: Want to Know the Real Story Behind JAWS?

Want to Know the Real Story Behind JAWS?

Want some Jersey Shore history this weekend?  Visit the Tuckerton Historical Society's Museum (in Little Egg Harbor) and learn about the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916.  

Jersey Shore Shark Attack of 1916


Those attacks changed our perception of sharks and even inspired a little movie you may have heard of...JAWS.

Haven't seen the 1975 film JAWS?  The story is said to take place in a quaint New England town called Amity Island. Replace the name Amity Island with the Jersey Shore, and the events of the movie and book are mirrored in the historical records of the Jersey Shore.

In just 12 days, July 1 through July 12, 1916, a shark or sharks killed four people and mauled 7 others along the Jersey Shore. People were in a panic because just a year earlier, the New York Times had said that sharks didn't seem to be dangerous in U.S. waters. The panic was so widespread U.S. President Woodrow Wilson had to handle the crisis. Wilson held special meetings with his Cabinet and dispatched the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard to get rid of these menaces of the sea.

So if you want some Jersey Shore history check out the program at the Giffordtown School House Museum, Leitz Boulevard on Saturday (July 9, 2011) at 2 pm.  For further information call 609-296-2584.

Laura Giannotta

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Picture from wikimedia.org, Kmusser  


Comment balloon 22 commentsLaura Giannotta • July 07 2011 06:21PM


Wow.  That is scary!  I had no idea.  Interesting things a person learns on Active Rain.  Thank you for the info!  and warning!

Posted by Michael Kitsch (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Cool stuff... We watch the movie all the time, but somehow, I never knew the "real" story.  Hope you are having a great, "shark free" summer on the Jersey Shore!

Posted by Amy Hahn, Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC (Pine Knoll Shores Realty) about 9 years ago

Laura - I remember reading about the shark attacks back in the summer of 1916! So much for sharks not being dangerous in US waters - squashed that theory!

Posted by Kristine Ginsberg, NJ Home Stager (Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC) about 9 years ago

Everytime someone says, "JAWS," I hear the few toned theme song in my head getting louder and louder before I can recall a single scene. . .Duh-dunh-duh-dunh.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) about 9 years ago


It's a very interesting story, thanks for sharing it.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) about 9 years ago

Laura -- I am pretty sure I have heard of shark sightings on the Jersey shore, but never heard that bit of deadly history.  Have to be on the alert no matter which state you're in on the ocean.  Those sharks come very close to shore. 

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Laura, taht is an intereting bit of history.  The movies although not great we entertaining.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) about 9 years ago

Laura, Great historical background for the Movie! 

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 9 years ago

Cheryl-Who would have thought it all started at the Jersey Shore!

Amy-So far so good!

Kristine-I think that's the summer we met on LBI! LOL

Myrl-I love that music, and that's what I remember too!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 9 years ago

Lou-Many interesting stories in NJ!

Barbara-Do you get any sightings in Connecticut?

William-As Myrl said, I remember the music!

Tony & Darcy-Guess you don't have to worry about JAWS out there! LOL

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) about 9 years ago

I can hear the theme song while reading your blog...yicks !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 9 years ago

“Menaces of the sea”? My how times have changed. Now everyone is trying to protect them, probably because in the past everyone was killing them. Remember that they were in the water first. If we were meant to be in the water, we’d have gills! J♪♫♫♪

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 9 years ago

cool... learned something I didn't know... thanks for the info... :)

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) about 9 years ago

To this day I still cringe at the thought of a shark swimming under that water and of course the music, ta dum, ta dum....

Posted by Brin Realty Associates Team At Bean Group, Amherst NH homes and Southern NH real estate (Bean Group | Brin Realty Associates) about 9 years ago

" I think we need a bigger boat"......never knew the history.  Somehow the movies always think Long Island makes a better venue. We love our Jersey Shore.

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) about 9 years ago

Laura, I had no clue about the 1916 attacks or the similarities to the movie.  Still keeping my toes out of the ocean.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) about 9 years ago

Hey, Laura!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Laura, I remember watching that movie in the theatre as a teen and how it literally ruined my swimming experience for years! S-c-a-r-y!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) about 9 years ago

I can hear the dumdumdum...sharks do scare me a bit and the movie made me restless.  I like the new personal photo Laura it is very nice.

Posted by Navona Hart, Selling the Best Properties in Central Virginia (Real Living Cornerstone) about 9 years ago

A very interesting tidbit of trivia. Thanks for sharing. How scary. When on Maui, I remember being scared to swim at one of my favorite beaches because of a shark sighting the week before.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 9 years ago

I didn't know that either. Very interesting and very scary!

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) about 9 years ago
That is a short hyper local that sure stops you in your tracks to read!
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 9 years ago