15 Things You Might Not Know About Delaware
1. As anyone from the state will proudly tell you, Delaware was the first state: it was the first to ratify the Constitution, in 1787.
2. Delaware is simultaneously the sixth most densely populated state and the sixth least populated state. This has to do with its small size—Delaware is only 1,983 square miles, making it the second smallest state (after Rhode Island, of course).
3. The Blue Hen is Delaware’s state bird (and the University of Delaware's mascot). Believe it or not, Delaware Blue Hens are the fiercest of all fighting roosters. Delaware Revolutionary War soldiers would bring them to battle for entertainment.
4. Officially, Delaware's state colors, blue and buff, are those of George Washington's uniform.
5. Up until 2013, Delaware was the only state without any National Park Service areas. But now you can visit First State National Monument, the 400th unit of the NPS.
6. Seaford, Delaware, is the nylon capital of the world. The town is home to the factory that first produced the material in 1939.
7. Thanks to extremely lenient banking laws, over half of all publicly traded corporations in the U.S. are incorporated in Delaware.
8. Politicians in Georgetown, Delaware, literally bury the hatchet after the election. Every other year, the town comes together for a Return Day celebration, during which the two opposing candidates bury a ceremonial hatchet in a sandbox to clear the air.
9. Delaware has no sales tax, so dollar menus are real! People from all over the world travel to Delaware to make their bigger purchases and save money on taxes.
10. There are more chickens in Delaware than people; the ratio is 200:1.
11. The state of Delaware is named after the Delaware River, which was named after Lord de la Warr, the governor for life of Jamestown.
12. The first bathing beauty pageant took place at Rehoboth Beach. Thomas Edison was a judge.
13. Delaware holds an annual competition called “Punkin’ Chunkin,’” wherein pumpkins are launched into the sky. The competition has a variety of different events, from trebuchet to air cannon. The fair also has carnival rides, the Miss Punkin’ Chunkin’ pageant, fireworks, and a chili cook-off. The event was cancelled this year, but Delawareans can look forward to flying pumpkins next November.
14. Delaware has the lowest average altitude of any state; it’s only 60 feet above sea level.
15. The Battle of Cooch’s Bridge was the only battle fought in Delaware during the Revolutionary War, but it was definitely memorable—it marked the first time the Stars and Stripes was flown.