Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, Sept. 23, will be formally recognized as Bruce Springsteen Day in New Jersey. Phil Murphy, governor of the Garden State, made the announcement on April 15 at the inaugural American Music Honors, which were held at the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music on the campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. The event was hosted by another favorite son of New Jersey, comedian Jon Stewart.
“Bruce Springsteen is one of the most recognizable, iconic and influential musicians – and New Jerseyans – of all time,” said Governor Murphy. “It is important that we recognize Bruce for all he has done and will continue to do, from giving us the gift of his music to lending his time to the causes close to his heart, including making the Archives and Center for American Music a repository that will inspire tomorrow’s songwriters and singers. We thank him for showing the world what it means to live our New Jersey values. I am both honored and proud to declare his birthday Bruce Springsteen Day in New Jersey.”
The official proclamation was studded with Bruce Springsteen lore and a fair number of Springsteen puns. A long litany of whereases concluded:
“WHEREAS, Bruce Springsteen will forever be remembered as the voice of the Garden State, signaling to the world that New Jerseyans were born to run;
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, Philip D. Murphy, Governor of the State of New Jersey, do hereby proclaim: SEPTEMBER 23 AS BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN DAY for creating the soundtrack to our glory days.”
In his remarks at the event, Murphy had more to say about Springsteen.
“Truth be told, I know my place in the hierarchy of New Jersey. After all, I may be the 56th individual to be called ‘governor,’ but there will ever only be just one ‘Boss.’”
“…So, to you, Bruce, thank you for all you have done, and will continue to do – from giving us the gift of your music to lending your time to the causes close to your heard, including making the Archives and Center for American Music a repository that will inspire tomorrow’s songwriters and singers.”
“Thank you for showing the world what it makes to live our New Jersey values.”
Many artists are called “national treasures,” but Springsteen has the facts to back it up. In 2009, he performed at Barack Obama’s historic presidential inauguration. That same year, he was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors, along with co-honorees Mel Brooks, Robert DeNiro, jazz great Dave Brubeck and opera singer Grace Bumbry.
In 2016, Springsteen received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Obama. In 2023, President Biden presented him the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists and art patrons by the U.S. government.
Springsteen and Obama have had a long-lived friendship and partnership. In 2021, they collaborated on an eight-episode podcast series for Spotify, Renegades: Born in the USA, which was turned into a book.
Springsteen’s countless awards and honors include 20 Grammys, an Oscar for “Streets of Philadelphia,” a special, non-competitive Tony for Springsteen on Broadway and three Emmy nominations. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
Located within Monmouth University, the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music preserves Springsteen’s legacy and celebrates the history of American music and its diversity of artists and genres.
To see a copy of the proclamation, click here.