New Jersey

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Posted by sonny 02/27/2009 @ 02:02

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News headlines
NJ man to be freed after '88 convictions reversed - The Associated Press
NEWARK, NJ (AP) — A federal judge on Monday ordered the release of a New Jersey man who has been imprisoned for more than two decades on a double-murder conviction. US District Judge Stanley Chesler signed an order releasing 61-year-old Paul Kamienski...
New Jersey reports first swine flu death - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Carly Rothman/The Star-Ledger The state health agency today confirmed New Jersey's first death from H1N1 influenza, commonly referred to as swine flu. The 49-year-old Essex County man died at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair of complications from...
NJ lawmakers begin formal review of budget - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by John Reitmeyer/Statehouse Bureau TRENTON -- New Jersey's budget is up for formal review in legislative committees today, setting up final action on the $28.6 billion spending plan by the Assembly and Senate later this week....
2 former NJ officials sentenced for bribe-taking - Philadelphia Inquirer
AP TRENTON, NJ - Two former New Jersey elected officials arrested on corruption charges nearly two years ago in an FBI sting operation have been sentenced to federal prison terms. Former Passaic City Council member Marcellus Jackson received a 25-month...
Cyanide poisoning suspected in NJ jewelers' death - Philadelphia Inquirer
AP EDISON, NJ - Police say a New Jersey jeweler found dead inside his store may have succumbed to cyanide poisoning. Edison police Lt. Joseph Shannon identified the victim as 46-year-old Sushil Bhalla. Police found a container with 4 to 5 ounces of...
Tax and budget bills ready in NJ - Philadelphia Inquirer
AP TRENTON, NJ - Proposals to raise sin taxes and increase levies on the wealthy and lottery winners are among the bills set for consideration in New Jersey Senate and Assembly committees. The bills to be considered Monday are part of the proposed...
Jacques Lemaire hasn't ruled out a return to coach New Jersey Devils - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
In fact, he could become the next coach of the New Jersey Devils, although he knows that general manager Lou Lamoriello does not appreciate coaching candidates talking to the media. When I asked Lemaire if he is talking to the Devils, he hesitated and...
Changes coming to NJ's alternative graduation test - Philadelphia Inquirer
AP TRENTON, NJ - An often-criticized New Jersey high school graduation test alternative could undergo some major changes. The state Board of Education this week will consider modifying the Special Review Assessment. About 12 percent of seniors...
New Jersey Nets' short list for NBA Draft taking shape - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Dave D'Alessandro/The Star-Ledger Lynne Sladky/Associated PressFormer Wake Forest forward James Johnson, left, will work out for the Nets on Tuesday and is on their short list of prospects for the NBA Draft. Here's your list of victims for Tuesday's...
'Real Housewives of New Jersey' finale preview: Let the catfights ... - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger The debut season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" draws to close tomorrow night with a table-turner. Literally. Bravo has been promoting the heck out of the moment that Teresa Giudice, she of the Towaco chateau and...

Hudson County, New Jersey

Map of New Jersey highlighting Hudson County

Hudson County is in New Jersey, United States. Its county seat is Jersey City.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 62 square miles (162 km2), of which, 47 square miles (121 km2) is land and 16 square miles (41 km2)(25.21%) is water. It is the smallest of New Jersey's 21 counties.

Hudson is bordered by the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay to the east; Kill van Kull to the south; Newark Bay, and either the Hackensack River or Passaic River to the west.

The topography is marked by New Jersey Palisades in the north with cliffs overlooking the Hudson to the east and less severe cuesta or slope to the west. They gradually level off to the southern peninsula, which is coastal and flat. The western region, around the Hackensack and Passaic is part of the New Jersey Meadowlands.

There are two equally high points, 260 feet (79 m) above sea level, in Guttenberg and West New York; the lowest point is sea level itself along the rivers.

Ellis Island and Liberty Island, opposite Liberty State Park, lie entirely within Hudson County's waters, which extend to the New York state line. Liberty Island is wholly part of New York. Ellis Island is jointly administered by the states of New Jersey and New York. Nine-tenths of its land is technically part of Hudson County, with the remainder being part of New York. Shooters Island, in the Kill van Kull, is also shared with New York. Robbins Reef Light sits atop a reef which runs parallel the Bayonne and Jersey City waterfront.

Given its proximity to Manhattan, is sometimes referred to as New York City's sixth borough.

Counties adjacent to Hudson are New York County, New York and Kings County, New York to the east; Essex County, New Jersey and Union County, New Jersey to west; Richmond County, New York to the south; and Bergen County, New Jersey, the only one with which it shares a land border, to the north and west.

Much of the county lies between the Hackensack and Hudson Rivers on geographically long narrow peninsula that is a contiguous urban area where it's often difficult to know when one's crossed a civic boundary. These boundaries and the topography-including many hills and inlets-create very distinct neighborhoods.

As of the United States 2000 Census, the population was 608,975. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. There were 230,546 households and 143,630 families residing in the county. The population density was 13,044 people per square mile (5,036/km²). It is the sixth-most densely populated county in the United States, trailing only four of New York City's boroughs (all except Staten Island) and San Francisco County, California. There were 240,618 housing units at an average density of 5,154 per square mile (1,990/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 55.58% White, 13.48% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 9.35% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 15.48% from other races, and 5.63% from two or more races. 39.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. According to Census 2000 9.9% were of Italian and 6.7% Irish ancestry.

By 2005, 34.6% of the population was non-Hispanic whites. 15.1% of the population was African-American. 11.0% of the population was Asian. 2.1% of the population reported two or more races. 41.0% of the population was Latino.

There were 230,546 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.80% were married couples living together, 16.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.70% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.60% under the age of 18, 10.40% from 18 to 24, 35.60% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,293, and the median income for a family was $44,053. Males had a median income of $36,174 versus $31,037 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,154. About 13.30% of families and 15.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.00% of those under age 18 and 15.70% of those age 65 or over.

Hudson County is the most densely populated county in the state. Union City, within the county, is the most densely populated city in the country.

Numbers correspond to map at right.

The County Executive is elected by a direct vote of the electorate. The executive, together with the Board of Chosen Freeholders in a legislative role, administer all county business. Nine members are elected concurrently to serve three-year terms as Freeholder, each representing a specified district which are equally proportioned based on population. Each year, in January, the Freeholders select one of their nine to serve as Chair and one as Vice Chair for a period of one year.

Three federal Congressional Districts cover the county, including portions of New Jersey's 9th congressional district, represented by Steve Rothman (D), New Jersey's 10th congressional district, represented by Donald Payne (D) and New Jersey's 13th congressional district, represented by Albio Sires (D).

The Hudson County court system consists of several municipal courts, including the busy Jersey City Court, plus the Hudson County Superior Court.

Hudson County is very favorable for the Democratic Party.

Each municipality has a public school district. All but two have their own public high schools. East Newark students attend Harrison High School and Guttenberg students attend North Bergen High School. Hudson County Schools of Technology is a public secondary and adult vocational-technical school with locations in North Bergen, Jersey City, Union City and Harrison. Colleges and universities are Hudson County Community College, New Jersey City University, Saint Peter's College, all in Jersey City, and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. There are private and parochial elementary and secondary schools located throughout Hudson.

The confluence of roads and railways of the BosWash megalopolis and Northeast Corridor passing through Hudson County make it one of the Northeast's major transportation crossroads and provide access to an extensive network of interstate highways, state freeways and toll roads, and vehicular water crossings. Many long distance trains and buses pass through the county, though Amtrak and the major national bus companies – Greyhound Lines and Trailways – do not provide service within it. There many local, intrastate, and Manhattan-bound bus routes, an expanding light rail system, ferries traversing the Hudson, and commuter trains to North Jersey, the Jersey Shore, and Trenton. Much of the rail, surface transit, and ferry system is oriented to commuters traveling to Newark, lower and midtown Manhattan, and the Hudson Waterfront. Public transportation is operated by a variety of public and private corporations, notably New Jersey Transit, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and NY Waterway, each of which charge customers separately for their service.

Hoboken Terminal, Bergenline Avenue at 32nd, 48th, and 91st Streets in North Hudson, Journal Square Transportation Center and Exchange Place in Jersey City are major public transportation hubs. The Port Authority Bus Terminal and Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, and Newark Penn Station also play important roles within the county's transportation network. Secaucus Junction provides access to eight commuter rail lines.

Major highways include New Jersey Routes 3, 7, 139, 185, 440, 495, Interstates 78, 95, and 280, and U.S. Routes 1 and 9, as well as the New Jersey Turnpike and The Pulaski Skyway. Automobile access to New York City is available through the Lincoln Tunnel (via Weehawken to midtown Manhattan) and the Holland Tunnel (via Jersey City to lower Manhattan), and over the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island.

There are nine county parks including Lincoln Park, Columbus Park, and North Hudson Park and the newest, Laurel Hill, home to Snake Hill.

Pershing Field and the adjacent reservoir constitute one of the largest "green spaces" in the county. There are many municipal parks and plazas, some of which were developed as "city squares" during the 19th century. Liberty State Park, the county's largest, is sited on land that had once been part of a vast oyster bed, was landfilled for industrial, rail, and maritime uses, and was reclaimed in the 1970s. Two promenades are being developed, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and Hackensack RiverWalk. There are also wetlands preservation areas in the Meadowlands, most of which do not encourage public access.

At the time of European contact in the 17th century, Hudson County was the territory the Lenape or Lenni-Lenape, namely the bands (or family groups) known as the Hackensack, the Tappan, the Raritan, and the Manhattan. They were a seasonally migrational people who practiced small-scale agriculture (companion planting) augmented by hunting and gathering which likely, given the topography of the area, included much (shell)fishing and trapping. These groups had early and frequent contact with the by Europeans, with whom they engaged in trade. Their Algonquian language can still be inferred in many local place names such as Communipaw, Hackensack, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Secaucus.

Henry Hudson, for whom the county and river on which it sits is named, established a claim for the area in 1609 when anchoring his ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) at Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove. The west bank of the North River (as it was called) and the cliffs, hills, and marshlands abutting and beyond it, were settled by Europeans (Dutch, Flemish, Walloon, Huguenot) from the Lowlands around the same time as New Amsterdam. In 1630, Michael Pauw received a land patent, or patroonship and purchased the land between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers, giving it the Latin-ized form of his name, Pavonia. He failed to settle the area and was forced to return his holdings to the Dutch West India Company. Homesteads were established at Communipaw (1633), Harsumus (1634), Paulus Hook (1638) and Hoebuck (1643). Relations were tenuous with the Lenape, and eventually led to Kieft's War, which began as a slaughter by the Dutch at Pavonia and is considered to be one of the first genocides of Native Americans by Europeans. A series of raids and reprisals across the province lasted two years, and ended in an uneasy truce. Other homesteads were established at Constable Hook (1646), Awiehaken (1647), and other lands Achter Col, on the "back" side of Bergen Neck (1647). In 1658, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Netherland negotiated a deal with the Lenape to re-purchase the area named Bergen, "by the great rock above Wiehacken," including the whole peninsula from Sikakes south to Bergen Point/Constable Hook. In 1661, a charter was granted the new village/garrison at the site of present-day Bergen Square, establishing what is considered to be the oldest self-governing municipality in New Jersey. The Dutch finally ceded control of province to the English in 1674.

By 1675, the Treaty of Westminster finalized the transfer and the area became part of the British colony of East Jersey, in the administrative district of Bergen County. The county's seat was transferred to Hackensack in 1709. Small villages and farms supplied the burgeoning city of New York, across the river, notably with oysters from the vast beds in the Upper New York Bay, and fresh produce, sold at Weehawken Street, in Manhattan. During the American Revolutionary War the area was under British control though colonialist troops used the heights to observe enemy movements. The Battle of Paulus Hook, a surprise raid on a British fortification in 1779, was seen as an a victory and morale booster for revolutionary forces. Many downtown Jersey City streets bear the name of military figures (Mercer, Greene, Wayne, and Varick among them). Weehawken became notorious for duels, including the nation's most famous between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804. Border conflicts for control of the waterfront with New York (which claimed jurisdiction to the high water line and the granting of ferry concessions) restricted development though some urbanization took place in downtown Jersey City and Hoboken, which became a vacation spot for well-off New Yorkers. The Morris Canal, early steam railroads, and the development of the harbor stimulated further growth. In September 1840, Hudson County was created by separation from Bergen County and annexation of some Essex County lands, namely New Barbadoes Neck. During the 19th century, Hudson played an integral role in the Underground Railroad, with four routes converging in Jersey City.

Most of Hudson County, apart from the western municipalities not on the Bayonne Peninsula, was part of Bergen Township, created by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798, as one of the first group of 104 townships formed in New Jersey, while the area was still a part of Bergen County. As originally constituted, Bergen Township included the area between the Hudson River on the east, the Hackensack River to the west, south to Constable Hook/Bergen Point and north to the present-day Hudson-Bergen border. For the next 127 years civic borders within the county took many forms, until they were finalized with the creation of Union City in 1925.

