Hear this…. HERE!
I-95 Northbound in Stamford CT with view of Indeed Headquarters
“Ok Road Team welcome to Stamford! Take a quick glance over to the left. See the Indeed logo on top of the black Office Tower? Indeed is a tech company which finds folks jobs on-line. The huge job-search engine was started here in Stamford. No coincidence, surrounded by suburban bedroom communities and just 45 minutes to Manhattan, Stamford Connecticut’s motto is “The City that Works”.
The tech culture that bred Indeed may seem to be lost here in Stamford amongst buildings that boast the prevalence of finance companies like UBS and NatWest both of which are major international banks.
But that is not necessarily the case. In fact, if you were to re-wind to the 1960’s, Fairfield County, Connecticut as well as neighboring Westchester County, New York may be considered the original Silicon Valley. Profiting from the highly educated work force, easy access to investment capital, and a risk taking culture, this area was the birthplace of many major names in early tech.
General Electric, Xerox, and Pitney Bowes once thrived here. Most notable was the Microsoft of its day, International Business Machines.
IBM and its founder Tom Watson dominated technology from the 1940’s to right up until the day in the 1990’s when Steve Jobs at Apple and Bill Gates at Microsoft moved the center of tech from the east coast to the west coast.
Today, companies like Indeed and travel tech unicorn Priceline — which is HQ’ed in upcoming Norwalk — still thrive here. However, they tend to morph and move since Connecticut tends to be fertile grounds for talent but not attractive for less profitable back office operations. In fact, Indeed splits it HQ between Stamford and more tax friendly Austin, Texas.
Indeed has an animal mascot. That mascot is a cute cuddly rhinoceros named Tyrone. Tyrone the rhino reflects the single minded mission of Indeed which made it so successful. Like a rhino, Indeed focuses on one thing and then charges. Its focus is to get you a job. Or as Business Insider calls it… “Indeed was the first auction-based, pay-per-click job advertising service.”
Originally funded by The New York Times, Union Square Ventures, and investment bank Allen & Company, the start-up was so successful on its own it really did not need their $5 million dollars. Seems founders Paul Forster and Rony Kahan only took $5 million to leverage visibility of their booming company. Other than that late stage money, the start-up grew from earnings it generated — which is called “bootstrapping”. The lingo is that Forster and Kahan personally “bootstrapped” the growth of their company from 2004 to 2005 until they took outside investment.
The pay-off to doing that is that the Founders get very rich and do not lose control to outside investors. But that only goes so far. Ultimately such booming companies take on a life of their own and it becomes too big for a couple of guys to run from the back of a napkin… or in this case from the surface of a whiteboard.
Indeed grew from 2 guys to 500 employees in just 7 years.
In an interview with “Business Insider” magazine, Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson says:
“"They had bootstrapped the company, launched the service, and were well on their way. They didn't need our money. But eventually we convinced them to take it.”
Co-founder Paul Forster tells Business Insider:
“We've been very capital efficient. Part of our ethos has been to be very, very efficient and hire the right people at the right time. We've also been laser focused on building the most relevant job search company. Monetizing that has been very successful."
Tech companies grow so fast and morph often depending on the stage of the company. Different stages of growth require different skill sets and funding. Like tech companies in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs here do not necessarily stay long with their own start-ups. In ages past, companies like IBM had leaders who stayed with the companies for decades if not generations. IBM was started in the 1920’s by Tom Watson Senior and his son Tom Watson Junior ran it from the 1950’s through his retirement in the 1980’s.
But Indeed, which was founded in 2004, was sold to a Japanese company just 8 years later for over One Billion Dollars. Since it was privately held, we do not know how much Kahan and Forster made, although we hear that the New York Times Company claimed a hundred million dollar payday on their less than $5,000,000 investment. That means they made between 20 and 50 times their initial investment in just a few years.
Sadly, there is no guarantee that Indeed will stay in Stamford now that its owners are in Japan. The good news is, at least the money it makes and the services it provides are still USA based. As with all things in tech, there is a good and bad aspect. Indeed’s presence in Stamford is kinda like Tyrone the rhino — cute and cuddly and focused — but not altogether real!”
#Indeed #Stamford #Citythatworks #TyronetheRhino #PaulForster #RonyKahan #IBM #TomWatson #PitneyBowes #Xerox #GE
Hear this…. Here!
EXIT 36 to Atlantic Blvd, North Broward County to Pompano Beach, FL
Off upcoming EXIT 36 to Atlantic Boulevard there are many eateries including Subway, Dunkin, Taco Bell, Gianni’s Italian, Dandee’s Donut Factory, Borogodo’s Brazilian Grill, and brew pub 26 Degrees Brewing Company. No doubt each chain started as a single store - each restaurant concept, whether it be donuts or ethnic food, the passion project of a single entrepreneur. And no doubt, as you drive along Florida’s highways, you will see lots and lots of restaurants.
Not too many years ago Florida was virgin territory for chain restaurants. The state itself was largely uninhabited - except by snow birds and alligators. But now it is growing in leaps and bounds. A lot of that growth is organic: Tourists come to visit and then they eventually choose to stay. Not just retirees but corporations have relocated here — a lot of those are associated with the huge annual influx of tourists.
According to an article by Barbara Farfan on the website The Balance Careers dot com, “The HQ-level managers and executives of some of the largest U.S. restaurant chains like Burger King, Checkers/Rally’s, and Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Seasons 52, Capital Grille, Yard House, Bahama Breeze, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Eddie V's) manage their national and global operations from Florida. In fact, there is a significant number of regional, national, and global restaurant chains with home offices in Florida, where new restaurant concepts find fertile testing grounds with hungry tourists.”
“Job hunters seeking their first retail management or home office job, as well as existing retail employees looking for retail career advancement, are likely to be successful when they look for those retail HQ management-level jobs in Florida. That’s because Florida is second only to California in the number and size of major U.S. retail industry companies that are headquartered there. In addition, some of the world’s most valuable retail brands and some of the newest and most innovative retail and restaurant chains are headquartered in Florida.”
So dear road trippers, consider this: if you like millions of tourists that are just visiting, you may want to try out a new restaurant or a new meal. But you may also want to consider Florida’s once virgin swamplands as a fertile launchpad for your next career!
