Trenton dates back at least to June 3, 1719, when mention was made of a constable being appointed for Trenton while the area was still part of Hunterdon County. Boundaries were recorded for Trenton Township as of March 2, 1720. A courthouse and jail were constructed in Trenton around 1720, and the Freeholders of Hunterdon County met annually in Trenton.
Abraham Hunt was appointed in 1764 as Trenton's first Postmaster. On November 25, 1790, Trenton became New Jersey's capital, and by November 13, 1792, the City of Trenton was formed within Trenton Township. Trenton Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1798. On February 22, 1834, portions of Trenton Township were taken to form Ewing Township. The remaining portion of Trenton Township was absorbed by the city on April 10, 1837. A series of annexations took place over a 50-year period with the city absorbing South Trenton (April 14, 1851), portions of Nottingham Township (April 14, 1856), Chambersburg Township and Millham Township (both on March 30, 1888), and Wilbur (February 28, 1898). Portions of Ewing Township and Hamilton Township were annexed to Trenton on March 23, 1900.
The earliest known inhabitants of the area that is today Trenton were the LenapeNative Americans. The first European settlement in what would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworth, Sheffield, England. Quakers were being persecuted in England at this time, and North America provided an opportunity to exercise their religious freedom.
By 1719, the town adopted the name "Trent-towne", after William Trent, one of its leading landholders who purchased much of the surrounding land from Stacy's family. This name was later shortened to "Trenton".
Throughout the 19th century, Trenton grew steadily, as European immigrants came to work in its pottery and wire rope mills. In 1837, with the population now too large for government by council, a new mayoral government was adopted, with by-laws that remain in operation to this day.
The Trenton Six were a group of black men arrested for the alleged murder of an elderly white shopkeeper in January 1948 with a soda bottle. They were arrested without warrants, denied lawyers and sentenced to death based on what were described as coerced confessions. With the involvement of the Communist Party and the NAACP, there were several appeals, resulting in a total of four trials. Eventually the accused men (with the exception of one who died in prison) were released. The incident was the subject of the book Jersey Justice: The Story of the Trenton Six, written by Cathy Knepper.
Riots of 1968
The Trenton Riots of 1968 were a major civil disturbance that took place during the week following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on April 4. Race riots broke out nationwide following the murder of the civil rights activist. More than 200 Trenton businesses, mostly in Downtown, were ransacked and burned. More than 300 people, most of them young black men, were arrested on charges ranging from assault and arson to looting and violating the mayor's emergency curfew. In addition to 16 injured policemen, 15 firefighters were treated at city hospitals for injuries suffered while fighting raging blazes or inflicted by rioters. Area residents pulled false alarms and would then throw bricks at firefighters responding to the alarm boxes. This experience, along with similar experiences in other major cities, effectively ended the use of open-cab fire engines. As an interim measure, the Trenton Fire Department fabricated temporary cab enclosures from steel deck plating until new equipment could be obtained. The losses incurred by downtown businesses were initially estimated by the city to be $7 million, but the total of insurance claims and settlements came to $2.5 million.
Trenton's Battle Monument neighborhood was hardest hit. Since the 1950s, North Trenton had witnessed a steady exodus of middle-class residents, and the riots spelled the end for North Trenton. By the 1970s, the region had become one of the most blighted and crime-ridden in the city.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.21 square miles (21.25 km2), including 7.58 square miles (19.63 km2) of land and 0.63 square miles (1.62 km2) of water (7.62%).
However, Mercer County constitutes its own metropolitan statistical area, the Trenton-Princeton MSA. Locals consider Trenton to be a part of an ambiguous area known as Central Jersey, and thus part of neither region. They are generally split as to whether they are within New York or Philadelphia's sphere of influence. While it is geographically closer to Philadelphia, many people who have recently moved to the area commute to New York City, and have moved there to escape the New York region's high housing costs.
Trenton is home to numerous neighborhoods and sub-neighborhoods. The main neighborhoods are taken from the four cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West). Trenton was once home to large Italian, Hungarian, and Jewish communities, but, since the 1950s, demographic shifts have changed the city into a relatively segregated urban enclave of middle and lower income African Americans and newer immigrants, many of whom arrive from Latin America. Italians are scattered throughout the city, but a distinct Italian community is centered in the Chambersburg neighborhood, in South Trenton. This community has been in decline since the 1970s, largely due to economic and social shifts to the suburbs surrounding the city. Today Chambersburg has a large Latino community. Many of the Latino immigrants are from Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. There is also a significant and growing Asian community in the Chambersburg neighborhood primarily made up of Burmese and Bhutanese/Nepali refugees.
The North Ward, once a mecca for the city's middle class, is now one of the most economically distressed, torn apart by race riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Nonetheless, the area still retains many important architectural and historic sites. North Trenton still has a large Polish-American neighborhood that borders Lawrence Township, many of whom attend St. Hedwig's Roman Catholic Church on Brunswick Avenue. St. Hedwig's church was built in 1904 by Polish immigrants, many of whose families still attend the church. North Trenton is also home to the historic Shiloh Baptist Church—one of the largest houses of worship in Trenton and the oldest African American church in the city, founded in 1888. The church is currently pastored by Rev. Darrell L. Armstrong, who carried the Olympic torch in 2002 for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Also located just at the southern tip of North Trenton is the city's Battle Monument, also known as "Five Points". It is a 150 ft (46 m) structure that marks the spot where George Washington's Continental Army launched the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War. It faces downtown Trenton and is a symbol of the city's historic past.