The City of Jersey was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 28, 1820, from portions of Bergen Township. The city was reincorporated on January 23, 1829, and again on February 22, 1838, at which time it became completely independent of Bergen Township and was given its present name. On February 22, 1840, it became part of the newly-created Hudson County. As Jersey City grew, several neighboring communities were annexed: Van Vorst Township (March 18, 1851), Bergen City and Hudson City (both on May 2, 1870), and Greenville Township (February 4, 1873).

North Bergen was incorporated as a township on April 10, 1843, by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, from Bergen Township. Portions of the township have been taken to form Hoboken Township (April 9, 1849, now the City of Hoboken), Hudson Town (April 12, 1852, later part of Hudson City), Hudson City (April 11, 1855, later annexed by Jersey City), Guttenberg (formed within the township on March 9, 1859, and set off as an independent municipality on April 1, 1878), Weehawken (March 15, 1859), Union Township and West Hoboken Township (both created on February 28, 1861), Union Hill town (March 29, 1864) and Secaucus (March 12, 1900).

Hoboken was established in 1804, and formed as a township on April 9, 1849, from portions of North Bergen Township and incorporated as a full-fledged city, and in a referendum held on March 29, 1855, ratified an Act of the New Jersey Legislature signed the previous day, and the City of Hoboken was born.

Weehawken was formed as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 15, 1859, from portions of Hoboken and North Bergen. A portion of the township was ceded to Hoboken in 1874. Additional territory was annexed in 1879 from West Hoboken.

West New York was incorporated as a town by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on July 8, 1898, replacing Union Township, based on the results of a referendum held three days earlier.

Kearny was originally formed as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1867, from portions of Harrison Township. Portions of the township were taken on July 3, 1895, to form East Newark. Kearny was incorporated as a town on January 19, 1899, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.

Bayonne was originally formed as a township on April 1, 1861, from portions of Bergen Township. Bayonne was reincorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1869, replacing Bayonne Township, subject to the results of a referendum held nine days later.

Soon after the Civil War the idea of uniting all of the town of Hudson County in one municipality of Jersey City began to gain favor. In 1868 a bill for submitting the question of consolidation of all of Hudson County to the voters was presented to the board of chosen freeholders. The bill did not include the western towns of Harrison and Kearny but included all towns east of the Hackensack River.

While a majority of the voters approved the merger, only Jersey City, Hudson and Bergen could be consolidated since they were the only continuous approving towns. Both the Town of Union and Union Township could not be included due to the dissenting vote of West Hoboken which lay between them and Hudson City. On March 17, 1870, Jersey City, Hudson City and Bergen merged into Jersey City. Only three years later the present outline of Jersey City was completed when Greenville agreed to merge into the Greater Jersey City.

Union City was incorporated as a city by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 1, 1925, replacing both Union Hill and West Hoboken Township.

During the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, Hudson experienced intense industrial, commercial and residential growth. Construction, first of ports, and later railroad terminals, in Jersey City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and Weehawken (which significantly altered the shoreline with landfill) fueled much of the development. European immigration, notably German-language speakers and Irish (many fleeing famine) initiated a population boom that would last for several decades.

Neighborhoods grew as farms, estates, and other holdings were sub-divided for housing, civic and religious architecture. Streets (some with trolley lines) were laid out. Stevens Institute of Technology and Saint Peter's College were established.

Before the opening, in 1910, of the Pennsylvania Railroad's North River Tunnels under the Hudson, trains terminated on the west bank of the river, requiring passengers and cargo to travel by ferry or barge to New York. Transfer to the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad tubes (now PATH) became possible upon its opening in 1908. Hoboken Terminal, a national historic landmark originally built in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad to replace the previous one, is the only one of five major rail/ferry terminals that once dotted the waterfront still in operation. West Shore Railroad Terminal in Weehawken, Erie Railroad's Pavonia Terminal and Pennsylvania Railroad's Exchange Place in Jersey City were all razed.

Central Railroad of New Jersey's Communipaw Terminal, across a small strait from Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty, played a crucial role in the massive immigration of the period, with many newly-arrived departing the station to embark on their lives in America. Many, though, decided to stay, taking jobs on the docks, the railroads, the factories, the refineries, and in the sweatshops and skyscrapers of Manhattan. Many manufacturers, whose names read as a "who's who" in American industry established a presence, including Colgate, Dixon Ticonderoga, Maxwell House, Standard Oil, and Bethlehem Steel.

North Hudson, particularly Union City became the "embroidery capital of America". Secaucus boasted numerous pig farms and rendering plants.

It was during this period that much of the housing stock, namely one and two family homes and low-rise apartment buildings, was built; municipal boundaries finalized, neighborhoods established. Commercial corridors such as Bergenline, Central, Newark and Ocean Avenues came into prominence. Journal Square became a business, shopping, and entertainment mecca, home to The Jersey Journal, after which it is named, and movie palaces such as Loew's Jersey Theater and The Stanley.

Upon entry to World War I the US government took the Hamburg-American Line piers in Hoboken under eminent domain, and Hudson became the major point of embarkation for more than three million soldiers, known as "doughboys". In 1916, an act of sabotage literally and figuratively shook the region when German agents set off bombs at the munitions depot in New York Bay at Black Tom. The fore-runner of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was established on April 30, 1921. Huge transportation projects opened between the wars: The Holland Tunnel in 1927, The Bayonne Bridge in 1931, and The Lincoln Tunnel in 1937, allowing vehicular travel between New Jersey and New York City to bypass the waterfront. Hackensack River crossings, notably the Pulaski Skyway, were also built. What was to become New Jersey City University opened. Major Works Progress Administration projects included construction of stadiums in Jersey City and Union City. Both were named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who attended the opening of the largest project of them all, The Jersey City Medical Center, a massive complex built in the Art Deco Style. During this era the "Hudson County Democratic Machine", known for its cronyism and corruption, with Jersey City mayor Frank Hague at its head was at its most powerful. Industries in Hudson were crucial to the war effort during WWII, including the manufacture PT boats by Elco in Bayonne. Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY) was opened in 1942 as a U.S. military base and remained in operation until 1999.

After the war maritime and manufacturing industries still dominated the local economy, and union membership provided guarantees of good pay packages. Though some returning service men took advantage of GI housing bills and moved to close-by suburbs, many with strong ethnic and familial ties chose to stay. Baseball legend Jackie Robinson made his minor league debut at Roosevelt Stadium and "broke" the baseball color line. Much of Hudson County experienced the phenomenon of ethnic/economic groups leaving and being replaced by others, as was typical of most urban communities of the New York Bay region. When the big businesses decided to follow them or vice versa, Hudson County's socioeconomic differences became more profound. By the early 1970s the old economic underpinnings were gone and nothing new seemed to be on the horizon. Attempts were made to stabilize the population by demolishing so-called slums and build subsidized middle-income housing and the pockets of so-called "good neighborhoods" came in conflict with those that went into decline, leading to lower property values which allowed the next wave of immigrants, many from Latin America, to rent or buy cheap houses. North Hudson, particularly Union City, saw many emigrees fleeing the Cuban revolution take up residence. Riots occurred in Jersey City in 1964.

The county since the mid-1990s has seen much real estate speculation and development and a population increase, as many new residents purchase existing housing stock as well as condominiums in high and mid rise developments, many along the waterfront. What had started as a gentrification in the 1980s became a full-blown "redevelopment" of the area as many suburbanites, transplanted Americans, internationals, and immigrants (most focused on opportunities in NY/NJ region and proximity to Manhattan) began to make the "Jersey" side of the Hudson their home, and the "real-estate boom" of the era encouraged many to seek investment opportunities. The exploitation of certain parts of the waterfront and other brownfields led to commercial development as well, especially along former rail yards. Hudson felt the short and long term impact of the destruction of the World Trade Center intensely: its proximity to lower Manhattan made it a place to evacuate to, many residents who worked there lost their jobs (or their lives), and many companies sought office space across the river. Re-zoning, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and New Jersey State land-use policy of transit villages have further spurred construction. Though very urban and with some of the highest residential densities in the United States the Hudson communities have remain fragmented, due in part to New Jersey's long history of home rule in local government; geographical factors such as Hudson River inlets/canals, the cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades and rail lines; and ethnic/demographic differences in the population. As the county sees more development this traditional perception is challenged.

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Newark, New Jersey

Census Bureau map of Newark, New Jersey

Newark is the largest city in Northern New Jersey, and the county seat of Essex County. In present day Newark has a total population of 275,000, making it the largest municipality in New Jersey and the 64th largest city in the U.S. According to the US Census Bureau, the city's 2006 population estimate is 281,402, an increase of 2.9% from 2000.. Newark is also home to major Corporations such as Prudential which is a well known business.

It is located approximately 8 miles west of New York City and 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Staten Island. Its location near the Atlantic Ocean on Newark Bay has helped make its port facility, Port Newark, the major container shipping port on Newark Bay and for New York Harbor. Together with Elizabeth, it is the home of Newark Liberty International Airport, which was the first major airport to serve the New York metropolitan area.

Newark was originally formed as a township on October 31, 1693, based on the Newark Tract, which was first purchased on July 11, 1667. Newark was granted a Royal Charter on April 27, 1713, and was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. During its time as a township, portions were taken to form Springfield Township (April 14, 1794), Caldwell Township (February 16, 1798, now known as Fairfield Township), Orange Township (November 27, 1806), Bloomfield Township (March 23, 1812) and Clinton Township (April 14, 1834, remainder reabsorbed by Newark on March 5, 1902). Newark was reincorporated as a city on April 11, 1836, replacing Newark Township, based on the results of a referendum passed on March 18, 1836. The previously independent Vailsburg borough was annexed by Newark on January 1, 1905. Newark is divided into five wards; North Ward, South Ward, West Ward, East Ward, and Central Ward.

Newark was founded in 1666 by Connecticut Puritans led by Robert Treat from the New Haven Colony. The New Haven colonists had been forced out of power for sheltering the judges who had fled to the New Haven Colony after sentencing Charles I of England to death.

They sought to establish a colony with strict church rules similar to the one they had established in Milford, Connecticut. Treat wanted to name the community "Milford." Another settler Abraham Pierson said the community reflecting the new task at hand should be named "New Ark" or "New Work." The name was shortened to Newark.

Trent and the party bought the property on the Passaic River from the Hackensack Indians by exchanging gunpowder, one hundred bars of lead, twenty axes, twenty coats, guns, pistols, swords, kettles, blankets, knives, beer, and ten pairs of breeches. The total control of the community by the Church continued until 1733 when Josiah Ogden harvested wheat on a Sunday following a lengthy rainstorm and was disciplined by the Church for Sabbath breaking. He left the church and corresponded with Episcopalian missionaries, who arrived to build a church in 1746 and broke up the Puritan theocracy.

Newark's rapid growth began in the early 1800s, much of it due to a Massachusetts transplant named Seth Boyden. Boyden came to Newark in 1815, and immediately began a torrent of improvements to leather manufacture, culminating in the process for making patent leather. Boyden's genius led to Newark's manufacturing nearly 90% of the nation's leather by 1870, bringing in $8.6 million in revenue to the city in that year alone. In 1824, Boyden, bored with leather, found a way to produce malleable iron. Newark also prospered by the construction of the Morris Canal in 1831. The canal connected Newark with the New Jersey hinterland, at that time a major iron and farm area.

Railroads arrived in 1834 and 1835. A flourishing shipping business resulted, and Newark became the area's industrial center. By 1826, Newark's population stood at 8,017, ten times the 1776 number.

The middle 19th century saw continued growth and diversification of Newark's industrial base. The first commercially successful plastic — Celluloid — was produced in a factory on Mechanic Street by John Wesley Hyatt. Hyatt's Celluloid found its way into Newark-made carriages, billiard balls, and dentures. Edward Weston perfected a process for zinc electroplating, as well as a superior arc lamp in Newark. Newark's Military Park had the first public electric lamps anywhere in the United States. Before moving to Menlo Park, Thomas Edison himself made Newark home in the early 1870s. He invented the stock ticker in the Brick City.

In the late 19th century, Newark's industry was further developed, especially through the efforts of such men as J. W. Hyatt. From the mid-century on, numerous Irish and German immigrants moved to the city; the Germans established their own newspapers, which other ethnic groups have emulated. However, tensions existed between the "native stock" and the newer groups.

