Home About the Exhibition The Kean Family 150 Years of Kean's History Timeline Selected Images



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Normal School at Newark founded

Walt Whitman publishes "Leaves of Grass"

Col. John Kean, active in Whig politics, operates three mills on Elizabeth River


Normal School classes continue during Civil War;   enrollments decline as young men leave for Union army

Gen. Phil Kearny KIA at Chantilly, VA; his Newark estate later becomes site of State Normal School at Newark

Col. John Kean's Days Mill manufacturing gun stocks for Union army


Normal School students formally required to teach in Newark Public Schools after graduation

Emancipation Proclamation takes effect; Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg; Vicksburg surrenders to General Grant

Kean family business interests diversify into banking, canals, railroading, and utilities


Normal School program extended to one year

Thomas Alva Edison invents the incandescent light bulb at Menlo Park, New Jersey

Elizabethtown Water Company (Col. Kean was an original incorporator) pumping operations expand to some   2 million gallons per day


Normal School program extended to two years

Benjamin Harrison elected president; George Eastman manufactures America's first hand-held camera  

Hamilton Fish Kean marries Katherine Winthrop


Normal School curriculum radically revised in effort to have teachers "professionalized" and the School's status enhanced

Spanish-American War

Congressman John Kean elected to U.S. Senate; Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" encamp on Kean farm prior to departure for Cuba

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Children of immigrants exceed 30% of student body at the Normal School

Woodrow Wilson inaugurated as governor of New Jersey

Capt. John Kean graduates from Harvard University


Name changes to New Jersey State Normal School at Newark after state assumes control; school moves to new building on Broadway, Newark

Gov. Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey inaugurated 25th President of US

Capt. John Kean graduates from Harvard Law School


Normal School faculty and students begin work in war-related fund-raising and relief efforts.

U.S. enters World War I; birth of John F. Kennedy

Alexander Livingston Kean begins war-related intelligence activities for federal government; Capt. John Kean commissioned in U.S. Army, later WIA in France; Robert W. Kean commissioned and deployed to France, wins DSC and Silver Star


Got Spell-Check!? The 1925 Catalogue announces that "students who are deficient in spelling . . . will be dropped from the school."

Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming elected first American woman governor

Marriage of Capt. Kean and Mary-Alice Barney


Normal School program extended to three years

Herbert Hoover elected president

Hamilton Fish Kean elected to U.S. Senate


Student enrollments decline sharply, and fewer teachers are hired in New Jersey, in the face of the Great Depression

Great Depression deepens after Wall Street crash of October 1929

Green Lane Farm site of 2,000-strong rally for gubenatorial candidate David Baird


Normal School becomes a four-year college; State Board of Education authorizes Normal School to grant bachelor degrees (B.S. in Education)

Liner " Morro Castle" burns and grounds off Asbury Park, NJ, with 103 deaths; gangster John Dillinger killed in shoot-out with FBI

Sen. Kean withdraws from active electoral politics


Name changed to The New Jersey State Teachers College at Newark

Amelia Earhart lost in Pacific on round-the-world flight; President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs US Neutrality Act as international tensions increase

Former Sen. Kean engaged in active management of Green Lane Farm as a "Gentleman Farmer"; National State Bank of Elizabeth celebrates its 125th year of service


President Roy L. Shaffer pledges to keep the College "rolling" during WW II as part of the "moral and intellectual defense" of the nation

Pearl Harbor attacked; U.S. enters World War II

Green Lane Farm rented out after death of Sen. Hamilton Fish Kean


State Board of Education agrees to tenure for Teachers College faculty

Allies defeat Axis in North Africa and invade Sicily; US forces finally defeat Japanese at Guadalcanal

Robert W. Kean, Jr. commissioned in U.S. Army Air Corps, wins DFC and two Air Medals; Hamilton Kean, grandson of Sen. Hamilton Kean, wounded in action


First graduate program begins (Elementary Education)

Congress approves Marshall Plan; Harry S Truman elected president; Joe Louis retires after 25 title bouts

Elizabethtown Gas completes construction of largest manufactured gas holder in the world


State acquires Green Lane Farm from Kean family for Union Campus

Supreme Court rules segregated schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education

After extensive discussions, Kean family agrees to sell Green Lane Farm for Normal School campus.


Ground broken on Green Lane Farm for Union Campus

Boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama; AFL and CIO merge

Elizabethtown Gas begins the conversion from manufactured gas to natural gas


New Union Campus opens

Arnold Palmer wins his first Masters' Tournament; US establishes NASA

Congressman Robert W. Kean ends 20-year career in House of Representatives


Name changed to Newark State College

Hawaii becomes 50th state; death of George C. Marshall

John Kean joins Elizabethtown Gas Company; Congressman Robert W. Kean runs for U.S. Senate


Newark State faculty votes to support the proposed New Jersey Higher Education Act; faculty Senate created

Governor Richard J. Hughes signs Higher Education Act, breaking old links between the state colleges and the Department of Education

John Kean joins first Board of Trustees of Newark State College, and serves as first Chairman of the Board


After a long deliberation, the institution chooses yet another name: Kean College of New Jersey

Richard Nixon re-elected president; beginning of Watergate affair; death of former Pres. Harry S Truman, champion of the GI Bill, which had opened the doors to higher education after WW II

Liberty Hall designated a National Historic Landmark; Thomas H. Kean, son of Robert W. Kean, chosen Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly


President Nathan Weiss announces push to expand curricula in business, computer science, and health sciences

Congress ends controls on airline fares and deregulates the American banking industry

Thomas H. Kean inaugurated Governor of New Jersey


State approves university status; Board of Trustees approves new name: Kean University

President William Jefferson Clinton inaugurated for second presidential term

John Kean donates Liberty Hall, the traditional Kean family seat, to the Liberty Hall Foundation

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Kean University opens late the day following the 9/11 attacks; Kean student EMT volunteers assist in rescue and recovery efforts at World Trade Center site

Scientists decode human DNA; terrorist attacks of 9/11; US retaliates against al- Qaeda and Taliban

Thomas H. Kean, Jr. sworn into New Jersey Assembly, representing the 22th District


150th Anniversary Celebration; Kean students enroll in first Public History course hosted at Liberty Hall Museum

President George W. Bush inaugurated for second presidential term

Kean family joins celebration of University's 150th Anniversary; John Kean receives honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University