South Ward is a diverse neighborhood, home to many Latin American, Italian-American, and African American residents.
East Ward is the smallest neighborhood in Trenton and is home to the Trenton Transit Center and Trenton Central High School. The Chambersburg neighborhood is within the East Ward and was once noted in the region as a destination for its many Italian restaurants and pizzerias. With changing demographics, many of these businesses have either closed or relocated to suburban locations. West Ward is the home of Trenton's more suburban neighborhoods.
Summers are hot and humid, with a July daily average of 76.3 °F (24.6 °C); temperatures reaching or exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) occur on 21.8 days. Episodes of extreme heat and humidity can occur with heat index values reaching 100 °F (38 °C). Extremes in air temperature have ranged from −14 °F (−26 °C) on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) as recently as July 22, 2011. However, air temperatures reaching 0 °F (−18 °C) or 100 °F (38 °C) are uncommon.
Winters are cold and damp: the daily average temperature in January is 32.0 °F (0.0 °C), and temperatures at or below 10 °F (−12 °C) occur on 3.9 nights annually, while there are 17 days where the temperature fails to rise above freezing. Episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values below 0 °F (−18 °C), every few years. The plant hardiness zone at the Trenton Municipal Court is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 1.2 °F (−17.1 °C).
The average precipitation is 45.47 inches (115 cm) per year, which is fairly evenly distributed through the year. The driest month on average is February, with 2.63 in (67 mm) of precipitation on average, while the wettest month is July with 4.39 in (11 cm) of rainfall on average which corresponds with the annual peak in thunderstorm activity. The all-time single-day rainfall record is 7.25 in (18.4 cm) on September 16, 1999, during the passage of Hurricane Floyd. The all-time monthly rainfall record is 14.55 in (37.0 cm) in August 1955, due to the passage of Hurricane Connie and Hurricane Diane. The wettest year on record was 1996, when 67.90 in (172 cm) of precipitation fell. On the flip side, the driest month on record was October 1963, when only 0.05 in (0.1 cm) of rain was recorded. The 28.79 in (73 cm) of precipitation recorded in 1957 were the lowest ever for the city.
Snowfall can vary even more year to year. The average seasonal (November–April) snowfall total is 24 to 30 inches (61 to 76 cm), but has ranged from as low as 2 in (5.1 cm) in the winter of 1918–1919 to as high as 76.5 in (194.3 cm) in 1995–1996, which included the greatest single-storm snowfall, the Blizzard of January 7–8, 1996, when 24.2 inches (61.5 cm) of snow fell. The average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.
Trenton, New Jersey – Racial and Ethnic Composition (NH = Non-Hispanic) Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Of the 28,578 households, 32.0% had children under the age of 18; 25.1% were married couples living together; 28.1% had a female householder with no husband present and 37.9% were non-families. Of all households, 30.8% were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.40.
25.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.6 years. For every 100 females, the population had 106.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 107.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $36,601 (with a margin of error of +/− $1,485) and the median family income was $41,491 (+/− $2,778). Males had a median income of $29,884 (+/− $1,715) versus $31,319 (+/− $2,398) for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,400 (+/− $571). About 22.4% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.3% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.
Trenton was a major manufacturing center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One relic of that era is the slogan "Trenton Makes, The World Takes", which is displayed on the Lower Free Bridge (just north of the Trenton–Morrisville Toll Bridge). The city adopted the slogan in 1917 to represent Trenton's then-leading role as a major manufacturing center for rubber, wire rope, ceramics and cigars. It was home to American Standards largest fixture factory.
Along with many other United States cities in the 1970s, Trenton fell on hard times when manufacturing and industrial jobs declined. Concurrently, state government agencies began leasing office space in the surrounding suburbs. State government leaders (particularly governors William Cahill and Brendan Byrne) attempted to revitalize the downtown area by making it the center of state government. Between 1982 and 1992, more than a dozen office buildings were constructed primarily by the state to house state offices. Today, Trenton's biggest employer is still the state of New Jersey. Each weekday, 20,000 state workers flood into the city from the surrounding suburbs.
Portions of Trenton are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. The city was selected in 1983 as one of the initial group of 10 zones chosen to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in January 1986, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in December 2023.
The UEZ program in Trenton and four other original UEZ cities had been allowed to lapse as of January 1, 2017, after Governor Chris Christie, who called the program an "abject failure", vetoed a compromise bill that would have extended the status for two years. In May 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law that reinstated the program in these five cities and extended the expiration date in other zones.
