Delaware is a state where everybody knows your name, and it’s full of sleepy small towns were everyday life tends to be routine and predictable. That’s why these 11 incidents caught everybody’s attention. Read our list of the 11 weirdest things that have ever happened in Delaware, and see if you remember any of these happening!
1. It Rained Money in Lewes
Leonard Maull ran a local bait and tackle shop in Lewes for years, and when he died in 2012, the community missed his friendly attitude. They had no idea what he had in store until a year later, when a helicopter hovered above the city and began dropping thousands of dollars of cash from the sky. That's right, $10,000 was set aside in Maull's will to be flown over the harbor and dropped for strangers to enjoy. There's no documented proof of the event, though, because everybody was having too much fun running around collecting the 'paper rain'!
2. UD Researchers Caught A Shark (within a shark!)
It's like Turducken, except it's just shasharkrk. When UD researchers set out to recapture sharks carrying tracking tags, they didn't quite expect to capture a Dogfish AND a Sand Tiger Shark on one line. The dogfish was about 3' long, and entirely swallowed by the Sand Tiger Shark.
3. Schools on Lockdown... because of an Emu!
For two months, a mysterious Emu ran through southern Delaware, causing schools to be on lockdown and thousands of residents to worry about encountering the bird. Nobody ever claimed the emu, but it was finally captured in a neighborhood in Odessa and relocated to a new home at a Delaware ranch, where he was renamed Eddie Horace. Just another day in Southern Delaware.
4. Daycare Fight Club
In 2012, a story broke about Our Future Daycare in Dover when a video surfaced of three employees encouraging toddlers to fight each other. The video is hard to watch and really makes you wonder how women who were trusted with young children - who chose to make caring for young children their career - could put them in an awful, reckless situation. All three women were arrested and charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child, and more.
5. Joe Biden Showed Up in a Womens Locker Room
The Onion has a famous series of articles highlighting ridiculous situations Joe Biden gets himself into, so I really had to double check to be sure this wasn't satire. On EqualPayDay, the VP (with the best of intentions, I'm sure) tweeted this photograph of himself in a womens' locker room at University of Delaware. It's just a little strange, though, because college athletes do not get paid, and, well, the VP is in their locker room.
6. A Corpse is Mistaken for a Decoration
When a 42-year-old Frederica woman decided to end her life, she probably didn't expect it to make these kind of headlines. She hanged herself from a tree in her front yard along a busy road a few days before Halloween, and everybody who saw it assumed it was a decoration. It took hours for authorities to be called to the scene.
7. 1 Square Mile Caused a Rift
Survey technology in the 1700s wasn't exactly state-of-the-art, and various agreements, treaties and surveys had left one square mile of land between Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania in dispute. In fact, it got so heated that well-respected surveyors were fired in 1763 to resolve the border dispute. Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason were called in, and the original Mason-Dixon line only ruled out Maryland's claim to the wedge. Pennsylvania and Delaware fought over the tract until 1921, when it officially became a part of Delaware.
8. Bob Marley worked for the Du Ponts
If you live in Delaware, any Du Pont connection probably doesn't surprise you anymore. Of course, your cousin went to school with one of them. Your grandpa used to play poker with one. They're tied into the everyday culture of Delaware in ways that out-of-staters just don't get. But, I'll be honest, this one surprised me. Bob Marley, one of the most influential musicians of all time, worked as a DuPont lab assistant and on the assembly line, using the alias Donald Marley.
9. The Village of Arden was founded
In 1900, the village of Arden was established as a radical Georgist single-tax town by a sculptor (Frank Stephens) and an architect (Will Price). Designed to be a Utopian village, Arden established many practices that are unusual in the state of Delaware, and throughout the country. For example, you can't buy or sell land in Arden - only 99-year leases are to be used. The land is all held in a trust. To this day, Ardenites take pride in their arts-and-crafts culture and live together in a close-knit community.
10. Return Day - Politicians Bury the Hatchet
Every two years, Georgetown puts on a parade for Return Day, two days after election day. The winners of that year's elections parade in horse-drawn carriages around The Circle. So far, it sounds like a normal Democratic procession, but what makes it unique is the tradition that goes along with the event. When Return Day first began, colonial leaders decided to bury the hatchet - literally. To this day, Delaware's political winners and losers parade around town and then ceremonially bury an actual hatchet in a tub of sand.
11. A License Plate was Sold for $675,000
Delaware's relatively low population means that plenty of license plates have low numbers, and it's become a big deal in Delaware to have a low-numbered plate. That's why, in 2008, black tag license plate number "6" went up for public auction. What's insane, though, is that it sold for a record-high price of $675,000. Wow!