In the middle 19th century, Newark added insurance to its repertoire of businesses; Mutual Benefit was founded in the city in 1845 and Prudential in 1873. Prudential, or "the Pru" as generations knew it, was founded by another transplanted New Englander, John Fairfield Dryden. He found a niche catering to the middle and lower classes. In the late 1980s, companies based in Newark sold more insurance than those in any city except Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1922, Newark had 63 live theaters, 46 movie theaters, and an active nightlife. Dutch Schultz was killed in 1935 at the local Palace Bar. Billie Holiday frequently stayed at the Coleman Hotel. By some measures, the intersection of Market and Broad Streets — known as the "Four Corners" — was the busiest intersection in the United States. In 1915, Public Service counted over 280,000 pedestrian crossings in one thirteen-hour period. Eleven years later, on October 26, 1926, a State Motor Vehicle Department check at the Four Corners counted 2,644 trolleys, 4,098 buses, 2657 taxis, 3474 commercial vehicles, and 23,571 automobiles. Traffic in Newark was so heavy that the city converted the old bed of the Morris Canal into the Newark City Subway, making Newark one of the few cities in the country to have an underground system.

New skyscrapers were being built every year, the two tallest being the 40-story Art Deco National Newark Building and the Lefcourt-Newark Building. In 1948, just after World War II, Newark hit its peak population of just under 450,000. The population also grew as immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe settled here. Newark was the center of distinctive neighborhoods, including a large Eastern European Jewish community concentrated along Prince Street.

According to legend, the Texas-born artist Robert Rauschenberg accidentally left his bus in Newark and spent a week there before he realized it wasn't New York City.

While many observers attributed Newark's decline to post-World War II phenomena, others point to an earlier decline in the city budget as an indicator of problems. It fell from $58 million in 1938 to only $45 million in 1944. This was a slow recovery from the Great Depression. The buildup to World War II was causing an increase in the nation's economy. The city increased its tax rate from $4.61 to $5.30.

Some attribute Newark's downfall to its propensity for building large housing projects. Newark's housing had long been a matter of concern, as much of it was older. A 1944 city-commissioned study showed that 31 percent of all Newark dwelling units were below standards of health, and only 17 percent of Newark's units were owner-occupied. Vast sections of Newark consisted of wooden tenements, and at least 5,000 units failed to meet thresholds of being a decent place to live. Bad housing was the cause of demands that government intervene in the housing market to improve conditions.

Historian Kenneth T. Jackson and others theorized that Newark, with a poor center surrounded by middle-class outlying areas, only did well when it was able to annex middle-class suburbs. When municipal annexation broke down, urban problems were exacerbated as the middle-class ring became divorced from the poor center. In 1900, Newark's mayor had confidently speculated, "East Orange, Vailsburg, Harrison, Kearny, and Belleville would be desirable acquisitions. By an exercise of discretion we can enlarge the city from decade to decade without unnecessarily taxing the property within our limits, which has already paid the cost of public improvements." Only Vailsburg would ever be added.

Although numerous problems predated World War II, Newark was more hamstrung by a number of trends in the post-WWII era. The Federal Housing Administration redlined virtually all of Newark, preferring to back up mortgages in the white suburbs. This made it impossible for people to get mortgages for purchase or loans for improvements. Manufacturers set up in lower wage environments outside the city and received larger tax deductions for building new factories in outlying areas than for rehabilitating old factories in the city. The federal tax structure essentially subsidized such inequities.

Billed as transportation improvements, construction of new highways: Interstate 280, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Interstate 78 harmed Newark. They directly hurt the city by dividing the fabric of neighborhoods and displacing many residents. The highways indirectly hurt the city because the new infrastructure made it easier for middle-class workers to live in the suburbs and commute into the city.

Despite its problems, Newark tried to remain vital in the postwar era. The city successfully persuaded Prudential and Mutual Benefit to stay and build new offices. Rutgers University-Newark and Seton Hall University expanded their Newark presences, with the former building a brand-new campus on a 23-acre (9 hectare) urban renewal site. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey made Port Newark the first container port in the nation. South of the city, it built Newark Liberty International Airport, now the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States.

The city made serious mistakes with public housing and urban renewal, although these were not the sole causes of Newark's tragedy. Across several administrations, the city leaders of Newark considered the federal government's offer to pay for 100% of the costs of housing projects as a blessing. The decline in industrial jobs meant that more poor people needed housing, whereas in prewar years, public housing was for working class families. While other cities were skeptical about putting so many poor families together and were cautious in building housing projects, Newark pursued federal funds. Eventually, Newark had a higher percentage of its residents in public housing than any other American city.

The largely Italian-American First Ward was one of the hardest hit by urban renewal. A 46-acre (19 hectare) housing tract, labeled a slum because it had dense older housing, was torn down for multi-story, multi-racial Le Corbusier-style high rises, named the Christopher Columbus Homes. The tract had contained 8th Avenue, the commercial heart of the neighborhood. Fifteen small-scale blocks were combined into three "superblocks". The Columbus Homes, never in harmony with the rest of the neighborhood, were vacated in the 1980s. They were finally torn down in 1994.

From 1950 to 1960, while Newark's overall population dropped from 438,000 to 408,000, it gained 65,000 non-whites. By 1966, Newark had a black majority, a faster turnover than most other northern cities had experienced. Evaluating the riots of 1967, Newark educator Nathan Wright, Jr. said, "No typical American city has as yet experienced such a precipitous change from a white to a black majority." The misfortune of the Great Migration and Puerto Rican migration was that Southern blacks and Puerto Ricans were moving to Newark to be industrial workers just as the industrial jobs were decreasing sharply. Many suffered the culture shock of leaving a rural area for an urban industrial job base and environment. The latest migrants to Newark left poverty in the South to find poverty in the North.

During the 1950s alone, Newark's white population decreased by more than 25 percent from 363,000 to 266,000. From 1960 to 1967, its white population fell a further 46,000. Although in-migration of new ethnic groups combined with white flight markedly affected the demographics of Newark, the racial composition of city workers did not change as rapidly. In addition, the political and economic power in the city remained based in the white population.

In 1967, out of a police force of 1,400, only 150 members were black, mostly in subordinate positions. Racial tensions arose because of the disproportion between residents and police demographics. Since Newark's blacks lived in neighborhoods that had been white only two decades earlier, nearly all of their apartments and stores were white-owned as well. The loss of jobs affected overall income in the city, and many owners cut back on maintenance of buildings, contributing to a cycle of deterioration in housing stock.

Without consulting any residents of the neighborhood to be affected, Mayor Addonizio offered to condemn and raze 150 acres (61 hectares) of a densely populated black neighborhood in the central ward for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). UMDNJ had wanted to settle in suburban Madison.

On July 12, 1967, a taxi driver named John Smith was beaten by police after allegedly violently resisting arrest. He had driven around a double-parked police car. A crowd gathered outside the police station where Smith was detained. Due to miscommunication, the crowd believed Smith had died in custody, although he had been transported to a hospital via a back entrance to the station. This sparked scuffles between African Americans and police in the Fourth Ward, although the damage toll was only $2,500.

The long and short term causes of the riots are explored in depth in the documentary film Revolution '67 .

The 1970s and 1980s brought continued decline. The middle class of all races continued to leave the city. Certain pockets of the city developed as domains of poverty and social isolation. Whenever the media of New York needed to find some example of urban despair, they traveled to Newark.

Newark has had several achievements in the two and a half decades since the riots. In 1968, the New Community Corporation was founded. It has become one of the most successful community development corporations in the nation. By 1987, the NCC owned and managed 2,265 low-income housing units.

Newark's downtown began to redevelop in the post-riot decades. Less than two weeks after the riots, Prudential announced plans to underwrite a $24 million office complex near Penn Station, dubbed "Gateway." Today, Gateway houses thousands of white-collar workers, though few live in Newark.

Before the riots, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was considering building in the suburbs. The riots and Newark's undeniable desperation kept the medical school in the city. However, instead of being built on 167 acres (676,000 m²), the medical school was built on just 60 acres, part of which was already city owned. Students at the medical school soon started the "Student Family Health Clinic" to provide free health care for the underserved population, along with other community service projects. It continues to operate today as one of the nation's oldest student-run free health clinics.

In 1970, Kenneth A. Gibson was elected mayor, the first of a major northeastern city and one of the early African-American mayors in the nation. The 1970s were a time of battles between Gibson and the shrinking white population. Gibson admitted that "Newark may be the most decayed and financially crippled city in the nation." He and the city council raised taxes to try to improve services such as schools and sanitation, but they did nothing for Newark's economic base. The CEO of Ballantine's Brewery asserted that Newark's $1 million annual tax bill was the cause of the company's bankruptcy.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, which opened in the downtown area in 1997 at a cost of $180 million, is seen by many as the first step in the city's road to revival. It has brought some 1.6 million people to Newark who otherwise might never have visited. NJPAC is known for its acoustics and features the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as its resident orchestra. NJPAC also presents a diverse group of visiting artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Brightman, Sting, 'N Sync, Lauryn Hill, the Vienna Boys' Choir, Yo Yo Ma, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Since then, the city has built a baseball stadium (Riverfront Stadium) for the Newark Bears, the city's minor league team. In 2007, the Prudential Center (nicknamed, "The Rock") opened for the New Jersey Devils. The Passaic River waterfront is being refurbished through downtown to provide citizens with access to the river. The Newark Public Library is planning a major renovation and expansion. The Port Authority constructed a rail connection to the airport (AirTrain Newark). Numerous commercial developments have arisen in the downtown area.

Much of the city's revitalization efforts have been focused in the downtown area, however adjoining neighborhoods have, in recent years, begun to see some signs of development, particularly in the Central Ward. Since 2000, Newark has gained population, its first increase since the 1940s. Nevertheless, the "Renaissance" has been unevenly felt across the city and some districts continue to have below-average household incomes and higher-than-average rates of poverty.

By the mid-2000s, the rate of crime had fallen by 58% from historic highs associated with severe drug problems in the mid-1990s, though murders remained high for a city of its size. In the first two months of 2008, the murder rate dropped dramatically, with no murders recorded for 43 days.

Newark's nicknames reflect the efforts to revitalize downtown. In the 1950s a term New Newark was given to the city after the former-mayor Leo Carlin made efforts to convince major corporations in the city to remain in Newark. In the 1960s Newark was nicknamed Gateway City after the redeveloped Gateway Center area downtown, which shares its name with the tourism region of which Newark is a part. It has more recently been called Renaissance City by the media and the public to gain recognition for its revitalization efforts.

The Lincoln Park/Coast neighborhood is the second district of Newark to undergo large-scale redevelopment. The area once referred to as The Coast (shortened version of the Barbary Coast) and now referred to as Lincoln Park, was deemed the Lincoln Park/Coast Cultural District by the city. The area is being touted as an urban eco-village. Future additions will include 300 green housing units, townhomes, condominiums, and a Museum of African-American Music. The facade of the South Park Presbyterian Church, which would be part of the museum began a restoration process in the summer of 2008. This area already has the Theater Cafe, the City Without Walls gallery, Brick City Urban Farms, and Symphony Hall, as well as other cultural sites. Symphony Hall is likely to be renovated in the near future. The designated developer of this area is Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District (LPCCD), a community development organization with also produced the Annual Lincoln Park Music Festival. The annual event draws thousands of visitors each year. After much of the development in the Downtown/Arts district and the ongoing need for a link between Newark Penn Station and the Broad Street Station, the first link of the light rail was built. With the development anchored around the museum in the Coast and the need for a second link to Newark Airport, this neighborhood has already become a candidate for a future light rail system with a stop for Lincoln Park/Symphony Hall.

Located at 40° 44' 14" north and 74° 10' 55" west, Newark is 24.14 square miles (62.5 km2) in area. It has the second smallest land area among 100 most populous cities in the U.S, after neighboring Jersey City. The city's altitude ranges from 0 to 273.4 feet (83.3 m) above sea level, with the average being 55 feet (17 m). Newark is essentially a large basin sloping towards the Passaic River, with a few valleys formed by meandering streams. Historically, Newark's high places have been its wealthier neighborhoods. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the wealthy congregated on the ridges of Forest Hill, High Street, and Weequahic.

Until the 20th century, the marshes on Newark Bay were difficult to develop. The marshes were essentially wilderness, with a few dumps, warehouses, and cemeteries on their edges. In the 19th century, Newarkers mourned that a fifth of their city could not be used for development. However, in the 20th century, the Port Authority was able to reclaim much of the marshland for the further expansion of Newark Airport, as well as the growth of the port lands.

Newark is surrounded by residential suburbs to the west (on the slope of the Watchung Mountains), the Passaic River and Newark Bay to the east, dense urban areas to the south and southwest, and middle-class residential suburbs and industrial areas to the north.

Newark is New Jersey's largest and second-most diverse city, after neighboring Jersey City. Its neighborhoods are populated with people from various backgrounds, such as African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Italians, Albanians, Irish, Spaniards, Jamaicans, Haitians, West Africans, Brazilians, Ecuadorians, and Portuguese population.

The city is divided into five political wards, which are often used by residents to identify their place of habitation. In recent years, residents have begun to identify with specific neighborhood names instead of the larger ward appellations. Nevertheless, the wards remain relatively distinct. Industrial uses, coupled with the airport and seaport lands, are concentrated in the East and South Wards, while residential neighborhoods exist primarily in the North, Central, and West Wards.

