While New Jersey may be the fourth smallest state in the U.S., it holds a rich tapestry of history, distinctive laws, pop culture, and occasional mishaps that set it apart. This article aims to uncover seven intriguing facts that make New Jersey a compelling state to discover.
1. An Educational Blunder Worth $400 Million
In 2010, a seemingly innocuous error cost New Jersey dearly. Due to submitting data from the incorrect school year for federal education reform funding, the state lost a staggering $400 million. The mistake resulted in a 4.8 point deduction, leaving New Jersey three points short of securing the vital aid, which subsequently went to Ohio instead. The incident was widely referred to as a “stunning $400 million mistake”.
2. Criminal Attire Restrictions and Self-Service Gas Stations
New Jersey boasts some of the most peculiar laws in the country. For instance, it’s illegal for individuals to wear a bulletproof vest while engaging in criminal activities. Furthermore, in certain areas of New Jersey, it’s unlawful to pump your own gas, a rule that often surprises out-of-state visitors.
3. The Rock Anthem That Didn’t Make It
Bruce Springsteen’s iconic song “Born to Run” almost became New Jersey’s “rock theme”. However, the New State Assembly’s proposal was rejected by the state senate once it was realized that the song narrated a story of escaping from New Jersey, rather than celebrating it.
4. A Safe Haven for Card Counters
In an unusual twist in gambling laws, a 1979 New Jersey Supreme Court decision made it illegal for Atlantic City casinos to ban card counters. This ruling made New Jersey the only state in America where casinos can’t expel proficient blackjack players, despite it being common practice elsewhere.
5. A Series of Unfortunate Shark Attacks
The summer of 1916 marked a terrifying period for New Jersey, when the state experienced multiple shark attacks. One particularly bold shark even ventured inland via a creek, leading to the demise of two individuals.
6. ‘Jersey Shore’ Lost in Translation
The reality TV show ‘Jersey Shore’ took on an entirely different persona when it aired in Japan under the name ‘MTV Jersey Shore: the New Jersey Life of Macaroni Rascals’. This distinctive title reflects the unique cultural interpretations and translations between the U.S. and Japan.
7. The Rise of Bon Jovi Day
New Jersey’s love for music was solidified when Governor Phil Murphy declared April 14 as “Bon Jovi Day”. This official recognition celebrated the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, reinforcing New Jersey’s deep-rooted connection to the rock music scene.