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Delaware, US (Population: 853,476)
State Capitol: Dover

Major Cities: Wilmington, Newark, Milford, Seaford, Middletown, Elsmere, Smyrna, New Castle, Georgetown

State Nickname/Motto: First State/Diamond State/Blue Hen State/Small Wonder – Liberty and Independence

Statehood Granted: December 7, 1787

History: Before Delaware was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Eastern Algonquian tribes known as the Unami Lenape or Delaware throughout the valley. The Nanticoke peoples were located along the rivers leading into the Chesapeake Bay. The Unami Lenape in the Delaware valley and the Munsee Lenape tribes along the Hudson River had a settled hunting and agricultural society, and they rapidly became middlemen in an increasingly frantic fur trade with their ancient enemy, the Minqua or Susquehannock. With the loss of their lands on the Delaware River and the destruction of the Minqua by the Iroquois of the Five Nations (note: the original Iroquois Confederacy was made up of five nations, until the Tuscarora were allowed to join them in the late 1700’s). The remnants of the Lenape left the region and moved over the Alleghany Mountains by the mid-18th century.

Geography: Ebright Azimuth; 442 feet. The definition of the northern boundary of the state is highly unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and Pennsylvania is defined by an arc extending 12 miles from the cupola of the courthouse in New Castle, and is referred to as the Twelve-Mile Circle. This is the only true-arc political boundary in the United States. This border extends all of the way to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey shore, which continues down the shoreline until it again reaches the twelve-mile arc in the south; then the boundary continues in a more conventional way in the middle of the main channel (thalweg) of the Delaware River Estuary. A portion of this arc extends into Maryland to the west, and the remaining western border is a tangent to this arc that runs a bit to the east. The Wedge of land between the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921, when Delaware's claim was confirmed.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.3%), White (73.6%), Black or African American 19.9%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.3%), Asian (2.7%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.0%), Some other race 2.0%), Two or more races (1.5%), Hispanic or Latino (6.1%)*

Famous State People:
  • Richard Allen (1760 - 1831) Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (1960 - ) Actress married to heavy metal guitarist Eddie Van Halen, born in Wilmington.
  • Annie Jump Cannon (1863 - 1941) Astronomer, born in Dover.
  • Henry Heimlich (1920 - ) Surgeon and inventor, developed the Heimlich Maneuver to save choking victims; born in Wilmington.
  • Howard Pyle (1853 - 1911) Artist, author; born in Wilmington.
  • Elisabeth Shue (1963 - ) Actress, famous for roles in movies like The Karate Kid and Leaving Las Vegas; born in Wilmington.
  • Robert Montgomery Bird (1805 - 1854) Playwright, author, born in New Castle.
  • Eleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771 - 1834) Industrialist and founder of the DuPont Company; lived on a farm on the banks of the Brandywine River.
  • George Read (1734 - 1798) Jurist, signer of Declaration of Independence; lived in the county of Newcastle.
  • Caesar Rodney (1730 - 1783) Patriot, signer of Declaration of Independence; lived in Kent county.
  • Teri Polo (1969 - ) Actress, famous for roles in movies such as Aspen Extreme and Meet the Parents; born in Dover.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Delaware State University, Delaware Technical & Community College, Drexel University at Wilmington, Goldey-Beacom College, University of Delaware, Wesley College, Widener University School of Law, Wilmington College, Delaware College of Art and Design

    Misc: The Big August Quarterly is an annual religious festival held in Wilmington, Delaware, and is sometimes called "Big Quarterly" or "August Quarterly." The festival began in 1814 by Peter Spencer in connection with the "quarterly" meeting or conference of the African Union Church. Out of the four meetings during the year, the one in August became the "annual conference" of the Church when ministers' assignments for the next year were announced, among other business — it was a time for free blacks and slaves alike to come together (from the multi-state area) and celebrate their faith with singing, dancing, testifying, and feasting. It is the oldest such celebration in the country.

    *U.S. Census - 2005