I first came to Delaware in 1973 and was instantly enamored with the First State. For a state small in size yet vast in influence and rich in tradition, Delaware offers its citizens and visitors a unique experience that sets it apart from the other 49 states.
Delaware tells a story of opportunity, innovation, tradition, civility and community. Its history begins with the landing of the earliest American settlers in the Delaware Valley and continues with some of the most sophisticated human activities of modern times. Today, Delaware remains a leader in modern industry, from the rise of the chemical industry from the early gunpowder factories of Irenee DuPont to groundbreaking research facilities and credit card giants that dominate Wilmington’s skyline. Delaware also remains true to its agricultural roots, growing specialty crops like fruits and vegetables that help keep our families healthy and raising poultry to feed thousands of people across the world.
Delaware has also made a significant contribution to the development of our constitutional republic, starting with the state’s historic vote to ratify the Constitution in 1787, making Delaware the first state to do so. Since its founding, Delaware has practiced a culture of civility that is pervasive through our villages, towns, cities and government. Each year, thousands of Delawareans gather in Georgetown on the Thursday after Election Day for Return Day – a 220-year-old political tradition that is unique to Delaware – to set aside their differences and recommit to the common goal of building a better Delaware in years to come. Some refer to this display of civility as the “Delaware Way,” and it echoes the First State’s strong sense of community, carrying with it a message of unity for mutual progress.
Delaware may be small in size, but it is mighty, and its brawn continues to grow through the strength of its citizens, businesses and faith in our nation’s principles and ideals. Whether it’s through my website or in person, I encourage you to learn more about Delaware’s story and culture. We hope to see you soon.
Delaware Quick Facts
- Capital: Dover
- Counties: New Castle, Kent and Sussex
- 2010 Population Estimate: 783,700
- State Song: "Our Delaware"
- State Colors: colonial blue and buff
- Nickname: "The First State" because it was the first state to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787
- State Motto: Liberty and Independence
- Highest Point: 447.85 feet above sea level near Ebright Road in New Castle County
- Lowest Point: Sea level along the coast
- Delaware is 96 miles long and varies from 9 to 35 miles wide
- Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Baltimore are all within a 2-hour drive
Delaware State Symbols
Blue Hen Chicken
State Marine Animal