The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2022: New Jersey

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2022: New Jersey

1bhabeck
Feb 1, 4:02am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we go east to one of the original 13 states - NEW JERSEY.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2022: New Jersey


History
New Jerseyis a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States. At 7,354 square miles (19,050 km2), New Jersey is the fifth-smallest state based on land area, but with close to 9.3 million residents, is the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated. New Jersey's state capital is Trenton, while the state's most populous city is Newark.

New Jersey was first inhabited by Native Americans for at least 2,800 years, with the Lenape being the dominant group when Europeans arrived in the early 17th century. Dutch and the Swedish colonists founded the first European settlements in the state. The English later seized control of the region and established the Province of New Jersey, after the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey. The colony's fertile lands and relative religious tolerance drew a large and diverse population. New Jersey was among the Thirteen Colonies that opposed Great Britain, hosting numerous pivotal battles and military commands in the American Revolutionary War. The state remained in the Union during the U.S. Civil War, and thereafter became a major center of manufacturing and immigration; it helped drive the nation's Industrial Revolution, and became the site of numerous technological and commercial innovations into the mid-20th century.

New Jersey's central location in the Northeast megalopolis fueled its rapid growth and suburbanization in the second half of the 20th century. At the turn of the 21st century, its economy increasingly diversified, with major sectors including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, specialized agriculture, and informational technology. New Jersey remains a major destination for immigrants, with one of the most multicultural populations in the U.S. Echoing historic trends, the state has increasingly re-urbanized, with growth in the cities outpacing the suburbs since 2008.

New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., with the second highest median household income in 2017. Almost one-tenth of all households, or over 323,000 of 3.3 million, are millionaires, the highest rate per capita in the country. New Jersey's public school system consistently ranks at or among the top of all U.S. states.

New Jersey was one of the Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. The New Jersey Constitution of 1776 was passed July 2, 1776, just two days before the Second Continental Congress declared American Independence from Great Britain. It was an act of the Provincial Congress, which made itself into the State Legislature. To reassure neutrals, it provided that it would become void if New Jersey reached reconciliation with Great Britain. New Jersey representatives Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, and Abraham Clark were among those who signed the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

During the American Revolutionary War, British and American armies crossed New Jersey numerous times, and several pivotal battles took place in the state. Because of this, New Jersey today is often referred to as "The Crossroads of the American Revolution". The winter quarters of the Continental Army were established there twice by General George Washington in Morristown, which has been called "The Military Capital of the American Revolution.“

On the night of December 25–26, 1776, the Continental Army under George Washington crossed the Delaware River. After the crossing, they surprised and defeated the Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton. Slightly more than a week after victory at Trenton, American forces gained an important victory by stopping General Cornwallis's charges at the Second Battle of Trenton. By evading Cornwallis's army, the Americans made a surprise attack on Princeton and successfully defeated the British forces there on January 3, 1777. Emanuel Leutze's painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware became an icon of the Revolution.

On December 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the United States Constitution, which was overwhelmingly popular in New Jersey, as it prevented New York and Pennsylvania from charging tariffs on goods imported from Europe. On November 20, 1789, the state became the first in the newly formed Union to ratify the Bill of Rights.

The 1776 New Jersey State Constitution gave the vote to "all inhabitants" who had a certain level of wealth. This included women and blacks, but not married women, because they could not own property separately from their husbands. Both sides, in several elections, claimed that the other side had had unqualified women vote and mocked them for use of "petticoat electors", whether entitled to vote or not; on the other hand, both parties passed Voting Rights Acts. In 1807, the legislature passed a bill interpreting the constitution to mean universal white male suffrage, excluding paupers; the constitution was itself an act of the legislature and not enshrined as the modern constitution.

On February 15, 1804, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish new slavery and enacted legislation that slowly phased out existing slavery. This led to a gradual decrease of the slave population. By the close of the Civil War, about a dozen African Americans in New Jersey were still held in bondage. New Jersey voters eventually ratified the constitutional amendments banning slavery and granting rights to the United States' black population.

Industrialization accelerated in the northern part of the state following completion of the Morris Canal in 1831. The canal allowed for coal to be brought from eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey's growing industries in Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City.

