As we continue with our series of “Weekender” blogs that are certainly a bit different than they are under normal circumstances, we encourage everyone in Delaware and Maryland’s coastal regions to remain as positive as you can during these difficult times.
It may not always seem like it, but the state, the nation and indeed the world is making progress every day in dealing with one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime.
We hope to be out with you in the community soon, when it’s safe to once again enjoy all that the area beaches have to offer in the coming weeks and months.
But for today, our goal is to continue bringing you a few things that can entertain you during this extended period at home. And this week, we’re taking a little bit of a different approach than we have in the last few entries.
We’ve given you plenty of both online and offline ideas for keeping your bodies and minds occupied in past blog entries, but today we’re going to focus exclusively on the First State.
We’ve chosen seven topics relative to Delaware that we thought you might enjoy either learning about or reliving. Some are people, some are events, some are discoveries – but all have a Delaware connection.
This is not, by any means, meant to be a comprehensive list of all things Delaware. It’s just a few things that appeal to us, so we’re hoping they’ll appeal to you as well.
Take a few minutes and remember with us these important moments in Delaware’s past, then click on the provided links or videos to learn more.
Named For A Lord. Not withstanding all of the Dela-where? comments from those who live outside of the state or who have never visited the area, the First State does have a unique story of how it got it’s name.
Once part of Pennsylvania, the lower three counties later broke off to form it’s own territory under British rule. Most know William Penn and the important role he played in the early days of Delaware, but how many know that the state was actually named for the governor of Virginia?
Thomas West, more well known as Lord or Baron De La Warr, was appointed Virginia’s governor for life around the turn of the 17th century, filling a role previously performed by Captain John Smith.
West died in 1618, but our state, as well as the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay, are named for the prominent Englishman and former governor of the colony of Virginia.
The Ride of Caesar Rodney. He’s on our state quarter, there’s a statue of him in Dover and one of the state’s largest high schools is named for him, among other things that bear his name. But just how important was the Paul Revere like ride of Caesar Rodney anyway?
Well, extremely important as it turned out, as Delaware’s delegates were split on whether or not to declare independence from Great Britain, and Rodney was needed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia – immediately!
Riding 80 miles overnight, often through heavy rain, a beleaguered and quite dirty Rodney arrived at Independence Hall and cast the crucial vote that signed Delaware up for independence and allowed the motion to pass unanimously. Solidarity in standing up to Great Britain was of vital importance to the founding fathers, and Rodney’s vote made that possible.
Despite his heroics, Caesar Rodney remains largely unknown outside of Delaware. But we encourage you to learn more about this often forgotten founding father by clicking here.
The Vice President is from Where? We’re not being political here in any way, but merely recognizing the fact that the state of Delaware was home to the U.S. vice president from January, 2009 until January, 2017. Of course, this section may need to be updated, depending on the outcome of the 2020 election.
Joe Biden served as a Delaware senator from 1973 until 2009, when we was elected vice president to Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States.
He was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Delaware as a child and became one of the First State’s most nationally known residents.
View the video below of the 2008 Sussex County Return Day parade in Georgetown, taken two days after Biden became the vice president elect of the United States.
Blue Hen Quarterback Wins the Super Bowl. Joe Flacco may originally be from New Jersey, but he was a standout quarterback for the Delaware Blue Hens for two years before being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2008.
He had a stellar run in the 2013 playoffs, highlighted by the “Mile High Miracle” in Denver on January 12. He and the Ravens then followed that up with an AFC championship game victory in New England and a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
Whether you’re a Ravens fan or not, this was a big moment for Delaware as a whole. Relive the unforgettable “Mile High Miracle” by clicking on the image below.
The Best in the World. While we’re on the topic of sports, we also need to recognize the abilities and the contributions made to the First State by former Delaware basketball standout Elena Delle Donne.
Playing for the Lady Blue Hens from 2009 to 2013, Delle Donne led the team to respectable showings in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, before turning pro and being drafted by the Chicago Sky in 2013.
Now playing for the Washington Mystics, Delle Donne was named the WNBA’s most valuable player in 2015 and 2019 and led the Mystics to the league championship in 2019.
Watch the ESPN profile on the former Delaware basketball star below.
Pleasing an Entire Generation of Women. If you live anywhere near the city of Seaford, then you’re certainly aware of the significance the nylon industry has played to the state of Delaware.
Invented in the mid 1930s by DuPont chemist Wallace Hume Carothers, nylon became a national sensation during the World’s Fair in 1939 when women’s stockings made of the fiber starting selling like wildfire.
Nylon was invented in Wilmington, but it was mass produced at the DuPont plant in the western Sussex town of Seaford. The old plant employed thousands of people during it’s peak, also contributing significantly to the country’s efforts in World War II by diverting its resources to making parachutes for the military.
That Fun Little Place on the Boardwalk. When you talk about summer at the Delaware beaches, it’s hard not to think about Funland on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.
A gem that’s become a tradition for many families either living in the area or visiting during the summer months, this family-owned treasure has been around since 1962.
Still owned and operated by the Fasnacht family, prices have remained affordable to pretty much anyone visiting the Boardwalk destination during the warm weather months.
On average, between 250,000 and 350,000 guests come to Funland every season, which normally runs until the week after Labor Day in September. Here’s hoping Funland is able to return for 2020.
Learn more about this favorite southern Delaware destination via the CBS feature video below.
Have a great weekend everyone and be sure to join us again next week for more fun things to see and do at and near the Delaware and Maryland beaches.
And don’t forget to check www.thecoastalcompass.com regularly for much more on the coastal region.