February 8, 2016
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What is NJ350?

Three themes have been designated to help frame New Jersey’s 350th anniversary.

  • Innovation
  • Diversity
  • Liberty
The world has been reshaped again and again by people from and things created in New Jersey. From Edison’s light bulb, to the Atlantic City boardwalk, to the first intercollegiate football game, to Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, New Jersey’s innovations and innovators have had an impact around the nation and around the world.

New Jersey is Innovation

New Jersey is Innovation

New Jersey is a diversity of people, of places, of products and of talents. By virtue of its location and diversity, New Jersey is in many ways a microcosm of the U.S., with numerous national themes playing out within the state’s boundaries over the past 350 years. New Jersey’s Folklife Centers Highlight New Jersey as a “State of Diversity.”

New Jersey is Diversity

New Jersey is Diversity

New Jersey played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, witnessing more significant military action than any other state in the new nation and establishing a tradition of distinguished military service that continues to this day. New Jersey’s commitment to the cause of liberty was further demonstrated when it became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights in 1789.

New Jersey is Liberty

New Jersey is Liberty

Celebrating 350 Years in 2014

New Jersey is celebrating 350 years of history  in 2014. How do YOU plan to celebrate? New Jersey’s rich heritage, unique resources and resilient, determined people are what make this state the place we’re proud to call home. Since its creation in 1664, New Jersey has played a pivotal role in the shaping of American life and culture.

Today our state is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies and more than 1,100 multinational companies from 40 nations. When it comes to art, culture, music, and sports, New Jersey houses hundreds of museums and is the home state to countless film, TV, and music legends; notable literary figures; and acclaimed athletes.

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to commemorate the Garden State’s notable contributions to the nation and the world.

1664 – The Year New Jersey Began

New Jersey began in 1664 as a royal gift. Charles II of England granted a sizeable parcel of land on the east coast of North America to his brother James, Duke of York. James in turn gave a piece of this valuable real estate to two loyal noblemen, Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. The duke spent much of his early life in exile with his brother following the English Civil War and execution of their father. This land grant enabled him to reward loyalty that was no doubt highly prized. The document that records this transaction, now housed at the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton, proclaims that “said Tract of Land is hereafter to be called by the name or names of New Cesarea or New Jersey.” And so New Jersey was born.

When the English arrived in 1664 they found a place that was already relatively diverse in its inhabitants. In addition to Native American populations, Swedish and Dutch settlers had already made the arduous journey to what would become the Garden State. This characteristic of diversity continues to be a hallmark of New Jersey today.

1964 – Marking 300 Years of People, Purpose, Progress

Fifty years ago, New Jersey observed the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of our state through a variety of events, celebrations and programs that included a traveling history mobile museum, commemorative stamps, souvenirs, and a series of commemorative publications. Read the official report and see the many ways New Jersey celebrated its 300th anniversary.

Be a Part of the Celebration – Innovation, Diversity, Liberty

Communities, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals are invited to join in the celebration of New Jersey as the best place to live, work, visit, vacation, and do business. There are many ways in which to participate. You can adopt the official anniversary logo throughout 2014. You can develop new programs and events that highlight New Jersey and its unique heritage or rebrand existing events related to one or more of the themes of the 2014 celebration. Highlight the distinct assets found in our own backyards. Help make this 350th anniversary a year-long celebration that explores our rich heritage and showcases the very best that New Jersey has to offer.



  1. I would like more information about NJ350.
    Thank you,
    Beth Ryan
    Museum Coordinator
    Atlantic City Free Public Library – Atlantic City Historical Museum
    Library 609-345-2269, extension 3064
    Museum 609-347-5839

    • New Jersey was a Mecca for entertainment. Atlantic City had one of the premiere night spots The 500 Club. Skinny D’Amato it’s owner and promoter discovered Martin and Lewis, and help Sinatra when he was down and out. Any information available I would very much appreciate in receiving for my research.

  2. Please check out all of the historical and tourist related videos at http://www.JerseyBayShore.com

  3. The area was called New Netherlands when the Dutch claimed the area in 1614 beforer the English took ove. Monmouth County has much history during those years which is largely forgotten by the history books.

    • Yes, the Dutch did settle in northern New Jersey and were part of New Netherlands.
      However most people are not aware that all the area along the Delaware River (the western border of what is now New Jersey) was New Sweden
      Colony from 1638 thru 1654/55 when old Peg leg took over the colony. Most people also don’t know that the Dutch recognized the Swedes and Finnis
      as the Swedish Nations, and allowed them to govern themselves as the Swedish nation, although this area then was part of New Netherland from 1655 through 1664.
      I’m hoping that the people in charge of this 350th anniversary don’t fail to include this phase of NJ history in their plans,.
      Aleasa Hogate VP/Education Director of New Sweden Centre http://www.colonialnewsweden.org
      I have spent years of my life trying to preserve this part of our NJ history. http://www.SwedishHeritage.us

      • The New Jersey State Museum touches upon this part of the state’s colonial history. The Cultures in Competition exhibit focuses on contact between Native Americans and colonial settlers including the Dutch,Swedes, and English. The museum is located in Trenton, right down the street from the State House. Visit http://www.statemuseum.nj.gov for more information.

