Delaware, The First State

Delaware, The First State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Mrs. Anabelle O’Malley’s first grade class, Mt. Pleasant Elementary School, requested that “The First State” become Delaware’s nickname in 2002.

The first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution was Delaware, making them the first state on December 7, 1787.



Delaware’s early history

The Dutch West India Company claimed the land from the Delaware Valley to the Hudson Valley in 1624, hoping to build a colony there. The first group of Dutch settlers came in 1631. They were killed in a fight with Native Americans.

Swedish settlers

Swedish settlers came in 1638. Then the Dutch took control of the area we know as Delaware in 1655. After that, the English and Dutch competed for the land until England finally took over in 1674.

First log cabin

log-house-1045230_960_720Our country’s first log cabins were built in Delaware. The Swedish settlers who came in 1638 brought the design of this type of home with them. A log cabin built in 1638 is located at Fort Christina State Park in Wilmington.

Delaware becomes a state

Delaware became our first state on December 7, 1787. The capital is Dover.

First bathing beauty contest

In 1880, the first bathing beauty contest was held at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The famous inventor, Thomas Edison, was one of the judges. A bridal trousseau was the prize. A trousseau consists of items that a bride will need for her new home, such as bedding or towels, and might also include bridal accessories for the wedding.

Other fun facts about Delaware

There are only three counties in Delaware—Kent, New Castle, and Sussex. Even more interesting is that they all had those names by 1682.

If you want to see horseshoe crabs, visit Delaware Bay, where the world’s largest population live.

The state flower is the peach blossom.

The state bird is the blue hen.



“13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies,” The Time Page, 2013/01/04

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About the 50 States, Harper Collins Publishers, 2001.

“Delaware,”, 2020/05/31

Gutman, Bill. The Look-It-Up Book of the 50 States, Random House, 2002.

“The First State,” State Symbols USA, 2016/06/05

“Timeline: Miss America,” PBS Online, 2013/01/27

“What is a Bridal Trousseau?” Honeymoons, 2013/01/27


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>