New Jersey has been the butt of any number of jokes over the years. Whether it involves mafia members, oil refineries, the New Jersey Turnpike, Governor Christie or Bridgegate, there always seems to be something someone can poke fun at. Those of us who live here know what a great place New Jersey can be, and to make up for being America’s punch line, someone started Be Nice to New Jersey Week (July 3-9). Do your part and be nice to others.
The idea for the week actually didn’t start in New Jersey, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Be Nice to New Jersey Week originally was sponsored by a San Antonio, Texas, group called the Lone Star Publications of Humor. According to Michael Aaron Rockland, professor and chair of the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University, the NJ jokes started before Texas was even a state, according to NJ.com.
Rockland says that what is now New Jersey was part of the British colonies between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers and was promised to two different people. Its control was split between Sir George Carteret, who governed the Isle of Jersey, and Lord Berkley, the Duke of York. The original New Jersey joke was, who was in control and what was New Jersey?
The state was split into East Jersey and West Jersey, with a diagonal line across the state, dividing the southeast part of the state from the northwest. That line essentially remains with the cultural divide between North and South Jersey (with Central New Jersey caught in between) and the influence of Philadelphia in the south and New York in the north.
Over the decades and centuries, New Jersey history and culture evolved and at times have been part of the world stage, thanks to artists like Frank Sinatra (born in Hoboken) and Bruce Springsteen (born in Long Branch). There were pig farms, then refineries, the turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. New Jersey was a constant source of jokes in the early days of Saturday Night Live, thanks in part to Gilda Radner’s Roseanne Roseannadanna.
Every week should be ‘Be Nice to New Jersey Week.’ No matter what others may think of us, we should be kind and courteous with each other. Not just because it’s nice, but because if you’re driving it could actually save lives.
- Relaxing and focusing on driving, not the distractions around you or whatever may make you upset, could reduce aggressive driving and road rage.
- Slow down and stop to let pedestrians cross the road. They need to get where they’re going, just like you do.
- Driving is not a competitive sport or a test of wills. It’s supposed to be a safe way to get from Point A to Point B.
- Highways are not raceways, nor are they real-life video games where you dart from lane to lane, cutting off others, to see how quickly you can reach your destination.
Every week we should be nice when we’re behind the wheel because it may save a life. Maybe even yours. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident in New Jersey due to the negligence of another party, schedule a free consultation with our office by calling us at (973) 358-6134 or by using our online quick connect form. Statutes of limitations apply, so contact us as soon as possible so you can learn about your legal rights and take action to protect your interests.