  4. On Friday May 9th, the Ridgewood Concert Band will be presenting an All-New Jersey concert in honor of the 350th anniversary of our state. The program will feature compositions by New Jersey composers and compositions written for New Jersey. http://www.ridgewoodband.org

  5. NJ trivia:

    Who is New Jersey named after ?

    • New Jersey is named after the largest of the Channel Islands in the bay of St Malo. We are only small (9×5). Use google maps to find us.
      We do still keep links with New Jersey and for big anniversaries such as this your statespeople come to us and we to you.

      I’ve just read Sara Palmer’s note and we too at the Jersey library are gathering together information on Sir George Carteret and the New Jersey 350 yrs celebration to enable us to have something in place as recognition and acknowledgement.

  6. An exciting year for New Jersey – congratulations! What I missed in your historical overview is a reference to the island of Jersey (Channel Islands, UK), where George Carteret was born and raised. I believe he named the land he was given New Jersey as a reference to his place of birth.

  7. Hello – I am a radio presenter for the BBC on the island of Jersey where Sir George Carteret comes from (and why New Jersey is named as such). We should really like to get involved with your celebrations and I might even be able to come over from Jersey to broadcast back live. It would be lovely to tie in and reflect your anniversary. If someone would be able to contact me direct to see how we could possibly link up (maybe with one of your local radio stations or a school etc).
    Kind regards
    Sara Palmer

    • Hello,

      I am an elementary teacher in NewJersey. Please contact me if you are interested in being a part of a global learning lesson. I am looking to design a project that incorporates the use of Skype and student based inquiries in the project.
      Would you like to participate?
      Thank you.

      Mary Devine M.S.,M.A.
      Mary Hubbard School
      Ramsey, NewJersey

    • Comment to Sara of the Channel Islands (Jersey)

      Noted your comment on Carteret, NJ.

      In UK and NJ vein, there is a great history re: the development of the earliest antibiotics penicillin in the UK and streptomycin at Rutgers University in association with Merck and Co.


  8. I am the Park Ridge Town Historian and I would like information on how to implement a Pop Up Store.

  9. There is lots here to do with NEW Jersey but nothing to do with Jersey. You know the place you’re named after.

  10. I am an active, Hunterdo-county based photographer specializing in photographic art prints of barns and farms of New Jersey. I would like to participate in the pop-up shops. Kindly send me information.

    ~ Anne Freeman Images ~ Prints to Make you Smile ~

  11. The Mahwah Museum will being doing a large NJ350 display reflecting on Mahwah History. come visit at 201 North Franklin Turnkike, Mahwah, NJ.

  12. Will any of the NJ350 items be available to be purchased online? Especially if some of us can’t get to the “Pop-up stores”?

  13. Aging in Place Partners is celebrating South Brunswick in the heART of Middlesex County. We believe it is an ideal community in which to live, work, play, shop and retire to “age in place.” As an all volunteer, non profit organization we salute all those volunteer who came before us and those (of all ages) who work with us today.

    Our initial event, a Transportation Summit on March 20th, introduced the first ever curb to curb para-transit plan for the Township. It has been made possible by a vehicle contributed by a Board member and will function with Volunteer drivers. Our second event, “Living Legacies: South Brunswick Heroes and Heroines”, will be performed on Wednesday, April 30 at 12:30 pm at the South Brunswick Senior Center. This nationally recognized event is an annual inter-generational project developed with high school students who interview our residents and transform their monologue into a theatre piece.

    Our culminating event, recognizing National Arts and Humanities month, NJ 350 and emphasize Discovering South Brunswick,is scheduled for Saturday, October 18 at the South Brunswick Wellness and Senior Centers.

  14. We cannot overlook a period of time in New Jersey before Las Vegas became the Mecca of entertainment that the Palisades was the hub of entertainment in the roadhouses overlooking the Hudson. Specifically, the Riviera Casino in Fort Lee drew the largest names in entertainment. Frank Sinatra, Martin and Lewis, Sophie Tucker, Jimmy Durante et.al. It’s biggest years were from 1946 until 1953 when Sinatra performed and the Riviera closed . The owner Bill Miller was called to Las Vegas to manager for the mob one of its new holdings in that city that was beginning to become the entertainment capital of the world.

