[From author Joe Bilby]
January 5, 1779: Zebulon Pike was born at Lamberton (today’s Lamington), the son of a New Jersey Continental Army officer. Pike was raised at a number of postwar frontier forts, became an officer himself and then a noted explorer. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, he recruited the Fifteenth United States regiment in New Jersey. After serving as the regiment’s colonel, Pike was promoted to brigadier general in March 1813, and lost his life following the capture of York, Canada (today’s Toronto), when a powder magazine exploded as he sat atop it on April 27, 1813.
January 5, 1861: John McGowan of Elizabeth, a former Revenue Marine (Coast Guard) officer who established life saving stations along the New Jersey coast, sailed the unarmed ship Star of the West into Charleston Harbor on a mission to resupply Fort Sumter. When his vessel was hit by two rounds from a shore battery, McGowan withdrew. Some count these as the actual first shots of the Civil War.
January 5, 1904: The lowest temperature ever officially recorded in New Jersey was noted at River Vale. The thermometer measured a minus 34 degrees Fahrenheit.
January 5,1973: Iconic Rock and Roll artist Bruce Springsteen released his debut studio album, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N. J.” It has been ranked at #319 by Rolling Stone on that magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.