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Trenton is the capital of the U.S. state of New Jerseymarker and the county seat of Mercer Countymarker. As of 2007, the United States Census Bureau estimated that the city of Trenton had a population of 82,804.

Trenton dates back at least to June 3, 1719, when mention was made of a constable being appointed for Trenton, while the area was still part of Hunterdon Countymarker. Boundaries were recorded for Trenton Township as of June 3, 1719. Trenton became New Jersey's capital as of November 25, 1790, and the City of Trenton was formed within Trenton Township on November 13, 1792. Trenton Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. Portions of the township were taken on February 22, 1834, to form Ewing Townshipmarker. A series of annexations took place over a fifty-year period, with the city absorbing South Trenton borough (April 14, 1851), portions of Nottingham Township (April 14, 1856), Chambersburg and Millham Township (both on March 30, 1888) and Wilbur borough (February 28, 1898).

History

The first settlement which would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworthmarker, Sheffieldmarker, UK. Quakers were being persecuted in Englandmarker at this time and North America provided the perfect opportunity to exercise their religious freedom.

By 1719, the town adopted the name "Trent-towne", after William Trent, one of its leading landholders who purchased much of the surrounding land from Stacy's family. This name later was shortened to "Trenton".

During the American Revolutionary War, the city was the site of George Washington's first military victory. On December 26, 1776, Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there (see Battle of Trenton). After the war, Trenton was briefly the national capital of the United Statesmarker in November and December of 1784. The city was considered as a permanent capital for the new country, but the southern states favored a location south of the Mason-Dixon Linemarker.
Trenton became the state capital in 1790, but prior to that year the Legislature often met here. The town was incorporated in 1792.

During the 1812 War, the primary hospital facility for the U.S. Army was at a temporary location on Broad Street.

Throughout the 19th Century, Trenton grew steadily, as Europeans came to work in its pottery and wire rope mills. In 1837, with the population now too large for government by council, a new mayoral government was adopted, with by-laws that remain in operation to this day.

Geography



Trenton is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.1 km²)—7.7 square miles (19.8 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 6.01% water.

Trenton borders Ewing Townshipmarker, Lawrence Townshipmarker, Hamilton Townshipmarker, and the Delaware River. Several bridges across the Delaware River — the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge, Lower Trenton Bridge and Calhoun Street Bridgemarker - connect Trenton to Morrisvillemarker, Pennsylvaniamarker.

Trenton is located in almost the exact geographic center of the state (the official geographic center is 5 miles southeast of Trenton [9154]). Due to this, it is sometimes included as part of North Jersey and as the southernmost city of the Tri-State Region. Others consider it a part of South Jersey and thus, the northernmost city of the Delaware Valley. Following the 2000 U.S. Census, Trenton was shifted from the Philadelphia metropolitan area to the New York metropolitan areamarker.[9155] However, Mercer Countymarker constitutes its own metropolitan statistical area, formally known as the Trenton-Ewing MSA.[9156] Locals consider Trenton to be a part of ambiguous Central Jersey, and thus part of neither region. These same locals are generally split as to whether they are within New York or Philadelphia's sphere of influence.

Climate

According to Koppen climate classification, Trenton enjoys a humid subtropical temperate climate with some marine influence due to the nearby Atlantic Oceanmarker. The four seasons are of approximately equal length, with precipitation fairly evenly distributed through the year. The temperature is rarely below zero or above 100 °F.

During the winter months, temperatures routinely fall below freezing, but rarely fall below 0 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Trenton was -14 °F (-25.6 °C) on February 9, 1934. The average January low is 24 °F (-4.4 °C) and the average January high is 38 °F (3.3 °C). The summers are usually very warm, with temperatures often reaching into the 90 °F's, but rarely reaching into the 100 °F's. The average July low is 67 °F (19.4 °C) and the average July high is 85 °F (29.4 °C). The temperature reaches or exceeds 90 °F on 18 days each year, on average. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Trenton was 106 °F (41.1 °C) on July 9, 1936.

The average precipitation is 45.77 inches (1,163.1 mm) per year, which is fairly evenly distributed through the year. The driest month on average is February, with only 2.87 inches (72.9 mm) of rainfall on average, while the wettest month is July, with 4.82 inches (122.4 mm) of rainfall on average. Rainfall extremes can occur, however. The all-time single-day rainfall record is 7.25 inches (184.1 mm) on September 16, 1999, during the passage of Hurricane Floyd. The all-time monthly rainfall record is 14.55 inches (369.6 mm) in August 1955, due to the passage of Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane. The wettest year on record was 1996, when 67.90 inches (1,720 mm) of rain fell. On the flip side, the driest month on record was October 1963, when only 0.05 inches (1.27 mm) of rain was recorded. The driest year on record was 1957, when only 28.79 inches (731.27 mm) of rain was recorded.

