by Caleb MacLean

By the time students in New Jersey move into middle school, they have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the history, culture and infrastructure of the Garden State. Typically, this subject is taught as part of the Social Studies curriculum in fourth or fifth grade. The answers to these 20 questions can be found in any elementary school textbook…or you could just ask an 11-year-old.

The longest river contained completely within New Jersey is…

a) the Raritan River

b) the Shark River

c) the Hackensack River


The native people of New Jersey began farming the land…

a) about 10,000 years ago

b) about 5,000 years ago

c) about 1,000 years ago


The first European explorer to set foot on New Jersey soil was…

a) Giovanni da Verrazano

b) Henry Hudson

c) Cabeza de Vaca


The first permanent Dutch settlement in New Jersey was called…

a) New Netherlands

b) New Amsterdam

c) Bergen


Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher participated in…

a) The Battle of Trenton

b) The Battle of Monmouth

c) The Battle of Short Hills


The city of Trenton became New Jersey’s capital in…

a) 1770

b) 1780

c) 1790


Between 1918 and 1929, the number of cars in New Jersey rose by more than…

a) 250,000

b) 450,000

c) 650,000


Harriet Tubman’s base of operations for the Underground Railroad was…

a) Glassboro

b) Camden

c) Cape May


George McClellan, general in chief of the Union Army, was from…

a) Westwood

b) West Orange

c) West New York




Camp Dix (aka Ft. Dix) was built to train troops for…

a) The Spanish-American War

b) World War I

c) World War II


The waterway that brought coal from Pennsylvania to New Jersey factories in the 1800s was…

a) The Morris Canal

b) The Erie Canal

c) The Raritan Canal


The number of New Jerseyans who served in the military during World War II was just over…

a) 300,000

b) 400,000

c) 500,000


The postwar builder who turned Willingboro from a town of 600 to a suburb of 40,000 was…

a) William Carteret

b) William Levitt

c) William Hovnanian


The Garden State Parkway opened…

a) in 1949

b) in 1954

c) in 1959


The governor who initiated the first state income tax, specifically to support New Jersey’s schools, was…

a) Frank Hague

b) Brendan Byrne

c) Jim Florio



The state’s famous business slogan is…

a) Business is ripe in the Garden State

b) Your future is just an exit away

c) New Jersey makes, the world takes


The two parts of the legislative branch in New Jersey are…

a) the Senate and General Assembly

b) the Governor and Congress

c) the Judicial and Fiscal


The Pledge of Allegiance was given as the national oath in 1893 for the first time at…

a) The Newark Train Station

b) The Twin Lights on the Navesink Highlands

c) The steps of the Trenton Courthouse


Poet Walt Whitman lived out his final years in…

a) Saddle River

b) Weehawken

c) Camden


The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark opened in…

a) 1997

b) 1999

c) 2001 A passing grade is 13. Brave enough to check your work? You’ll find the answers in the box at right…


Images courtesy of Upper Case Editorial Services