  15. The first permanent settler in South New Jersey was Finnish origin Eric Mullica, who arrived with his father Paavo Juhonpoika Mulikka (Pål Jönsson Mullica in Swedish) at May 1664 with ship Örn (Eagle) to New Sweden. The Township called as Mullica Twp is near Atlantic city and village called as Mullica Hill in Harrison county are still there to remaind of his Finnish origin. You can read my story about Antti Mulikka and his descendants at my home page http://www.askovuorinen.fi/page15.php and about delaware Finns at http://www.askovuorinen.fi/page34.php

    We are celebrating the 450-year anniversary of Mulikka village in Finland in 10th of August 2014 in the original Mulikka in Saarijärvi in Finland. There are several thousend Americans who originate from Paavo Juhonpoika Mullikka. Many of them have found their Finnish origins by dna-test, which will be clear if they belong to ydna-haplogroup N, which is the haplogropu of 62 % of the Finns and Antti Mulikka has it also.

  16. William Honachefsky Jr


  17. I remember the 300th anniversary back in 1964. It was a big deal as I recall. This year is the 350th anniversary, and no one seems to care. If I hadn’t stumbled across this website by accident, I would never have realized the anniversary was this year. And what are the celebration plans? It’s left up to us (“You can develop new programs and events”). Pretty sad. We spent millions advertising “stronger than the storm” til we were sick of hearing it, but nothing about our 350th anniversary?

    • Yup! Well, guess who still has the official state almanac from that 7th grade time, as well as a complete set of Weird NJ periodicals? :-D

  18. Paterson hosts Native American festival, focused on Great Falls
    cosponsored by Ivanhoe Wheelhouse Museum and Art Gallery a NJ350 member

    November 23, 2014, 7:46 PM Last updated: Sunday, November 23, 2014, 7:53 PM


    Staff Writer |

    The Record

    PATERSON — Long before Alexander Hamilton identified the Great Falls as the site of the country’s first planned industrial city, and textile mills harnessing the water power multiplied, thrived, withered and crumbled, the Leni-Lenape Indians fished and hunted in the once densely wooded area.

    It was a religious site where the power of the cascading water recalled their creator.

    “We used this region for one reason — because of the falls, same reason that Paterson was established,” said Sam Beeler, elder of the Sand Hill Delaware Indian tribe of New Jersey and a native of Paterson — Acquackanonk, as it was known to the Lenape.

    On Sunday, Beeler and other Leni-Lenape Indians showed more than 100 non-Indians their music, dances, food and artifacts at the Great Falls National Historic Park and the Paterson Museum.

    It was the first Native American Indian Heritage Festival, which aims to showcase the diversity of Paterson during Native American Heritage Month, said Cyre Rodriguez, the event coordinator.

    There was also a simpler goal: “When you talk about our people, you won’t talk about us in past tense,” Beeler told attendees. “You’ll talk about us as current people.”

    The Lenape, also known as Delaware Indians, have inhabited the area they call Lenapehoking — encompassing New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Connecticut — for more than 20,000 years, Beeler said.

    There are 3,348 American Indians in Passaic County, according to the 2010 census. Most of them are Lenape or Cherokee, Beeler said.

    In a morning ceremony at a park overlooking the falls, Ilyse Goldman, park ranger for the Great Falls park, honored the area’s “longest residents,” a burning sage cleared the area of negative energy and a flag reading “Seal of the Delaware Tribe, Lenni Lenape” was raised.

    Then the crowd danced with the Native Americans, some of whom were dressed in traditional handmade clothes, as tobacco sprinkled on a drum as a tribute to Mother Earth bounced off.

    “It’s nice to see the actual people telling us about their culture,” city resident Barbara Flaum, 74, said afterward. She attended with her husband, Carl, 70.

    Around noon, the festival attendees walked to the Paterson Museum, where they watched a fancy dance performance by a Native American group and ate a meal of corn bread with bison and venison soups.

    They also toured the recently opened Lenape exhibition, featuring tools for hunting and horticulture — wooden hoes, rakes, axes, snare traps and spears — and a wigwam, a dome-shaped hut made of bark.

    “How do you tell the story about New Jersey or any story without Chapter 1?” said Giacomo DeStefano, the museum director. “Chapter 1 is the indigenous people.”

    A museum panel explains the Lenape meaning of North Jersey towns’ names: Hackensack (place of stony ground), Ho-Ho-Kus (the red cedar), Paramus (where there is fertile land) and Tappan (cold water or dawn breaking).

    As he watched the fancy dancing, Jan B. Thomas, a 60-year-old lifelong city resident, said he was moved by how the Native Americans “respected the land.”

    He said he sometimes came to the Great Falls alone at night. “I sit and listen to the water, meditate,” he said.

    Thomas said he had witnessed upheaval in the area, at least since he worked in the textile mills in the 1970s and “every year, we were hearing a factory closed up.”

    “One thing that didn’t change: the falls,” he said. “And that will never change.”

    Email: parkm@northjersey.com

  19. Looking forward to our World Premiere of “The Garden State March” on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at the 16th annual Pipes of Christmas concerts.

    Do you have tickets?

    Visit http://www.pipesofchristmas.com

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