Delaware Timeline History

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arrow 1609: Henry Hudson sails his ship, the Half Moon, up Delaware Bay, and became the first European to visit the area

arrow 1613: The explorer, Cornelius Jacobsen May, arrives in the area and trades with local Indians

arrow 1638: Dutch settlers on two ships, led by Peter Minit, arrive in the Wilmington area, naming it Christina

arrow 1655: The Governor of New York, Peter Stuyvesant, along with a large fleet, capture all of New Sweden, thus ending Swedish rule in the colonies

arrow 1682: William Penn, the new owner of both Delaware and Pennsylvania, sails up the Delaware River on his way to Philadelphia

arrow 1704: Becomes British Colony

arrow 1776: Caesar Rodney, suffering from cancer, makes his famous ride from Wilmington to Philadelphia on horseback, and casts the deciding vote for the Declaration of Independence

arrow 1787: Delaware ratified the U.S. Constitution and became the First State

arrow 1802: Du Pont gunpowder mill established

arrow 1812: Delaware's Captain Thomas MacDonough's victory in the battle of Lake Champlain, during the War of 1812, becomes that war's turning point

arrow 1829: Delaware Canal opens

arrow 1862: At the Civil War battle of Antietam, half of the state's Continental Army soldiers were killed. Delaware troops were among the most effective soldiers of the Continental Army, distinguishing themselves in battle. Because of their reputation as fighters, they were called Blue Hens after the famous bluish cocks they took with them on their campaigns

arrow 1910: U.S. Battleship Delaware commissioned

arrow 1935: Nylon invented at Du Pont Company

arrow 1951: Delaware memorial Bridge opens, connecting New Jersey

arrow 1978: By order of the U.S. Supreme Court, Delaware began the busing of children from the inner-city neighborhoods of Wilmington to the more affluent suburbs, thus helping to establish busing across the nation

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