In 2018, the city had an average property tax bill of $3,274, the lowest in the county, compared to an average bill of $8,292 in Mercer County and $8,767 statewide. The city had the sixth-highest property tax rate in New Jersey, with an equalized rate of 5.264% in 2020, compared to 2.760% in the county as a whole and a statewide average of 2.279%.
Trenton has long been part of the Philadelphia television market. After the 2000 United States census, Trenton was shifted from the Philadelphia metropolitan statistical area to the New York metropolitan statistical area. With a similar shift by the New Haven, Connecticut, area to the New York area, they were the first two cases where metropolitan statistical areas differed from their defined Nielsen television markets.
Trenton was the site of the studios of the former public television station New Jersey Network.
Trenton War Memorial – Completed in 1932 as a memorial to the war dead from Mercer County during World War I and owned and operated by the State of New Jersey, the building is home to a theater with 1,800 seats that reopened in 1999 after an extensive, five-year-long renovation project.
Old Barracks – Dating back to 1758 and the French and Indian War, the Barracks were constructed as a place to house British troops in lieu of housing the soldiers in the homes of area residents. The site was used by both the Continental Army and British forces during the Revolutionary War and stands as the last remaining colonial barracks in the state.
Trenton Battle Monument – Located in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood, the monument was built to commemorate the Continental Army's victory in the December 26, 1776, Battle of Trenton. The monument was designed by John H. Duncan and features a statue of George Washington atop a pedestal that stands on a granite column 148 feet (45 m) in height.
Trenton City Hall – The building was constructed based on a 1907 design by architect Spencer Roberts and opened to the public in 1910. The council chambers stand two stories high and features a mural by Everett Shinn that highlights Trenton's industrial history.
Because of Trenton's near-equal distance to both New York City and Philadelphia, and because most homes in Mercer County receive network broadcasts from both cities, locals are sharply divided in fan loyalty between both cities. It is common to find Philadelphia's Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, Union and Flyers fans cheering (and arguing) right alongside fans of New York's Yankees, Mets, Nets, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Jets, Red Bulls and Giants or the New Jersey Devils.
Trenton is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government, one of 79 municipalities (of the 564) statewide that use this form of government. The governing body is comprised of a mayor and a seven-member city council. Three city council members are elected at-large, and four come from each of four wards. The mayor and council members are elected concurrently on a non-partisan basis to four-year terms of office as part of the November general election.
In October 2020, the city council overrode a mayoral veto and shifted municipal elections from May to November, with proponents citing the increased turnout and savings to the city of $180,000 in each election cycle. The mayor and members of council all had their term-end dates extended by six months and moved to December 31 from June 30, 2022. The city retained a runoff provision that would have a December runoff in the event that the candidate with the highest number of votes does not obtain a majority.
As of 2023[update], the mayor of Trenton is Reed Gusciora, whose term of office ends December 31, 2026; before taking office as mayor, Gusciora had served in the New Jersey General Assembly. Members of the city council are Jasi Edwards (at-large), Crystal Feliciano (at-large), Teska Frisby (West Ward), Yazminelly Gonzalez (at-large), Joseph A. Harrison (East Ward), Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg (South Ward) and Jennifer Williams (North Ward).
As they had not exceeded the minimum of 50 percent in the November 2022 general election, a run-off was held in December for the seats in the North and South Wards. Jennifer Williams won the North seat by a single vote against Algernon Ward, which made Williams the first transgender individual to be elected to a city council position in New Jersey history as well as being the first LGBTQ+ city council member in Trenton history. Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg won the South ward seat, defeating Damian G. Malave who had been ahead on Election Day but short of the cutoff, while a January 2023 runoff had Jasi Edwards, Crystal Feliciano and Yazminelly Gonzalez winning the three at-large seats.
In February 2023, Judge William Anklowitz of the New Jersey Superior Court heard a case for election challenges in the North Ward runoff election for both candidates Algernon Ward and Jennifer Williams. Three of the ballots Ward contested were all rejected because they were mail-in ballots that were returned without the required inner envelope. The other rejection Ward challenged was a case involving a cure letter that a voter sent to the wrong place, leading to it being not counted. Williams contested one ballot that was not counted due to it having both a vote for Ward and for Williams. Judge Anklowitz determined that the slash through Ward's vote signaled the voter's intention to vote for Williams and thus determined the vote should have been counted. These election challenges were heard following a recount that was held that did not change the outcome of the vote. Jennifer Williams thus remained to hold her seat on Trenton City Council for the North Ward seat.
In February 2022, the city council appointed Sonya Wilkins to fill the at-large seat expiring in December 2022 that had been held by Jerell A. Blakeley until he resigned from office the previous month to take a job outside the state.
Mayor's conviction and removal from office
On February 7, 2014, Tony F. Mack and his brother, Raphiel, were convicted by a federal jury of bribery, fraud and extortion, based on the details of their participation in a scheme to take money in exchange for helping get approvals to develop a downtown parking garage as part of a sting operation by law enforcement. Days after the conviction, the office of the New Jersey Attorney General filed motions to have Mack removed from office, as state law requires the removal of elected officials after convictions for corruption. Initially, Mack fought the removal of him from the office but on February 26, a superior court judge ordered his removal and any actions taken by Mack between February 7 and the 26th could have been reversed by Muschal. Previously, Mack's housing director quit after it was learned he had a theft conviction. His chief of staff was arrested trying to buy heroin. His half-brother, whose authority he elevated at the city water plant, was arrested on charges of stealing. His law director resigned after arguing with Mack over complying with open-records laws and potential violations of laws prohibiting city contracts to big campaign donors.