#Darden #Dunkin #Subway #Benihana #Borogodo’s Brazilian Grill #Dandees #BurgerKing #Checkers #Longhorn #CapitelGrill #Sesons52 #BahamaBreeze #OliveGarden #Chilis
Swing Music up: Duke Ellington’s Jungle Nights in Harlem.
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 44 I-95n to West Palmetto Park Road.
On April 29, 1899 Edward Kennedy Ellington, America’s greatest composer, was born up in Washington D.C. to Daisy and Jim Ellington. At the dawn of the 20th century, Washington DC was actually the biggest African American community. It was attractive to African Americans because of high paying jobs in the growing metropolis but most of all, because it managed to flout the Jim Crowe humiliations just across the river in Virginia.
Both of young Edward's parents were amateur pianists and taught their son opera and gospel music. Mom Daisy had ambitions for her handsome son and she dressed him well and insisted he learned proper manners. Young Edward’s regal bearing soon earned him the name, "Duke". And so not far into he’s teens, Edward Ellington faded from history and Duke Ellington was born.
Despite his parents ambitions, in his teens, Ellington had dreams of becoming first a baseball player, then an artist. But instead, being musically gifted, he started a small band called the Washingtonians that evolved into The Duke Ellington Orchestra.
In the "Roaring Twenties", the group’s big break came when they travelled to New York and won the job of house band for Harlem’s Cotton Club.
New Orleans Blues, Ragtime, and a whole lot of Swing… it all went into the rich mix that made up Duke Ellington's groundbreaking Big Band jazz. Always borrowing from other genres, Ellington soon composed tropical Latin themed pieces and exotic-sounding ensembles that were called “jungle music”. You are listening to Jungle Nights in Harlem now and can Claim the Duke Ellington song now by saying, "Claim my Duke Ellington song and RoadSpoke sent me!"
After the Cotton Club’s heyday in the 1920’s, Ellington’s band toured tirelessly. Not long after World War Two, in 1950 he toured Europe and played 70 of 74 nights. Some years he played 340 nights. The Duke worked with almost every great musician of his time from Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, to Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. Ellington took his band on the road for thousands of gigs: clubs, concerts, dances.
Despite white demand for his music, he was not welcome in many towns along the way. In 1955, on a Tour of the South, the Duke came here to Boca Raton, Florida. In 1955 Florida, the greatest band leader in the United States was forced to stay in run-down Negroes Only Motels. There are images of The Duke and his band playing baseball outside his hotel amongst the palm trees.
Still, he was only allowed to visit certain stores and restaurants denoted by the Jim Crowe era Green Book.
The Green Book was a motorist guide written by Harlem post office employee, Victor Hugo Green. The Green Book provided African American motorists information about safe motels and restaurants that welcomed Black travelers. Otherwise blacks were persecuted and denied access throughout the south. In fact entire towns had sundowner laws that said that African Americans had to be out of town by dark or they may be brutally treated. Updated regularly, The Green Book became the one of the Biggest selling travel guides of its era. . Step into the wrong shop or cafe and a black man could get beaten or worse. A World Famous performer like Duke Ellington was treated no better.
Still, throughout all Duke’s non-stop touring, he managed to compose dozens of hit songs that found their way into the Great American Songbook :“Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Take the A Train”, “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Cotton Club Stomp” and “Satin Doll”. He worked until the day he died in 1974.
The breadth, importance, and significance of his music has only grown in the succeeding decades. The triumph of his artistry stands in stark contrast under the conditions from which it sprung.
Almost 30 years after his passing, in 1999 Duke Ellington was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. On February 24, 2009, The United States Mint issued a 25 cent coin with Duke Ellington on it, making him the first African American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin. The Duke appears above “E Pluribus Unum” on the reverse side of the District of Columbia quarter. And finally, not to be out classed, in 2011, the Duke received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
From Jim Crowe to Pulitzer Prize, by way of Boca Raton, Florida… one never knows where your road will lead you. But just like the Duke, you got to keep on driving.
#DukeEllington #Greenbook #VictorHugoGreen #SatinDoll
EXIT OF THE DAY: I-95 Exit 8 To: S Main St, Sharon, Massachusetts Foxborough, Massachusetts. If you drove north past this Exit , you would hear this on your RoadSpoke app:
"Ok Road Crew. On your left you can see the top portion of Gillette Stadium. Home of football's New England Patriots and named for the hundred year old shaving razor company that is now a division of Cincinnati based Proctor and Gamble, you could say that Gillette Stadium boasts a legacy of shifting legacies. And yet, the concept of legacy is deep here in New England -- the most ancient part of the United States. Patriots, the Revolution, Boston and Massachusetts ... it's all part of every American's collective religion.
Speaking of religion and shifting legacies, right here in Foxborough Massachusetts, Hall of Fame Quarterback Tom Brady established something of a religion. Or a cult. Or a dynasty. Given that a dynasty requires a family context, we should mention immediately that Tom is married to his biggest fan — Brazilian Super Model Gisele Bundchen.
The beautiful couple add a lot of glamour to this part of New England which exists in the long shadow of New York's high wattage media shadow.
Yet their dynasty, like most marriages, is not without its challenges. It is no secret that Gisele wanted Tom to retire back in 2019 before the possibility of his getting hurt. So while it may appear Brady and Bündchen have the postcard marriage, that’s not always the case.
Early in 2020, Goalcast reported that their marriage had hit a rough patch. The couple “stopped communicating properly.” Usually, very private, Brady discussed openly what turned things around. He credits “a very heartfelt letter” that Gisele wrote him. Brady admitted that the letter was “a good reminder that things are going to change and evolve over time.”
That is good news for the Brady Dynasty even though Tom now no longer plays here in Foxborough. Despite some hard feelings that Tom moved on, New England Fans empathize with their aging hero. Tom will always be loved here because he always delivered here — RIGHT HERE in front of his adoring New England Patriot Fans.
Sure he is going to be in the Hall of Fame. And sure he may well be the Best Quarterback in the history of the game. But if we were to exclusively consider his home game stats, Tom Brady is superior to any player EVER.
While some pundits say home field advantage is not relevant, the stats for when Tom Brady played at home field are so successful they are kinda beyond comprehension.
Consider this: prior to the 2018 season, Brady has lost just 15 of his 113 total games at home. His 98-15 record is better than any other quarterback since 1960, according to ESPN. He’s lost just one game at home to an AFC opponent since 2007. 56 percent of his career wins have come at home. Brady has NOT thrown a touchdown pass at home in JUST eight games.
