National Delaware Day is observed on July 13 every year. The holiday aims to commemorate the state of Delaware and how it was the first American state to officially declare independence from the British. The land of Delaware used to be a part of the states of New York and, later, Pennsylvania, but now it stands proud of its own. The state was named after the Delaware River and Bay, which was, in turn, named after Thomas West, Third Baron De La Warr. It gained official statehood in 1776 when the 13 colonies declared independence from the British.
History of National Delaware Day
The modern state of Delaware was originally home to the Lenni Lenape, Susquehanna, and Nanticoke, among other Native American tribes. Dutch and Swedish settlers later colonized the area.
Delaware was one of the 13 colonies that revolted against the British to gain independence from imperial power. After the 1776 Revolution commenced, the Delaware State adopted its first constitution — which stated that all governors of the state were to be termed ‘President.’ The Battle of Cooch’s Bridge was the only battle fought on Delaware soil during the revolution, wherein American forces led by George Washington — outnumbered in strength and ammunition — were forcefully driven back. The British took over the state until independence; it also bore witness to a Loyalist insurrection in 1778 called the ‘Clow Rebellion.’ The independence of the United States saw Delaware being declared as a state in the newly independent country.
Delaware is home to many firsts in the country’s history — it was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Additionally, it is home to the oldest church in the U.S. — the Holy Trinity Church. Delaware was also home to the oldest African-American church, the Union Church of Africans (now A.U.M.P. Church), chartered by Peter Spencer in 1813. The first-ever railcar in the country also happened to have been found in Delaware. The state is the best source of peaches in the United States and the American manufacturing hub for chemicals.
National Delaware Day timeline
The Dutch settle in Delaware.
The British gain control over the Delaware region.
Delaware declares independence along with other colonies.
The American Revolutionary War ends as the Treaty of Paris is signed.
National Delaware Day FAQs
Why is Delaware the first state?
Delaware is considered the first state because it was the first one to ratify the U.S. constitution.
What is Delaware's nickname?
Because it was the first colony that revolted against the British to gain independence, its nickname became ‘First State.’
What is the oldest city in Delaware?
The oldest city in Delaware is Lewes, and it is called ‘The First Town in the First State.’
How to Observe National Delaware Day
If you can, visit the state of Delaware on the day. Immerse yourself in the local culture and see the sites.
Read about its history
Delaware has a rich history. Why not spend the day reading about it?
Read about the American Revolution
The history of the American Revolution is vast and fascinating. Read up on it and share your newfound knowledge with your peers.
5 Interesting Facts About Delaware
Delaware is the second smallest state.
It is the least populated state.
Delaware has three counties — the fewest in any state.
The Dover International Speedway is located in Delaware.
During the American Civil War, Delaware remained in the Union.
Why National Delaware Day is Important
It recognizes the state's contribution to American history
Delaware played a significant role in the American Revolution. National Delaware Day is a reminder of that part of the state's history.
It’s a reminder of the spirit of independence
National Delaware Day is a reminder of the American spirit of independence. Why not join in and celebrate your independence?
It is an excuse to learn about history
Delaware has a rich history, the day is a good opportunity to learn about it. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes.
National Delaware Day dates