From February 7 to July 1, 2014, the acting mayor was George Muschal who retroactively assumed the office on that date due to Mack's felony conviction, who had taken office on July 1, 2010. Muschal, who was council president, was selected by the city council to serve as the interim mayor to finish the term.
Federal, state, and county representation
Trenton is located in the 12th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 15th state legislative district.
Mercer County is governed by a County Executive who oversees the day-to-day operations of the county and by a seven-member Board of County Commissioners that acts in a legislative capacity, setting policy. All officials are chosen at-large in partisan elections, with the executive serving a four-year term of office while the freeholders serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. As of 2023[update], the County Executive is Brian M. Hughes (D, Princeton, term of office ends December 31, 2023). Mercer County's Commissioners are
Commissioner Chair Lucylle R. S. Walter (D, Ewing Township, term as commissioner and as chair ends December 31, 2023),
Vice Chair John A. Cimino (D, Hamilton Township, term as commissioner and as vice chair ends 2023),
Samuel T. Frisby Sr. (D, Trenton, 2024),
Cathleen M. Lewis (D, Lawrence Township, 2025),
Kristin L. McLaughlin (D, Hopewell Township, 2024),
Nina D. Melker (D, Hamilton Township, 2025) and
Terrance Stokes (D, Ewing Township, 2024).
Mercer County's constitutional officers are
County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello (D, Lawrence Township, 2025),
Sheriff John A. Kemler (D, 2023) and
Surrogate Diane Gerofsky (D, 2026).
As of March 2011, there were a total of 37,407 registered voters in Trenton, of which 16,819 (45.0%) were registered as Democrats, 1,328 (3.6%) were registered as Republicans and 19,248 (51.5%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 12 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 93.4% of the vote (23,125 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 6.2% (1,528 votes), and other candidates with 0.4% (97 votes), among the 27,831 ballots cast by the city's 40,362 registered voters (3,081 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 69.0%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 89.9% of the vote here (23,577 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 8.2% (2,157 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (141 votes), among the 26,229 ballots cast by the city's 41,005 registered voters, for a turnout of 64.0%.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 74.7% of the vote (9,179 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 24.7% (3,035 votes), and other candidates with 0.6% (77 votes), among the 11,884 ballots cast by the city's 38,452 registered voters (407 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 30.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 81.6% of the vote here (10,235 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 12.4% (1,560 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 2.4% (305 votes) and other candidates with 1.1% (135 votes), among the 12,537 ballots cast by the city's 38,345 registered voters, yielding a 32.7% turnout.
The city of Trenton is protected on a full-time basis by the city of Trenton Fire and Emergency Services Department (TFD), which has been a paid department since 1892 after having been originally established in 1747 as a volunteer fire department. The TFD operates out of seven fire stations and operates a fire apparatus fleet of 7 engine companies, 3 ladder companies and one rescue company, along with one HAZMAT unit, an air cascade unit, a mobile command unit, a foam unit, one fireboat, and numerous special, support and reserve units, under the command of two battalion chiefs and a deputy chief/tour commander each shift.
The Trenton Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide that were established pursuant to the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. The district's board of education, comprised of seven members, sets policy and oversees the fiscal and educational operation of the district through its superintendent administration. As a Type I school district, the board's trustees are appointed by the mayor to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats up for re-appointment each year. The board appoints a superintendent to oversee the district's day-to-day operations and a business administrator to supervise the business functions of the district. The school district has undergone a 'construction' renaissance throughout the district.
As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 20 schools, had an enrollment of 14,500 students and 884.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.4:1. Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are
Columbus Elementary School (371 students; in grades K–5),
Franklin Elementary School (405; K–5),
Grant Elementary School (571; Pre-K–5),
Gregory Elementary School (567; K–5),
Harrison Elementary School (221; Pre-K–5),
P.J. Hill Elementary School (800; Pre-K–5),
Jefferson Elementary School (434; K–5),
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School (775; K–5),
Mott Elementary School (426; K–5),
Parker Elementary School (531; K–5),
Robbins Elementary School (541; K–5),
Washington Elementary School (409; K–5),
Wilson Elementary School (498; Pre-K–5),
Grace A. Dunn Middle School (893; 6–8),
Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School (674; 6–8),
Joyce Kilmer Middle School (370; 6–8),
Luis Munoz Rivera Middle School (483; 6–8),
Trenton Ninth Grade Academy (707; 9),
Daylight/Twilight Alternative High School (443; 9–12) and
Trenton Central High School (1,818; 9–12).
Eighth-grade students from all of Mercer County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Mercer County Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at its Health Sciences Academy, STEM Academy and Academy of Culinary Arts, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.
