Delaware became the 1st state in 1787. The Delaware quarter features Caesar Rodney on horseback (signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of Delaware during most of the American Revolution), and the state nickname: "The First State" (public domain image on Wikipedia)
Official State Nickname of Delaware
Delaware designated The First State as the official state nickname May 23, 2002 following a request by Mrs. Anabelle O'Malley's first grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School. Delaware was the first of the 13 original states to ratify the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787. All State Nicknames
Other Nicknames for Delaware
Small Wonder: This nickname was given to Delaware due to its size, the contributions it has made to our country, and the beauty of Delaware.
The Diamond State: According to legend, Thomas Jefferson gave this nickname to Delaware - he described Delaware as a "jewel" among states due to its strategic location on the Eastern Seaboard.
CHAPTER 268, FORMERLY HOUSE BILL NO. 395
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE SYMBOLS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
WHEREAS, it is appropriate, dignified and historically accurate to reference Delaware's singular and important step in being the first state to ratify our United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the 127th General Assembly through Senate Joint Resolution No. 12, sponsored by the late Senator Allen J. Cook, instructed the Secretary of State to use the phrase "The First State" in describing our great State of Delaware when referring to her by other than her formal name; and
WHEREAS, the 141st General Assembly seeks to codify the foresight of the 127th General Assembly by giving the phrase "The First State" recognition as Delaware's official nickname;
NOW, THEREFORE:BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 3, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section to read:
"§318. The official nickname of the State is 'The First State'.".
Approved May 23, 2002