New Jersey prospered through the Roaring Twenties. The first Miss America Pageant was held in 1921 in Atlantic City, the Holland Tunnel connecting Jersey City to Manhattan opened in 1927, and the first drive-in movie was shown in 1933 in Camden. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the state offered begging licenses to unemployed residents, the zeppelin airship Hindenburg crashed in flames over Lakehurst, and the SS Morro Castle beached itself near Asbury Park after going up in flames while at sea.

Through both World Wars, New Jersey was a center for war production, especially naval construction. The Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company yards in Kearny and Newark and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yard in Camden produced aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. New Jersey manufactured 6.8 percent of total United States military armaments produced during World War II, ranking fifth among the 48 states. In addition, Fort Dix (1917) (originally called "Camp Dix"), Camp Merritt (1917) and Camp Kilmer (1941) were all constructed to house and train American soldiers through both World Wars. New Jersey also became a principal location for defense in the Cold War. Fourteen Nike missile stations were constructed for the defense of the New York City and Philadelphia areas. PT-109, a motor torpedo boat commanded by Lt. (j.g.) John F. Kennedy in World War II, was built at the Elco Boatworks in Bayonne. The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) was briefly docked at the Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne in the 1950s before she was sent to Kearney to be scrapped. In 1962, the world's first nuclear-powered cargo ship, the NS Savannah, was launched at Camden.

In 1951, the New Jersey Turnpike opened, facilitating efficient travel by car and truck between North Jersey (and metropolitan New York) and South Jersey (and metropolitan Philadelphia). 1959, Air Defense Command deployed the CIM-10 Bomarc surface-to-air missile to McGuire Air Force Base. On June 7, 1960, an explosion in a CIM-10 Bomarc missile fuel tank caused the accident and subsequent plutonium contamination.

In the 1960s, race riots erupted in many of the industrial cities of North Jersey. The first race riots in New Jersey occurred in Jersey City on August 2, 1964. Several others ensued in 1967, in Newark and Plainfield. Other riots followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968, just as in the rest of the country. A riot occurred in Camden in 1971. As a result of an order from the New Jersey Supreme Court to fund schools equitably, the New Jersey legislature passed an income tax bill in 1976. Prior to this bill, the state had no income tax.

Geography

It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by Delaware Bay and the state of Delaware. The northeastern border between New York and New Jersey is the state's only straight border.

New Jersey is often broadly divided into three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey. Within those regions are five distinct areas, based upon natural geography and population concentration. Northeastern New Jersey lies closest to Manhattan in New York City, and up to a million residents commute daily into the city for work, many via public transportation. Northwestern New Jersey is more wooded, rural, and mountainous. The chief tree of the northern forests is the oak. The Jersey Shore, along the Atlantic Coast in Central and South Jersey, has its own unique natural, residential, and cultural characteristics owing to its location by the ocean. The Delaware Valley includes the southwestern counties of the state, which reside within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. The Pine Barrens region is in the southern interior of New Jersey; covered rather extensively by mixed pine and oak forest, this region has a lower population density than most of the rest of the state. Forests cover 45%, or approximately 2.1 million acres, of New Jersey's land area.

Fun Facts
The first Miss America pageant was held on the Atlantic City boardwalk in September of 1921. The winner was 16-year-old Margaret Gorman of Washington D.C., who took home a $100 prize and a Golden Mermaid trophy. Legendary labor union leader Samuel Gompers was there for the contest and was creepily effusive about the teenage winner: “She represents the type of womanhood America needs—strong, red blooded, able to shoulder the responsibilities of homemaking and motherhood. It is in her type that the hope of the country rests."


New Jersey has its own volcano. Experts estimate that the Beemerville volcano, in Sussex County, went out about 440 million years ago. The real estate surrounding the volcano has become a hot commodity. People have built houses all the way up the slope, right to the summit.

New Jersey played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War. More battles were fought in New Jersey than in any other colony, and General George Washington’s wins in the battles of Trenton and Princeton were major strategic turning points. Washington outfitted his troops in beige and dark blue, colors that would later be adopted for the New Jersey state flag.