Despite his success on New England’s "home field", many fans believe he is even more successful at home -- his own home. With his biggest fan a spouse who takes the time and consideration to write a letter explaining her position, the dynasty no doubt will go on anywhere the couple moves. Tom Brady always scores with Gisele Bundchen on his hometeam. After all, with a team like that, who wouldn't?"
#TomBrady #GiseleBrady #GiseleBundchen #Patriots #Foxborough
#ESPN #GoalCast #GOAT #FoxboroughMassachusetts #Gillette Stadium
The EXIT of the DAY is a Bridge
Hear this... right HERE!
Ok. Welcome to one of the most famous pieces of infrastructure in the nation... the George Washington Bridge. So now for some humor — some Construction Worker Humor. But first the Fast Facts: you are now crossing the George Washington Bridge high above the Hudson River.
Remarkably, today's double decker Bridge was first constructed as a single span bridge. It was anchored to the bedrock which constitutes the Hudson River Palisades -- sheer cliffs carved by the river's flow over millions of years.
The bridge links the state of New Jersey to New York City. It was started in 1926 and opened with great fanfare in 1931.
Likely you are in traffic. The bridge carries over 106 million vehicles per year - about 300,000 vehicles per day. This makes The George Washington Bridge the most heavily travelled bridge in the entire world.
Because of the huge traffic, in 1961, construction workers then added an underneath level.
Ever thoughtful, the construction workers nicknamed the underneath level “The Martha Washington Bridge” for George’s wife Martha.
George, of course, is on top.
#GeorgeWashington #GeorgeWashingtonBridge #GWB #MarthaWashington #HudsonRiver #ConstructionWorkerHumor #NewYork #NewJersey #ConstructionWorkers
Hear this right at this exit... right... HERE!
EXIT 11, I-95 in RI, to Woonsocket, RI
"Welcome to Woonsocket. Off this exit a couple of the biggest Movie Moguls in Hollywood once grew up. Despite being Dumb and Dumber, Chris Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly are smart and smarter. According to the Industry Newspaper, VARIETY, the Farrelly Brothers are film-makers who create hugely popular movies that appeal mainly to teenage boys of every age. They are smart producers… And movie writers. And movie directors. And they grew up in Rhode Island. And each of the brothers' first three blockbuster films (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Me, Myself & Irene) has a plot centered around a road trip. And These trips all originate in Rhode Island. Isn't that cool? Or silly? Or Dumb?
Not really because all the films have been very profitable. Which makes the Farrelly Brothers very smart businessmen. But how do they do it? Do they have a formula?
Their movies are full of slapstick and really gross toilet humor which endears it to young men. All their protagonists are like most of us — not economically privileged if not working class. They center around a sub-average guy who has aspirations beyond his means — usually including a girl who is way beyond their grasp. Many of their films contain flashbacks that show how a character was affected by a traumatic event. This seems to touch almost everyone in the audience. It also make the otherwise insufferable protagonist very sympathetic. Of course, being slapstick comedy and fiction, in the end the average guy gets the super nova girl and presumably lives happily forever after. All audience members — except super nova beauties — wish that were the case, right?
The criticism is that the films appeal only to adolescent men — which is an avid movie going demographic and makes the studio very rich. Plus guys still buy the tickets on date nights, so they get to choose the movie. Smarter indeed. But the Farrelly’s use other tactics to lure in a wider audience.
Farrelly Brothers Movies are noted for their soundtracks. Their music selections typically feature classic and contemporary pop songs — many which were what one would consider AM Radio fluff but with which older Baby Boomers are all too familiar. In so doing they appeal through nostalgia to older demographics who can “remember when”. This then brings in an older demographic — and more money when they release the soundtrack. Not so dumb eh?
Then there is the casting of professional athletes.
Pro Athletes have huge appeal for adolescent males of all ages. Brief appearances by major Sports Stars are a common surprise. These so-called cameo appearances including Baseball great Roger Clemens, Tennis hottie Anna Kournikova and super star quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
These Rhode Island road-trip movies star Jim Carey, Cameron Diaz, Jeff Daniels, Renee Zellweger, Lauren Holly, Matt Dillon, and Ben Stiller. The comedic characters — mainly the males -- are subjected to a lot of painful antics such as getting their private parts caught in zippers, becoming hooked by a fishing lure, having their tongues yanked off frozen metal, and getting in painful situations all along the road.
The ladies by contrast tend to be straighter which only emphasizes the adolescent awkwardness which we all recall.
Obviously the best reason we watch and re-watch these films is that they are all about the road — whether it is from Rhode Island to Aspen Colorado as in the “DUMB and DUMBER” franchise or Rhode Island to Miami as with “THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY”. Therefore a recurring character can be said to be America itself.
So we at RoadSpoke want to say “Thanks Farrelly Brothers… thanks for taking us on the Open Road.” That’s not just smarter. It’s smartest!"
#FarrellyBrothers #DUMBANDDUMBER #THERESSOMETHINGABOUTMARY #BOBFARRELLY #JimCarey #CameronDiaz #JeffDaniels #ReneeZellweger #BenStiller
EXIT OF THE DAY: EXIT 11 onramp I-95s; near City Island, Orchard Beach and Co-op City, BRONX NY
Co-op City was briefly home to one of the brightest legal minds in America. Who is it?
Can an old TV Series and a kids' Detective Book inspire a great leader? You decide. Or rather, you make a ruling.
And Yankee Fanatics take note! A life long Yankee booster who identifies herself as a combined New Yorker and Puerto Rican or rather as a Nuyorican -- she is none other than the first South Bronx born Supreme Court Judge, Sonia Sotomayor.
Pardon the pun, but the trials of childhood may influence the person they become. With an alcoholic father, Sonia was diagnosed with diabetes at age seven and began taking daily insulin injections. When she was just nine years old her Father died of heart problems. Her mother then encouraged her to become fluent in English.
Early on, Sotomayor was first inspired to become a detective by the book character Nancy Drew. But after her diabetes diagnosis, doctors suggested a different career and apparently she was by this time a big fan of the Perry Mason television series. The TV show inspired Sotomayor to go into a legal career and later to become a judge.
