Delaware earned its nickname as the ‘First State’ 225 years ago today, after being the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution back on Dec. 7, 1787.
“Delaware beat, by just a couple days, the state of Pennsylvania,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, during Friday’s official proclamation of Delaware Day at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover. “Today, we remember when 30 Delawareans, 10 from each county… unanimously ratified the Constitution, to replace what were then, the Articles of Confederation.”
“The signing occurred 225 years ago, about less than 500 feet here at the Gold Fleece Tavern,” said State Archivist Stephen Marz. “They had divergent views, but they had singular hearts of what needed to be done for the overall good of the citizens of Delaware.”
Pearl Harbor Day
Delaware Day was officially established in 1933 to commemorate the historic moment, but the day that made Delaware the first star on the American flag is also the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
But Secretary of State Bullock says celebrating Delaware’s ratification of the Constitution on the anniversary of one of the nation’s darkest days isn’t so far fetched.
“Way back then, those 30 men that were meeting in Dover, were really establishing for us, not only our basic laws, but our freedoms, and liberties and rights that we all enjoy,” Bullock said. “Pearl Harbor Day obviously was tragic, but it brings full circle just what it means to have the kinds of rights that we have, to have the kind of liberties that we enjoy as Americans and what it takes to preserve all that, which is a lot, and sometimes an ultimate sacrifice of your life.”