According to the State of New Jersey's official site, the state boasts more horses per square mile than any other. Of course, it also boasts more people: N.J. is more densely populated than China, and almost as crowded as India. New Jersey has the highest population density in the U.S. An average 1,030 people per sq. mi., which is 13 times the national average. New Jersey has the highest percent urban population in the U.S. with about 90% of the people living in an urban area.


The famous duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton took place on July 11, 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey. Today, history buffs can visit the duel site and even see the rock where a wounded Hamilton supposedly drew his last breath.

Only two of Jersey Shore’s eight cast members were actually from New Jersey (almost all the others are from New York). And the show was none too popular among native New Jerseyans. “It’s bad for New Jersey,” Governor Chris Christie said in a 2011 interview, adding that Jersey Shore “does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens.” Cast member Snooki fired back a characteristically nonsensical rebuttal. “It’s the Jersey Shore,” she told NJ.com. “We’re not trying to represent Jersey.”


According to local legend, the Jersey Devil burst into the world in the Pine Barrens on a black and stormy night in 1735. The 13th child of a bitter woman, the monster was reportedly born with a horse’s head, hooves, long back legs, stubby front legs, glowing red eyes, and an ear-splitting screech. Just after birth, the beast flew up the chimney and vanished. To this day, people still report seeing a winged, goat-like monster flying through the Pine Barrens.


Despite its small size, New Jersey has a big appetite. The state is often called the “diner capital of the world” for the hundreds of classic diners that pepper the state’s roadways.

New Jersey was home to all kinds of historical firsts, including the first American brewery (Hoboken, 1642), organized baseball game (Hoboken, 1846), boardwalk (Atlantic City, 1870), professional basketball game (Trenton, 1876), and submarine (Passaic County, 1878).

President James Garfield was shot twice by an assassin in Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. Nearly two months later, he was still alive, but it didn’t look good, and the heat in D.C. wasn’t helping. Garfield’s doctors transferred him to a seaside cottage in Elberon, New Jersey, in the hopes that the sea air would aid his recovery. Garfield’s doctors went to great lengths to preserve his life—perhaps too great. Garfield died in Elberon September 19, 1881, just two months before his 50th birthday, and historians believe the president might have lived if it weren’t for his doctors' misguided efforts.


The beloved HBO series The Sopranos was Jersey to the bone. The show was shot on location in the Garden State. Even the “Bada Bing” strip club is a real place: the Satin Dolls club in Lodi.


The 1937 wreck of the Hindenburg left a vivid and shocking impression on the American people. While trying to land at Lakehurst, New Jersey, the airship caught fire and went down in a raging ball of flame. Despite this, more than half of the airship’s passengers and crew made it out alive.


The Holland Tunnel which connects Jersey City, New Jersey and Manhattan in New York City, New York is the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel in the world. After seven years of construction, the tunnel opened in 1927. At the time of its opening, the Holland Tunnel was the longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel in the world. At its maximum depth, the tunnel lies roughly 93 feet beneath the Hudson River.

The gold on the dome of the New Jersey’s state capitol was funded by the school kids from the state. The dome has 48,000 piece of gold leaf and each piece of gold leaf cost $1. New Jersey school kids raised the money through the “Dimes for the Dome” program.


The world’s first boardwalk is built in Atlantic City in 1870. At 5.5 miles, it is the longest on Earth and the oldest in the United States.


Notable Residents

Thomas Alva Edison may not have been the most moral of inventors, and detractors today argue that he ripped off better thinkers like Nikola Tesla and Georges Méliés. Still, history books will tell you that Edison was responsible for inventing the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the movie—and all of those took shape in his lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

New Jerseyans are a tough people, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. The state is the birthplace of countless funny people, including (but definitely not limited to) Paul Rudd, Flip Wilson, Danny DeVito, Jane Krakowski, Jon Stewart, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofolo, and both Abbott and Costello.

Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Redman, Das EFX, Naughty by Nature, Sugar Hill Gang, Lords of the Underground, Jason Alexander, Queen Latifa, Shaq, Judy Blume, Arron Burr, Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Frank Sinatra, Grover Cleveland, all New Jersey natives.

