(TRENTON) – New Jersey residents do not need to travel far to view historical sites, learn about diverse cultures, and glean information on history-making individuals. Instead, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Roy Freiman (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset), Carol Murphy (D-Burlington), and Eric Houghtaling (Monmouth) designed to familiarize residents with the plethora of history right here in the Garden State, cleared its first legislative hurdle Monday, advancing out of the Assembly Gaming, Tourism and the Arts Committee.
“Too often, our residents think they need to spend large amounts of money and time for historical excursions and trips,” said Freiman. “The purpose of this bill is to help them realize they can enjoy similarly enriching experiences without leaving their home state of New Jersey.”
To help residents become more aware of the people, places and events that have contributed to New Jersey’s rich legacy, the bill (A-1146) calls for the Division of Travel and Tourism to identify a series of state historical sites and memorials to be included in the New Jersey Historical Markers Trail.
“Including these historical sites in the New Jersey Historical Markers Trail will help residents become more familiar with our State’s unique history,” said Murphy. “It would also increase state pride, attract tourists and preserve our historical resources.”
As part of the bill, the New Jersey Historical Markers Trail would highlight all eras and cultures, as well as geographical representation from the entire state. Another feature is an interactive website allowing the public to recommend sites and memorials for the trail.
“The diversity and history of New Jersey is vast,” said Houghtaling. “By creating a website, we can illuminate all of the historic sites and memorials that make up the framework of this State.”
The bill will now head to the Speaker for further consideration.