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Delaware (/ˈdɛləwɛər/ (About this soundlisten)) is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the South-Atlantic or Southern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, north by Pennsylvania, and east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.

Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. It's the second smallest and sixth least populous state, but the sixth most densely populated. Delaware's largest city is Wilmington. The state is divided into three counties, the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County is more industrialized.

Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the 13 colonies participating in the American Revolution. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, and has since been known as "The First State".

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Satellite image of Hurricane Esther

Hurricane Esther was the fifth named storm and fifth hurricane of the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season. A long-lived Category 4 Cape Verde-type hurricane, Esther spent its lifetime offshore, before moving up the East Coast of the United States. Esther made two distinct landfalls in New England, passing over Nantucket Island as a rapidly weakening Category 3 hurricane, then coming ashore in Maine while losing its tropical characteristics. These landfalls were separated by a rather unusual anticyclonic loop over the north Atlantic Ocean.

The hurricane caused $6 million (1961 USD, $37.4 million 2005 USD) in damage along the Eastern Seaboard, mostly on Long Island. Seven indirect deaths were also attributed to Esther after a Navy aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda, one of only a few documented occurrences of a tropical cyclone causing an airplane crash.

Esther was also one of the first storms targeted by a Navy experiment aimed at weakening hurricanes by seeding their eyewalls with silver iodide. Two flights were made into the storm, and the results of this expedition led to the establishment of the ill-fated Project Stormfury in 1962.

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  • ...that American Indian poet and Delaware-native James Dillet Freeman is referred to as the "poet laureate to the moon"? His 1941 "Prayer for Protection" was taken aboard Apollo 11 in July 1969 by Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and a microfilm of his 1947 "I Am There" was left on the moon by James B. Irwin on Apollo 15.
  • ...that according to a survey by the National Science Foundation, Delaware has more doctoral-level (Ph.D.) scientists and engineers, as a percentage of the population, than any other state? Delaware also has a higher rate of patent awards, per person, than any other state.


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William Penn

William Penn (October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He was known as an early champion of democracy and religious freedom and famous for his treaty with the Lenape Indians.

William Penn wrote Pennsylvania's first constitution. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the 1787 United States Constitution. Additionally, Penn advocated for a union of all the English colonies of North America. His writings on the subject inspired Benjamin Franklin to develop and propose a unified government for the Thirteen Colonies, the Albany Plan of Union, in 1754. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply, and included a plan for a United States of Europe, "European Dyet, Parliament or Estates," in his voluminous writings.

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