Constitution.

Delaware Facts — Animals and Plants

  1. The official state animal is the Blue Hen. This beautiful, unusual chicken is not an official chicken breed.
  2. Lums Pond State Park is a nature preserve in Delaware that surrounds the State’s biggest freshwater pond. You can see river turtles, ospreys, and blue herons on the pond shoreline.
  3. The gray fox is Delaware’s state wildlife animal. The gray fox is the only fox known to climb trees.
  4. Delaware is also home to three state forests, several sandy beaches, and swampland near its southern border.
  5. Sussex County in Delaware raises more broiler chicken than any other county in the United States.
  6. D.E. has the largest population of horseshoe crabs in the world. It is estimated that the species predate the dinosaurs by more than 200 million years.
  7. There are over 200 times more chickens than people in Delaware.
  8. Delaware’s state insect is a ladybug, thanks to a second-grade class who petitioned and got it approved by the 127th General Assembly on April 25, 1974.
  9. An insect species, the Bethany Beach firefly, can only be found in Delaware. The firefly was rediscovered in 1998 after disappearing for nearly 40 years.

Delaware Facts — Demographics

  1. For every square mile of land in Delaware, there is an average of 460.8 people.
  2. Wilmington is Delaware’s largest city, with a population of 71,146 people.
  3. The median age in Delaware is 39.6 years of age, with a slight gender gap of 51.6% females and 48.4% males in the State.
  4. With an average speed of 25.2 Mbps, Delawareans enjoy the second-fastest internet speeds in the United States. District of Columbia retains the top spot for the fastest wireline internet in the country at 28.1 megabits per second.
  5. Georgetown stands out for the diversity of its population in Delaware. Minorities make up just under 50% of total residents.
  6. Delaware is pretty popular among cyclists. The League of American Bicyclists named it the third most bike-friendly Sstatein the country in 2015.
  7. Delaware is also the sixth most densely populated state in America. 
  8.  Delaware has the highest percentage of PhDs in the U.S.
  9. Rehoboth Beach is one of the most LGBT community-friendly shorelines.

Delaware Facts— Culture and Sports

  1. There is a minor league professional baseball team in Delaware named the Blue Rocks. They are the Single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Many residents root for the neighboring Philadelphia and Baltimore sports teams, but plenty of Delawareans also enjoy a night at their local ballpark with its relatively affordable tickets and intimate small-town feel. Almost 300,000 people visit Daniel S. Frawley Stadium every year.
  2. Two high school players in Delaware were first-round picks in the Major League Baseball draft in the 1980s. Derrick May from Newark High School (9th overall in 1986 by the Cubs), and Delino DeShields from Seaford High School (12th overall in 1987 by the Expos). May played over a decade in MLB, Mexico, and Japan, while DeShields had a nice career as one of the better second basemen in the National League.
  3. Judy Johnson is Delaware’s only representation in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Inducted in 1975, the Negro League star grew up in northern Delaware and has been praised for his baseball intelligence and acumen, traits that eventually served him well as a scout.
  4. The Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens men’s basketball team competes in the NCAA at the Division I level. They have appeared in the NCAA Tournament — perhaps more commonly known as March Madness — five times. But they never advanced further than the first round.
  5. Two Super Bowl quarterbacks, Joe Flacco and Rich Gannon of Delaware threw a record-breaking 5 interceptions in the Super Bowl XXXVII against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  6.  Donte DiVincenzo was the 17th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft out of Villanova University for the Milwaukee Bucks. He currently plays for the Sacramento Kings.

