Glassboro is a borough in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 18,579, reflecting a decline of 489 (−2.6%) from the 19,068 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,454 (+22.1%) over the 15,614 counted in the 1990 Census.
What is now Glassboro was originally formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 11, 1878, from portions of Clayton Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Elk Township (April 17, 1891) and Pitman (May 24, 1905). Glassboro was incorporated as a borough on March 18, 1920, replacing Glassboro Township. The borough was named for its glass industry.
Glassboro is home to Rowan University, founded in 1923 and formerly known as Glassboro State College, which was the site of the Glassboro Summit Conference in 1967 between U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.
Glassboro's early history was built on the manufacturing of glass. The town was first established in 1779 by Solomon Stanger as "Glass Works in the Woods"; glass manufacturers over the years since include Heston-Carpenter Glass Works, Olive Glass Works, Harmony Glass Works, Temperanceville Glass Works, Whitney Brothers Glass Works, Owens Bottle Company, Owens Illinois Glass Company, and Anchor Hocking.
In 1958, an epidemic of typhoid fever broke out in the predominantly African American neighborhoods of Elsmere and Lawns, which was attributed to 20 years of municipal neglect of the sanitary infrastructure.
The Glassboro Summit Conference between U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin took place in Glassboro. Johnson and Kosygin met for three days from June 23 to June 25, 1967, at Glassboro State College (later renamed Rowan University). The location was chosen as a compromise. Kosygin, having agreed to address the United Nations in New York City, wanted to meet in New York. Johnson, wary of encountering protests against the Vietnam War, preferred to meet in Washington, D.C. They agreed on Glassboro because it was equidistant between the two cities.