In the colonial era, Newark was a large town known for its ciders, tanned leather goods, and good beer. While most of New England embraced the new religious freedoms of the American Revolution, the town remained committed to the old ways. The city embraced evangelicalism and remained a loyal colonial town, despite the emergence of a significant Jewish community concentrated along Prince Street.
A recent exhibition at the Newark Museum chronicles the lives of four prominent citizens. Lida Clanton Broner, a wealthy woman who left Newark in 1938 to study in South Africa, donated some of her art to the museum and eventually it became the first exhibition of South African art in the country. Caroline Bamberger Fuld, a Jewish immigrant who opened Bamberger’s department store, is another prominent Newark resident.
The Mayor of Newark was the first African American to become mayor, and his first term was marked by political corruption. He was indicted on corruption and misconduct charges, but was acquitted. Today, Newark is home to over 300 types of businesses, including 1,800 retail and 540 wholesale establishments, and eight major banks and twelve savings and loan associations. The city has an estimated $20 billion in deposits, and is home to over 3,000 businesses.
The city is located in northern New Jersey. It is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area. Newark’s population is estimated to be 280,451, a 2.5% increase from 2000. Although Newark is the fourth largest city in the United States, it does not have the highest population density. It has several distinct neighborhoods, including the North and West Wards, as well as many diverse cultures. In addition, over half of its residents commute to NYC daily.
In the twentieth century, Newark grew to be an industrial center. Its population was eight hundred and seventeen by 1826, more than double its 1776 population. At the time, Newark was still a small village, but by 1826, it had become the city’s largest town. Its future was bright. This urban environment made it an excellent place to live. With so many opportunities, Newark continues to thrive today.
After the riots, the city had some great achievements. Its New Community Corporation, established in 1968, was one of the most successful community building organizations in the country. As of 1987, it owned two-thousand low-income housing units. Aside from these impressive accomplishments, Newark has a history of racial tension. It also had a history of economic decline, culminating in the riots of 1967.
In addition to its cultural offerings, Newark has many events throughout the year. In April, there is the Cherry Blossom Festival, and in June, there is the Portugal Day Festival. In the fall, the Endless Arts Festival in Newark inspires the creative minds and souls. In October, the African American Heritage Festival takes place in Weequahic Park, and features ethnic costumes and celebrity performers. Other events include the Newark PrideFest and the James Moody Jazz Festival.