Sotomayor entered Princeton University on a full scholarship, by her own admission gaining admittance in part because of a leg up. She would later say that despite her admission there are cultural biases built into such tests as the SAT's. She praised laws for fulfilling their “purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race - a race many were unaware was even being run."
Sotomayor was sworn in on August 8, 2009 by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Sotomayor is the fourth woman -- and the First Hispanic ever -- to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
Coming up from the mean streets of the Bronx, Justice Sotomayor is the most accessible of all the Supreme Court Judges. When not making laws and epic rulings, she is active visiting schools and univerities and encouraging people to stick to their books and to get engaged in their country.
As a successful woman, she enjoys being a role model and speaking with young people, women, and people of color. And Her Honor can speak to her many admirers fluently in either English or Spanish!
#JudgeSotomayor #SoniaSotomayor #SupremeCourtJudge #LatinaJudge #YankeeFans #PuertoRican
EXIT of the DAY provided by Sadie Beavers — aged 15!
Hear this > Here!
EXIT 14 offramp I-95 s: Above the Hutchinson River Parkway, Co-op City NY
" This Spoken Road podcast was provided by 15 year old Sadie Beavers of New Jersey. So listen up -- especially you girls in the car. Sadie writes...."It was a long hard road for American women to attain equal rights with American men. To get here was a huge struggle and here is right where some of it happened. You are passing under a big green Road Sign for the fast upcoming Co-op City, in The Bronx. Quick look up! Above you is the Exit Sign to the Hutchinson River Parkway..."
Do you know who the Hutchinson Parkway is named for? Did you know it was named for a fearless lady who stood up to men and that she is considered a free speech hero and America’s earliest women's rights advocate? The namesake reason of the Hutchinson River is just a few yards from here. It's the location of Anne Hutchinson's Split Rock home. The homestead boasts a monument with a tragic legacy.
In the 1640’s, Anne Hutchinson was a Pilgrim midwife exiled to this area from the Massachusetts Colony. Before that, back in Boston on Sunday afternoons, Anne had begun to host women at her home. She encouraged discussions about the Sabbath’s sermons. These meetings became so popular that Anne began including men.
This angered the religious fathers. They demanded she stop. Women were not suppose to lead. They were to be silent and to follow. But Anne refused to stop.
For hosting religious discussions, the colony's fathers kicked Anne and her family out of the Massachusetts Colony.
When the men kicked her out of town, they beat a drum to embarrass her and to tell all the villagers to avoid this woman. But by then she had quite a few followers. Hutchinson and her supporters traveled south. They established the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island near Newport in what became the Colony of Rhode Island.
In Rhode Island, Anne led religious discussions openly. More threats forced Anne to move totally outside the reach of the British.
Ann and her family and a few others made the long trek west to a new country. They moved to the Bronx which at the time was a different country. The Bronx was in the colony of New Holland owned by the more open minded Dutch.
But it was not the Dutch nor the British who ended Anne’s journey.
Sometimes friendly, sometimes not, tensions with the native Algonquin Indians were high at the time.
In August 1643, Anne and six of her children were massacred during an attack right here in today’s Co-op City. The place it happened is just yards from here at what is still called her Split Rock Farm. The only survivor was her nine-year-old daughter, Susanna, who was taken captive but eventually released.
Anne Hutchinson is a very important leader in both in the development of religious freedom in England's colonies as well as the history of women in religion.
Anne questioned the total authority of ministers and she exposed the subordination of women. She has been called the most famous, or infamous, English woman in Colonial American History... and likely the first women's libber in United States History.
No wonder the Hutchinson River and the Hutchinson Parkway are named for this lady. And now you know why!
#HutchinsonRiverParkway #CoopCity #AnneHutchinson #Puritans #WomensRights #Womensliberation #Massachusetts #TheBronx
EXIT of the DAY:
Hear this here…I-95 Virginia Northbound Exit 92
To: VA 54, Ashland near Ashland, VA
"If I were a college kid instead of a voice inside your mobile device, I'd want to go to Randolph Macon college. Despite the fact their mascot is a pesky yellow jacket, if you had looked at the campus you would have been no doubt stung by the beauty of the red brick buildings and the gorgeous school grounds.
On top of that I like how they have two semesters - Fall and Spring - pivoting around the month of January. This so-called “J-Term” is a month long semester that students can either stay on campus and study majors intensively, or they can do a study semester abroad, or they can intern off campus in any place or occupation that fits their fancy.
Nice, right? Maybe I’d head south to Florida for fashion design. Or go to Utah to study the industry of skiing. Or maybe even wing it to Italy for some Art History? Sign me up.
Even more sweet is that the well respected school has only about fourteen hundred students but they are offered a dizzying array of course concentrations. The college offers bachelor's degrees in 38 major disciplines in the liberal arts, including political science, business, psychology, biology, international studies, and computer science, as well as 34 minors, including education.
Perhaps since the college is still run according to Methodist principles which include missionary work in distant places, yellow jackets are encouraged to apply their educations in the outside world.
Still, given the attractiveness of the campus, homecoming has got to be just almost as popular as graduation. So even for students returning from a month of skiing in the Rockies or studying on the beach in Miami, your return to campus is no downer, because spring is right around the corner — and you are back with your friends in lovely rural Virginia.
Super sweet! Now do they accept single named students like my close friends, Alexa or Siri?"
#RandolphMaconCollege #Methodist #Yellowjackets #Students #College #AshvilleVirginia #Jterm
HEAR this here:
“As you whiz through the verdant pine barrens of North Carolina, consider getting right to honor and visit a memorial inside an upcoming museum. Off the next EXIT is the Airborne and Special Operations Museum which is located at Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is the home of the Army’s fabled 82nd Airborne. The 82nd’s specialty is to parachute behind enemy lines and forcibly attain their objectives. Inside the museum is a Special Monument dedicated to the unit’s liberation of Concentration Camps during World War 2.
Thanks to the likes of the 82nd Airborne, the war ended fast in the spring of 1945.
In the first week of May, the Allies overran the Nazis revealing for the first time the existence of death camps.
Then the Nazis surrendered unconditionally on May 8 which today is known as VE Day.
Thereafter, allies would come upon camp after camp exposing the crimes of the Nazi Regime. Six million Jews were brutally slaughtered during World War II. Also murdered were millions of other undesirable groups including slavs, gypsies, gays, and even the mentally and physically disabled.
