Delaware June 23, 2016
9 Things You Didn’t Know About The History Of Delaware
Delaware has been around a LONG time – officially, longer than any other of the United States of America. Even as a colony, Delaware was one of the first to be settled, in 1629. There is a lot of history in this little state! We wanted to take a look at some of the unusual Delaware history that your schoolbooks may have passed over, so you can learn more about our beloved Delaware.
1. First to... fly?
Everybody knows Delaware was the first to sign, but did you also know that we were the first state to fly the Betsy Ross flag, in 1777?
2. Wilmington is the birthplace of Henry Heimlich.
So, next time you take a CPR course, thank Wilmington for keeping you safe (for once!).
3. Delaware Park hosted the world's longest poker game.
In 2011, Delaware Park set the world record for the longest continuous poker tournament. They called it the "Iron Man Poker Challenge," and it lasted for 31 hours and 58 minutes. Could you play cards for that long? The winner took home just over $43,500 - I suppose that's incentive!
4. Bob Marley worked for the DuPonts.
Before he was too famous, Bob Marley held a job in his mom's hometown of Wilmington, working at a DuPont mill.
5. Oliver Evans created the first American automobile in 1805.
Delawarean Oliver Evans got a little carried away when the city of Philadelphia asked him to invent some sort of dredging machine. He created the first american automobile, but it wasn't quite up to driving at the time. Philadelphia also had no interest.
6. Log cabins originated in Delaware.
The first of the log cabins that are so iconic of the settlers was built in Delaware. There are lots of historic and restored log cabins at Delaware historic sites today.
7. The First Methodist Church was founded in Frederica.
Barratt's Chapel in Frederica was home to the first Methodist establishment in 1778. There's still a chapel and cemetery on this historic site.
8. University of Delaware started Study Abroad.
In 1923, the University of Delaware started the nation's first Study Abroad program when it sent students to France via boat for a semester. Now, UD has a world famous study abroad program that is one of the best in the country!
9. The Mason Dixon Line was drawn...
... because of a border dispute over a one square mile wedge between DE, MD and PA. The surveyors found that the wedge belonged to Delaware, and several court cases have held that decision. Most people don't know that the Mason-Dixon line started off as part of a border dispute.
If you want to learn more about unusual Delaware history, check out our
Delaware History archives, or head down to your local library and dig around. You never know what you’ll find.