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5 Fun Facts About September 16 In New Jersey History

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

1. On September 16, 1810, Dutch farmer Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Staten Island, New York. Vanderbilt would go on to become one of the wealthiest men in American history, owning railroads and steamships and shaping the course of transportation and commerce.

2. In 1908, the New Jersey State Fairgrounds officially opened in Trenton. The fairgrounds provided a venue for agricultural fairs, exhibitions, and other events that celebrated the state's rural traditions and modernization.

3. September 16, 1922, saw the birth of iconic filmmaker John Knowles, known for directing classic movies like "A Separate Peace" and "Splendor in the Grass." Knowles grew up in West Virginia and later settled in NJ, where he started his film career.

4. On this day in 1948, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was created, with the goal of building and managing a high-speed highway system across the state. The first stretch of the NJ Turnpike opened in 1951 and remains a major artery for traffic to this day.

5. September 16, 1963, was the first day of class at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton. Originally established as a distance learning institution, the university has grown to offer more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs to students around the world.
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