Trenton, New Jersey

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City of Trenton, New Jersey
Flag Seal
Nickname: "Trent"
Location of Trenton inside of Mercer County
Coordinates: 40°13′18″N, 74°45′22″W
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Mercer County
Founded circa 1719
Mayor Douglas H. Palmer
 - City 21.1 km²  (8.1 sq mi)
 - Land 19.8 km²  (7.6 sq mi)
 - Water 1.3 km² (0.5 sq mi)
Elevation 17 m  (56 ft)
 - City (2000) 85,402
 - Density 4,304.7/km² (11,153.6/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Trenton is the capital of State of New Jersey. As of the United States 2000 Census, the City of Trenton had a population of 85,403. Trenton is also the county seat of Mercer County.

Trenton is the home of the Trenton Thunder Eastern League AA minor league baseball team, which is affiliated with the New York Yankees and plays in Mercer County Waterfront Park, and the Trenton Titans (an ECHL minor league hockey affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers) which plays in the Sovereign Bank Arena. The New Jersey State Prison, which has two maximum security units and houses the state's most dangerous criminals, is also located in Trenton.

Trenton is an anchor city for the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. Trenton and its immediate suburbs are often lumped together and referred to as "Greater Trenton" by locals.


[edit] History

The first settlement which would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworth, Sheffield, UK. Quakers were being persecuted in England at this time and North America provided the perfect opportunity to exercise their religious freedom.

By 1719, the town adopted the name "Trent-towne", after William Trent, one of its leading landholders who purchased much of the surrounding land from Stacy's family. This name later was shortened to "Trenton".

During the American Revolutionary War, the city was the site of George Washington's first military victory. On December 26, 1776, Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there (see Battle of Trenton). After the war, Trenton was briefly the national capital of the United States in November and December of 1784. The city was considered as a permanent capital for the new country, but the southern states favored a location south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Image:Trenton Makes.jpg
The Lower Free Bridge displaying Trenton's slogan, "Trenton Makes, The World Takes". The bridge is commonly referred to as the "Trenton Makes Bridge".

Trenton became the state capital in 1790, but prior to that year the Legislature often met here. The town was incorporated in 1792.

In 1896, the first professional basketball game was played in Trenton between the Trenton Basketball Team and the Brooklyn YMCA.

Trenton was a major manufacturing center in the late 1800s and early 1900s; one relic of that era is the slogan "Trenton Makes, The World Takes" displayed on the Lower Free Bridge (the "Trenton Makes Bridge"), just north of the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge. The city adopted the slogan in the 1920s to represent Trenton's then-leading role as a major manufacturing center for steel, rubber, wire, rope, linoleum and ceramics.

[edit] Geography

The Trenton skyline during the Delaware River flood, April 2005

Trenton is located at 40°13′18″N, 74°45′22″W (40.221741, -74.756138)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.1 km²)—7.7 square miles (19.8 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 6.01% water.

Trenton borders Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, Hamilton Township, and the Delaware River. Several bridges across the Delaware River - the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge, Lower Trenton Bridge and Calhoun Street Bridge - connect Trenton to Morrisville, Pennsylvania.

Trenton is located in almost the exact center of the state (the official geographic center is 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Trenton at 74° 33.5'W, 40° 4.2'N). Due to this, it is sometimes included as part of North Jersey and as the southernmost city of the New York metropolitan area. Others consider it part of South Jersey and as the northernmost city of the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. Locals consider it to be a part of Central Jersey, and thus part of neither region, though in truth the city has more communication and transportation links with the Delaware Valley than it does with New York.

Trenton is one of the only two state capitals which borders another state. The other such capital is Carson City, Nevada, which borders California. (Tallahassee, Florida, Cheyenne, Wyoming and Providence, Rhode Island are parts of counties which border other states. In addition, Juneau, Alaska borders Canada. )

[edit] Climate

Trenton enjoys a humid continental temperate climate with some marine influence due to the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The four seaons are of approximately equal length, with precipitation fairly evenly distributed through the year. The temperature is rarely below zero or above 100 °F.

During the winter months, temperatures routinely fall below freezing, but rarely fall below 0 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Trenton was -14 °F (-25.6 °C) on February 9, 1934. The average January low is 24 °F (-4.4 °C) and the average January high is 38 °F (3.3 °C). The summers are usually very warm, with temperatures often reaching into the 90 °F's, but rarely reaching into the 100 °F's. The average July low is 67 °F (19.4 °C) and the average July high is 85 °F (29.4 °C). The temperature reaches or exceeds 90 °F on 18 days each year, on average. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Trenton was 106 °F (41.1 °C) on July 9, 1936.

