NJ unveils its Hall of Fame

ASBURY PARK, N.J. - October 13, 2010

What do Queen Latifah, Michael Douglas and Bruce Willis have in common? They all hail from the Garden State and are among the legends in the arts, science and sports being celebrated by the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

"The New Jersey Hall of Fame gives us an opportunity to promote what's great about New Jersey, the great accomplishments of our citizens going back to Thomas Edison up to Bruce Springsteen and John Bon Jovi," Hall of Fame Commissioner Bill Kettleson said.

The Hall of Fame has just opened the first of several regional exhibits. This one's on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. Future exhibits will be located in Atlantic City, Trenton and Newark .

"There are so many people here on these photos like Michael Douglas. I had no idea he had a Jersey connection," Cecile Blankenhorn of Wilmington, North Carolina said.

"Very proud of how many people Jersey has produced and the contributions they've made. It's amazing," Jerry Juzdan of Weekhawkin, New Jersey said.

On display is one of inventor Thomas Edison's earliest phonographs, including a 1903 model from his personal collection. There is an Edison high school cheerleading jacket that belonged to actress Susan Sarandon before she hit Hollywood. Also on display is one of the late Les Paul's gold top guitars.

But the item that everyone got a kick out of was actor Jack Nicholson's contribution to the hall: his second grade report card from Neptune schools. On the back his teacher wrote, "Jack's work is excellent but he needs more self control."

There are lots of familiar names and faces here and the fun thing about Jersey's Hall of Fame is that the public gets a say in who gets inducted by voting online.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen is among the hall of fame inductees who along with other Jersey stars is not afraid to say 'I'm from New Jersey and proud of it!"

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