The geography of the city is such that only the predominantly poor Central Ward shares an unbroken border with the downtown area (the North Ward is separated from the downtown by Interstate 280 and the East Ward is separated by railroad tracks; the South and West Wards do not share a border with the downtown area).

Newark's North Ward is the ridge to the east of Branch Brook Park. The still-affluent Forest Hill is in the North Ward, as are heavily Latino areas east of Mount Prospect Avenue. The Central Ward contains much of the city's original history including the Lincoln Park, Military Park and the James Street Commons Historic Districts. The Ward also contains the University Heights Neighborhood. In the 19th century it was inhabited by Germans. The German inhabitants were later replaced by Jews, who were then replaced by blacks. The West Ward comprises the neighborhoods of Roseville and Vailsburg. Vailsburg is largely black, while Roseville is mainly Latino and Italian American. The South Ward comprises poor and crime-ridden areas and the low-income Weequahic district. It was the last part of Newark to be developed. At the southern end of the ward is Weequahic Park. Finally, the East Ward consists of Newark's downtown commercial district, as well as the heavily Portuguese Ironbound neighborhood, where much of Newark's industry was located in the 19th century. Today, due to the enterprise of its immigrant population, the Ironbound (also known as "Down Neck") is a very successful part of Newark.

Newark has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen climate classification, with cool to cold winters and warm to hot & humid summers. Its proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect. Also, being near to the Atlantic Ocean means Newark tends to have warmer winters than cities at a similar latitude or even somewhat further south, such as Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. Temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) are rare, but temperatures between 10 °F (−12 °C) and 20 °F (−7 °C) are not uncommon during winter nights. The average high temperature during the winter ranges from 38 °F (3 °C) to 42 °F (6 °C). Accumulated snow on the ground does not usually remain for very long. Springs in Newark are quite mild, with average high temperatures ranging from the 40 °F (4 °C)s in March to the 70 °F (21 °C)s/80 °F (27 °C)s by early June. Summers are particularly hot and humid, with day temperatures usually in the 80 °F (27 °C)s and exceeding 90 °F (32 °C)s on many days. Heat advisories are not uncommon during the summer months, particularly July and August, the hottest months of the year when temperatures can reach 100 °F (38 °C) with high humidity. The city cools off during autumn, with high temperatures ranging between the 50 °F (10 °C)s and 70 °F (21 °C)s.

The city receives precipitation ranging from 3 inches (76 mm) to 4.5 inches (110 mm) monthly. Measurable snowfall occurs each winter, but in lesser amounts than cities in the midwest at a similar latitude.

As of the census of 2000, there are 273,546 people, 91,382 households, and 61,956 families residing in Newark; recent census projections show that the population has already increased to around 280,000. The population density was 11,400/mile² (4,400/km²), or 21,000/mile² (8,100 km²) once airport, railroad, and seaport lands are excluded, the second-highest in the nation of any city with over 250,000 residents (after New York City).

The racial makeup of the city was 53.46% Black or African American, 26.52% White, 1.19% Asian, 0.37% Native American, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 14.05% from other races, and 4.36% from two or more races. There were 91,382 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.0% were married couples living together, 29.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.43.

In the city the population was spread out with 27.9% under the age of 18, 12.1% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females of age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

Poverty remains a consistent problem in Newark, despite its revitalization in recent years. The 1967 riots resulted in a significant population loss of both white and black middle classes which continued from the 1970s through to the 1990s. The city lost over 100,000 residents between 1960 and 1990.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,913, and the median income for a family was $30,781. Males had a median income of $29,748 versus $25,734 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,009. 28.4% of the population and 25.5% of families were below the poverty line. 36.6% of those under the age of 18 and 24.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line. In 2003, the city's unemployment rate was 12%.

Effective as of July 1, 1954, the voters of the city of Newark, by a referendum held on November 3, 1953 and under the Optional Municipal Charter Law (commonly known as the Faulkner Act), adopted the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) Plan C as the form of local government.

There are nine council members are elected on a nonpartisan basis at the regular municipal election or at the general election for terms of four years: one council member from each of five wards and four council members on an at-large basis. The mayor is also elected for a term of four years.

The Municipal Council is the legislative branch of city government. It enacts by ordinance, resolution or motion the local laws which govern the people of the city, and is responsible for approval of the municipal budget, establishment of financial controls, and setting of salaries of elected officials and top appointed administrators. It may reduce or increase appropriations requested by the Mayor. By these methods the Council decides "what" the city will do about any particular matter, and then the Mayor and cabinet members decide "how" to do it. It also renders advice and consent on the Mayor's appointments and policy programs, and may investigate, when necessary, any branch of municipal government. The Council also authorizes a continuing audit by an outside firm, of all city financial transactions.

As established by ordinance, regular public meetings of the Municipal Council are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m., and the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Council Chamber in City Hall. Exceptions are made for national or religious holidays. During July and August only one meeting is held each month. A special meeting of the Municipal Council may be called by the President or a majority of its members or by the Mayor whenever an emergency requires immediate action.

On Election Day, May 9, 2006, Newark's nonpartisan election took place. Cory Booker, who had lost to Sharpe James in the 2002 mayoral race, won with 72% of the vote, soundly defeating Ronald Rice, the former Deputy Mayor.

Newark is in both the Tenth and Thirteenth Congressional Districts and is part of New Jersey's 27th, 28th and 29th Legislative Districts.

New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District, covering portions of Essex County, Hudson County, and Union County, is represented by Donald M. Payne (D, Newark). New Jersey's Thirteenth Congressional District, covering portions of Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, and Union Counties, is now represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York), who won a special election held on November 7, 2006 to fill the vacancy the had existed since January 16, 2006. The seat had been represented by Bob Menendez (D), who was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the seat vacated by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine. New Jersey is represented in the Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

For the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, the 27th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Richard Codey (D, West Orange) and in the Assembly by Mila Jasey (D, South Orange) and John F. McKeon (D, West Orange). For the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, the 28th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Ronald Rice (D, Newark) and in the Assembly by Ralph R. Caputo (D, Belleville) and Cleopatra Tucker (D, Newark). For the 2008-2009 Legislative Session, the 29th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Teresa Ruiz (D, Newark) and in the Assembly by Alberto Coutinho (D, Newark) and L. Grace Spencer (D, Newark). The Governor of New Jersey is Jon Corzine (D, Hoboken).

Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Newark has been marred with episodes of political corruption throughout the years. Five of the last seven Mayors of Newark have been indicted on criminal charges, including its three most recent Mayors: Hugh Addonizio, Kenneth Gibson, and Sharpe James.

Addonizio was mayor of Newark from 1962 to 1970. A son of Italian immigrants, he ran on a reform platform, defeating the incumbent, Leo Carlin, who, ironically, he characterized as corrupt and a part of the political machine of the era. During the 1967 riots, it was found that Addonizio and other city officials were taking kickbacks from city contractors. He was convicted of extortion and conspiracy in 1970, and was sentenced to ten years in federal prison.

His successor was Kenneth Gibson, the city's first African American mayor, elected in 1970. He pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion in 2002 as part of a plea agreement on fraud and bribery charges. During his tenure as Mayor in 1980, he was tried and acquitted of giving out no-show jobs by an Essex County jury.

Sharpe James, who defeated Gibson in 1986 and declined to run for a sixth term in 2006, was indicted on 33 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud by a federal grand jury sitting in Newark. The grand jury charged that James illegally used city-owned credit cards for personal gain, illegally spending $58,000, and that James orchestrated a scheme to sell city-owned land at below-market prices to his companion, who immediately re-sold the land to developers and gained profit of over $500,000. James had an initial appearance on July 12, 2007 and entered a plea of not guilty to the 25 counts facing him. However, James was eventually found guilty on fraud charges by a federal jury on April 17, 2008 for his role in the conspiring to rig land sales at nine city-owned properties. The former mayor will now serve up to 27 months in prison.

In 1996, TIME Magazine ranked Newark "The Most Dangerous City in the Nation." By 2007, however, the city recorded a total of 99 homicides for the year, representing a significant drop from the record of 161 murders set in 1981. The number of murders in 2008 dropped to 65, a decline of 30% from the previous year and the lowest in the city since 2002 when there were 65 murders.

In the 2006 survey, Newark was ranked as the 22nd most dangerous city in the United States, out of 371 cities included nationwide in the 13th annual Morgan Quitno survey. In the 2007 rankings, now performed by CQ Press, Newark was the 20th most dangerous city in America of 378 cities surveyed.

Newark has over 300 types of businesses. These include 1,800 retail, 540 wholesale establishments, eight major bank headquarters (including those of New Jersey's three largest banks), and twelve savings and loan association headquarters. Deposits in Newark-based banks are over $20 billion.

Newark is the third-largest insurance center in United States, after New York City and Hartford. Prudential Financial and Mutual Benefit Companies originated in Newark. The former, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, is still headquartered in Newark. Many other companies are headquartered in the city, including International Discount Telecommunications, New Jersey Transit, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), and Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey.

Though Newark is not the industrial colossus of the past, the city does have a considerable amount of industry. The southern portion of the Ironbound, also known as the Industrial Meadowlands, has seen many factories built since World War II, including a large Anheuser-Busch brewery. The service industry is also growing rapidly, replacing those in the manufacturing industry, which was once Newark's primary economy. In addition, transportation has become a growing business in Newark, accounting for 24,000 jobs in 1996.

The Consulate-General of Ecuador in New Jersey is located on the 4th Floor at 400 Market Street. The Consulate-General of Portugal is located at the main floor of the Legal Center at One Riverfront Plaza. The Vice Consulate of Italy is located in Suite 100 at 1 Gateway Center. The Mission of the Central African Republic to the United Nations is located in Suite 2008 at 51 Clifton Avenue in Newark.

Port Newark is the part of Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal that is in Newark. It is a port facility on Newark Bay run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that serves as the principal container ship facility for goods entering and leaving the metropolitan region of New York City and the northeastern quadrant of North America. The Port is the fifteenth busiest in the world today, but was number one as recently as 1985. In 2003 the Port moved over $100 billion in goods. Plans are underway for billions of dollars of improvements - larger cranes, bigger railyard facilities, deeper channels, and expanded wharves.

Portions of Newark are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).

Newark is the home of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Rutgers University - Newark, Seton Hall University School of Law, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark Campus), Essex County College, and a Berkeley College campus. Most of Newark's academic institutions are located in the city's University Heights district. Rutgers-Newark and NJIT are in the midst of major expansion programs, including plans to purchase, and sometimes raze, surrounding buildings, as well as revitalize current campuses. With more students requesting to live on campus, the universities have plans to build and expand several dormitories. Such overcrowding is contributing to the revitalization of nearby apartments. Nearby restaurants primarily serve college students. Well lit, frequently policed walks have been organized by the colleges to encourage students to venture downtown.

The Newark Public Schools, a state-operated school district, enrolls approximately 45,000 students, making it the largest school system in New Jersey. The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide. The city's public schools are among the lowest-performing in the state, even after the state government decided to take over management of the city's schools in 1995, which was done under the presumption that improvement would follow. The school district continues to struggle with low high school graduation rates and low standardized test scores.

The total school enrollment in Newark city was 75,000 in 2003. Pre-primary school enrollment was 12,000 and elementary or high school enrollment was 46,000 children. College enrollment was 16,000.

As of 2003, 64% of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 11% had a bachelor's degree or higher. Among people 16 to 19 years old, 10% were dropouts; they were not enrolled in school and had not graduated from high school.

Link Community School is a non-denominational coeducational day school located serving approximately 128 students in seventh and eighth grades. Saint Benedict's Preparatory School is an all boys Roman Catholic high school founded in 1868 and conducted by the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey. Its campus has grown to encompass both sides of MLK Jr. Blvd. near Market Street and includes a dormitory for boarding students.Christ The King Prep. Founded 2007 part of the Cristo Rey Community Also, St. Vincent Academy, an all girl school. Located in Newark.

Downtown Newark is not laid out on a grid. There are several notable Beaux-Arts buildings, such as the Veterans' Administration building, the Newark Museum, the Newark Public Library, and the Cass Gilbert-designed Essex County Courthouse. Notable Art Deco buildings include several 1920s era skyscrapers, such as the National Newark Building, (Newark's tallest building) 1180 Raymond Boulevard, (Newark's second tallest building) the intact Newark Penn Station, and Arts High School. Gothic architecture can be found at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart by Branch Brook Park, which is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in the United States. It is rumored to have as much stained glass as the Cathedral of Chartres. Newark also has two public sculpture works by Gutzon Borglum — Wars of America in Military Park and Seated Lincoln in front of the Essex County Courthouse.

