Delaware in History

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1609-08-28 English explorer Henry Hudson, discovers & explores Delaware Bay

Explorer Henry Hudson
Explorer
Henry Hudson
  • 1637-11-20 Peter Minuit & 1st Swedish immigrants to Delaware sail from Sweden
  • 1638-03-29 1st permanent white settlement in Delaware (Swedish Lutherans)
  • 1639-06-10 1st American log cabin at Fort Christina (Wilmington Delaware)
  • 1655-09-26 Peter Stuyvesant recaptures Dutch Ft Casimir from Swedish in Delaware
  • 1669-12-20 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection & sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1682-08-24 Duke James of York gives Delaware to William Penn

English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania William Penn
English Philosopher and Founder of Pennsylvania
William Penn
  • 1682-10-26 William Penn accepts area around Delaware River from Duke of York
  • 1737-09-20 Runner Edward Marshall completes his journey in the Walking Purchase forcing the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1776-12-08 George Washington's retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1776-12-25 Washington crosses Delaware & surprises & defeats 1,400 Hessians
  • 1777-08-28 American Revolutionary War - Battle of Cooch's Bridge takes place near Newark, Delaware.
  • 1777-09-03 Flag of the United States flown in battle for the 1st time at Cooch's Bridge, Delaware, a skirmish during American Revolutionary War

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1779-01-18 John Dickinson is appointed to be a delegate for Delaware to the Continental Congress

Founding Father of the United States John Dickinson
Founding Father of the United States
John Dickinson
  • 1787-12-07 Delaware becomes 1st state to ratify the US constitution
  • 1806-01-30 The original Lower Trenton Toll Bridge, which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened. A later bridge opened in 1935 is also known as the Trenton Makes - the World Takes Bridge.
  • 1829-10-17 Delaware River & Chesapeake Bay Canal formally opens
  • 1861-01-03 Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy
  • 1879-12-13 First federal fish hatching steamer launched (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • 1893-01-17 -17°F (-27°C), Millsboro, Delaware (state record)
  • 1907-12-09 First Christmas Seals sold (Wilmington, Delaware, post office)
  • 1918-05-02 General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
  • 1923-07-07 University of Delaware invents "junior year abroad" (at Sorbonne)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1929-10-11 JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

Department Store Founder James Cash Penney
Department Store Founder
James Cash Penney
  • 1930-07-21 110°F (43°C) at Millsboro, Delaware (state record)
  • 1939-10-24 Nylon stockings go on sale for first time (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • 1939-12-15 1st commercial manufacture of nylon yarn, Seaford, Delaware

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-09-29 1st US merchant ship "Booker T. Washington" commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac), launched at Wilmington Delaware

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • 1950-11-02 The Clover Dairy Company test-market the first concentrated milk (Sealtest) in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957-10-10 US President Eisenhower apologizes to the finance minister of Ghana, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, after he is refused service in a restaurant in Dover, Delaware

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1975-07-13 8.5" (21.6 cm) of rainfall, Dover, Delaware (state record)
  • 2013-05-07 Delaware becomes the 11th US State to legalize same-sex marriage

Famous Birthdays

  • 1728-10-07 Caesar Rodney, Delaware, judge/signer (Declaration of Independence)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1732-11-13 John Dickinson, American lawyer and Governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania, born in Talbot County, Maryland (d. 1808)

Founding Father of the United States John Dickinson
Founding Father of the United States
John Dickinson
  • 1738-09-25 Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and President of Delaware (d. 1789)
  • 1746-11-06 African-American abolitionist and clergyman Absalom Jones born into slavery in Delaware
  • 1786-02-24 Martin W. Bates. U.S. Senator from Delaware (d. 1869)
  • 1789-10-16 William Burton, Governor of Delaware (1859-63) (d. 1866)
  • 1796-07-24 John Middleton Clayton, U.S. Secretary of State (1849-50) and U.S. Senator from Delaware, born in Dagsboro, Delaware (d. 1856)
  • 1816-05-24 Emanuel Leutze, US, painter (Washington Crossing the Delaware)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1822-10-04 RutheRutherford B. Hayes, 19th US President (Republican: 1877-81), born in Delaware, Ohio (d. 1893)

19th US President Rutherford B. Hayes
19th US President
Rutherford B. Hayes
  • 1823-10-09 Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Publisher and anti-slavery campaigner, 1st African American newspaper publisher ('Provincial Freeman'), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1825-05-01 George Inness, US landscape painter (Delaware Water Gap)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1863-12-11 Annie Jump Cannon, American stellar spectroscopist (Harvard-classification), born in Dover, Delaware (d. 1941)