Back on May 2, 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division liberated its first death camp, Wöbbelin Concentration Camp. Days earlier, Wöbbelin had held some 5,000 inmates. When the 8th Infantry and the 82nd Airborne arrived they found deplorable conditions. Most of the only 1000 survivors were starving and diseased. They also found about 1,000 dead in the camp.
Outraged by the denials of local people, General Dwight Eisenhower ordered the townspeople in Ludwigslust to bury the dead.
On May 7, 1945, the 82nd Airborne Division conducted funeral services for 200 inmates in the town. The U.S. Army insisted "all atrocity victims to be buried in a public place." Crosses were placed at the graves of Christians and Stars of David at the graves of Jews. They also installed a prominent stone monument to memorialize the heinous crimes against humanity.
Forced to attend the ceremony were citizens and captured Nazi soldiers. Hundreds of the 82nd Airborne division humbly paid their respects.
In 1991, The 82nd Airborne Division was recognized as a “Liberating Unit” by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. Another display was installed here at the Museum. It is both an exhibit and a memorial. It shows the liberators and the victims and it is not to be missed.
#82ndAirborne #AirborneandSpecialOperationsMuseumFoundation #FortBragg #VEDay #HolocaustMemorial #DwightEisenhower #ConcentrationCamps #Nazi #deathcamps
If you had the RoadSpoke app you would hear this here on your car radio.
EXIT 15X in NJ: I-95s to Lincoln Tunnel at Meadow Lands, New Jersey
"Up ahead the highway runs up onto elevated pylons along the shoulder of a rocky hill. Even now you may be driving over the bodies of many lost and tortured souls. "
I kid you not... The ground below you was once a graveyard for the un-named and insane. They were deemed beyond the help of even their own loved ones. But more about that later…
Not far from the Holland and Lincoln tunnels which daily belch a hell fire of automobile soot upon the wetlands that were once known as the "New Jersey Dumps", there rises a gnarled and strangulated hill, barren and grey where men once disappeared into a massive lunatic asylum that never would tell their tales.
As Richard Conniff wrote in National Geographic, “In the strange territory called the Meadowlands, just west of Manhattan, a battered volcanic knob of rock juts up from the mudflats and reed thickets. Its history, like its name, is colorful.
Snake Hill was once home to the insane, and prisoners in the county jail here broke up the rock with sledgehammers.
Its solidity once inspired a passing ad man to use “the rock” as the symbol of a great insurance company (though the concept somehow got refined along the way from Snake Hill to Gibraltar).
On a windy evening, this remnant of the Triassic is an excellent spot to sit and look out on one of the weirdest and least reputable landscapes on Earth: the New Jersey Meadowlands. Everybody’s trying to get somewhere else. Rush-hour trains moan and clatter across the wetlands. Trucks on the New Jersey Turnpike roar right through a cut in the rock. A tailwind sends a flight of swallows whipping past and strips back the leaves on the trees so only the pale undersides show.
Still impressive, what you see today is only a fraction of the story. Snake Hill was largely obliterated in the 1960s by quarrying. The rock was used as building material in areas like nearby Jersey City. The soil was used to fill in the graves of so many inmates lost and forgotten.
Today, the remnant of the hill is the defining feature of Laurel Hill County Park. The high point, a 203-foot (62 m) graffiti-covered rock formation, is a familiar landmark to travelers on the New Jersey Turnpike's Eastern Spur, which skirts the hill's southern edge.
Snake Hill was formed by the same intrusion of magma that created the Hudson Palisades. These cliffs are all roughly 200 million years ago. The Dutch colonists who originally settled the area called the 252 foot high bluff 'Slangenbergh' ('Snakes Mountain') because of the many snakes found there.
But for over a hundred years this was a place of insanity and sorrow.
From 1855 to 1962 there were Hudson County penal and charitable institutions on Snake Hill, which was essentially a self-contained city in which hundreds of people lived at any given time. The grounds had its own support facilities that included a sewer system, reservoir, electricity plant and incinerator. The on-site institutions included two almshouses, which provided shelter for the poor and elderly, a penitentiary, quarry and a number of medical facilities, all grouped on the north side of Snake Hill.
In an era of wholesale quarantining, the medical facilities included a Contagious Diseases Hospital, a Tuberculosis Sanatorium, and the Hudson County Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum existed from 1873 to 1939.
When the Asylum opened it had a capacity of 140 patients. Different wings were designated for men and women, and each room held several beds. More feared were the numerous operating rooms where frontal lobotomies were frequently performed to neutralize troublesome patients.
People admitted to the Asylum were not restricted to the mentally ill, and whose conditions ranged from schizophrenia to syphilis. Many people were admitted to the hospital "who had no reason to be there: healthy residents who had been determined by their relatives to be a burden." Residents sometimes signed in their elderly relatives when they could no longer take care of them.
Once committed, these old relatives rarely emerged alive.
It was not difficult to sign in a patient, but harder for one to leave. According to Secaucus Town Historian Dan McDonough, "Anybody could sign somebody in. However, you would need three doctors to sign you out." The causes of death of many patients were not recorded, because the patients had been given pauper's funeral in the potter's field on the grounds, which is known as the Hudson County Burial Grounds.
Society slowly amended its treatment of the mentally ill and indigent. By the late 1920’s Snake Hill was renamed Laurel Hill. Then in the 1930s the Asylum adopted the name Mental Disease Hospital as that was believed to be a less offensive name. At the end of that decade, the hospital was moved to County Avenue in Secaucus, at the location where Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital now exists. In 1939, the Mental Disease Hospital, which by then housed 1,872 people, ceased operations.
In 2003, more than 4,500 bodies of poor people, prisoners and patients were moved from the grounds to make way for the Turnpike's Exit 15X ramp. You may take that Exit now. And do not worry about aggravating avenging angels: all the cadavers of the poor unfortunate inmates of the Snake Hill Asylum have been moved.
Or have they?
#SnakeHill #SnakeHillAsylum #PottersField #Insane #InsaneAsylum #Meadowlands #Secaucus #HudsonCounty
I-95s, Overpass of State Route 17, in Fredericksburg VA
Quick! Glance over to your right. You are passing a lovely manicured campus. The Big Man on that campus is in fact a lizard. That’s because you are passing the corporate campus of GEICO Insurance.