The International Academy of Trenton, owned and monitored by the SABIS school network, became a charter school in 2014. On February 22, 2017, Trenton's mayor, Eric Jackson, visited the school when it opened its doors in the former Trenton Times building on 500 Perry Street, after completion of a $17 million renovation project. After receiving notice from the New Jersey Department of Education that the school's charter would not be renewed due to issues with academic performance and school management, the school closed its doors on June 30, 2018.
Trenton is home to Al-Bayaan Academy, which opened for preschool students in September 2001 and added grades in subsequent years.
Trenton Community Music School is a not-for-profit community school of the arts. The school was founded by executive director Marcia Wood in 1997. The school operates at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church (on Tuesdays) and the Copeland Center for the Performing Arts (on Saturdays).
In 2005, there were 31 homicides in Trenton, which at that time was the largest number in a single year in the city's history. The city was named the 4th "Most Dangerous" in 2005 out of 129 cities with a population of 75,000 to 99,999 ranked nationwide in the 12th annual Morgan Quitno survey. In the 2006 survey, Trenton was ranked as the 14th most dangerous city overall out of 371 cities included nationwide in the Morgan Quitno survey, and was again named as the fourth most dangerous municipality of 126 cities in the 75,000–99,999 population range.
In September 2011, the city laid off 108 police officers due to budget cuts; this constituted almost one-third of the Trenton Police Department and required 30 senior officers to be sent out on patrols in lieu of supervisory duties.
In 2013, the city set a new record with 37 homicides. In 2014, there were 23 murders through the end of July and the city's homicide rate was on track to break the record set the previous year until an 81-day period when there were no murders in Trenton; the city ended the year with 34 murders. In 2020, the city surpassed the 2013 homicide number with a record 40 homicides.
New Jersey State Prison
The New Jersey State Prison (formerly Trenton State Prison) has two maximum security units. It houses some of the state's most dangerous individuals, which included New Jersey's death row population until the state banned capital punishment in 2007.
The following is inscribed over the original entrance to the prison:
Labor, Silence, Penitence.
The Penitentiary House,
Erected By Legislative
Richard Howell, Governor.
In The XXII Year Of
That Those Who Are Feared
For Their Crimes
May Learn To Fear The Laws
And Be Useful
Hic Labor, Hic Opus.
Several highways pass through the city. Theseinclude the Trenton Freeway (part of U.S. Route 1) and the John Fitch Parkway, which is part of Route 29. Canal Boulevard, more commonly known as Route 129, connects U.S. Route 1 and Route 29 in South Trenton.U.S. Route 206,Route 31 and Route 33 also pass through the city via regular city streets (Broad Street/Brunswick Avenue/Princeton Avenue, Pennington Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue, respectively).
The Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association offers service on the Route 130 Connection between the Trenton Transit Center and the South Brunswick warehouse district with stops along the route including Hamilton train station, Hamilton Marketplace, Hightstown and East Windsor Town Center Plaza.
Trenton is served by two daily newspapers, The Times and The Trentonian, and a monthly advertising magazine, "The City" Trenton N.E.W.S.. Radio station WKXW and Top 40 WPST are also licensed to Trenton. Defunct periodicals include the Trenton True American. A local television station, WPHY-CD TV-25, serves the Trenton area.
Trenton is officially part of the Philadelphia television market but some local pay TV operators also carry stations serving the New York City market. While it is its own radio market, many Philadelphia and New York stations are easily receivable.
^Kuperinsky, Amy. "'The Jewel of the Meadowlands'?: N.J.'s best, worst and weirdest town slogans", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 22, 2015. Accessed July 12, 2016. "Trenton. There are scant few unfamiliar with the huge neon sign installed in 1935 that sits on the Lower Trenton Bridge, declaring 'Trenton Makes, The World Takes.' Lumber company owner S. Roy Heath came up with the slogan, originally 'The World Takes, Trenton Makes,' for a chamber of commerce contest in 1910."
^Krystal, Becky. "Trenton, N.J.: One for the history buffs", The Washington Post, February 10, 2011. Accessed January 10, 2012. "Back in the early 18th century, at least, the area was remote enough for Trent, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, to build his summer home there near the banks of the Delaware River. And though it's dwarfed by its modern-day neighbors, at the time the home reflected its owner's 'ostentatious nature,' Nedoresow said. Further stroking his ego, he named the settlement he laid out 'Trent-towne,' which eventually evolved into the current moniker."
^Messler, Mary J. "Chapter IV: Some Notable Events of Post-Revolutionary Times" from A History of Trenton: 1679–1929, Trenton Historical Society. Accessed May 5, 2016. "The question now resolved itself into a quarrel between the North and the South. New England favored Trenton, whereas the Southern States felt that in the selection of any site north of Mason and Dixon's line their claims for recognition were being slighted, and their interests sacrificed to New England's commercialism."
^Schlegel, Sharon. "Harrowing case of the 'Trenton Six'", The Times, January 28, 2012. Accessed June 4, 2018. "The recently published story of the 'Trenton Six,' dramatically told in Cathy Knepper's newest book, Jersey Justice: The Story of the Trenton Six, is so filled with proven instances of injustice that it is almost hard to believe.... Reading how the men were arrested randomly and haphazardly (despite a partial witness claiming they were not the perpetrators) is horrifying. Equally upsetting is that they were held incommunicado for days without warrants, abused and drugged into confessing."