Snowfall can vary even more year-to-year. The average snowfall is 23.4 inches, but has ranged from as low as 2 inches (in the winter of 1918-19) to as high as 76.9 inches (in 1995-96). The heaviest snowstorm on record was the Blizzard of 1996 on January 7-8, 1996, when 24.2 inches of snow fell.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 85,403, people, 29,437 households, and 18,692 families residing in the city. The population density was 11,153.6 people per square mile (4,304.7/km² ). There were 33,843 housing units at an average density of 4,419.9 per square mile (1,705.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.06% African American, 32.55% White, 0.35% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 10.76% from other races, and 3.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.53% of the population. Non-Hispanic whites made made 24.62% of the population.

There were 29,437 households, 32.4% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them. 29.0% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,074, and the median income for a family was $36,681. Males had a median income of $29,721 versus $26,943 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,621. About 17.6% of families and 21.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 19.5% of those age 65 or over.

Top 10 ethnicities reported during the 2000 Census by percentage
  1. African American (52.1)
  2. Puerto Rican (10.5)
  3. Italian (7.3)
  4. Irish (4.5)
  5. Polish (3.8)
  6. Guatemala (3.1)
  7. English (2.0)
  8. Jamaican (1.3)
  9. Hungarian (1.1)
  10. Mexican (1.1)


Economy



Trenton was a major manufacturing center in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One relic of that era is the slogan "Trenton Makes, The World Takes", which is displayed on the Lower Free Bridge (just north of the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge). The city adopted the slogan in 1917 to represent Trenton's then-leading role as a major manufacturing center for rubber, wire rope, ceramics and cigars.[9157].

Along with many other United States cities in the 1960s and 1970s, Trenton fell on hard times when manufacturing and industrial jobs declined. Concurrently, state government agencies began leasing office space in the surrounding suburbs. Since Trenton is New Jersey's capital, state government leaders (particularly governors William Cahill and Brendan Byrne) attempted to revitalize the downtown area by making it the center of state government. Between 1982 and 1992, more than a dozen office buildings were constructed primarily by the state to house state offices.[9158] Today, Trenton's biggest employer is still the state of New Jersey. Each weekday, 20,000 state workers flood into the city from the surrounding suburbs. [9159]

Urban Enterprise Zone

Portions of Trenton are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).

Neighborhoods

The city of Trenton is home to numerous neighborhood and sub-neighborhoods. The main neighborhoods are taken from the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West). Trenton was once home to large Italian, Hungarian, and Jewish communities, but since the 1960s demographic shifts have changed the city into a relatively segregated urban enclave of poorer African Americans. Italians are scattered throughout the city, but a distinct Italian community is centered in the Chambersburg neighborhood, in South Trenton. This community has been in decline since the 1970s, largely due to economic and social shifts to the more prosperous, less crime-ridden suburbs surrounding the city. Today Chambersburg has a large Latino community. Many of the Latino immigrants are from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. The Latino community once had a heavy concentration of Puerto Ricans, but more recent Central and South American immigrants have changed that.

The North Ward, once a mecca for the city's middle class, is now one of the most economically distressed, torn apart by race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. Nonetheless, the area still retains many important architectural and historic sites. North Trenton has a large Polish-American neighborhood that borders Lawrence Township, many of whom attend St Hedwigs Roman Catholic Church on Brunswick Ave. St. Hedwigs church was built in 1904 by Polish immigrants,many of whose families still attend the church. North Trenton is also home to the historic Shiloh Baptist Church—one of the largest houses of worship in Trenton and the oldest African American church in the city founded in 1888. The church is currently pastored by Rev. Darrell L. Armstrong who carried the Olympic torch in 2002 for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Also located just at the southern tip of North Trenton is the city's Battle Monument, also known as "Five Points". It is a 150 ft. structure that marks the spot where George Washington's Continental Army launched the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War. It faces downtown Trenton and is a symbol of the city's historic past.

South Ward is the most diverse neighborhood in Trenton and is home to many Latin American, Italian-American, and African American residents.

East Ward is the smallest neighborhood in Trenton and is home to the Trenton's Train Stationmarker as well as Trenton Central High Schoolmarker. Recently, two campuses have been added, Trenton Central High School West and Trenton Central High School North, respectively, in those areas of the city. The Chambersburg neighborhood is within the East Ward, and was once noted in the region as a destination for its many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. With changing demographics, some of these businesses have either closed or relocated to suburban locations.

West Wardmarker is the home of Trenton's more suburban neighborhoods, including Hiltonia, Glen Afton, Berkeley Square, and the area surrounding Cadwalader Park.