In fact, the big lizard on GEICO's Corporate campus is no ordinary lizard but rather a gecko. And no doubt you have heard, The GEICO Gecko, that most uncommon of creatures, is uniquely adapted to help people save money on car insurance.
FAST FACT Number #1: If you tap the Deal Radar logo on your device right now and say, "Claim my Geico Gecko RoadSpoke Deal!" you can save up to 15 % on your current car insurance by switching to Geico.
Of course, you do not need to pay for the discount now. Instead, check into that discount once you get in front of your laptop and go to the Geico.com website. You have 60 days in fact to claim the deal online. You could save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars!
FAST FACT #2: The cockney lizard has captivated audiences of all ages. GEICO is now the second largest writer of private auto insurance in the United States. This 40 acre campus is home to several company operations including our favorite, the GEICO auto insurance division.
The idea for the Gecko grew from a creative session at GEICO's ad agency, the Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. The name "GEICO" was often mispronounced “Gecko." As the brainstorming began, a quick doodle of a gecko appeared. Ad campaigns from the past have proven animals create a strong connection between customers and companies. Think Lassie, Morris the Cat, Smokey Bear, or the MGM Lion. But a lizard? Any how, with this in mind the Gecko came to life and made his debut in the 1999 television season.
But the Gecko is not alone. GEICO has launched concurrent ads with equally humorous characters. There’s camels yelling “Hump Day!” and silent manatees in T shirts. There’s even a walrus playing hockey.
The GEICO Cavemen promote commercials claiming to use their GEICO website is "so easy, even a caveman could do it”. Of course the sophisticated cavemen are deeply offended by this stereotype — and well should they be!
But the biggest threat to the Gecko’s job security came from a pork chop. Maxwell, the GEICO "Piggy" gave the Gecko a brief run for his money. If you can recall, Maxwell shouts a long "Whee" and appears in both radio and TV commercials.
Between the piggy, the caveman, the gecko, and 2,800 employees, GEICO is the largest private employer in Fredericksburg. This should make another character supremely happy — and that would be the Oracle of Omaha himself, Warren Buffet, who himself kinda plays a character, that of America’s richest granduncle! Turns out Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway is the majority owner of GEICO Insurance.
So don’t you wish he was your Grand- Daddy? Common, dontcha? With all that doe, just think how you would never care about what day it was. Humpday would be so easy it would be a thing of the past! Oh... Sorry Caveman.
#Geico #GeicoGecko #Gecko #Caveman #Humpday #Camel #OracleofOmaha #WarrenBuffett
Hear this here:
Exit 14 I-95s To: GA 25, to Harriet’s Bluff Creek [~ 6.92 mi to Exit 7, ] near Fancy GA
Everyone brought their crowns, right? It’s time to put them on, because we’re now passing Kings Bay. Welcome to the last few exits in Georgia, a Bible loving area which happens to be the headquarters of Armageddon.
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is the east coast home to America’s Ohio Class submarines.
According to the National Interest Magazine, the Ohio Class of nuclear powered submarines is the sole class of ballistic missile submarines currently in service with the United States Navy. Fourteen of the eighteen boats are configured to carry nuclear missiles, which, along with United States Air Force strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, constitute the so called nuclear deterrent triad of the United States. The remaining four subs have been converted to cruise missile submarines.
Why do Russia and China Fear America's Ohio-Class Submarines? Well it is not complicated.
Built in the nineteen eighties these boomers might be old, but they could wipe out an entire country in less than an hour. Prowling the oceans today , the fourteen Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines carry onboard upwards of half of the United States’ nuclear arsenal. If you do the math, the Ohio-class boats may be the most destructive weapon system created by humankind.
Each of the four hundred and fifty foot or one hundred fifty meter long vessels can carry twenty four Trident Two submarine launched ballistic missiles. Depending on the load, these babies can be fired from underwater to strike at targets more than seven thousand miles away. As a Trident Two re-enters the atmosphere at speeds of up to Mach 24, it splits into up to eight independent reentry vehicles, each with a 100 or 475 kiloton nuclear warhead. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 192 nuclear warheads to wipe twenty-four cities off the map. Sweet huh?
Running silent and running deep, the sub’s nuclear reactor gives it virtually unlimited underwater endurance and the ability to maintain cruising speeds of twenty knots (twenty-three miles per hour). All the while these boomers produce very little noise. While other branches of the military may be deployed in reaction to the crisis of the day, all over the globe the nuclear submarines maintain a steady routine of patrols and communicate infrequently so as to remain as silent as possible. This makes them very tough to track.
Each Ohio class submarine hosts two crews of 154 officers and enlisted personnel. Cumulatively Submariners are known as Squids. Each Sub's Squids are split into 2 crews designated Gold and Blue, who take turns departing on patrols that last an average of seventy to ninety days underwater—with the longest on record being 140 days by the USS Pennsylvania .
Currently, nine boomers are based in Bangor, Washington to patrol the Pacific Ocean, and five or maybe six are stationed here in Kings Bay, Georgia for operations in the Atlantic.
Make no mistake. This is a nightmarish weapon of the apocalypse.
Luckily, the closest competitor to the Ohio class submarine is the Russia’s sole remaining Typhoon-class submarine, a larger vessel with twenty ballistic missile launch tubes. American Squids are confident their Ohio ships are superior, but if they told you why they would have to kill you.
In the event of a nuclear exchange, a boomer would likely receive its firing orders via Very Low Frequency radio transmission. While a submarine’s missiles are not pre targeted, like those in fixed silos, they can be assigned coordinates rapidly.
The logic of nuclear deterrence is simple. While a first strike might wipe out a country’s land based missiles and nuclear bombers, it’s very difficult to track a ballistic-missile submarine lurking in the depths of the ocean—and there’s little hope of taking them all out in a first strike. In fact, they rarely contact any other craft or command unit for weeks on end so once they go down they are invisible to track and/or hear. Their Captains do however enjoy exhibiting their speed, power, and acrobatics on the surface!
Thus, ironically ballistic missile submarines promise the unstoppable hand of nuclear retribution—and should deter any sane adversary from attempting a first strike or resorting to nuclear weapons at all.
At least that’s the theory!
#KingsBay #OhioClass #Tridentmissiles #Georgia #NationalINterestMagazine
Hear this… HERE!
