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5 Fun Facts About March 31 In New Jersey History

---Learn Every Day: NJ Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nj To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1999, New Jersey transit train engineer Richard F. Cushing crashes his train into the Hoboken Terminal, killing himself and injuring over 100 passengers. The cause of the accident was found to be Cushing's failure to apply the brakes in time.
2. On March 31, 1776, the New Jersey Provincial Congress declared the state independent from British rule, becoming the third state to do so after Rhode Island and Virginia.
3. In 1880, Thomas Edison was granted a patent for his invention of the incandescent lamp, forever changing the way the world illuminated itself. Edison had many of his inventions developed in New Jersey, where he had a laboratory in Menlo Park.
4. In 1949, the Garden State Parkway officially opened to the public. The highway stretches over 170 miles from the northern tip of New Jersey to Cape May, and is one of the busiest toll roads in the country.
5. On March 31, 1876, a patent was granted to Samuel T. Freeman for a "gong-ringer" device used in telegraph offices. This invention improved upon previous designs by allowing telegraph clerks to quickly signal each other with a simple push-button mechanism.
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