Many things come to mind when we read these three words.
Yes, New Jersey, the
great land of the
Turnpike and corporate home to Amtrek. A guiding light, it reaches out welcoming arms to
strip-mall developers, saying, "Give us your tires, your poured concrete, your huddled masses of
stores yearning to sell." But it's so much more. Beyond the statuesque
oil refineries and that pervasive lingering smell, there's a proud history waiting to
be sold to a new
millennium. Any grade school student knows that New Jersey became an independent nation when it seceded from the
the late sixties. What he or she may not know is the "how" and
"why" of what actually happened...
|The year was 1969. A nation was in turmoil. Students protested while bad movies filled the theatres. The issue of Color divided the nation as major appliances were
offered only in Avocado or Chocolate Brown. Even more divisive was the debate over fluoridated drinking water. The country was evenly split for the most part. New Jerseyites, in a curious trend that baffled social scientists, were unanimously opposed to fluoridation. Concerned
Jersey parents and educators blamed it for the misbehavior we now refer to as
DCS - Disobedient Child Syndrome. The state was united. But the Department of Public
Opposition in Washington
remained entrenched in its insistence on fluoridation. The two had reached an
Then, in early May, from the great cities of Hoboken and Piscataway to the Pine Barrens and The Shore, the New Jersey citizenry stood up as one and demanded their freedom. Surprisingly, the state was allowed to leave the Union without a shot being fired. The only condition was that New Jersey agree to stop shipping its garbage to Pennsylvania. And so, on Friday, May 31, 1969, the "Garden State" officially became a sovereign nation. Of course, the island had always been separated from the mainland by the Delaware and Hudson Rivers and the North Jersey Channel. But on that proud day came true independence!
Even so, the founding fathers didn't stop to congratulate themselves. The fledgling island nation needed a capital befitting the world's number one exporter of canned soup. There was already a state capital in Trenton. However, it was thought that a distinctly separate seat for the federal government would more effectively consume tax dollars. Rising to the occasion, the kind-hearted, simple folk of Monmouth and Ocean Counties magnanimously offered to donate a five-mile square parcel of undeveloped land that straddled their border at the geographic center of the state. The founding fathers, led by newly-elected President and former "KwikStop Muffler and Brakes" owner Weldon C. Blodgett, thanked the people for their generosity but declined the offer. Instead, in a midnight closed-door session on July 10, 1969, legislators used the right of Eminent Domain to claim the charming seashore town of Cape May "for the greater good of the Commonwealth of the United State of New Jersey." The town was re-chartered as the capital and named Jerselia, District of the Shore. Over the next two months, the government set up shop in the beautifully-maintained Victorian homes and Bed and Breakfast establishments for which the town is known. It made an excellent summer capital.
In the winters, all four branches of government - Executive, Legislative, Judicial, and Media - flew south at taxpayer expense to Florida to escape the chill winds of the
off season. While this arrangement might seem odd to those unfamiliar with the
system of government, it actually continues to work quite well even today. Orlando condominium owner Sylvia Dollop, 68, was interviewed recently about her role as landlord for the home that is used by two members of the New Jersey Federal Senate. She expressed her happiness with the arrangement. "They can call themselves the
winter capital of New Jersey if they want," said Ms. Dollop. "I couldn't care less. They can call themselves the Queen of England, just as long as they
get my rent in on time."
Amtrek is an off-shore corporation headquartered in the United State of New Jersey. It was chartered in 1971 to provide rail service to the U.S.A. and is supported in part by American foreign aid.
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