EXIT OF THE DAY: EXIT 17, to Lumberton, Red Springs, NC
Near Lumberton is the tiny railroad town of Hamlet, North Carolina, population of a little over 6000. Remember how I told you that there is a large Native American population around here? Well that is because Robeson County, North Carolina is home to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina which has a population of 55,000.
One of the biggest Lumbee tribe members is the diminutive Olympic Gymnast, Ashton Locklear. Ashton was an alternate at the 2016 Olympics.
As written in The Richmond County Daily Journal Newspaper in 2016:
“In the 120 years of the modern Olympic Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee has sent 12,355 athletes to compete against those of other nations on tracks, ice rinks and snow-covered mountains, in pools and gymnasiums, on rivers, courts and fields.
Not a single one of them listed Hamlet, North Carolina, as his or her hometown.
I don’t think any of the people in this town realize the magnitude of what Ashton has done,” said Terry Barrett, the Hamlet gym instructor who taught her to do headstands at age 2½."
Ashton was born in upcoming Lumberton, North Carolina. Her mom and Dad worked very hard to help their gifted daughter to soar to such heights in a sport that is not immediately profitable.
“It’s been very difficult, especially financially,” said Ashton’s mother, Carrie Locklear.
Carrie worked as a registered nurse at Sandhills Regional Medical Center. Ashton’s father, Terry, works in construction.
Despite being an alternate at the Olympics, Ashton is considered possibly the best gymnast in the world on the uneven bars. She helped the US Team win the World Championships in Nanning China in 2014. By the time she retired in 2019, she was a two-time national champion on the uneven bars.
Over the course of her youthful career, Ashton persevered though injuries and abuse, suffering the latter as one of the victims of Coach Larry Nasser. Her injuries are also breathtaking including 2 broken backs. Given her obvious appeal as a role model, Ashton was made a Nike Ambassador in 2017.
If you want to find out more about this dedicated dynamo and see where Ashton grew up, take the next Exit. Upcoming Pembroke is the tribal seat of the Lumbee Tribe. Aston Locklear’s birthplace of Lumberton is right next door. There is even a museum dedicated to this local hometown hero!
After all, Ashton Locklear is a hometown hero who is a role model to all girls all over the world.
#AshtonLocklear #NikeAmbassador #USOlympics #OlympicGymnastics #LumbeeTribe #Lumberton
Hear this right… HERE! Right at this Exit sign!
Exit 41 I-278 Brooklyn Queens Expressway, to Northern Boulevard (IND Queens Boulevard Line), Jackson Heights, Queens
Can you imagine, spending $50 on a radio advertisement and generating a return of $150,000? That's a return on investment of three thousand percent! Wow.
Well it happened right here in Jackson Heights. That’s because from the printing press to Facebook, new media SERIOUSLY impacts the way people live.
After the American Revolution, newspapers were the primary way people got their news. They often would be distributed by the Town Crier who would walk around villages and loudly proclaim the latest news often augmenting this with the sale of pamphlets: “Hear ye, Hear ye… Queens Man put to death for killing his neighbor. Read all about it.”
The tech of journalism was different too and it impacted how the papers were treated. Before 1900, newspapers were printed on cotton which was sturdier than paper. Cotton lasted months. Newspapers were expected to be handed around. So most folks got "second hand news.” No surprise, newspapers from this era are still in good shape.
By World War One, however, cotton was replaced by cheap paper — which meant the newspaper was less resilient and more disposable. News Papers after this period eroded in weeks.
Yet newspaper circulation became more targeted. In one household, Dad might read one Newspaper while Mom would read another.
The adaptation of media to modern lifestyles was essential for success. It conformed with how people lived. With the advent of subway commuting around 1900, publishers began to make more money with single sheet paper tabloids instead of fold out newspapers. Jam-packed strap-hangers preferred to peruse the thin copy, large images, and single leaf tabloids of say the Illustrated Daily News — today’s Daily News — over the unwieldy erudite New York Times.
Predictably these dailies targeted the masses with sordid stories about millionaires and immoral ladies -- preferably both. And more eyeballs meant more money from ads. These cheap paper tabloids quickly faded and grew jaundice -- but so-called Yellow Journalism boomed.
According to the Ric Burns and James Sanders companion book to Ken Burns' PBS Series, NEW YORK, AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY, the impact of the new media of radio was even more staggering.
While papers reached thousands, radio could reach millions.
Although first broadcast commercially in 1920, it was not for 2 more years that the first radio advertisement was transmitted.
On August 22, 1922 on NYC Radio Station WEAF ran a 10 minute advertisement for an apartment complex right here in Jackson Heights, Queens. The response was overwhelming. The advertiser who had paid just $50 for the airtime quickly sold $150,000 worth of apartments.
Driven by the vast new scale of radio, not just media but also the advertising industry in New York exploded.
That’s because, for the first time a single product could be sold to the entire nation at once. Already the nation’s leader in culture, fashion, and publishing, no surprise New York City excelled in the new art of heightening the power of advertising.
And so what "Wall Street" was to Finance, "Madison Avenue" became for media and advertising... and both were headquartered in the Big Apple.
#RicBurns #NewYork #NEWYORKANILLUSTRATEDHISTORY #JamesSanders #NewYorkTimes #DailyNews #Radio #newmedia #JamesSanders #PBS #PBSNEWYORK
The 2 Roads of Wes Moore
If you had the RoadSpoke app… hear this here:
EXIT of the Day: EXIT 22 I-95s Delaware Expressway to I-676, SR 30 to Wayne PA, in Philadelphia PA
“The subject of this EXIT has an amazing resume. He is a former Army Ranger, a Decorated Combat Veteran, the current Robin Hood Charity CEO, a Best Selling Author, and Best Friend Forever of none other than Miss Oprah Winfrey.
But we had a hard time figuring off what Exit to place this story. It could be placed at Baltimore, The Bronx, or even beside a tiny tropical sugar town of Trelawny Parish on the Caribbean Island of Jamaica.
The story is about one man named Wes Moore. It is a story about being born along the mean — then plummeting. It is a fight against the odds, falling and bouncing back to reach the highest height -- a J Curve, if you will, which every person experiences. The best part of this trajectory is Wes Moore’s story is not even half-way done. What heights will he attain?
Remarkably this Wes Moore wrote a Best Selling book about 2 Black Kids from Baltimore both named Wes Moore.