The average precipitation is 45.77 inches (1,163.1 mm) per year, which is fairly evenly distributed through the year. The driest month on average is February, with only 2.87 inches (72.9 mm) of rainfall on average, while the wettest month is July, with 4.82 inches (122.4 mm) of rainfall on average. Rainfall extremes can occur, however. The all-time single-day rainfall record is 7.25 inches (184.1 mm) on September 16, 1999, during the passage of Hurricane Floyd. The all-time monthly rainfall record is 14.55 inches (369.6 mm) in August 1955, due to the passage of Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane. The wettest year on record was 1996, when 67.90 inches (1,720 mm) of rain fell. On the flip side, the driest month on record was October 1963, when only 0.05 inches (1.27 mm) of rain was recorded. The driest year on record was 1957, when only 28.79 inches (731.27 mm) of rain was recorded.

Snowfall can vary even more year-to-year. The average snowfall is 24.9 inches (632.5 mm), but has ranged from as low as 2 inches (50.8 mm) (in the winter of 1918-19) to as high as 76.5 inches (1,943.1 mm) (in 1995-96). The heaviest snowstorm on record was the Blizzard of 1996 on January 7-8, 1996, when 24.2 inches (614.7 mm) buried the city. Snowstorms with accumulations of 12 inches (305 mm) or greater occur on average about once every 3-4 years.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F 38
Avg low °F 24
Average Rainfall in. 3.7
Source: NCDC
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F 73
Record low °F -13
Record Daily Rain in. 2.60
Source: NCDC

[edit] Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 85,403 people, 29,437 households, and 18,692 families residing in the city. The population density was 11,153.6 people per square mile (4,304.7/km² ). There were 33,843 housing units at an average density of 4,419.9 per square mile (1,705.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.06% African American, 32.55% White, 0.35% Native American, 0.84% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 10.76% from other races, and 3.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.53% of the population. (Note: Most of the Hispanics in Trenton have been traditionally Puerto Rican. However, recently, that has changed as many immigrants from Guatemala, Ecuador, and various Latin American countries have settled in the city).

There were 29,437 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.0% were married couples living together, 27.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,074, and the median income for a family was $36,681. Males had a median income of $29,721 versus $26,943 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,621. About 17.6% of families and 21.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 19.5% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Neighborhoods

Image:Battle of Trenton Monument.jpg
The Battle of Trenton Monument in Trenton

The City of Trenton is home to numerous neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods. The main neighborhoods are taken from the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West) and are often the main identifying points for city residents. North Ward is an African American community that houses numerous important sites in this predominantly African American city and its history. South Ward is the most diverse neighborhood in Trenton and is home to many residents with Latin American, Italian, Polish and Irish ancestry as well as a sizable African American community. The Chambersburg neighborhood is contained within South Ward, and is noted in the region as a destination for its many Italian restaurants. East Ward is the smallest neighborhood in Trenton and is home to Trenton's train station as well as Trenton Central High School. Recently, two campuses have been added, Trenton Central High School West and Trenton Central High School North, respectively, in those areas of the city. West Ward is the home of Trenton's more affluent neighborhoods, including Hiltonia, Berkeley Square, and the area surrounding Cadwalader Park.

In addition to these neighborhoods, other notable sections include the "The Island" (a small neighborhood between Route 29 and the Delaware River that is prone to flooding) and historic Mill Hill (located next door to downtown Trenton). Kingsbury Towers (a highrise apartment complex technically in South Ward) is also semi-autonomous or neutral.

[edit] Government

[edit] Local government

The Old Barracks in Trenton, NJ

The City of Trenton is governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) system of municipal government.

Trenton's current Mayor, Douglas Palmer, has been in office since July 1, 1990<ref>Meet the Mayor, accessed July 4, 2006</ref>.

Members of the City Council are<ref>Meet the City Council, accessed July 4, 2006</ref>:

[edit] Federal, state and county representation

Trenton is spread across two congressional districts, the Fourth Congressional District and the Twelfth Congressional District, and is part of New Jersey's 15th Legislative District.<ref>League of Women Voters: 2006 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, p. 65, accessed August 30, 2006</ref>

New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District, covering portions of Burlington County, Mercer County, Monmouth County and Ocean County, is represented by Christopher Smith (R). New Jersey's Twelfth Congressional District, covering all of Hunterdon County and portions of Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, and Somerset County, is represented by Rush D. Holt Jr. (D). New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Robert Menendez (D, Hoboken).

The 15th legislative district of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Shirley Turner (D, Ewing) and in the Assembly by Reed Gusciora (D, Trenton) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D, Trenton). The Governor of New Jersey is Jon Corzine (D, Hoboken).