The Newark Museum is the largest in New Jersey. It has a first class American art collection and its Tibetan collection is considered one of the best in the world. The Museum also contains science galleries, a planetarium, a mini zoo, a gallery for children's exhibits, a fire museum, a sculpture garden and an 18th century schoolhouse. Also part of the Museum is the historic Ballantine House, a restored Victorian mansion which is a National Historic Landmark.

The city is also home to the New Jersey Historical Society, which has rotating exhibits on New Jersey and Newark. The Newark Public Library also produces a series of historical exhibits.

The Newark Public Library is the state's largest public library with more than a million volumes. The Library has frequent exhibits on a variety of topics, many feature items from its Fine Print and Special Collections.

In February 2004, plans were announced for a new Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of African American Music to be built in the city's Coast/Lincoln Park neighborhood. The museum will be dedicated to black musical styles, from gospel to rap. The new museum will incorporate the facade of the old South Park Presbyterian Church, where Abraham Lincoln once spoke. Groundbreaking is planned for winter 2006 with the grand opening scheduled for 2007.

On December 9, 2007 the Jewish Museum of New Jersey located at 145 Broadway in the Broadway neighborhood held its grand opening. The museum is dedicated to the portrayal of the rich cultural heritage of New Jersey’s Jewish people. The museum is housed at Congregation Ahavas Sholom , the last continually operating synagogue in Newark. At one time there were fifty synagogues in Newark serving a Jewish population of 70,000, which was once the sixth largest Jewish community in the United States. Together, the Jewish Museum of New Jersey and Congregation Ahavas Sholom keep the light of Judaism alive in the city of Newark.

Newark is also home to numerous art galleries including City Without Walls (cWOW) Gallery Aferro and Aljira. Aljira is a gallery showing "emerging or under-represented artists" located near Military Park and has recently included Khalid Kodi's self-titled work on Darfur. cWOW is another important contemporary art gallery in Newark that has been in operation since 1975. cWOW is located in The Coast district of Newark, which will be home to the new Museum of African-American Music (MOAAM).

There have been many sports teams in Newark, but the city has spent much of its history without a NBA, NHL, MLB, or NFL team. Newark has a rich history in baseball as it was one of the first cities with professional baseball teams. Newark had eight National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP) teams, including the Newark Eurekas and the Newark Adriatics. Newark was then home to the Newark Indians of the International League and then to the Newark Peppers of the Federal League, sometimes nicknamed the Newfeds. Newark was also home to the Negro League team the Newark Dodgers and the Newark Eagles for which the Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium is partially named. Although Newark has had a rich history in baseball and currently has a minor league team, it has never had an MLB team. The current Newark minor league team, the revived Newark Bears, play at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, a stop on the Newark Elizabeth Rail Link. The Bears are part of the independent Atlantic League, which also has teams in Bridgewater Township and Camden. Newark had a short-lived NFL franchise named the Newark Tornadoes, which folded in 1930. Newark never had a National Hockey League team until Fall of 2007, when the New Jersey Devils took to the ice for the first time in the Prudential Center. An expansion team for the Major Indoor Soccer League will also play in the Prudential Center. Although the New Jersey Nets have decided against moving to Newark, a professional basketball team in the American Basketball Association, the Newark Express was introduced to the city in 2005. The team currently plays their home games at Essex County College and hope to move to a larger venue in the future. In Harrison, across from the Ironbound neighborhood, Red Bull Park is being built for Red Bull New York soccer team (formerly the MetroStars). In the next couple of months, Newark will begin planning a Pedestrian bridge that will link the two cities at Minish Park.

Newark does not have any major television network affiliates due to its proximity to New York City. However, WNET, a flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service, and Spanish-language WFUT-TV, a TeleFutura owned-and-operated station, are licensed to Newark. The state's leading newspaper, The Star-Ledger, owned by Advance Publications, is based out of Newark. Radio Station WJZ (now WABC (AM)) made its first broadcast in 1921 from the Westinghouse plant near Lackawanna Station. It moved to New York City in the 1920s. Pioneer radio station WOR AM was originally licensed to and broadcast from the Bamberger's Department Store in Newark. Radio Station WNEW-AM (now WBBR) was founded in Newark in 1934. It later moved to New York City. In addition, WBGO, a National Public Radio affiliate that reaches New York City with a format of standard and contemporary jazz, is located in downtown Newark. WNSW AM-1430 (formerly WNJR) and WCAA (formerly WHBI)105.9 FM are also licensed to Newark.

Newark is a hub of air, road, rail, and ship traffic, making it a significant gateway into the New York metropolitan area and the Northeastern United States. Newark Liberty International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the New York region and the fourteenth-busiest in the United States (in terms of passenger traffic), saw nearly 32 million travelers in 2004 and processed nearly 1,000,000 metric tons of freight and mail. Just east of the airport lies Port Newark, the fifteenth-busiest port in the world and the largest container port on the eastern seaboard. In 2003, the port moved over $100 billion in goods.

The city is served by numerous highways including the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95), Interstate 280, Interstate 78, the Garden State Parkway, U.S. Route 1/9, U.S. Route 22, and Route 21. Newark is connected to the Holland Tunnel and Lower Manhattan by the Pulaski Skyway, spanning both the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers.

Local streets in Newark conform to a quasi-grid form, with major streets radiating outward (like spokes on a wheel) from the downtown area. Some major roads in the city are named after the towns to which they lead, including South Orange Avenue, Springfield Avenue, and Bloomfield Avenue. These are some of the oldest roads in the city.

Newark is second in the US to New York City in the proportion of households without an automobile, and the City is extensively served by mass transit. Newark Penn Station, situated just east of downtown, is a major train station for the city and the region, connecting the interurban PATH system (which links Newark to Manhattan) with three New Jersey Transit commuter rail lines and Amtrak service to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Only one mile north, the Newark Broad Street Station is served by two commuter rail lines. The two train stations are linked by the Newark Light Rail system, which also provides services from Newark Penn Station to the city's northern communities and into the neighboring towns of Belleville and Bloomfield. Built in the bed of the Morris Canal, the light rail cars runs underground in Newark's downtown area. The city's third train station, Newark Liberty International Airport, connects the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line to the airport via AirTrain Newark. Bus service in Newark is provided by New Jersey Transit, CoachUSA contract operators, and DeCamp in North Newark.

The Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link is a proposed light rail project that will link downtown Newark with neighboring Elizabeth and Newark Liberty International Airport. The first section of the light rail link, connecting Newark Penn Station with Broad Street Station one mile (1.6 km) away, began service on July 17, 2006.

Newark is served by New Jersey Transit bus routes 1, 5, 11, 13, 21, 25, 27, 28, 29, 34, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 59, 62, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 90, 92, 93, 94, 96, 99, 107, and 108. Bus route 308 is an express bus route to Six Flags Great Adventure from Newark Penn Station while 319 is an express service to Atlantic City.

Newark is home to seven hospitals, a remarkable number for a city of its size. University Hospital is the principal teaching hospital of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and is the busiest Level I trauma center in the state. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is the largest hospital in the city and is a part of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, the state's largest system of hospital and health care facilities. Beth Israel is also one of the oldest hospitals in the city, dating back to 1901. This 669-bed regional facility is also home to the Children's Hospital of New Jersey. Other hospitals in Newark include the St. James Hospital, St. Michael's Medical Center, Columbus Hospital, Mount Carmel Guild Hospital, and United Hospitals Medical Center (now closed).

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USS New Jersey (BB-62)

Entertainers during a Christmas Eve USO show in 1983 on board the USS New Jersey BB-62 off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon. (left to right) Miss USA Julie Hayek, Cathy Lee Crosby, Bob Hope, Ann Jillian and Brooke Shields.

USS New Jersey (BB-62), ("Big J" or "Black Dragon") is an Iowa-class battleship, and was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of New Jersey. New Jersey earned more battle stars for combat actions than the other three completed Iowa-class battleships, and is the only one to serve off Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

During World War II, New Jersey shelled targets on Guam and Okinawa, and screened aircraft carriers conducting raids in the Marshall islands. During the Korean War, she was involved in raids up and down the North Korean coast, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet". She was briefly reactivated in 1968 and sent to Vietnam to support U.S. troops before returning to the mothball fleet in 1969. Reactivated once more in the 1980s as part of the 600-ship Navy program, New Jersey was modernized to carry missiles and recommissioned for service. In 1983, she participated in U.S. operations during the Lebanese Civil War.

New Jersey was decommissioned for the last time in 1991, having earned a Navy Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam and 19 battle and campaign stars for combat operations during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanese Civil War, and service in the Persian Gulf. After a brief retention in the mothball fleet, she was donated to the Home Port Alliance in Camden, New Jersey, and began her career as a museum ship 15 October 2001.

New Jersey was one of the Iowa-class "fast battleship" designs planned in 1938 by the Preliminary Design Branch at the Bureau of Construction and Repair. She was launched on 12 December 1942 and commissioned on 23 May 1943. The ship was the second of the Iowa class to be commissioned by the US Navy. The ship was christened at her launching by Carolyn Edison, wife of Governor Charles Edison of New Jersey, himself a former Secretary of the Navy; and commissioned at Philadelphia 23 May 1943, Captain Carl F. Holden in command.

New Jersey's main battery consisted of nine 16"/50 caliber Mark 7 guns, which could hurl 2,700-pound (1,225 kg) armor-piercing shells some 20 miles (32 km). Her secondary battery consisted of twenty 5"/38 caliber guns, which could hit targets up to 9 miles (14 km) away. With the advent of air power and the need to gain and maintain air superiority came a need to protect the growing fleet of allied aircraft carriers, so New Jersey was fitted with an array of Oerlikon 20 mm and Bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft guns. When reactivated in 1968, New Jersey had its 20mm and 40mm AA guns removed and was tailored for use as a heavy bombardment ship. When reactivated in 1982, New Jersey had four twin 5"/38 caliber DP mounts removed. She was outfitted with four Phalanx CIWS mounts for protection against missiles and aircraft, and eight Armored Box Launchers and eight Quad Cell Launchers designed to fire Tomahawk missiles and Harpoon missiles, respectively.

Unlike the other Iowa-class battleships, New Jersey was named by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to repay a political debt, to then-New Jersey Governor Charles Edison. During his time in the Navy department, Edison pushed to build the Iowas, and to build one at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which secured votes for Roosevelt in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the 1940 presidential election.

New Jersey completed fitting out and trained her initial crew in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean. On 7 January 1944 she passed through the Panama Canal war-bound for Funafuti, Ellice Islands. She reported there 22 January for duty with the United States Fifth Fleet, and three days later rendezvoused with Task Group 58.2 for the assault on the Marshall Islands. New Jersey screened the aircraft carriers from Japanese attack as planes from Task Group 58.2 flew strikes against Kwajalein and Eniwetok 29 January – 2 February, softening up the latter for its invasion and supporting the troops who landed 31 January.

New Jersey began her career as a flagship 4 February in Majuro Lagoon when Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commanding the 5th Fleet, broke his flag from her main. Her first action as a flagship was in Operation Hailstone, a two-day surface and air strike by her task force against the major Japanese fleet base on Truk in the Carolines. This attack was coordinated with the assault on Kwajalein, and effectively interdicted the Japanese naval retaliation to the conquest of the Marshalls. On 17 February and 18 February, the task force accounted for two Japanese light cruisers, four destroyers, three auxiliary cruisers, two submarine tenders, two submarine chasers, an armed trawler, a plane ferry, and 23 other auxiliaries, not including small craft. New Jersey destroyed a trawler and, with other ships, sank the destroyer Maikaze, as well as fired on an enemy aircraft that attacked her formation. The task force returned to the Marshalls 19 February.

Between 17 March and 10 April, New Jersey first sailed with Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's flagship Lexington for an air and surface bombardment of Mille, then rejoined Task Group 58.2 for a strike against shipping in the Palaus, and bombarded Woleai. Upon his return to Majuro, Admiral Spruance transferred his flag to Indianapolis.

New Jersey's next war cruise, 13 April – 4 May 1944, began and ended at Majuro. She screened the carrier striking force which gave air support to the invasion of Aitape, Tanahmerah Bay and Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, 22 April, then shelled shipping and shore installations at Truk 29 April – 30 April. New Jersey and her formation shot down two enemy torpedo bombers at Truk. Her 16 inch salvos pounded Ponape 1 May, destroying fuel tanks, badly damaging the airfield, and demolishing a headquarters building.

After rehearsing in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas, New Jersey put to sea 6 June in the screening and bombardment group of Admiral Mitscher's Task Force. On the second day of preinvasion air strikes, 12 June, New Jersey shot down an enemy torpedo bomber, and during the next two days her heavy guns battered Saipan and Tinian, in advance of the marine landings on 15 June.

