Tuesday 19 July 2011

The America project - Delaware

Delaware (DE) size 2,491 sq.m population 898,000

Bordering states Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey (3)
State capital Dover
Most populous city Wilmington
Other notable places Lewes, New Castle, Delaware City, Seaford
Notable landmarks and natural features Aspendale; John Dickinson House, Delaware Memorial Bridge

Statehood 7th December 1787 (1st)

Six famous Delawareans
Joe Biden (politician, 47th Vice-President of the USA; born Scranton, Pennsylvania (raised in Claymont), 1942 -)
Nancy Currie (astronaut; born Wilmington, 1958 -)
Henry Heimlich (physician; born Wilmington, 1920 -)
Cisco Houston (folk singer; born Wilmington, 1918-1961)
Teri Polo (actress; born Dover, 1969 -)
Judge Reinhold (actor; born Wilmington, 1957 -)

Two important events

1. The first State (1787)
Delaware was amongst the 13 American colonies who rebelled against British rule. After the Revolution, the counties of Delaware were the first to unite and ratify the terms of the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Ironically, Delaware almost became the first State to secede from the Union, too: during the American Civil War it remained a slave state despite being nominally one of the Northern States. Only after a referendum did the people of Delaware decide to stay put.

2. The Mason-Dixon Line, The Twelve Mile Circle and The Wedge (1921)
The boundaries of the State of Delaware are rather historically complex, determined by the aforementioned three factors. The Mason-Dixon Line divides Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia and was originally the frontier line between the Northern and Southern United States. The 12-mile circle's radius point is the city of New Haven, and its arc forms Delaware's north-western borders with Maryland and Pennsylvania. However, an arc and the Mason-Dixon Line are incompatible things, leaving little clippings here and there. The most notable of these is The Wedge, a small triangle of disputed land falling between the 12-mile circle and the Mason-Line. It has variously been attributed to Delaware and Pennsylvania down the years, largely due to innacuracies in topographic surveying techniques. In 1921 it was officially declared as Delawarean territory.


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