^Listokin, David; and Listokin, Barbara. Barriers to the Rehabilitation of Afordable Housing Volume II Case Studies, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, May 2001. Accessed December 1, 2019. "Socioeconomic and housing challenges are especially severe in some of Trenton’s oldest neighborhoods. In the Old Trenton area, abandonment went unchecked for decades, and when abandoned houses were demolished by the city, the empty lots remaining would fill with garbage and vermin. Another hard-hit location was the 'Battle Monument' area: 'Time has not been kind to the Battle Monument section of this city. The five-block area, the hub of the Battle of Trenton in 1775 and of transportation in the 1950s, has in the last four decades suffered from abandonment and neglect.'"
^Lower Trenton Toll-Supported Bridge, Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. Accessed December 1, 2019. "The Lower Trenton Toll-Supported Bridge, also known as the 'Trenton Makes The World Takes Bridge,' connects Warren Street in Trenton, N.J. with East Bridge Street in Morrisville, Pa. -- one of three bridges connecting the two communities.... The current 1,022-foot bridge is a five-span Warren Truss built in 1928."
^Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge, Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. Accessed December 1, 2019. "The Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge is the oldest bridge structure owned and operated by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission. It turned 125 years old on October 20, 2009.... Of the 20 bridges in the DRJTBC system, the Calhoun Street Toll-Supported Bridge is the only one made of wrought iron. A Phoenix Pratt truss with a total length of 1,274 feet, it also holds the distinction as the Commission’s longest through-truss bridge and the Commission’s only seven-span truss bridge."
^Di Ionno, Mark. "Chambersburg", The Star-Ledger, July 17, 2007. Accessed March 16, 2012. "The difference between Chambersburg, the traditional Italian section of Trenton, and other city neighborhoods that have undergone 'natural progression' is that Chambersburg hung on so long."
^City of Trenton, New Jersey Natural Hazard Mitigation PlanArchived January 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, City of Trenton, adopted June 19, 2008. Accessed June 12, 2018. "The average snowfall is 24.9 inches, but has ranged from as low as 2 inches (in the winter of 1918–1919) to as high as 76.5 inches (in 1995–1996). The heaviest snowstorm on record was the Blizzard of 1996 on January 7–8, 1996, when 24.2 inches buried the city."
^Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, pp. 276–7. J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed July 15, 2013. "Trenton the capitol of the State, as well as the seat of justice of the county of Mercer, is beautifully located on the east bank of the Delaware, at the head of tide navigation. Here is located the State Capitol, built in 1793, enlarged in 1845 and 1865, and again in 1871. The State Prison, State Arsenal, State Normal and Model schools are also located here. The city has 7 wards. Its population in 1850, was 6,461; in 1860, 17,228; and in 1870, 22,874"
^Bruder, Jessica. "Jerseyana; Trenton's Fighting Words", The New York Times, May 2, 2004. Accessed March 16, 2012. "Trenton Makes, the World Takes, reads the famous red neon sign that spans a bridge between the state Capitol and Morrisville, Pa., affectionately known by locals as the Trenton Makes bridge.... In its heyday, Trenton was a world-class producer of rubber, steel, wire rope, and pottery. The cables for three famous suspension bridges – the Brooklyn, George Washington and Golden Gate – were produced here at John A. Roebling's factory."
^Raboteau, Albert. "Diversifying city's economy a major goal for Trenton", The Times, January 30, 2003. Accessed October 28, 2014. "Another large goal is to lure private companies whose employees, officials say, are likely to work later in the evening and have more money to spend than the 20,000 or so state workers who swell downtown during business hours, then commute home to other municipalities."
^History, Italian Peoples Bakery. Accessed May 13, 2016. "The origin of Italian Peoples Bakery goes back to 1936 when Pasquale Gervasio, the patriarch of the family, opened a bakery on Hamilton Avenue in Trenton, New Jersey."
^Racioppi, Dustin. "Christie vetoes urban enterprise zone extension", The record, February 10, 2017. Accessed November 19, 2019. "Gov. Chris Christie on Friday conditionally vetoed the Legislature's attempt to extend the Urban Enterprise Zone status for its five charter communities, calling the economic revitalization program an 'abject failure' with a 'devastating impact' on state revenue.... The Legislature returned with what it called a compromise bill, A-4189, to extend the designation for two years instead of 10 for the first five UEZs -- Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield and Trenton -- which expired on Jan. 1."
^"Here are the 30 N.J. towns with the highest property tax rates", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 15, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2022. "The average equalized tax rate in New Jersey was 2.279 in 2020, according to data from the Department of Community Affairs. Here is the list of 30 New Jersey towns with the highest property tax rates.... 6. Trenton Equalized tax rate in Trenton, Mercer County, was 5.264 in 2020 Average equalized tax rate in Mercer County: 2.760"
^Welcome to the Trenton City Museum, Trenton City Museum. Accessed December 1, 2019. "The museum is located in Ellarslie Mansion, an Italianate villa built in 1848. The mansion is the centerpiece of Cadwalader Park, which was designed by the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, whose most famous work is New York City’s Central Park."
