Delaware was the first state to approve the Constitution of the United States

November 30, 2012 1:41 am

Which state of the  came first? What state is sometimes known as the Blue Hen State? What state lies closer to sea level than any other? You have to think small because it’s also the second smallest state. It’s Delaware.
Facts About Delaware
865,000 people
Rank among states in population
Major cities
Wilmington, Dover, Newark
2,490 square miles
6,450 square kilometers
Rank among states in area
December 7, 1787, the 1st state
State nickname
The First State
Name for residents
State bird
Blue Hen Chicken
State flower
Peach Blossom
State tree
American Holly
Delaware’s official nickname is The First State. Delaware was the first state to approve the Constitution of the United States.
Delaware played an active part in getting the Constitution written. The first government of the United States operated under a document called the Articles of Confederation. That government was weak. State governments had more power than the national government. Delaware was one of the states that recommended strengthening the national government.
In 1787, a meeting called the Constitutional Convention was held to revise the Articles of Confederation. At the meeting, leaders from all the states decided to scrap the Articles of Confederation and start over. John Dickinson, one of Delaware’s representatives, wrote some of the new constitution. When it was submitted to the states for approval, an anonymous person named Fabius wrote newspaper articles urging support. Fabius was really John Dickinson writing under a pen name.
As it is today, Delaware then was the second smallest state, after Rhode Island. The Constitution was very favorable for small states. Urged by Fabius, Delaware quickly called a state convention. In December 1787, the convention voted unanimously to adopt the Constitution. Delaware was the first state to do so.
Another nickname for Delaware is The Blue Hen State. There are lots of hens in Delaware. Delaware is a leading state in the production of poultry.
The Blue Hen nickname dates back to the American Revolution (1775-1783). The soldiers of the Delaware First Regiment fought proudly in that war. Their mascots were a group of roosters called gamecocks, which had been bred for fighting. All of the gamecocks were reared by a famous blue hen. The scrappy nature of the gamecocks symbolized the fighting spirit of the Delaware First Regiment. The blue hen is now the official state bird.
Delaware is a very flat state, and most of it is barely above sea level. There are no mountains in Delaware, and the only good-sized hills lie in the very northwestern corner of the state. This forested area is called the Piedmont Plateau. The division between these hills and the rest of the state is called the Fall Line.
Most of Delaware is below the Fall Line and is made up by the Coastal Plain. The Delaware River, Delaware Bay, and Atlantic Ocean form the eastern edge of the plain.
The Coastal Plain is flat and sometimes swampy. The plain’s soil is sandy. Nearly all of this land sits less than 60 feet (18 meters) above sea level. Delaware has the lowest average elevation of any state.
The Great Pocomoke Swamp, also called the Big Cypress Swamp, is one of many marshes found in Delaware. Seawater floods into these marshes from the ocean at high tide.
Delaware is also known for its beautiful beaches. Many tourists come to the Delaware shore to swim, sunbathe, hike, or observe wildlife. Dolphins often swim along the shore within sight of the beach.
In 1802, a French immigrant named Eleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours started a gunpowder mill near the city of Wilmington. The DuPont Company became one of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers. They supplied military explosives used by the United States in many of its wars. Scientists at DuPont invented materials such as nylon, Teflon (used in nonstick cookware), and Kevlar (used in bulletproof vests). The DuPont Company is still one of the largest employers in Delaware.
The du Pont family has made other important contributions to Delaware’s history as well. Pierre S. du Pont, Eleuthère Irénée’s great-grandson, provided much of the money needed to build modern schools throughout the state. T. Coleman du Pont helped pay for a modern highway across the state between 1911 and 1924. Pierre S. du Pont IV served as governor of the state from 1977 to 1985.
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