In addition to these neighborhoods, other notable sections include the "The Island" (a small neighborhood between Route 29 and the Delaware River and historic Mill Hill located next door to downtown Trenton. Kingsbury Towers (a high rise apartment complex technically in South Ward) is also semi-autonomous or neutral. the Fisher-Richey-Perdicaris neighborhood comprises a little-known district sandwiched between West State Street and Route 29 with large several-story residences dating from ca. 1915.

Government

Local government

The Old Barracks in Trenton, NJ


The City of Trenton is governed under the Faulkner Act system of municipal government.

Trenton's current Mayor, Douglas Palmer, has been in office since July 1, 1990. Douglas Palmer is the first African American to become Mayor in the City of Trenton. Among holding the position of Mayor, Douglas Palmer was also named President of the United States Conference of Mayors in December 2006.

Members of the City Council are:

Federal, state and county representation

2221x1545, 656 KB
Trenton is spread across two congressional districts, the Fourth Congressional District and the Twelfth Congressional District, and is part of New Jersey's 15th Legislative District.

Education

Colleges and universities

Trenton is the home of two post-secondary institutions, Thomas Edison State Collegemarker and Mercer County Community Collegemarker's James Kearney Campus. The College of New Jerseymarker, formerly named Trenton State College, was founded in Trenton in 1855 and is now located in nearby Ewing Townshipmarker. Rider Universitymarker was founded in Trenton in 1865 as The Trenton Business College. In 1964, Rider moved to its current location in nearby Lawrence Townshipmarker. [9160]

Public schools

The Trenton Public Schoolsmarker serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide. The Superintendent runs the district and the school board is appointed by the Mayor. The School District has undergone a 'construction' renaissance throughout the district. Trenton Central High Schoolmarker is Trenton's only traditional public high school.

Charter schools

Trenton is home to many charter schools, Capital Preparatory Charter High School, Emily Fisher Charter School, Foundation Academy Charter Schoolmarker, International Charter School, Paul Robeson Charter School, Trenton Community Charter School, and Village Charter School.

Other schools

Trenton Community Music School is a not-for-profit community school of the arts. The school was founded by executive director Marcia Wood in 1997.

Crime

In 2005, there were 31 homicides in Trenton, the largest number in a single year in the city's history, with 22 of the homicides believed to be gang related. The city was named the 4th "Most Dangerous" in 2005 out of 129 cities with a population of 75,000 to 99,999 ranked nationwide. In the 2006 survey, Trenton was ranked as the 14th most dangerous "city" overall out of 371 cities included nationwide in the 13th annual Morgan Quitno survey, and was again named as the fourth most dangerous "city" of 126 cities in the 75,000-99,999 population range. Homicides went down in 2006 to 20, but back up to 25 in 2007As of October 9, 2008 there have been 18 homicides in Trenton.

Trenton's mayor, Douglas Palmer, is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The coalition is co-chaired by Bostonmarker Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Citymarker Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Riots of 1968

Many today mark the '68 riots as the last time Trenton was a commercial and residential hub. Historian Charles Webster puts it simply: "The riots that killed Trenton."

The Trenton Riots of 1968 were a major civil disturbance that took place during the week following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King in Memphismarker on April 4. Race riots broke out nationwide following the murder of the civil rights activist.

More than 200 Trenton businesses mostly in Downtown, were ransacked and burned.

More than 300 people, most of them young black men, were arrested on charges ranging from assault and arson to looting and violating the mayor's emergency curfew. Most of the assaults were on ill prepared policemen with outdated equipment, including one nearly killed when run over by a truck.

In addition to 16 other injured policemen, 15 firefighters were treated at city hospitals for smoke inhalation, burns, sprains and cuts suffered while fighting raging blazes or for injuries inflicted by rioters. Denizens of Trenton urban core often pulled false alarms and would then throw bricks at firefighters responding to the alarm boxes. This experience, along with similar experiences in other major cities, effectively ended the use of open-cab fire engines. As an interim measure, the Trenton Fire Department fabricated temporary cab enclosures from steel deck plating until new equipment could be obtained. The losses incurred by downtown businesses were estimated at $17 million.

Trenton's Battle Monument neighborhood was hardest hit. Since the 1950s, North Trenton had witnessed a steady exodus of middle-class residents, and the riots spelled the end for North Trenton. By the 1970s, the region had become one of the most blighted and crime-ridden in the city, and remains as such today.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Trenton suffered from the demolition of major cultural landmarks including the Lincoln, Trent and Capitol Theaters, as well as misguided economic policies by long-term mayor, Arthur J. Holland. The Lincoln and Capitol Theaters were former opera houses, allowed by the Mayor to be demolished for surface parking lots owned by local banking institutions who later abandoned the city for suburban headquarters. In the early 1970s, the Mayor spearheaded efforts to close two blocks of State Street, the center of the downtown business district. Supposedly to create an urban shopping district and pedestrian mall, the closure limited access to the retail locations. The poor design of the mall (with abstract aluminum shapes contrasting with historic architecture), lack of parking, and failure to address crime and safety issues, led to a continued exodus and closure of previously viable businesses from the area, including retail mainstays as Sears and other major businesses.

