National Delaware Day on July 13, recognizes the First State to declare independence from the British. Rich in history, Delaware’s lands once belonged to New York and later Pennsylvania. But the independent spirit of this beautiful coastal countryside is more than just legendary.

Delaware Eyewitness: Behind the Scenes in the First State Paperback – February 26, 2020

by John Riley  (Author)
Delaware Eyewitness: Behind the Scenes in the First State Paperback – February 26, 2020

by John Riley  (Author)

The Delaware River and Bay derived their names from the 12th Baron del la Warr, Thomas West, a governor of Virginia. The name later carried over to the land as well.

During the Second Continental Congress, Delaware’s delegates created a bit of suspense for the history books! Read more under Caesar Rodney and George Read.

Delaware became official in 1776 when the 13 colonies declared their independence from the British government and Delaware adopted its first territorial state constitution.

First State

Delaware is proud of its First State status. With that comes many other firsts.  Delaware boasts the earliest Swedish settlers in 1638 who built the Old Swedes Church which still stands. Now known as the Holy Trinity Church, it is one of the oldest churches in America. Swedish settlers built the first log cabins on American soil, too.

Delaware The First State Blue Souvenir Raised Coffee Mug

by Artisan Owl
Delaware The First State Blue Souvenir Raised Coffee Mug

by Artisan Owl

The Stars and Stripes flew for the first time during the Revolutionary War during the only battle to take place on Delaware soil.

Shipbuilding became big business first in Delaware in 1840. The first iron shipbuilding yard in the United States was founded in Delaware by Samuel Harlan of Betts, Pussey, and Harlan – machinery makers.

The American Clyde: A History Of Iron And Steel Shipbuilding On The Delaware From 1840 To World War I Paperback – October 6, 2012

by David Budlong Tyler (Author)
The American Clyde: A History Of Iron And Steel Shipbuilding On The Delaware From 1840 To World War I Paperback – October 6, 2012

by David Budlong Tyler (Author)

From ships to rails, Job H. Jackson and Jacob F. Sharp founded the Jackson and Sharp Company of Wilmington in 1863. By 1871 they built the first narrow-gauge railcar in the United States.

The coastal state also lays claim to the first bathing beauty contest in 1880. To attract business to a summer festival, the competition was held at Rehoboth Beach. Thomas Edison was one of the judges.

Known as the Chemical State, Delaware is a hub for manufacturing and munitions. In 1939, the world’s first nylon manufacturing plant opened in Seaford under the name of Dupont.

State of Delaware Official

  • State Capital – Dover
  • State Flower – Peach Blossom
  • State Nick Name – The First State
  • State Song –
  • State Butterfly – Tiger Swallowtail
  • State Tree –
  • State Mineral –
  • State Motto – Liberty and Independence
  • State Fruit – Strawberries
  • State Herb – Sweet Goldenrod
  • State Fossil – Balemnite
  • State Fish – Weakfish
  • State Hero –
  • State Heroine –
  • State Bird – Blue Hen Chicken
  • State Insect – Ladybug
  • State Folk Dance – Maypole Dance
  • State Animal –

Delaware Flavor

From land to sea, Delaware satisfies the appetite all season long. Once known as the best producer of peaches until a blight wiped out the orchards in the late 1800s, the state is making a comeback, and the peach blossom is their state flower.

Summer boardwalks and beaches fill with the salty sweetness of taffy and crab cakes made from the regions’ blue crab.

The world’s largest maker of scrapple, RAPA Scrapple Company, calls Bridgeville, Delaware home. Also the home of the World Champion Pumpkin Chunkin competition in the heartland of the state, an autumn drive will fill your basket with fresh produce, poultry and the season’s best baked and canned goods the farmers’ markets can produce.

A Culinary History of Southern Delaware: Scrapple, Beach Plums and Muskrat (American Palate) Paperback – August 1, 2016

by Denise Clemons (Author)
A Culinary History of Southern Delaware: Scrapple, Beach Plums and Muskrat (American Palate)

by Denise Clemons (Author)

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDelawareDay

Explore the history and people of this beautiful state and use #NationalDelwareDay to share on social media.

Delaware State Official
Dover State Capital

Caesar Rodney (October 7, 1728 – June 26, 1784)

Caesar Rodney: American Patriot (Colonial Leaders) Library Binding – January 1, 2001

by Susan McCarthy Melchiore  (Author), Arthur Meier Schlesinger
Caesar Rodney: American Patriot (Colonial Leaders) Library Binding – January 1, 2001

by Susan McCarthy Melchiore  (Author), Arthur Meier Schlesinger

George Read (September 18, 1733 – September 21, 1798)

George Read
George Read

Dr. Robert Montgomery Bird (February 5, 1806 – January 23, 1854)

Dr. Robert Montgomery Bird
Dr. Robert Montgomery Bird

George Alfred Townsend (January 30, 1841 – April 15, 1914)

George Alfred Townsend and Gathland: A Journalist and His Western Maryland Estate Hardcover – July 8, 2014

by Dianne Wiebe (Author), Dan Spedden (Foreword)
George Alfred Townsend and Gathland: A Journalist and His Western Maryland Estate Hardcover – July 8, 2014

by Dianne Wiebe (Author), Dan Spedden (Foreword)


Dr. Henry Heimlich (February 3, 1920 – December 17, 2016)

Heimlich's Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation Kindle Edition

by Henry J. Heimlich  (Author) 
Heimlich’s Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation

by Henry J. Heimlich  (Author) 

Daniel Nathans (October 30, 1928 – November 16, 1999)

Daniel Nathans
Daniel Nathans

E.I Du Pont (1771 – 1834)

Alfred I. du Pont: The Man and His Family Hardcover – April 12, 1990

by Joseph Frazier Wall  (Author)
Alfred I. du Pont: The Man and His Family

by Joseph Frazier Wall  (Author)

Valerie Bertinelli (April 23, 1960 – )

One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond Hardcover – October 16, 2012

by Valerie Bertinelli  (Author)
One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond Hardcover – October 16, 2012

by Valerie Bertinelli  (Author)

Judith Krantz's I'll Take Manhattan

Valerie Bertinelli (Actor), Barry Bostwick (Actor), & 2 more
Judith Krantz’s I’ll Take Manhattan

Valerie Bertinelli (Actor), Barry Bostwick (Actor), & 2 more


Elisabeth Shue (October 6, 1963 – )

Elisabeth Shue
Elisabeth Shue

The Karate Kid (Special Edition)

Ralph Macchio (Actor), Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (Actor), & 1 more
The Karate Kid (Special Edition)

Ralph Macchio (Actor), Noriyuki “Pat” Morita (Actor), & 1 more


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