On May 26, 1978, thousands of people flocked to the Boardwalk at North Carolina Avenue eagerly awaiting the opening of Atlantic City’s first legal casino. Here are 5 interesting facts you probably didn't know about Atlantic City.
Resorts International Was the First Casino Built in Atlantic City
In an effort to revive a city in decline, the first legal casino built outside of Nevada, Resorts International opened just off the boardwalk. The site of the casino was initially built where two Quaker boarding houses stood. The new casino opened its doors at 10:00AM on May 26, 1978. Initial gaming laws in New Jersey only allowed casinos to operate for 18 hours during the week and 20 hours during the weekends. When the casino opened, people stood in long lines to play the 893 slot machines and 84 game tables.
There Are 11,000 Pounds Of Salt Water Taffy Produced There Every Day No one’s quite sure who invented salt water taffy, but we know who made it famous. Joseph Fralinger, an Atlantic City native, took over a taffy stand on the boardwalk in 1884. By 1899, Fralinger’s taffy was a household name across America. Today, Fralinger’s, still located on the boardwalk, pulls and packages 11,000 lbs of the sticky treat every single day.
The Miss America Pageant Began There
Atlantic City was home to the first Miss America Pageant in 1920 in an effort to attract tourists to the boardwalk area. The event was scheduled to take place the weekend following Labor Day, to encourage summer visitors to stay in Atlantic City. There weren't many rules to the competition (yet) — in fact, winners were partially judged on applause. 16-year-old winner Margaret Gorman, from Washington, D.C., was crowned "Golden Mermaid" and took home a trophy along with $100. By 1923, over 300,000 people were flocking to the boardwalk to see the pageant.
Atlantic City Boasts America's First Boardwalk
A railroad conductor and a hotel owner put their heads together to come up with a solution that would keep beach sand out of the hotels. They petitioned the city council for $5,000 – half the city’s tax revenue – to build an 8-foot-wide, one-mile-long boardwalk from the beach to the town. Construction on Atlantic City’s world-famous Boardwalk began in 1870 and has since become an American icon. The boardwalk opened on June 26, 1870, and became the first boardwalk in the United States. It was originally built to be removable and was taken apart at the end of each season.
The City Inspired A Classic Board Game Based on the real-life streets of Atlantic City, Monopoly is one of the world's most popular board games. Atlantic City became the inspiration for game inventor Charles Darrow’s “Monopoly” game because of his fondness for childhood vacations spent in the beachside city. Although the board game was based on the real-life streets of Atlantic City, not all the streets still carry their Monopoly names, though. For instance, Illinois Avenue has been renamed for Martin Luther King, Jr.