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Plainfield's Mayor Mapp: Historic Plainfield

Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp Credits: City of Plainfield

PLAINFIELD, NJ - The story of Plainfield is one that is steeped in a rich historical legacy. From momentous battles, and groundbreaking legal decisions that sparked national action on school segregation to birthing a musical movement which would become known as P-funk. Plainfield has been many things, but boring is not one of them.

With ten (10) designated Historic Districts the architecture and grace of our stock of historic homes and buildings in Plainfield bear testimony to a time when Plainfield was the toast of New Jersey and earned its nickname "The Queen City". A time when people came from far and wide to shop in the bustling shopping district and watch a movie at one of the four theaters downtown. Our history gave rise to sites such as the Drake House Museum which was the headquarters of George Washington during the battle of Short Hills and the Friends Meetinghouse which was built in the 18th century.

But Plainfield has raised more than just majestic homes and historic sites; we have nurtured history makers; people who have left an indelible mark on the face of history:

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There are athletes such as Milt Campbell who in 1956 became a gold medalist in the Olympic Decathlon. He was the first African American to earn this title. There's Joe Black, the first African American pitcher to win a World Series game and Jeff Torborg, former MLB player, coach and manager, and Vic Washington, NFL player.

George Clinton was working in a Plainfield barber shop when he formed the Parliaments and started the Funkadelic movement which would later be simply called P-Funk. The group went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

On March 2, 1965, Plainfield resident Charles Booker became the plaintiff in a case that would lead to the desegregation of schools in Plainfield, the State of New Jersey and all across America.

Booker vs. The Plainfield Board of Education sought to address the disparity in the level of education in "all-Negro schools" versus that in "all White schools." The petition sought to level the quality of education across all races by integrating the schools.

On June 28, 1965, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Mr. Booker, and this led directly to the de-segregation of Plainfield schools.

The United States of America put their first man on the moon on July 20, 1969 and they could not have done so without the help of Plainfield's very own "Hidden Figure," Marion Johnson. Marion Johnson worked for Boeing as an Associate Engineer and tested the trajectory that the rockets attached to the aircraft would take. In her own words "we were right 20 times out of 20."

Plainfield is no stranger to national politics.  Born in Plainfield was Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor appointed to oversee prosecutions in the Watergate break-in and related criminal activity during the Nixon administration. 

Plainfield, though small has been writing its page in our nation's history book and we're not done yet, we are resurging as a city, evolving and recreating ourselves to meet the needs of a generation that is eco-conscious, transit mobile and values the convenience of urban villages.

We have a vibrant, talented community of youth and they are rising to claim their spot in history. I have recently mentioned these outstanding achievers, but they are worth mentioning again.

There is Waldy Arias, a senior at Plainfield High School, who was recently recognized for his success in signing of a National Letter of Intent to attend Campbell University of North Carolina to play NCAA Division I baseball. 

We have soulful songbird, Alexis Morrast, a 16-year-old Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies student, who has had the honor of singing with the Jersey Jazz Society at its 45th Anniversary Celebration. Alexis also performed at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem and won.

And there is Malcolm Fields, a local high school student who is a world class fencer ranked 13th in the nation and 3rd in New Jersey. Malcolm will be competing on the international stage in Germany in December.

The Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies (PAAAS) was one of only 3500 High schools who won a bronze ranking and a place in the US News and World Report annual ranking of US high schools in 2016. It was the only one of the three high schools to be ranked.

Plainfield is a place filled with fascinating history and interesting historical edifices and people but I am thrilled to be living here in a time when we are able to create historical firsts of our own. I am excited by the story we are making; the of renaissance, of tenacity and triumph. I am proud to see our young people fulfilling their potential and recognizing that there is no limit to how high they can fly. My hope is that when the history of Plainfield is written about our time, today, right now it will reflect moments that changed lives for the better.

Creating One Plainfield, One Future...

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield

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Upcoming Events


Sat, February 17, 6:00 PM

South Plainfield

Holy Savior Academy Spaghetti Dinner


Mon, February 19, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper



Tue, February 20, 3:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Black History Maze in the Children's Library

Arts & Entertainment


February 17, 2018

Union County, NJ—Two Union County Freeholders, Christopher Hudak and Alexander Mirabella and the former Mayor of Scotch Plains, Kevin Glover, are calling on Colleen Mahr,  who is running to chair the Union County Democratic Committee, to remove their images from her campaign video.  

Hudak, Mirabella and Glover released a joint statement:

“UCDC Candidate ...

Why I'm Running for UCDC Chair

February 17, 2018

My vision for Union County includes you. On February 21st, I need your vote so we can build the future of our Party together. 

Vote Colleen Mahr for Union County Democratic Committee Chair, this Wednesday at 7:00PM, Grand Centurion, 440 Madison Hill Rd, Clark, NJ. Details to follow via regular mail. 



Contact: ...

A Night that Shined

February 12, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Lines of cars, buses and limousines waited patiently in a 3/4 mile long line to drop off over 600 special prom guests at Parsippany's Liquid Church location.  There were strobe lights in the air, a long red carpet and a long line to make a grand entrance for each special guest.

"This is the first time we can bring our NJ locations under one roof now that we ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

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‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

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