25 Facts about Delaware You Won’t Learn Anywhere

Delaware might not be the most famous state in the US, but it has a rich history. From a very favorable business climate to being the first state, Delaware has a lot to offer.

We have put together a list of 25 facts about this state and by the time you’re done reading, we hope you will like it as much as we do.

25 Facts about Delaware

1. Area of Delaware

fun facts about delaware

Delaware is one of the smallest states in the US. It has an area of 5,130 square kilometers or 1,982 square miles.

Right now, Delaware ranks in the 49th place compared to all the other 50 states in terms of the total area. This state has a net dimension of 96 miles (L) x 30 miles (W) or 154 km (L) x 48 km (W).

2. The Motto and State Seal of Delaware

State Seal of Delaware

The motto of Delaware is ‘Liberty and Independence’. This motto was adopted in 1847 as the official motto of the state after it was incorporated into the ‘Great Seal of the State of Delaware’.

The state seal of Delaware was introduced back on 17th January 1777. However, on 29th April 2004, the seal was redesigned to its current version.

3. The Official State Bird of Delaware

Right now, the official state bird of Delaware is the ‘Delaware Blue Hen’. There are many theories as to why the ‘Blue Hen Chicken’ is the state bird of Delaware.

Here is the most popular one for you. It is believed that the choice was inspired by the fearlessness and the ferocity of the Delaware soldiers during the Revolutionary war.

At that time, ‘cockfights’ were very popular. And, over the years, the hens/chickens that took part in the fight had become a symbol of heroism and courage.

Since then, the ‘Delaware Blue Hen Chicken’ has become the state bird of Delaware.

4. The Official State Bug of Delaware

Official State Bug of Delaware

Since 25 April 1974, the state bug (official) of Delaware has been the ‘Lady Bug’. It is also known as ‘Ladybird Beetle’, ‘Lady Fly’, or ‘Lady Beetle’ on other parts of the world.

The declaration came after a strong effort from the students of the 2nd grade of the ‘Lulu M. Ross Elementary School’ and their teacher Mrs. Mollie Brown-Rust.

5. The Invention of the ‘Automatic Flour-milling Machinery’

fun facts about delaware

Did you know that the invention of the ‘Automatic Flour Mill’ took place in Delaware? It was ‘Oliver Evans’, who was the inventor of this automatic machinery.

He was a famous American engineer, inventor, and businessman who invented the machine in 1787. He was born in Newport, Delaware.

Oliver Evans was also one of the pioneers on automation, steam engines, and materials handling industry.

6. Naming of Delaware

It is known that the state received its name from the famous river named ‘Delaware’. And, the river took its name from the first colonial governor of Virginia.

His name was ‘Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr’. And according to some other reports, both the state and the river took their names from the last part of his name i.e. ‘De La Warr’.

7. Horseshoe Crabs & Delaware

Delaware is known for its population of the horseshoe crabs. These are the official state animal of Delaware.

They are known as ‘living fossils’. Why? Because this animal has been unchanged in structure for about 445 million years.

That means they were on Earth even before the reign of Dinosaurs and yet they have not changed a bit.  

Although we call them crabs, they are not actually related to crabs at all. In fact, they are more related to spiders.

8. The First State

Delaware is the first official state of the United States of America. Because on 7th December 1787, the constitution of the USA has been ratified unanimously by 30 delegates in Dover, Delaware. As a result, it is known as the first state of the USA.

9. No Sales Tax

There are just 5 states in the USA that don’t have any sales tax. These are:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Delaware.

It is very common that many residents from the neighbor states come to Delaware to shop frequently.

10. The Official State Tree

christmas tree

‘American Holly’ or ‘Evergreen Holly’ or ‘Christmas Holly’ is considered as the official state tree of Delaware. This tree can reach a height of up to 60 feet and has thorny leaves.

The declaration of the ‘American Holly’ becoming the state tree of Delaware came in 1939.

It is because, during those times, Delaware was the leader in exporting Christmas wreaths made from the ‘American Holly’ trees.

11. Very Small yet Densely Populated

You already know that the state is very tiny in size. However, it is also one of the most densely populated states in the US.

To be precise, at the time of writing this post, this is the 7th most densely populated state in America. The current density of the population is about 460.8 people per sq. mile.

12. Caesar Rodney of Dover

Caesar Rodney was a famous politician and lawyer from Delaware. He is one of the most well-known personalities of Delaware.

Rodney is known for a famous midnight ride by horse. And, he had to ride 80 miles within a half-day to reach Philadelphia where the vote for the US independence took place.

He rode to Philadelphia risking his life that day and reached the destination just in time to cast his vote.

Along with becoming one of the signers of the declaration of independence, he was also the president of the Delaware state throughout most periods of the American Revolution.

13. Famous Persona from Delaware

Delaware has produced several famous personalities. Among them, the most notable ones are:

Vice President and after President of the United States Joe BidenAubrey Plaza
Teri PoloElena Delle Donne
Ryan Phillippe

14. The Bethany Beach Firefly

Bethany Beach Firefly

There are hundreds and thousands of firefly species out in the world. However, the ‘Bethany Beach Firefly’ is one of a kind. This firefly species produces a double green flash.