New Jersey State Prison

The New Jersey State Prisonmarker (formerly Trenton State Prison), which has two maximum security units, is located in Trenton. The prison houses some of the state's most dangerous individuals, which included New Jersey's Death Row population until the state banned capital punishment in 2007.

The following inscribed over the original entrance to the prison.

Labor, Silence, Penitence.The Penitentiary House,Erected By LegislativeAuthority.Richard Howell, Governor.In The XXII Year OfAmerican IndependenceMDCCXCVIIThat Those Who Are FearedFor Their CrimesMay Learn To Fear The LawsAnd Be UsefulHic Labor, Hic Opus.

Transportation

City highways include the Trenton Freeway, which is part of U.S. Route 1, and the John Fitch Parkway, which is part of Route 29. Canal Boulevard, more commonly known as Route 129, connects US Route 1 and NJ Route 29 in South Trenton. U.S. Route 206, Route 31, and Route 33 also pass through the city via regular city streets (Broad Street/Brunswick Avenue/Princeton Avenue, Pennington Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue, respectively). Interstate 195 connects the city to Interstate 295 and the New Jersey Turnpike (also known as Interstate 95) via NJ Routes 29 and 129. The Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276) also passes close to the city.

Public transportation within the city and to/from its nearby suburbs is provided in the form of local bus routes run by New Jersey Transit. SEPTA also provides bus service to adjacent Bucks County, Pennsylvaniamarker.

The Trenton Train Stationmarker, located on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor, serves as the northbound terminus for SEPTA's R7 Trenton line (local train service to Philadelphia) and southbound terminus for New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor Line (local train service to New York). The train station also serves as the northbound terminus for the River Linemarker; a diesel light rail line that runs to Camdenmarker. Two additional River Line stops, Cass Streetmarker and Hamilton Avenuemarker, are located within the city.

Long-distance transportation is provided by Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor. Limited commercial airline transportation is provided at nearby Trenton-Mercer Airportmarker in Ewingmarker. Much more extensive airline service is available at the more distant international airports in Newarkmarker (reachable by direct New Jersey Transit or Amtrak rail link) and Philadelphiamarker.

Media

Trenton is served by The Times, and the Trentonian. Radio station WKXWmarker is also licensed to Trenton.

Sports

Club League Venue Affiliate Established Championships
Trenton Thunder EL, Baseball Mercer County Waterfront Parkmarker New York Yankees 1994 2
Trenton Devils ECHL, Ice hockey Sun National Bank Centermarker New Jersey Devils 1999 1
New Jersey Kings AIFA, Indoor football Sun National Bank Centermarker N/A 2010 0


Because of Trenton's relative distance to New York City and Philadelphia, and because most homes in Mercer County receive network broadcasts from both cities, locals are sharply divided fan loyalty to both cities. It is not uncommon to find fans of Philadelphia's Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, and Flyers cheering (and arguing) right along side New York Yankees, Mets, Nets, Knicks, Devils, Rangers, Jets, and Giants fans.

Between 1948 and 1979 Trenton Speedwaymarker hosted world class auto racing. It was actually located in adjacent Hamilton Township. Famous drivers such as A. J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison all won major races on the one mile asphalt oval and then re-configured 1 1/2 mile race track. The speedway, which closed in 1980, was part of the larger New Jersey State Fairgrounds complex, which also closed in 1983. The former site of the speedway and fairgrounds is now the Grounds for Sculpturemarker.

Points of interest



Trivia



  • Trenton is an American city to have been the capital of all four forms of secular government: municipal, county, state, and country. New York City and Philadelphia have also filled these roles however they have not been state capitals since the 18th century.




  • Pork roll (often referred to as Taylor ham outside the Trenton area ) was invented in Trenton in 1856 by 19th century New Jersey Politician and Trenton native John Taylor.


  • The tomato pie was first sold at Joe's Tomato Pies in Chambersburg in 1910, and Papa's Tomato Pies in 1912.




  • The Fugees' cover of the Bob Marley song "No Woman, No Cry" mentions both "Jersey" and "Trenchtownmarker" in different verses, unintentionally leading some people to erroneously believe that Trenchtown is a nickname for Trenton.


  • Trenton is famous for the sign on the lower bridge crossing the Delaware -- "Trenton Makes, the World Takes," a slogan created by local business interests in the early part of the 20th Century when Trenton was a thriving industrial city with major pottery, ceramics, steel, and other heavy manufacturing interests. The bridge has been seen in many motion pictures in recent years, including Stealing Home.






Noted residents

Some well-known Americans who were born and/or have lived in Trenton include:

References

External links







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