Delaware Facts — Economy

  1. More than 50% of all U.S. publicly traded companies and 63% of the Fortune 500 are incorporated in Delaware.
  2. Delaware’s GDP is $77 Billion, as compared to Croatia, a country with 4 times more population than Delaware with a GDP of $55.97.
  3. Delaware has ranked #6 in the business environment out of all 50 states. That’s why most of the Fortune 500 companies are in Delaware.
  4. In Delaware, finance, insurance, and real estate sectors comprise 10.3% of total employment, a far higher percentage than the national average.
  5. Study findings show that Delaware’s millionaire rate is 6.20 percent, making it the ninth-largest in the United States.
  6. The city of Wilmington is the heart of the State’s economy. This city is home to the DuPont Company – one of the world’s largest chemical companies in the world. DuPont has developed such well-known products as Nylon, Teflon, Cellophane, Stainmaster carpets, and Lycra brand spandex.
  7. Delaware is a leading producer of broiler chickens. Potatoes, soybeans, corn, and dairy products are also important to the State’s economy.
  8.  Delaware’s economy results in a low cost of living with the lowest median property taxes in the region. Also, having no sales tax or VAT is also a great part of enjoying Delaware’s economy.
  9. D.C.-based finance news and business publication recently listed Delaware as the top State for retirees in terms of economy, crime, demographics, and tax rates.
  10. Delaware’s number 1 industry is agriculture with a worth of $8 billion. 
  11. Over 89% of all companies that held an IPO in 2019 were Delaware corporations.

Common Misconceptions About Delaware State

Wilmington is super dangerous

Sure, a city can have bad areas, just like any other. But plenty of Wilmington’s neighborhoods is full of fun nightlife, great restaurants, and gorgeous parks.

There aren’t any sports to watch

You don’t have to go to Philadelphia to watch baseball! Actually, the single-A Wilmington Blue Rocks are playing better ball for you to see.

You can’t find any good food

This is one of those Delaware myths that used to be true, but now there is mouthwatering food throughout the State.

Weird Laws in Delaware

Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. Alcohol is prohibited in dance halls/clubs
  2. Six-year-old girls must be fully clothed at all times
  3. You can’t whisper during Sunday church service
  4. Don’t sleep on the boardwalk in the city of Rehoboth Beach.
  5. You must carry a “poop” bag when walking your dog
  6. Advertising for adoption is illegal
  7. You can’t clothes in a public restroom
  8. Changing clothes in your car is illegal
Image: Unsplash @Jacob Spence

Final Thought

As you can see, Delaware is a great state with lots of great things to do. You can literally buy anything from clothing to electronics without any sales tax, saving yourselves hundreds or thousands of dollars. Many Fortune 500 companies do business in Delaware because of the State’s friendly business laws.

You can enjoy Delaware’s beauty and the low cost of everything. Just make sure not to change clothes in any public restrooms.

Delaware Facts And Stats

CapitalDover
Population2019 (973,764)
GovernorJohn Carney (Democratic Party)
Date Of AdmissionDecember 7, 1787
U.S. SenatorsTom Carper (D)
Chris Coons (D)
US House of Representatives1 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameDiamond State, First State
State MottoLiberty and Independence
State Song“Our Delaware”
State FlowerPeach Blossom
State FishWeakfish
State BirdBlue Hen Chicken
State TreeAmerican holly
State MammalGrey Fox
State DrinkMilk
State MineralSillimanite
State GemSillimanite
State FossilBelemnite
Neighbor StatesVirginiaNew Jersey PennsylvaniaWashington Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions About The First state

What are the 5 interesting things about Delaware?

  1. Delaware was named after an English politician.
  2. Modern-day Delaware was inhabited by a number of different groups of Native Americans before European arrival.
  3. The first 50 years of European history in Delaware were times of conflict!
  4. Delaware wanted nothing to do with the American Revolution at first.
  5. Delaware relied on slavery in its early colonial days.

What is Delaware known for?

  1. Historical landmarks
  2. Chemical manufacturing
  3. Being a tax-free state
  4. First state to ratify the Constitution
  5. Large number of companies incorporated in the state

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References

  1. 11 Stereotypes About Delaware That Need To Be Put To Rest 
  2. Strangest laws in Delaware
  3. 47 Interesting Facts About Delaware
  4. Overview of Delaware
  5. First State FAQ- DE History

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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