But unfortunately, this species is now on the brink of extinction. Bethany beach, a small town located in Delaware is one of the last places you can find the ‘Bethany Beach Firefly’ at the moment.

15. High-Speed Internet

internet cables

When it comes to fast high-speed internet, Delaware is at the top. It is one of the states in the US with very fast internet speed.

From 2014 to 2015, Delaware was the state with the fastest internet speed in the US. However, since then, a few other states have overtaken Delaware in this regard.

That doesn’t mean the average internet speed has decreased in that state, though.

16. Bike-Friendly State

people riding bicycles

If you are a cyclist, you might love this about Delaware. Delaware has been named as the most bicycle-friendly state in the USA several times.

However, at the moment of writing this article, Delaware is ranked at one of the top spots in the list of the best bicycle-friendly states by the ‘Bikeleague.org‘. Interestingly, the official state sport of Delaware is ‘Cycling’.

17. The First, Smallest, Largest Town in Delaware

There are 57 municipalities in Delaware. Even though Dover is the capital of Delaware, this is not the biggest town in the state.

For your information, the biggest town in Delaware is ‘Wilmington’. Whereas the smallest town is ‘Hartly’. Interestingly, this town has only about 73 people in total. And, the oldest town in Delaware is ‘Lewes’.

18. Discovery of Delaware

Delaware was discovered in 1609 by Henry Hudson. He was a Sea Explorer and navigator from England in the 1700s. You might also know him as the discoverer of Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait.

Many landmarks and topographical features were named after Henry Hudson. For instance:

  • the Henry Hudson Bridge
  • Hudson Town
  • Hudson County and more

19. The First Log Cabin in North America

Log cabins are nothing new. You should already be familiar with these types of smaller log houses. But these cabins have a rich history behind.

For the record, the 1st log cabins were built in North America by the Finnish in the 1638s. It is reported that these log cabins were built in a city that was called ‘New Sweden’. Incidentally, it is actually present-day Delaware.

20. Founder of Delaware

Even though Henry Hudson discovered Delaware, he was not the founder. It was Peter Minuit who founded Delaware in association with the ‘New Sweden Company’. He founded Delaware back in 1638.

However, there are reports that Sir Samuel Argall named ‘Delaware’ even before that in 1610. At the time, it was a colony of England (1664–1707) and Great Britain (1707–1776).

21. NASCAR Race in Delaware

Are you a NASCAR fan? Then you might already be familiar with Delaware. Because there is one of the most famous NASCAR race tracks located in Dover, Delaware.

The ‘Dover International Speedway’ racetrack opened back in 1969 has a capacity of 85,000.

You might know it by its nickname ‘The Monster Mile’. At the moment, the track is owned by the ‘Dover Motorsports’ and it hosts at least 2 NASCAR races every year.

Along with that, the speedway is also known for hosting the ‘Indy Racing League’ and USAC races.

22. Native Americans in Delaware

‘Delaware people’ or ‘Delaware Indians’ were the most well-known native Americans from Delaware.

However, they are actually known as the ‘Lenape’ or the ‘Leni Lenape’ in their own language. They used to live in present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Lower Hudson Valley, etc. Nowadays, most Lenape people live in Oklahoma, USA.

23. The Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge

Delaware is also renowned for the twin suspension bridge over the Delaware River named ‘Delaware Memorial Bridge’.

The highest point of the bridge is about 175 feet above the water level. Currently, about 80,000 vehicles cross over the bridge on a daily basis.

The longest span of the bridge is about 655 meters or 2150 feet. Both the bridges have 8 lanes each in total. The Eastbound route of the bridge was opened in 1951 and the Westbound was opened in 1968.

24. Only 3 Counties

All the 50 states in the US are divided into several counties. Interestingly, Delaware has only 3 counties right now.

That makes it the state with the fewest counties in the USA. The 3 counties of Delaware are Kent, Sussex, and New Castle. Among them, the largest county by area in Delaware is the ‘Sussex County’.

25. The Nicknames of Delaware

Like most of the other states in the US, Delaware also has several nicknames. Among them, the most notable ones are the ‘First State’, ‘Diamond State’, ‘Small Wonder’, and ‘Blue Hen State’, etc.

Do you know what the reasons behind these nicknames are? You might have already guessed that. First of all, the nickname ‘Blue Hen State’ comes from the state bird of Delaware.

Next, the ‘First State’ comes from the incident that Delaware is actually the first state of the US. The ‘Small Wonder’ actually refers to the small size of the state as it is one of the smallest states in the US.

Lastly, the ‘Diamond State’ nickname was given by ‘Thomas Jefferson’ to Delaware. Legend has it that he compared the state to a valuable jewel because of its strategic location on the Eastern coastline.

However, right now, the official state nickname of Delaware is ‘The First State’.

Summing it Up

Before we go, here is another bonus fact for you. There are only about 1 million people living in Delaware in total.

Surprisingly, this state has more than 1 million of incorporated businesses/companies in the US. That means it has more businesses registered than the number of people living in the state.

From the discussion above, we can see that Delaware might be a small state but it is one of the coolest ones in the US.