Mercer County's County Executive is Brian M. Hughes. The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. Mercer County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chair Keith V. Hamilton, Freeholder Vice Chair Pasquale "Pat" Colavita, Jr., Ann M. Cannon, Anthony P. Carabelli, Tony Mack, Elizabeth Maher Muoio and Lucylle R. S. Walter.

[edit] Education

The Trenton Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Superintendent runs the district and the school board is appointed by the Mayor. The School District has undergone a "construction" renaissance throughout the district. Trenton Central High School is Trenton's only traditional public high school in the city. Trenton also has a host of charter and private schools to choose from.

Trenton is the home of two, higher education instutitions, Thomas Edison State College and Mercer County Community College.

[edit] Crime

In 2005, there were 31 homicides in Trenton, the largest number in a single year in the city's history, with 22 of the homicides believed to be gang related<ref>Trenton murders hit all-time high, Signal, January 25, 2006</ref>. The city was named the 4th "Most Dangerous" in 2005 out of 129 cities with a population of 75,000 to 99,999 ranked nationwide<ref>12th Annual Safest/Most Dangerous Cities Survey: Top and Bottom 25 Cities Overall, accessed June 23, 2006</ref>. In the 2006 survey, Trenton was ranked as the 14th most dangerous "city" overall out of 371 cities included nationwide in the 13th annual Morgan Quitno survey, and was again named as the fourth most dangerous "city" of 126 cities in the 75,000-99,999 population range.<ref>13th Annual Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities: Top and Bottom 25 Cities Overall, accessed October 30, 2006</ref>

[edit] Transportation

City highways include the Trenton Freeway, which is part of U.S. Route 1, and the John Fitch Parkway, which is part of Route 29. Canal Boulevard, more commonly known as Route 129, connects US Route 1 and NJ Route 29 in South Trenton. U.S. Route 206, Route 31, and Route 33 also pass through the city via regular city streets (Broad Street / Brunswick Avenue / Princeton Avenue, Pennington Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue, respectively). Interstate 95 and Interstate 295 pass through the surrounding suburbs of Ewing Township, Lawrence Township, and Hamilton Township, and Interstate 195 connects the city to the New Jersey Turnpike via NJ Routes 29 and 129. The Pennsylvania Turnpike also passes close to the city.

Public transportation within and beyond the city is mostly provided by New Jersey Transit, in the form of local bus routes between nearby suburbs and the city, as well as commuter train service northward from the Trenton Rail Station along the Northeast Corridor to Newark and New York. The new River LINE diesel light rail line extends from Trenton southward to Camden. SEPTA provides commuter train service southward from the Trenton Station along the Northeast Corridor to Philadelphia.

Long-distance transportation is provided by Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor. Limited commercial airline transportation is provided at nearby Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing; much more extensive airline service is available at the more distant international airports in Newark (reachable by direct New Jersey Transit or Amtrak rail link) and Philadelphia.

[edit] Noted residents

Some well-known Americans born in Trenton include:

Preceded by:
Capital of the United States of America
Succeeded by:
New York

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] External links

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Municipalities of Mercer County, New Jersey
(County Seat: Trenton)
Boroughs Hightstown | Hopewell | Pennington | Princeton Image:Map of New Jersey highlighting Mercer County.svg
City Trenton
Townships East Windsor | Ewing | Hamilton | Hopewell | Lawrence | Princeton | Washington | West Windsor
CDPs and
Grover's Mill | Lawrenceville | Mercerville-Hamilton Square | Princeton Junction | Princeton North | Robbinsville | Titusville | Twin Rivers | White Horse | Windsor | Yardville-Groveville

Image:Flag of New Jersey.svg State of New Jersey
}"> |
}}This box: view  talk  edit</div>
Capital Trenton
Regions Central Jersey | Delaware Valley | Jersey Shore | Meadowlands | North Jersey | Pine Barrens | South Jersey | New York metro area | Tri-State Region
Cities Atlantic City | Bayonne | Camden | Clifton | East Orange | Elizabeth | Hackensack | Hoboken | Jersey City | Linden | Long Branch | New Brunswick | Newark | Passaic | Paterson | Perth Amboy | Plainfield | Princeton | Toms River | Trenton |Union City | Vineland | In addition to the major cities listed, All Municipalities (by Population)
Counties Atlantic | Bergen | Burlington | Camden | Cape May | Cumberland | Essex | Gloucester | Hudson | Hunterdon | Mercer | Middlesex | Monmouth | Morris | Ocean | Passaic | Salem | Somerset | Sussex | Union | Warren


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Trenton, New Jersey

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