The Japanese response to the Marianas operation was an order to its mobile fleet: it must attack and annihilate the American invasion force. Shadowing American submarines tracked the Japanese fleet into the Philippine Sea as Admiral Spruance joined his task force with Admiral Mitscher's to meet the enemy. New Jersey took station in the protective screen around the carriers on 19 June 1944 as American and Japanese pilots dueled in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. That day and the next were to pronounce the end of Japanese naval aviation; in this "Marianas Turkey Shoot", the Japanese lost some 400 planes. This loss of trained pilots and aircraft was equaled in disaster by the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carriers Taihō and Shōkaku by the submarines Albacore and Cavalla, respectively, and the loss of Hiyō to aircraft launched from the light aircraft carrier Belleau Wood. In addition to these losses, Allied forces succeeded in damaging two Japanese carriers and a battleship. The anti-aircraft fire of New Jersey and the other screening ships proved virtually impenetrable; two American ships were slightly damaged during the battle. In this overwhelming victory only 17 American planes were lost to combat.

New Jersey's final contribution to the conquest of the Marianas was in strikes on Guam and the Palaus from which she sailed for Pearl Harbor, arriving 9 August. Here she broke the flag of Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., 24 August, becoming flagship of the United States Third Fleet. On 30 August New Jersey set sail from Pearl Harbor, and for the next eight months was based at Ulithi to lend support to Allied forces operating in the Philippines. In this span of the Pacific War, fast carrier task forces ranged the waters off the Philippines, Okinawa, and Formosa, making repeated strikes at airfields, shipping, shore bases, and invasion beaches.

In September the targets were in the Visayas and the southern Philippines, then Manila and Cavite, Panay, Negros, Leyte, and Cebu. Early in October raids to destroy enemy air power based on Okinawa and Formosa were begun in preparation for the Leyte landings of 20 October 1944.

This invasion brought on the last great sortie of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its plan for the Battle of Leyte Gulf included a feint by a northern force of planeless heavy attack carriers to draw away the battleships, cruisers and fast carriers with which Admiral Halsey was protecting the landings. This was to allow the Japanese Center Force to enter the gulf through San Bernardino Strait. At the opening of the battle planes from the carriers guarded by New Jersey struck hard at both the Japanese Southern and Center Forces, sinking a battleship 23 October. The next day Halsey shaped his course north after the decoy force had been spotted. Planes from his carriers sank four of the Japanese carriers, as well as a destroyer and a cruiser, while New Jersey steamed south at flank speed to meet the newly developed threat of the Center force. It had been turned back in a stunning defeat when she arrived.

New Jersey rejoined her fast carriers near San Bernardino 27 October 1944 for strikes on central and southern Luzon. Two days later, the force came under suicide attack. In a melee of anti-aircraft fire from the ships and combat air patrol, New Jersey shot down a plane whose pilot maneuvered it into the port gun galleries of Intrepid, while machine gun fire from Intrepid wounded three of New Jersey's men. During a similar action 25 November three Japanese planes were shot down by the combined fire of the force, part of one flaming onto the flight deck of Hancock. Intrepid was again attacked; she shot down one would-be kamikaze aircraft, but was crashed by another despite hits scored on the attacker by New Jersey gunners. New Jersey shot down a plane diving on Cabot and hit another plane which smashed into Cabot's port bow.

On 18 December 1944 the ships of Task Force 38 unexpectedly found themselves in a fight for their lives when Typhoon Cobra overtook the force— seven fleet and six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers— during their attempt to refuel at sea. At the time the ships were operating about 300 miles (500 km) east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea. The carriers had just completed three days of heavy raids against Japanese airfields, suppressing enemy aircraft during the American amphibious operations against Mindoro in the Philippines. The task force rendezvoused with Captain Jasper T. Acuff and his fueling group 17 December with the intention of refueling all ships in the task force and replacing lost aircraft. Although the sea had been growing rougher all day, the nearby cyclonic disturbance gave relatively little warning of its approach. Each of the aircraft carriers in the Third Fleet had a weatherman aboard, and as the fleet flagship New Jersey had a highly experienced one: Commander G. F. Kosco, a graduate of the aerology course at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who had also studied hurricanes in the West Indies; despite this, none of these individuals or staffs were able to give Third Fleet due warning of the impending typhoon. On 18 December, the small but violent typhoon overtook the Task Force while many of the ships were attempting to refuel. Many of the ships were caught near the center of the storm and buffeted by extreme seas and hurricane force winds. Three destroyers, Hull, Monaghan, and Spence, capsized and sank with nearly all hands, while a cruiser, five aircraft carriers, and three destroyers suffered serious damage. Approximately 790 officers and men were lost or killed, with another 80 injured. Fires occurred in three carriers when planes broke loose in their hangars and some 146 planes on various ships were lost or damaged beyond economical repair by fires, impact damage, or by being swept overboard. As with the other battleships of TF 38, skillful seamanship brought New Jersey through the storm largely unscathed. She returned to Ulithi on Christmas Eve to be met by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.

New Jersey ranged far and wide from 30 December 1944 to 25 January 1945 on her last cruise as Admiral Halsey's flagship. She guarded the carriers in their strikes on Formosa, Okinawa, and Luzon, on the coast of Indo-China, Hong Kong, Swatow and Amoy, and again on Formosa and Okinawa. At Ulithi 27 January Admiral Halsey lowered his flag in New Jersey, but it was replaced two days later by that of Rear Admiral Oscar C. Badger II commanding Battleship Division 7.

In support of the assault on Iwo Jima, New Jersey screened the Essex group in air attacks on the island 19 February – 21 February, and gave the same crucial service for the first major carrier raid on Tokyo 25 February, a raid aimed specifically at aircraft production. During the next two days, Okinawa was attacked from the air by the same striking force.

New Jersey was directly engaged in the conquest of Okinawa from 14 March until 16 April. As the carriers prepared for the invasion with strikes there and on Honshū, New Jersey fought off air raids, used her seaplanes to rescue downed pilots, defended the carriers from suicide planes, shooting down at least three and assisting in the destruction of others. On 24 March 1945 she again carried out the role of heavy bombardment, preparing the invasion beaches for the assault a week later.

During the final months of the war, New Jersey was overhauled at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, from which she sailed 4 July for San Pedro, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok bound for Guam. Here on 14 August she once again became flagship of the 5th Fleet under Admiral Spruance. Brief stays at Manila and Okinawa preceded her arrival in Tokyo Bay 17 September, where she served as flagship for the successive commanders of Naval Forces in Japanese waters until relieved 28 January 1946 by Iowa (BB-61). As part of the ongoing Operation Magic Carpet New Jersey took aboard nearly a thousand homeward-bound troops with whom she arrived at San Francisco 10 February.

After west coast operations and a normal overhaul at Puget Sound, New Jersey's keel once more cut the Atlantic as she came home to Bayonne, New Jersey, for a rousing fourth birthday party 23 May 1947. Present were Governor Alfred E. Driscoll, former Governor Walter E. Edge and other dignitaries.

Between 7 June and 26 August, New Jersey formed part of the first training squadron to cruise Northern European waters since the beginning of World War II. Over two thousand United States Naval Academy and NROTC midshipmen received seagoing experience under the command of Admiral Richard L. Connolly, Commander Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, who broke his flag in New Jersey at Rosyth, Scotland 23 June. She was the scene of official receptions at Oslo, where King Haakon VII of Norway inspected the crew 2 July, and at Portsmouth, England. The training fleet was westward bound 18 July for exercises in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic.

After serving at New York as flagship for Rear Admiral Heber H. McLean, Commander, Battleship Division 1, 12 September – 18 October, New Jersey was inactivated at the New York Naval Shipyard. She was decommissioned at Bayonne 30 June 1948 and assigned to the New York Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

In 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea, prompting the United States to intervene in the name of the United Nations. President Harry S. Truman was caught off guard when the invasion struck, but quickly ordered U.S. Forces stationed in Japan into South Korea. Truman also sent U.S. based troops, tanks, fighter and bomber aircraft, and a strong naval force to Korea to support the Republic of Korea. As part of the naval mobilization New Jersey was recalled from the mothball fleet to provide seaborne artillery support for U.N. and South Korean troops. New Jersey was recommissioned at Bayonne on 21 November 1950, Captain David M. Tyree in command, and proceeded to the Caribbean, where she welded her crew into an efficient body which would meet the demanding requirements of the Korean War. She sailed from Norfolk, Virginia 16 April 1951 and arrived from Japan off the east coast of Korea 17 May. Vice Admiral Harold M. Martin, commanding the United States Seventh Fleet, placed his flag in New Jersey for the next six months.

New Jersey's guns opened the first shore bombardment of her Korean career at Wonsan 20 May. During her two tours of duty in Korean waters, she was again and again to play the part of seaborne mobile artillery. In direct support to United Nations troops; or in preparation for ground actions, in interdicting Communist supply and communication routes, or in destroying supplies and troop positions, New Jersey used her 16 in guns to fire far beyond the capacity of land artillery, moved rapidly and free from major attack from one target to another, and at the same time could be immediately available to guard aircraft carriers should they require her protection. It was on this first such mission at Wonsan that she received her only combat casualties of the Korean War. One of her men was killed and two severely wounded when she took a hit from a shore battery on her number one turret and received a near miss aft to port.

Between 23 May and 27 May and again 30 May 1951, New Jersey pounded targets near Yangyang and Kansong, dispersing troop concentrations, dropping a bridge span, and destroying three large ammunition dumps. Air spotters reported Yangyang abandoned at the end of this action, while railroad facilities and vehicles were smashed at Kansong. On 24 May, she lost one of her helicopters after the crew pushed their chopper to the limit of its fuel searching for a downed aviator. The helicopter crew was able to reach friendly territory and were later returned to their ship.

With Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, and Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, Commander Naval Forces Far East aboard, New Jersey bombarded targets at Wonsan 4 June. At Kansong two days later she fired her main battery at an artillery regiment and truck encampment, with 7th Fleet aircraft spotting targets and reporting successes. On 28 July off Wonsan the battleship was again taken under fire by shore batteries. Several near misses splashed to port, but New Jersey's precision fire silenced the enemy and destroyed several gun emplacements.

Between 4 July and 12 July, New Jersey supported a United Nations push in the Kansong area, firing at enemy buildup and reorganization positions. As the Republic of Korea's First Division hurled itself on the enemy, shore fire control observers saw New Jersey's salvos hit directly on enemy mortar emplacements, supply and ammunition dumps, and personnel concentrations. New Jersey returned to Wonsan 18 July for an exhibition of perfect firing: five gun emplacements demolished with five direct hits.

New Jersey sailed to the aid of troops of the Republic of Korea once more 17 August, returning to the Kansong area where for four days she provided harassing fire by night, and broke up counterattacks by day, inflicting a heavy toll on enemy troops. She returned to this general area yet again 29 August, when she fired in an amphibious demonstration staged behind enemy lines to ease pressure on the Republic of Korea's troops. The next day she started a three-day saturation of the Changjon area, with one of her own helicopters spotting the results: four buildings destroyed, road junctions smashed, railroad marshaling yards afire, tracks cut and uprooted, coal stocks scattered, and many buildings and warehouses set blazing.

Aside from a brief break in firing 23 September to take aboard wounded from the Korean frigate Apnok (PF-62), damaged by gunfire, New Jersey was heavily engaged in bombarding the Kansong area, supporting the movement of the U.S. X Corps. The pattern again was harassing fire by night, destruction of known targets by day. Enemy movement was restricted by the fire of her big guns. A bridge, a dam, several gun emplacements, mortar positions, pillboxes, bunkers, and two ammunition dumps were demolished.

On 1 October 1951, General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Matthew B. Ridgeway, Commander in Chief Far East, came on board to confer with Admiral Martin.

Between 1 October and 6 October New Jersey was in action daily at Kansong, Hamhung, Hungnam, Tanchon, and Songjin. Enemy bunkers and supply concentrations provided the majority of the targets at Kansong; at the others New Jersey fired on railroads, tunnels, bridges, an oil refinery, trains, and shore batteries. She also engaged an enemy gun emplacement with her five-inch (127 mm) gun mounts, which New Jersey successfully destroyed. The Kojo area was her target 16 October as she sailed in company with HMS Belfast, pilots from HMAS Sydney spotting. The operation was well-planned and coordinated, and excellent results were obtained.

Another highly satisfactory day was 16 October, when the spotter over the Kansong area reported "beautiful shooting every shot on target-most beautiful shooting I have seen in five years." This five hour bombardment leveled ten artillery positions, and in smashing trenches and bunkers inflicted some 500 enemy casualties.

New Jersey dashed up the North Korean coast raiding transportation facilities from 1 November to 6 November. She struck at bridges, road, and rail installations at Wonsan, Hungnam, Tanchon, Iowon, Songjin, and Chongjin, leaving four bridges destroyed, others badly damaged, two marshaling yards badly torn up, and many feet of track destroyed. With renewed attacks on Kansong and near the Chang-San-Got Peninsula 11 November and 13 November, New Jersey completed hew first tour of duty in Korea.

