Hackensack, New Jersey has a rich history that spans over three centuries. The city has been the site of several significant historical events that have shaped the course of the state and the nation. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement, here are seven historical events that have taken place near Hackensack.
1. British Occupation of Hackensack during the American Revolution
During the American Revolution, British forces occupied Hackensack and used it as a base for their strategic operations. The Hackensack River served as a crucial transportation route for the British army, allowing them to move troops and supplies up and down the river. The city was also the site of several skirmishes between the Continental Army and the British forces.
2. The Zabriskie House Massacre
During the Revolutionary War, the Zabriskie House was the headquarters of the British army in Hackensack. On September 2, 1780, a group of Continental Army soldiers led by Lieutenant Colonel Abraham Van Buskirk made a surprise attack on the house and massacred several British officers who were inside. The incident became known as the Zabriskie House Massacre and is considered one of the bloodiest conflicts in the Revolutionary War.
3. Establishment of Bergen County
In 1683, Bergen County was established, which included Hackensack as one of its towns. Bergen County was the first county in the state of New Jersey and one of the earliest in the country.
4. The Women's Suffrage Movement
Hackensack was also a part of the women's suffrage movement that fought for women's right to vote. In 1915, a group of New Jersey women demonstrated for the right to vote in front of the Bergen County courthouse in Hackensack. The suffrage movement finally won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.
5. The Hackensack River Superfund Site
The Hackensack River is one of the most polluted rivers in the United States due to decades of industrial pollution. In 1983, the Hackensack River was declared a Superfund site, which is a federal designation that identifies areas in need of hazardous waste cleanup. Since then, efforts have been made to clean up the river and improve water quality.
6. The Civil Rights Movement
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Hackensack was a part of the struggle for equal rights. In 1964, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech at the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack. The speech was one of many that King gave in New Jersey during his time as a civil rights leader.
7. The Hackensack Fire of 1988
On July 1, 1988, a fire broke out in the Hackensack Ford dealership that quickly spread to other buildings in the area. The fire eventually destroyed a four-story apartment building that was under construction, killing five firefighters who were trying to put out the blaze. The incident was one of the deadliest fires in the state of New Jersey.
In conclusion, Hackensack, New Jersey has a fascinating history that's filled with significant events that have helped shape the course of the state and the nation. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, the city has played an essential role in many of the country's most significant historical moments.
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