Astronomer Annie Jump Cannon
Astronomer
Annie Jump Cannon
  • 1899-05-20 Estelle Taylor, Delaware, actress (8 Commandments)
  • 1918-05-10 George Welch, American World War II flying ace (Medal of Honor nominee) and test pilot, born in Wawaset Park, Delaware (d. 1954)
  • 1920-02-03 Henry Heimlich, Surgeon and inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, born in Wilmington, Delaware (d. 2016)
  • 1921-07-22 William V Roth Jr, (Sen-R-Delaware, 1971- )
  • 1923-08-17 Larry Rivers, [Grossberg], American painter (Wash crossing Delaware-1953), born in NYC, New York
  • 1931-07-18 "Papa" Dee Allen, percussionist (War-World is a Ghetto), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1934-08-04 Dallas Green, baseball manager (Phillies, Yankees), born in Newport, Delaware (d. 2017)
  • 1935-01-17 Ruth Ann Minner, Governor of Delaware
  • 1939-03-21 Kathleen Widdoes, actress (Without a Trace), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1939-07-02 Michael N Castle, (Rep-R-Delaware)
  • 1942-04-15 Walter Raphael Hazzard, basketball (Olympic-gold-1964), born in Wilmington, Delaware

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1950-02-24 George Thorogood, American singer and guitarist (The Delaware Destroyers-Bad to the Bone), born in Wilmington, Delaware

Singer and Guitarist George Thorogood
Singer and Guitarist
George Thorogood
  • 1957-03-08 Cynthia Rothrock, actress (Lady Dragon, Honor & Glory), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1957-05-21 Judge Reinhold, actor (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1957-06-05 Jim Woodward, Nike golfer (1994 Miss Gulf Coast-50th), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1958-12-09 Nancy J Currie, Mjr Army/astronaut (STS 57, 70, sk: 88), born in Wilmington, Delaware

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1959-11-14 Bryan Stevenson, American social justice activist and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, born in Milton, Delaware

Lawyer and Social Justice Activist Bryan Stevenson
Lawyer and Social Justice Activist
Bryan Stevenson
  • 1960-04-23 Valerie Bertinelli, American actress (Barbara Cooper Royer-1 Day at a Time, Hot in Cleveland), born in Wilmington, Delaware

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1963-10-06 Elisabeth Shue, American actress (Cocktail, Leaving Las Vegas), born in Wilmington, Delaware

  • 1968-03-04 Dionna Harris, softball outfielder (Olympics-gold-96), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1969-02-03 Joseph [Beau] Biden III, American politician and son of Vice President Joe Biden, born in Wilmington, Delaware (d. 2015)
  • 1969-12-08 Lisa Marie Munzert, New Castle Delaware, Miss Delaware-America (1991)
  • 1970-08-14 Susan Veasey, LPGA golfer (U of S Fla), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1970-10-17 John Mabry, outfielder (St Louis Cardinals), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1971-04-25 Michelle Harris, Miss America-Delaware (1996), born in Newark, Delaware
  • 1972-10-02 Patricia Gauani, Miss USA-Delaware (1997)
  • 1975-08-13 Jason Gleasman, 220 lbs greco-roman wrestler (Oly-1996), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1976-09-17 Jonathan Nichols, dance skater (& Tami Tyler), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1978-10-15 Cheryl Crowe, Miss Delaware Teen USA (1997)
  • 1979-10-09 Ashley Anderson, Miss Delaware Teen USA (1996)
  • 1984-06-17 John Gallagher Jr., American stage actor (The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1984-06-26 Aubrey Plaza, American actress and comedian (Parks and Recreation), born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 1992-11-16 Adam Robert Worton, twin actor (Baby's Day Out), born in Newark, Delaware
  • 1992-11-16 Jacob Joseph Worton, twin actor (Baby's Day Out), born in Newark, Delaware

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1977-06-17 Senator Joe Biden of Delaware (34) weds Jill Jacobs (26) at the Chapel at the United Nations in New York City

47th Vice President of the United States Joe Biden
47th Vice President of the United States
Joe Biden
  • 1996-01-27 "ER" TV actress Yvette Freeman (39) weds musical director Lawny Hartley (49) in Dunleith, Delaware
  • 2012-06-02 Vice President Joe Biden's daughter Ashley Biden (30) weds Dr. Howard David Krein at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware
  • 2017-04-21 Actor David Henrie (27) weds former Miss Delaware Maria Cahill in Southern California

Famous Deaths

  • 1789-02-19 Nicholas Van Dyke, American lawyer and President of Delaware (b. 1738)
  • 1789-10-27 John Cook, American farmer and Governor of Delaware (b. 1730)
  • 1796-08-31 John McKinly, American physician and President of Delaware, dies at 75

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1808-02-14 John Dickinson, American lawyer and Governor of Delaware and Pennsylvania, dies at 75

Founding Father of the United States John Dickinson
Founding Father of the United States
John Dickinson
  • 1815-08-06 James A. Bayard (elder), United States Senator from Delaware (b. 1767)
  • 1894-08-03 George Inness, US landscape painter (Delaware Water Gap), dies at 69
  • 1903-06-22 George White, African American resident of Delaware, lynched
  • 1962-03-18 Walter W. Bacon, Governor of Delaware (b. 1880)
  • 1992-03-14 Steven Brian Pennell, 1st execution in Delaware in 45 years at 34