Relieved as flagship by Wisconsin, New Jersey cleared Yokosuka for Hawaii, Long Beach and the Panama Canal, and returned to Norfolk 20 December for a six-month overhaul. Between 19 July 1952 and 5 September, she sailed as flagship for Rear Admiral H. R. Thurber, who commanded the NROTC midshipman training cruise to Cherbourg, Lisbon, and the Caribbean. Now New Jersey prepared and trained for her second Korean tour, for which she sailed from Norfolk 5 March 1953.

Shaping her course via the Panama Canal, Long Beach, and Hawaii, New Jersey reached Yokosuka 5 April, and next day relieved Missouri as flagship of Vice Admiral Joseph H. Clark, Commander 7th Fleet. On 12 April New Jersey returned to action by shelling Chongjin; in seven minutes she scored seven direct hits, blowing away half the main communications building there. At Pusan two days later, New Jersey manned her rails to welcome the President of the Republic of Korea and Madame Rhee, and American Ambassador Ellis O. Briggs.

New Jersey fired on coastal batteries and buildings at Kojo 16 April; on railway track and tunnels near Hungnam 18 April; and on gun emplacements around Wonsan Harbor 20 April, silencing them in five areas after she had herself taken several near misses. Songjin provided targets 23 April. Here New Jersey scored six direct 16 inch (406 mm) hits on a railroad tunnel and knocked out two rail bridges.

New Jersey provided artillery support for a major air and surface strike on Wonsan 1 May, as 7th Fleet planes both attacked the enemy and spotted for the battleship. She knocked out eleven Communist shore guns that day, and four days later destroyed the key observation post on the island of Hodo Pando, commanding the harbor. Two days later Kalmagak at Wonsan was her target.

New Jersey's tenth birthday, 23 May 1953, was celebrated at Inchon with President and Madame Rhee, Lieutenant General Maxwell D. Taylor, and other dignitaries on board. Two days later New Jersey returned to action along the west coast at Chinampo to knock out harbor defense positions.

The battleship was under fire at Wonsan 27 May – 29 May, but her five-inch (127 mm) guns silenced the counter-fire, and her 16 inch shells destroyed five gun emplacements and four gun caves. She also hit a target that flamed spectacularly: either a fuel storage area or an ammunition dump.

New Jersey returned to the key task of direct support to troops at Kosong 7 June. On her first mission, she completely destroyed two gun positions, an observation post, and their supporting trenches, then stood by on call for further aid. She then sailed back to Wonsan for a day-long bombardment 24 June, aimed at guns placed in caves. The results were excellent, with eight direct hits on three caves, one cave demolished, and four others closed. Next day she returned to troop support at Kosong, her assignment until 10 July, aside from necessary withdrawal for replenishment.

At Wonsan 11 July – 12 July, New Jersey fired one of the most concentrated bombardments of her Korean duty. For nine hours the first day, and for seven the second, her guns opened fire on gun positions and bunkers on Hodo Pando and the mainland with telling effect. At least ten enemy guns were destroyed, many damaged, and a number of caves and tunnels sealed. New Jersey smashed radar control positions and bridges at Kojo 13 July, and was once more on the east coast bombline 22 July – 24 July to support South Korean troops near Kosong. These days found her gunners at their most accurate: A large cave, housing an important enemy observation post was closed, the end of a month-long United Nations effort, and a great many bunkers, artillery areas, observation posts, trenches, tanks and other weapons were destroyed.

At sunrise on 25 July 1953 New Jersey was off the key port, rail and communications center of Hungnam, pounding coastal guns, bridges, a factory area, and oil storage tanks. She sailed north that afternoon, firing at rail lines and railroad tunnels as she made for Tanchon, where she launched a whaleboat in an attempt to spot a train known to run nightly along the coast. Her big guns were trained on two tunnels between which she hoped to catch the train, but in the darkness she could not see the results of her six-gun salvo.

New Jersey's mission at Wonsan, next day, was her last. Here she destroyed large-caliber guns, bunkers, caves and trenches. Two days later, she learned of the truce. Her crew celebrated during a seven day visit at Hong Kong, where she anchored 20 August. Operations around Japan and off Formosa were carried out for the remainder of her tour, which was highlighted by a visit to Pusan. Here President Rhee came aboard on 16 September to present the Korean Presidential Unit Citation to the 7th Fleet.

Relieved as flagship at Yokosuka by Wisconsin 14 October, New Jersey was homeward bound the next day, reaching Norfolk on 14 November. During the next two summers she crossed the Atlantic with midshipmen on board for training, and during the rest of the year sharpened her skills with exercises and training maneuvers along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean.

New Jersey stood out of Norfolk 7 September 1955 for her first tour of duty with the United States Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Her ports of call included Gibraltar, Valencia, Cannes, Istanbul, Souda Bay; and Barcelona. She returned to Norfolk 7 January 1956 for the spring program of training operations. That summer she again carried midshipmen to Northern Europe for training, bringing them home to Annapolis 31 July. New Jersey sailed for Europe once more 27 August as flagship of Vice Admiral Charles Wellborn, Jr., Commander United States Second Fleet. She called at Lisbon, participated in NATO exercises off Scotland, and paid an official visit to Norway where Crown Prince Olav was a guest. She returned to Norfolk 15 October, and 14 December arrived at New York Naval Shipyard for inactivation. She was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Bayonne 21 August 1957.

On 31 May 1967 the Secretary of Defense authorized a study aimed at determining what would be required to get New Jersey reactivated in her present condition, and when the results of the submitted study proved favorable toward the reactivation the Secretary of Defense took action. In August 1967 the Secretary of Defense made the decision to recommission a battleship "for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Southeast Asia". New Jersey was selected for this task because she was in better material condition than her sisters, having received an extensive overhaul prior to decommissioning. Upon her reactivation she underwent a period of modernization during which the 20 mm and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns on the battleship were removed, and she received improved electronic warfare systems and improvements to her radar. Armed as such New Jersey was formally recommissioned 6 April 1968 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Captain J. Edward Snyder in command.

New Jersey, now the world's only active battleship, departed Philadelphia 16 May, calling at Norfolk and transiting the Panama Canal 4 June before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach, California, 11 June. Further training off Southern California followed. On 24 July New Jersey received 16 inch shells and powder tanks from Mount Katmai by conventional highline transfer and by helicopter lift, the first time heavy battleship ammunition had been transferred by helicopter at sea.

Departing Long Beach 2 September, New Jersey touched at Pearl Harbor and Subic Bay before sailing 25 September for her first tour of gunfire support duty along the Vietnamese coast. Near the 17th parallel on 30 September, the dreadnought fired her first shots in battle in over sixteen years, expending a total of 29 rounds against Communist targets in and near the so-called Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.

New Jersey took up station off Tiger Island 1 October and fired at targets north of the DMZ before moving south that afternoon to engage Viet Cong targets. She accounted for six bunkers, a supply truck and an anti-aircraft site that day; additionally, she helped rescue the crew of a Marine spotting plane forced down at sea by anti-aircraft fire. On 3 October New Jersey fired on targets south of Tiger Island, and on 4 October the battleship fired on a Communist troop concentration and destroyed several bunkers. On the evening of 7 October New Jersey received word that a number of waterborne logistics craft were moving south near the mouth of the Song Giang River. New Jersey responded by closing on the formation, and succeeded in sinking eleven of the craft before they could beach.

On 11 October New Jersey engaged a coastal installation with her guns; however, she shifted her fire when a recon plane spotting for the battleship reported an enemy truck concentration north of Nha Ky. New Jersey gunners quickly retrained the battleship's big guns and managed to inflict heavy damage on six of the vehicles.

Early on the morning of 12 October New Jersey trained her guns in anticipation of shelling the heavily fortified and well protected Vinh caves. For the next three days New Jersey pounded the area with her 16 in shells in an effort to eliminate the Viet Cong presence in the region. Aided by spotter aircraft from the aircraft carrier America, New Jersey engaged enemy targets, setting several enemy positions on fire and sealing one cave. On 14 October New Jersey shifted her gunfire to the coastal artillery sites on Hon Matt Island, destroying one battery on the island.

On 16 October New Jersey took up station in support of the U.S. 3rd Marine Division. Using both the 16 in and 5 in guns New Jersey engaged and destroyed 13 structures and an artillery site, in the process halting an enemy platoon moving through the DMZ. New Jersey continued to lend firepower support on the 17th until departing to lend her gunfire to the First Field Force. Foul weather prevented spotter aircraft from flying until 20 October; however, New Jersey quickly made up for lost time on the gun line by destroying a Viet Cong command post and nine bunkers in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, who were operating about 50 miles (80 km) north of Nha Trang. The next day New Jersey maneuvered into the waters of the Baie de Van Fong to fire at Viet Cong command posts, but poor visibility of the target area prevented any damage estimates.

On the night of 23 October New Jersey steamed north to rearm before taking up position in support of the 3rd Marine Division 25 October. That day she shelled enemy troops located by a spotter plane. The next day New Jersey engaged targets of opportunity, destroying 11 structures, seven bunkers, a concrete observation tower, and an enemy trench line. She also received hostile fire when North Vietnamese gunners attempted to strike at New Jersey with artillery positioned near Cap Lay. Some ten to twelve rounds were launched at New Jersey; however, the rounds fired landed well short of the battleship. Aerial spotters were called in to look at the suspected gun position; they reported no artillery present but fresh tire tracks leading to a concealed area, suggesting that there had been artillery there earlier. Armed with this information New Jersey fired five 16 inch shells at the site, but in the darkness spotters were unable to confirm any hits.

On 28 October New Jersey steamed south to engage Communist targets. During the shelling aircraft spotting for the battleship reported taking heavy anti-aircraft fire to the extreme north of the target zone; subsequently, New Jersey altered her fire to silence the site with her big guns. The next day New Jersey leveled 30 structures, destroyed three underground bunkers, and shelled a Viet Cong trench line. That afternoon an aerial observer located an enemy artillery position on a hilltop southwest of Cap Lay. New Jersey responded by firing six 16 inch rounds at the site, destroying it. Follow up assaults on 30 October destroyed a Communist resupply area and an anti-aircraft site.

Upon completion of this mission New Jersey steamed south, taking a position off Da Nang and Point DeDe to lend naval gunfire support to the U.S. 1st Marine Division operating in the area. On 2 November New Jersey commenced firing operations against nine positions, but the heavy foliage in the area prevented spotters from seeing the results of the shelling.

On 4 November New Jersey received orders to reinforce southern II Corps near Phan Thiet; she arrived on station later that night. The next she answered eight call fire support missions from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in the process destroying eight Viet Cong bunkers and five structures. On 11 November New Jersey departed Vietnamese waters to replenish; she returned to the gunline 23 November and relieved Galveston, taking up position in support of the U.S. Army's American Division. That afternoon New Jersey's 5-inch (127 mm) guns shelled enemy buildings, destroying 15 structures and inflicted heavy damage on 29 others.

On 25 November New Jersey launched the most destructive shore bombardment of her Vietnam tour. For the next two days the battleship concentrated her fire at Viet Cong storage areas near Quang Ngai, destroying 182 structures and 54 bunkers, inflicting heavy damage to 93 structures, and demolishing several tunnel complexes before departing for Point Betsy near Hue 27 November to support the 101st Airborne Division.

Between 2 December and 8 December New Jersey returned to aid the 3rd Marine Division, shelling Viet Cong bunker complexes for the Marines operating around the Da Nang area before departing for Singapore 9 December. On 26 December New Jersey returned to the gunline, taking up station off Tuy Hoa in support of the Republic of Vietnam's 47th Army Division. For the next three days New Jersey fired her guns to support the II Corps, in the process destroying Viet Cong bunkers and supply depots and neutralizing enemy cave posts. New Jersey would remain in the waters of the DMZ until after New Years, shelling Communist bunkers for ground troops until leaving to support the 1st Marine Division 3 January.

Throughout January and into February New Jersey operated in support of the Marines. On 10 February the battleship left to reinforce the 2nd ROK Marine Brigade operating near Da Nang. The battleship's target was a suspected subterranean staging area for a Viet Cong regiment. New Jersey's big guns went to work on the complex, firing 16 inch shells into tunnels and bunkers to aid the ground troops. On 14 February the battleship steamed south of the DMZ to provide support for the 3rd Marine Division, in the process destroying an anti-aircraft site with her big guns. The next day New Jersey fired on an enemy rocket site northeast of Con Thien, destroying the facility, then trained her guns on known Communist positions to harass Viet Cong forces. On 22 February New Jersey responded to an urgent request for fire support from a besieged outpost near the DMZ. For the next six hours New Jersey fired her guns, ultimately repelling the attacking force.

For the remainder of February and into March New Jersey shelled targets along the DMZ. On 13 March the battleship departed the gunline bound for Subic Bay. She returned to action on 20 March, operating near Cam Ranh Bay in support of the Republic of Korea's Ninth Infantry Division. For the next week New Jersey patrolled the waters between Phan Thiet and Tuy Hoa, shelling targets of opportunity along the coast. On 28 March New Jersey took up station south of the DMZ to aid the 3rd Marine Division, remaining there until 1 April, whereupon New Jersey departed for Japan.

