Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Hands Across America": Note for a discussion, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United"

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The New York TimesThe New York Times

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Americans united on this day 30 years ago like never before. Six and a half million people formed a chain called “Hands Across America” to raise money for the nation’s hungry and homeless.
It was planned by U.S.A. for Africa, the charity known for recording the song “We Are the World” in 1985.
The human chain began in Lower Manhattan, with views of the Statue of Liberty, continued across New Jersey and to Washington, Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, Phoenix, ending in Long Beach, Calif.
It crossed through about 500 communities across four time zones.
At 3 p.m. in New York and noon in Los Angeles, they joined hands for 15 minutes, enough time to sing “We Are The World,” “America the Beautiful” and the “Hands Across America” theme.
The chain included fans at baseball games, staff members at the White House, scuba divers in rivers, and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at Disneyland.
One honorary chairman, the singer Kenny Rogers, delivered on his promise of a concert to get people to stand in the desert at the Texas-New Mexico border.
Still, there were some gaps in the line, which were filled with a chain of paper dolls, made by children, and rope.
After costs, only about $15 million was distributed, but it remains a spectacle like no other.

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