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1. On July 12, 1776, the Delaware Assembly officially declared independence from Great Britain, making it the first of the original 13 colonies to do so. The declaration was signed at the New Castle Court House, which is now part of the First State National Historical Park.

2. In 1827, the Delaware River and Chesapeake Canal officially opened, providing a vital transportation route for goods and people between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay. The canal remained in use until the early 1900s, when it was replaced by a larger and more modern canal.

3. On July 12, 1898, the Battleship USS Delaware was launched from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Virginia. The ship was the first in the United States Navy to be named after the state of Delaware, and served in both World War I and World War II.

4. In 1969, the first McDonald's restaurant in Delaware opened on Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington. The fast-food chain has since become a staple of American culture and cuisine, with over 14,000 locations worldwide.

5. On July 12, 1983, astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, launching aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Ride was born in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood in California and Delaware before attending Stanford University and eventually joining NASA.

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