Mystery authors from New Jersey include: Harlan Coben, Janet Evanovich, Jon Katz, and Dorothy Gilman. Others include: Judy Blume, George RR Martin, Junot Diaz, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, James Fenimore Cooper, Mitch Albom, Peter Benchley and Michael Shaara.

In honor of NEW JERSEY, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Revolution," "Devil," "Garden," "Tunnel," or "Shore/Ocean" in the title OR has a picture of an ocean or river shoreline, a volcano, or a horse on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New Jersey or one of the other original 13 colonies OR involves a main character who is a member of the mob or a tv personality OR involves a political assassination or attempted/planned assassination; and

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW JERSEY.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Feb 9, 1:25pm

Brenda's Americana Challenge - February 2022: New Jersey
3 of 3 Complete


In honor of NEW JERSEY, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Revolution," "Devil," "Garden," "Tunnel," or "Shore/Ocean" in the title OR has a picture of an ocean or river shoreline, a volcano, or a horse on the cover;
Body on the Shore by Diane M. Dickson; 2/6/22; 3.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New Jersey or one of the other original 13 colonies OR involves a main character who is a member of the mob or a tv personality OR involves a political assassination or attempted/planned assassination; and
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman; takes place in New Jersey; 2/8/22; 4 stars - I realized that though this starts and ends in NJ, the primary action takes place outside of the state. I've replaced it with:
Midnight in Death by J.D. Robb; Takes place in New York; 2/9/22; 3.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW JERSEY.
Holiday in Death by J. D. Robb; 2/5/22; 4 stars

3Carol420
Edited: Feb 9, 2:51pm


💘- ★
3/3
Carol Searches for The Jersey Devil in New Jersey (isn't he acute little devil???)

💘1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Revolution," "Devil," "Garden," "Tunnel," or "Shore/Ocean" in the title OR has a picture of an ocean or river shoreline, a volcano, or a horse on the cover.
Devil’s Gonna Get Him - Valerie Wilson Wesley - 4★

💘2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New Jersey or one of the other original 13 colonies OR involves a main character who is a member of the mob or a tv personality OR involves a political assassination or attempted/planned assassination.
An Uninvited Ghost - E.J. Copperman - 4★

💘3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW JERSEY.
The Son - Jo Nesbo - ★ (J & N) - 4★

4gaylebutz
Feb 4, 10:10pm

I’m going to read Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart. It takes place in New Jersey.

The title made me chuckle.

5Olivermagnus
Edited: Feb 28, 10:47pm



Americana Challenge - February 2022: New Jersey
3
of 3 Complete

In honor of NEW JERSEY, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

💓 A Mystery/Suspense book with "Revolution," "Devil," "Garden," "Tunnel," or "Shore/Ocean" in the title.
Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton - 4 Stars

💓 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in New Jersey or one of the other original 13 colonies.
Murder on Wall Street - Victoria Thompson - 4 Stars - set in New York

💓 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's FIRST and LAST initial (no middle initials or names) can be found in NEW JERSEY.
Dark Lover - J. R. Ward - 5 Stars - neWJeRsey

6bhabeck
Feb 9, 9:55am

>2 bhabeck: Done, wow. First time in months

7Carol420
Feb 9, 2:50pm

>6 bhabeck:


A well-earned congratulations!

8Carol420
Feb 9, 2:52pm

I'm done, and the Jersey devil didn't eat me.

9bhabeck
Feb 10, 12:26am

>3 Carol420: congrats!

10Sergeirocks
Edited: Feb 20, 8:33am

Whisky From Small Glasses - Denzil Meyrick 4★s (Ocean shoreline on book cover)
The Day of the Jackal - Frederick Forsyth 4★s (The plot of an assassination attempt on Gen. De Gaulle)
White Horse - Joss Stirling 4★s (Author’s initials in NEW JERSEY)

11gaylebutz
Feb 10, 5:42pm

Done - Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart - 3.5 ★
Takes place in New Jersey.

12Carol420
Edited: Feb 11, 12:31pm

>11 gaylebutz:-

Well done, Gaye!

13Olivermagnus
Feb 28, 10:47pm

All Done!

14bhabeck
Mar 1, 4:01am

>13 Olivermagnus: LOL...right down to the wire! congrats!

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