Situated alongside the Raritan River, just 30 miles from Manhattan, New Brunswick now bills itself as the “Health Care City” because the medical industry is the region’s lifeblood.
Home to the world headquarters of Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb, as one would expect, it has a heavy concentration of medical facilities, which include the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital.
But is healthcare is the city’s lifeblood, Rutgers University is its spirit. Founded as Queen’s College in 1766, it is one of only nine “Colonial colleges” founded before the American Revolution. The student body serves as the antithesis of the city’s health-focused image with its love of the local grease trucks and energetic bar scene.
New Brunswick and Rutgers are also famous for hosting and winning the first football game in the United States. On Nov. 6, 1869, Rutgers hosted Princeton — before 100 spectators — at College Field with the Queensmen (now Scarlet Knights) winning 6-4.
The game did not resemble today’s game in most ways as it was based on the rules of the London Football Association. Because of the rules that governed the match, it is also viewed as the first college soccer game.
Folks at Harvard ignore this game and consider the school’s 1874 matchup with McGill as the first game played with ‘North American’ rules, but Harvard is prone to this kind of sporting revisionist activity. (Note: We work with Yale University. We couldn’t pass up the chance.)