^About the Building, Old Barracks Museum. Accessed December 1, 2019. "In 1758, during the French and Indian War, the building now referred to as the Old Barracks was constructed by the colony of New Jersey in direct response to petitions from residents who were protesting compulsory quartering of soldiers in their own homes. It was one of five such buildings throughout New Jersey constructed for the purpose of housing British soldiers during the winter months of the war, and it is the only one still standing."
^About the 1719 Trent House, William Trent House. Accessed December 1, 2019. "William Trent built his country estate north of Philadelphia, in New Jersey, at the Falls of the Delaware River about 1719.... In 1720 Trent laid out a settlement, which he incorporated and named 'Trenton.'"
^Trenton Society of Friends Meeting House, Destination Trenton. Accessed May 13, 2016. "In the burying-ground adjoining the Meeting House are buried many citizens who played prominent parts in the early history of the city."
^Huneke, Bill. "Trenton Speedway lives on at Pocono", The Times, July 6, 2013. Accessed October 12, 2015. "As Indy Car racing returns to Pocono this weekend after a 24-year absence, only a few of the drivers competing were even alive when Trenton's last event was run in 1979."
^History of State FairgroundsArchived February 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Grounds for Sculpture. Accessed March 16, 2012. As horses were replaced by automobiles for transportation, cars became the main attraction on the fairground's racetrack. 'Lucky' Teter and his Hell Drivers made the headlines in the 1930s; in the sixties it was midget car races and a 200-mile race for Indianapolis cars and drivers."
^McGeehan, Patrick. "Private Sector; A Wall St. Son at Nasdaq's Table ", The New York Times, December 17, 2000. Accessed January 5, 2015. "Mr. Plumeri, who owns a minor league team affiliated with the Red Sox, the Trenton Thunder, has even drawn Mr. Simmons to the team's stadium, Samuel J. Plumeri Field, to watch his beloved team play exhibition games."
^Arm & Hammer Park Trenton, New Jersey, Ball Parks of the Minor Leagues. Accessed January 5, 2015. "The playing field was named in 1999 in honor of Samuel Plumeri Sr., one of the driving forces in bring baseball back to New Jersey's state capital."
^Foster, David. "Sacked: Trenton Freedom indoor football team folds", The Trentonian, August 26, 2015. Accessed October 12, 2015. "The Trenton Freedom is the latest professional sports team to shutter operations in the capital city, following the same doomed path of several other organizations at the Sun National Bank Center.... The Trenton Freedom, a member of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL), became the third indoor football team to fail at the Sun National Bank Center, lasting one year longer than the previous two. The Trenton Steel called the 8,000-seat arena home for six games in 2011. A decade earlier, the Trenton Lightning lasted just one season."
^Cadwalader ParkArchived October 20, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, Trenton City Museum. Accessed December 1, 2019. "Cadwalader Park is the largest urban park in the City of Trenton (109.5 acres). It is crossed by the Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal State Park.... Discussions among Hill and other Trenton civic leaders led to the engagement of Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm to design a park in 1890."
^City Council Overview, Trenton, New Jersey. Accessed December 1, 2019. "The City of Trenton is governed within the Faulkner Act, formerly known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law. Under this act, the Mayor-Council system was developed in 1792."
^Avilucea, Issac. "Trenton council overrides mayor’s Election Day veto", The Trentonian, October 1, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2022. "Council had the last say in this one. The governing body overrode Mayor Reed Gusciora’s veto of an ordinance that moves the municipal election from May to November. The change also moves runoffs to December rather than June and gives the mayor and council members another six months in office.... Vaughn suggested the city would see increased voter turnout and savings as much as $181,000 by aligning Trenton with other municipalities in Mercer County that conduct elections with the general election."
^Office of the Mayor, Trenton, New Jersey. Accessed May 3, 2022. "Reed Gusciora (born March 27, 1960) was sworn in as the 48th mayor of the City of Trenton on July 1st, 2018. Prior to becoming Mayor, he served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 1996, representing the 15th Legislative District, which includes portions of Mercer and Hunterdon Counties."
^Difilippo, Dana. "Transgender councilwoman takes office in Trenton", New Jersey Monitor, January 6, 2023. Accessed February 13, 2023. "From Florida’s notorious 'don’t say gay' law to bathroom bans to the controversy over new sex ed standards in New Jersey schools, Jennifer Williams has felt a mounting alarm at policies and proselytism that demonize the transgender community.... Sunday, Williams made history when she was sworn in as the Trenton City Council’s first LGBTQ member — and the first transgender person elected to any municipal council statewide."
