Posted: Nov. 19, 2002


DOVER -- Governor Ruth Ann Minner joined Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor and Delaware Public Archives Timothy A. Slavin Tuesday at the Old State House on The Green in Dover to announce events celebrating December 7, 2002 -- Delaware Day.  

“It’s extremely important that we always remember and celebrate Delaware as the State that started a nation,” Gov. Minner said. “This is our heritage and what makes us what we are today. It is critical we never lose sight of this period in history and continue to build upon that heritage. In honor of what took place 215 years ago, we are pleased to offer many more Delaware Day events than in the past in an effort to honor our forefathers and to raise awareness of this special event in the history of Delaware.” 

Secretary of State, Harriet Smith Windsor shared Governor Minner’s enthusiasm for this year’s events. 

“This year we are able to offer 13 exciting and interesting lectures throughout all three counties beginning November 19th and concluding December 5th. On December 7th at 10:00 a.m. on behalf of the Governor, I will present the 4th grade winners of the Delaware Day 2002: The 215th Anniversary of the Writing of the Federal Constitution and Delaware’s Ratification. At 11:00 a.m., we will be dedicating an historical marker at the Golden Fleece Tavern with a reception following at the Schwartz Center. The afternoon will conclude with horse drawn carriage rides through historic Dover. This is going to be a terrific day of celebration in our state’s history,” said Windsor. 

On November 28, 1787, Delaware elected thirty delegates to a state convention to consider ratification of the Constitution. On December 7, 1787, the delegates, meeting in Dover at Battell’s Tavern (also know as the Golden Fleece Tavern), unanimously ratified the United States Constitution, making Delaware the first state in the new nation. 

The first Delaware Day celebration was held on December 7, 1933, by proclamation of Governor C. Douglass Buck. Thus, the “State that Started A Nation” will honor its forefathers on December 7, 2002, for their wise decision – a decision that gave Delaware its proud heritage. 

A complete list of Delaware Day events can be found at