Her first Vietnam combat tour completed, New Jersey departed Subic Bay 3 April 1969 for Japan. She arrived at Yokosuka for a two-day visit, sailing for the United States 9 April. Her homecoming, however, was to be delayed. On the 15th, while New Jersey was still at sea, North Korean jet fighters shot down an unarmed EC-121 Constellation electronic surveillance plane over the Sea of Japan, killing its entire crew. A carrier task force was formed and sent to the Sea of Japan, while New Jersey was ordered to come about and steam toward Japan. On the 22nd she arrived once more at Yokosuka, and immediately put to sea in readiness for what might befall.

As the crisis eased, New Jersey was released to continue her interrupted voyage. She anchored at Long Beach 5 May 1969, her first visit to her home port in eight months. Through the summer months, New Jersey's crew toiled to make her ready for another deployment, and deficiencies discovered on the gun line were remedied. According to official reports, though, reasons of economy were to dictate otherwise: on 22 August 1969 the United States Secretary of Defense released a list of names of ships to be inactivated; at the top of the list was New Jersey. Five days later, Captain Snyder was relieved of command by Captain Robert C. Peniston.

As part of President Ronald Reagan's and Navy Secretary John Lehman's effort to create a 600-ship Navy, New Jersey was reactivated in 1982 and moved under tow to the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for modernization. At the time of the reactivation the Navy envisioned using New Jersey and her sister ship Iowa to meet sustained global requirements and relieve the strain on the Navy created by an increase in U.S. commitments to the Indian Ocean and Caribbean Sea regions. During this time the Navy developed several proposals to update their battleships to carry cruise missiles and anti-ship missile, as well as point defense system mounts. Preliminary modernizations schemes included the removal of four of the ten 5 inch gun mounts on New Jersey to make room for the armored box launchers that would be required to carry and launch the BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles. At one point the NATO Sea Sparrow was to be installed on the reactivated battleships; however, it was determined that the system could not withstand the overpressure effects when firing the main battery.

New Jersey's modernization was unique in that she was to be the only reactivated Iowa-class battleship to lose a gun turret. At the time the Navy made the announcement plans were underway to remove New Jersey's #3 16 in gun turret (located in the aft). In its place the Navy planned to install one of two systems: a vertical launching missile magazine which would have enabled New Jersey to carry an additional 48 Tomahawk or Harpoon missiles, or using the space generated by a removed gun turret for aircraft related updates centering on VTOL or V/STOL type aircraft; however these ideas were ultimately dropped, and New Jersey retained her #3 Gun Turret during her 1980s career.

Over the next several months the ship was upgraded with the most advanced weaponry available; among the new weapons systems installed were four MK 141 quad cell launchers for 16 AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, eight Armored Box Launcher (ABL) mounts for 32 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles, and a quartet of the United States Navy's Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS) gatling guns for defense against enemy anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft. New Jersey also received eight RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which are remotely controlled drones that replaced the helicopters previously used to spot for her nine 16"/50 Mark 7 guns. Also included in her modernization were upgrades to radar and fire control systems for her guns and missiles, and improved electronic warfare capabilities.

Because New Jersey had been recalled for service in the Vietnam War her modernization differed from her sisters for a number of reasons. When reactivated in 1967 New Jersey had her 20 mm Oerlikon and 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns removed, and received improved electronic warfare capabilities. This alteration help speed up the time it took get New Jersey recommissioned: since she was not in her World War II format the only major physical alteration to New Jersey involved the removal of four of her ten 5 inch gun mounts to make room for the Armored Box Launchers. In addition to saving time, this also made New Jersey cheaper to reactivate since the cost needed to modernize the battleship only included the addition of missile and gun system mounts, electronic warfare suits, and improved radar and gun spotter technology.

Since the Tomahawk missile system had not yet been adopted for use during New Jersey's original update the Navy announced plans to divert assets from two of their Spruance-class destroyers to install the necessary Tomahawk launchers. Similarly, assets were diverted from two Farragut-class guided missile destroyers to allow for the installation of Harpoon launchers on New Jersey.

On 28 December 1982 New Jersey was formally recommissioned at Long Beach, California, her new homeport. The recommissioning of New Jersey marked a return of the world's last battleships after a 13-year absence from the world's oceans.

In 1983, a bloody civil war was raging in Lebanon. In an effort to stop the violence in the region a Multinational Force of peacekeepers comprised largely of U.S. and French armed service members was created and sent to the region to attempt a restoration of order. As part of the multinational force the United States mobilized an expeditionary force composed of members of the United States Marine Corps and elements of the United States Sixth Fleet which operated out of the Mediterranean Sea.

On 18 April 1983 a van carrying a 2,000 pound load of explosives, slammed into the US embassy in West Beirut, killing 63. In August 1983, Israel withdrew its Defense Forces from the Chouf District (southeast of Beirut), thus removing the buffer between the Druze and the Christian militias and triggering another round of brutal fighting. In August 1983 militiamen began to bombard United States Marines positions near Beirut International Airport with mortar and rocket fire as the Lebanese Army fought Druze and Shia forces in the southern suburbs of Beirut. On 29 August 1983, two Marines were killed and fourteen wounded, and in the ensuing months the Marines came under almost daily attack from artillery, mortar, rocket, and small-arms fire. After this attack the Marines began returning fire. The Reagan Administration decided to dispatch New Jersey, a decision the Marines cheered.

On 16 September 1983 Druze forces massed on the threshold of Suk El Gharb, a village defended by the Lebanese Army. Suk El Gharb was a village with strategic importance: the militias coming up from the south had to traverse Suk El Gharb to get to the Beirut–Aley road. Moreover, Suk El Gharb controlled a ridge that overlooked Baabda, Yarze, which was the location of the Ministry of Defence, and East Beirut. From that ridge, the Militia gunners could shoot directly downhill at those locations with artillery. United States Navy warships shelled Druze positions and helped the Lebanese Army hold the town of Suk El Gharb until a cease-fire was declared on 25 September, on which day the battleship New Jersey arrived on the scene. The arrival of the battleship New Jersey was one of several factor contributing to a reduction in the number of attacks on the Marines.

On 28 November — after 23 October, 1983 Beirut barracks bombing — the U.S. government announced that New Jersey would be retained off Beirut although her crew would be rotated. On 14 December, New Jersey fired 11 projectiles from her 16 inch (406 mm) guns at hostile positions inland of Beirut. These were the first 16 inch (406 mm) shells fired for effect anywhere in the world since New Jersey ended her time on the gunline in Vietnam in 1969. This shelling was in response to attacks on U.S. reconnaissance planes by Syrian/Druze antiaircraft batteries.

Carrying on a tradition he had begun in World War II of spending Christmas with U.S. forces overseas, Bob Hope and his troupe of entertainers give a show on board the New Jersey on 24 December 1983. Four hundred Marines stationed in Beirut attended the show.

On 8 February 1984, New Jersey fired almost 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the Bekaa Valley east of Beirut. Some 30 of these massive projectiles rained down on a Syrian command post, killing the general commanding Syrian forces in Lebanon and several other senior officers. This was the heaviest shore bombardment since the Korean War.

The accuracy of New Jersey's guns was also called into question. An investigation into New Jersey's gunfire effectiveness in Lebanon, led by Marine Colonel Don Price, found that many of the ship's shells had missed their targets by as much as 10,000 yards (9,140 m) and therefore may have inadvertently killed civilians. Tim McNulty, a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune based in Lebanon said, "Everybody loved the New Jersey until she fired her guns. Once she fired, it was obvious she couldn't hit anything." The inaccuracy is believed to have resulted because the ship's main gun powder had been remixed by the Navy, under the direction of Captain Joseph Dominick Miceli at the Naval Weapons Support Center, and rebagged. Powder lots (an individual production of powder) burn at different rates. Therefore, remixing the powder lots could cause the guns to fire with inconsistent accuracy. The problem was apparently resolved after the Navy was able to locate additional powder supplies which had not been remixed.

In 1986 New Jersey began her next deployment, this time operating as part of the Pacific Fleet and as the centerpiece of her own battleship battle group (BBBG). This was first time that New Jersey had operational control of her own battleship battle group since the Korean War, and she cruised with her escorts from Hawaii to Thailand in 1986, freeing up U.S. aircraft carriers for other missions and in the process becoming the only major U.S. naval presence in the region from May to October.

Following an overhaul at Long Beach which lasted in to 1988 New Jersey returned to the Pacific Ocean, this time operating as part of a surface action group. The battleship operated near the coast of Korea prior to the opening of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, then departed for Australia to participate in the Australian bicentennial celebrations.

In April 1989, as New Jersey was preparing for her last operational cruise, sister ship Iowa suffered a catastrophic explosion in her #2 gun turret; fallout from the incident led U.S. Naval officials to freeze live fire exercises with the guns until the investigation in to the explosion was concluded. Eventually, the ban was lifted and New Jersey was allowed to use her big guns again.

The last cruise of the battleship New Jersey began in 1989 as part of Pacific Exercise '89. Upon completion of the exercise New Jersey sailed through the Indian Ocean and into the Persian Gulf, in the process becoming the centerpiece for various battle groups and surface action groups. New Jersey remained in the Persian Gulf for the rest of the year, returning to the United States in February 1990.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and the lack of a perceived threat against the United States came drastic cuts to the defense budget, and the high cost of maintaining battleships as part of the active fleet became uneconomical; as a result, New Jersey was decommissioned for the final time at Naval Station Long Beach, California, on 8 February 1991. The decision to decommission New Jersey robbed the battleship of the chance to participate in the 1991 Gulf War; the air and land war (codenamed Operation Desert Storm) had already begun and sister ships Missouri and Wisconsin were engaging Iraqi targets with Tomahawk missiles at the time of New Jersey's decommissioning. Following her decommissioning New Jersey was towed to Bremerton, Washington, where she remained in reserve until struck from the Naval Vessel Register in January 1995.

Section 1011 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1996 required the United States Navy to reinstate to the Naval Vessel Register two of the Iowa-class battleships that had been struck by the Navy in 1995; these ships were to be maintained in the United States Navy reserve fleets (or "mothball fleet"). The Navy was to ensure that both of the reinstated battleships were in good condition and could be reactivated for use in the Marine Corps' amphibious operations. Due to Iowa's damaged Turret 2 the Navy selected New Jersey for placement into the mothball fleet, even though the training mechanisms on New Jersey's 16 in guns had been welded down. The cost to fix New Jersey was considered less than the cost to fix Iowa; as a result, New Jersey and Wisconsin were reinstated to the Naval Vessel Register and placed back in the reserve fleet.

New Jersey remained in mothball fleet until the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act of 1999 passed through the United States Congress 18 October 1998. Section 1011 required the United States Secretary of the Navy to list and maintain Iowa and Wisconsin on the Naval Vessel Register, while Section 1012 required the Secretary of the Navy to strike New Jersey from the Naval Vessel Register and transfer the battleship to a not-for-profit entity in accordance with section 7306 of Title 10, United States Code. Section 1012 also required the transferee to locate the battleship in the State of New Jersey. The Navy made the switch in January 1999, and on 12 September, New Jersey was towed by the tug Sea Victory from Bremerton, Washington to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for restoration work in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in advance of her planned donation for use as a museum.

Two competing requests for the battleships were filed, one by the USS New Jersey Battleship Commission of Bayonne, New Jersey, and one by the Home Port Alliance of Camden, New Jersey. Both teams worked hard to develop a comprehensive plan to operate and maintain the battleship as a museum. After a review of both of the submitted plans, the Navy selected the Home Port Alliance of Camden, New Jersey, as the battleship's final resting place. Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig made the announcement on 20 January 2000, and on 15 October of that year New Jersey arrived at her final resting place on the Camden Waterfront. Shortly after her arrival New Jersey was opened to the public, officially beginning her new career as a museum ship with the name Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. Self-guided, tour-guided and overnight encampments are offered on the floating museum. Overnight encampments, typically for the benefit of scouting organizations, offer the opportunity to sleep and eat in the original berths and mess decks.

In 1996 an attempt was made to add New Jersey to the New Jersey State Register of Historic Places; however the battleship was still owned by the Navy and was not in the State of New Jersey, and as a result the attempt failed. In 2004, a second attempt succeeded, and the State of New Jersey officially designated the battleship USS New Jersey a historical place. This cleared New Jersey for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, a list to which New Jersey was officially added 17 September 2004.

Among other awards, New Jersey earned the Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam service and Presidential Unit Citations from the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea. She received nine battle stars for her World War II service, four for her service in the Korean conflict, two for her service in the Vietnam War, and four for service in Lebanon and the Persian Gulf region. Due to her outstanding service record New Jersey holds the distinction of being the most decorated battleship in naval history.

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Source : Wikipedia