The U.S. Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Yet the Constitution would not become binding until nine of the 13 states agreed to the terms and ratified it.
The first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution was Delaware on Dec. 7, 1787 — followed by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
And on this day in history, Dec. 18, 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and join the Union.
The decision appeared to be fast-paced, as shown throughout the minutes recorded of the meeting dates, according to New Jersey’s Department of State,
The delegates were required to have a minimum of six days to establish rules, review the document and deliberate.
The New Jersey delegates unanimously voted for the U.S. Constitution on the seventh day.
The Department of State suggests that the quick decision showed the dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation at the time.
There were 39 elected delegates chosen to represent the 13 New Jersey counties.
All but one – Samuel Dick of Salem County – attended, according to the New Jersey Department of State.
Two years later, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
Of the 12 proposed rights, New Jersey approved 11 – leaving out Article II, which pursued regulating congressional pay raises.
New Jersey is home to 9.267 million people as of 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Garden State is one of the smallest in the area but has one of the country’s highest population densities, according to Britannica.
New Jersey gained its nickname as the Garden State in the 18th century due to its rich and fertile soil, as America’s Library notes. Over the next two centuries, farmland gave way to urban industry.