December 18, 1787 – New Jersey Joins the Union as the 3rd State

In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and the first state to sign the Bill of Rights.

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New Jersey is known for a number of important distinctions, such as hosting the world’s largest gathering of zombies, held each year in Asbury Park.

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Atlantic City, New Jersey is where the Mafia established itself as a national organization. In 1929, fearing the end of prohibition and the loss of profitable bootlegging operations, Mafia leaders from the Midwest and East Coast, including Al Capone, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky, and Lucky Luciano, held their first national conference at the President Hotel.

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The mobsters originally planned to stay at The Breakers, an opulent hotel equipped with a rooftop garden. But when they arrived, the hotel wouldn’t let the mostly Jewish and Italian gangsters into their rooms.

They contacted Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, for years the Atlantic City region’s undisputed kingpin. Nucky, the Republican political boss and racketeer who served as host, made new arrangements at the President Hotel at Albany Avenue and kept law enforcement away from the festivities and meetings on the beach and in the hotel.

Enoch “Nucky” Johnson

Enoch “Nucky” Johnson

Although New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state in area, it is the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 United States. New Jersey lies entirely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. It is also the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income, according to the 2008–2012 American Community Survey.

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