^Fox, Joey. "Edwards, Feliciano, Gonzalez overwhelmingly win Trenton at-large council runoff", New Jersey Globe, January 24, 2023. Accessed February 2, 2023. "Jasi Edwards, Crystal Feliciano, and Yazminelly Gonzalez have easily won three at-large seats on the Trenton City Council, defeating three other candidates in the runoff for an election that initially came before voters more than two months ago.... By the time a judge ordered a runoff to be held after all, it was too late to hold it alongside two ward-based runoffs, which were scheduled for December 13. Instead, the election was set for today – a full 77 days after voters first cast ballots in the at-large race. In the meantime, North and South Ward runoff voters narrowly elected Jennifer Williams and Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg, bringing the council to a bare four-member quorum before the reorganization of government on January 1."
^"NJ calls for convicted Trenton mayor Tony Mack to be removed"Archived February 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, WPVI-TV, February 10, 2014. Accessed February 12, 2014. "The state Attorney General's Office filed a request Monday with a state Superior Court judge, asking that Tony Mack be kicked out of office, stripped of his pension and be barred from holding elected office again.... Under state law, people convicted of corruption cannot continue to hold public office. But since Mack has not resigned, the state is asking a judge to enforce the law."
^Biography, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Watson Coleman and her husband William reside in Ewing Township and are blessed to have three sons; William, Troy, and Jared and three grandchildren; William, Kamryn and Ashanee."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^Government, Mercer County. Accessed March 1, 2023. "Mercer County is governed by an elected County Executive and a seven-member Freeholder Board."
^Meet the County Executive, Mercer County. Accessed March 1, 2023. "Brian M. Hughes continues to build upon a family legacy of public service as the fourth person to serve as Mercer County Executive. The voters have reaffirmed their support for Brian's leadership by re-electing him three times since they first placed him in office in November 2003."
^Fire Department, City of Trenton. Accessed March 15, 2020. "The Trenton Fire Department traces its roots back to a blacksmith shop at Broad and Front Streets where, on February 7, 1747, a group of volunteers formed the Union Fire Company. The volunteers served the city well for the next 145 years until, on April 4, 1892, the paid department was established."
^Historic Rider, Rider University. Accessed February 12, 2014. "Gradually growing in size and scope through the first half of the 20th century, Rider began its move to a more spacious, suburban campus in 1959, when the first offices and classes moved to a 280-acre tract of land on Route 206 in Lawrence Township, N.J."
^Trenton Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Trenton Public Schools. Accessed March 15, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve in the Trenton School District. Composition: The Trenton School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of the City of Trenton."
^What We Do: History, New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Accessed March 1, 2022. "In 1998, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in the Abbott v. Burke case that the State must provide 100 percent funding for all school renovation and construction projects in special-needs school districts. According to the Court, aging, unsafe and overcrowded buildings prevented children from receiving the "thorough and efficient" education required under the New Jersey Constitution.... Full funding for approved projects was authorized for the 31 special-needs districts, known as 'Abbott Districts'."
^Heyboer, Kelly. "How to get your kid a seat in one of N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, May 2017. Accessed November 18, 2019. "Mercer County has a stand-alone specialized high school for top students: a Health Sciences Academy at the district's Assunpink Center campus. The district also offers a STEM Academy at Mercer County Community College. How to apply: Students can apply online in the fall of their 8th grade year."
^Kull, Helen. "Ewing Then and Now: The first school for the deaf in N.J.", Community News, February 27, 2017, updated January 11, 2022. Accessed January 19, 2022. "By 1882, an act of the legislature founded the N.J. State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. The school was housed in a two-story, brick building at Chestnut and Hamilton avenues in Trenton, which had formerly been the Soldiers’ Children’s Home of N.J., housing orphans of Civil War soldiers."
^Foster, David. "Trenton charter school officially announces closure as 9th Grade Academy readies move-in", The Trentonian, June 1, 2018. Accessed July 11, 2018. "In a statement sent to The Trentonian on Friday, International Academy of Trenton (IAT) Charter School Board President Larry Chenault 'regretfully' accepted the doomed fate of the school, which spent $17 million to renovate the former Times of Trenton building into a state-of-the-art learning center.... IAT was informed in January by the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) that the school, which educated 650 students, would be losing its charter at the end of this month for poor student performance and classroom mismanagement."
^Zdan, Alex. "Trenton police layoff plan to go into effect today", The Times, September 16, 2011. Accessed January 10, 2012. "The 108 police officers slated to be terminated represent one-third of the force. Demotions affecting nearly 30 members will send current lieutenants and sergeants back to the street, depleting supervisor levels and the detective bureaus in an effort to keep patrols close to their current strength."
^McEvoy, James. "Authorities ID Trenton homicide victim, investigate separate shooting", The Times, October 19, 2014. Accessed May 16, 2016. "Sutphin's slaying was the first homicide in Trenton since July 30 when Tyshawn Goodman, 25, of Trenton, and George Jamison, 44, of Pennington, were shot to death in what police believed were separate robberies. The nearly three months of relative peace followed a bloody start in which the city saw 23 homicides in the first seven months of the year."
Core cities are metropolitan core cities of at least a million people. The other areas are urban areas of cities that have an urban area of 150,000+ or of a metropolitan area of at least 250,000+. Satellite cities are in italics.