Both started along the same mean, each chose a different path. The Other Wes Moore is now spending his life in prison, convicted of murder. The Book itself is entitled, THE OTHER WES MOORE.
As for the EXIT of the Day, we chose an offramp that takes you to Wayne, Pennsylvania which is the home of Valley Forge Military School, a dormitory prep school which marked the bottom of our Wes Moore’s plunge and from which he rose to succeed in so many things.
You see, as a 3 year old child, little Wes witnessed his father's death from a rare virus. Moore's mother then took him to live in The Bronx with his grandparents. His grandfather, Dr. James Thomas, was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church. His grandmother was a retired school teacher from Trelawny Parish, Jamaica.
A smart kid, Wes got financial assistance to attend the elite Riverdale Country School. When Moore's grades fell, he got into trouble with the law. His mom yanked him and enrolled him in Valley Forge Military Academy off the approaching EXIT. It was here that he learned discipline and he began to rise.
It was here too that he first parachuted which gave him the desire later to lead combat troops with the 82nd Airborne.
He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University where graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2001. He also won a Rhodes Scholarship and attended the University of Oxford in England. In 2005, abandoning a Wall Street Job, Wes volunteered in the Army to serve and see combat in Afghanistan.
Today, Wes heads up the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is one of the most innovative and well funded non-profits investing tens of millions annually in providing solutions to the War on Poverty.
In addition to leading crusades against poverty in Urban New York, he is a strong advocate for Veterans Affairs and has produced TV Shows with Oprah Winfrey and TED Talks about reintegrating veterans into society.
Wes is married to Dawn Moore with two young daughters. He lives in suburban Connecticut, many many Exits from the Other Wes Moore — who is still his friend.
So it only seems appropriate that we credit EXIT 22 with being the right road for Wes Moore. Down this Exit, Wes Moore drove to the Valley Forge Military Academy that changed his direction in life. So it is the correct choice for our EXIT of the DAY.”
#WesMoore #TheOtherWesMoore #ValleyForgeMilitaryAcademy #RobinHoodFoundation #RiverdaleCountrySchool #82ndAirborne #Army #TrelawnyParish #TedTalks #Oprah
Hear this here!
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 75 I-95s: To Jackson Ward, Richmond Virginia
"Ok Road Trippers listen up. Time for a Road Test. So now listen well to the Fast Facts.
"You are approaching the Exit to a special place. It is called the Maggie Lena Walker House and it is operated by the National Park Service. If you want a break there is a fine restaurant serving traditional southern food right next door. It is called "Alonso's Southern Comfort" and the fried chicken is mouth watering good. So get right to exit.
Next to Alonso's, Maggie Lena Walker’s former home in the Jackson Ward section of Richmond was the center of African American commerce at the turn of the twentieth century.
Talk about a success story, this African American daughter of slaves was the first female bank president in The United States.
All along the highway you see billboards. Likely you see signs for banks like Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and here in Virginia, you see a lot of PNC Banks.
Well now, it is time for the Fast Facts:
Born to slaves in Richmond, Virginia at the end of the Civil War, Maggie Lena Walker grew up an avid student. She excelled in both math and Bible studies. In her twenties, she became an active member of The Independent Order of Saint Luke which was a Christian Society that encouraged self-help amongst African Americans.
Then Maggie did something that today we would call, “Extending the brand.” In 1902, Maggie Lena Walker started a newspaper for the organization, "The Saint Luke Herald."
Shortly thereafter, she perceived that most African Americans in Richmond were not welcome at white banks. Through the newspaper she solicited blacks to “put their money together” to work for their own people. Said Maggie, "Let us put our nickels together and turn them into dollars." So Maggie chartered “Saint Luke’s Penny Savings Bank.”
Maggie was the bank's first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first woman — anywhere in the United States — to start a bank. Pretty cool eh?
During the same time she married and almost lost her life giving birth to her first child. Ultimately she and her husband, Armstead, raised 3 children.
Later, Maggie merged Saint Luke’s Penny Savings Bank with two other Richmond banks to become The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. Maggie served as the bigger bank’s Chairman of the Board.
This represented several Firsts for women in America none the least was that the daughter of slaves became the First Woman CEO of a Bank. Said Maggie, “I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but instead, with a clothes basket almost upon my head."
Newspaper publisher, bank president, business woman, wife and Mom, as someone else might say, "Only in America…”
Now for the Road Test: what was Maggie’s full name?
You have three seconds.
Three… and two… and one. Her name was Maggie Lena Walker and don’t forget it!
#The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company #SaintLukeHerald #SaintLuke #MaggieLenaWalker #RichmondVirginia #CivilWar
Forty Acres and a Mule
Hear this right... Here;
EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 8 I-95s: Road 13, To Switzerland, Beaufort, South Carolina, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
'In November 1861 the Union Navy attacked nearby Port Royal Sound and for the rest of The Civil War, Union Troops occupied South Carolina's Sea Islands.
Meanwhile local Whites fled their plantations, abandoning about 10,000 slaves. The Union had not planned on this turn of events. Suddenly they were responsible for thousands of people who previously had no experience as freed people.
With no provisions for refugees, The Union could only ask that the slaves stay and continue to farm.
During the first year of occupation African American field hands successfully harvested approximately 90,000 pounds of cotton. The workers were paid one dollar for every 400 pounds harvested. Thus, these people became the first freed slaves to earn wages for their labor.
This soon evolved to become the so-called Port Royal Experiment.
While the farmers struggled through the war to make a success of their farms, Union missionaries, teachers, ministers and doctors volunteered to help promote this experiment. Freed people built hospitals and schools. In schools, math and literature were taught for the first time.
The experiment was such a success that in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued new land redistribution policies that allowed nearly 40,000 acres of abandoned Confederate plantations to be divided among 16,000 families of the “African race.” But the land was not free. The freed people had to purchase the land. Families were each offered 40 acres each — which became known as the slogan that success could be found with just “40 acres and a mule”. Almost immediately blacks bought about 2,000 acres of land.
In part due to the success of the Black Farmers in Port Royal, Lincoln became convinced that African Americans could possibly be effective Soldiers. He sought soldiers from the population and was overwhelmed by the response of those who volunteered to join the Union Cause.
It was only the assassination of Lincoln in April 1865, however, that ended momentum. The new president, despite being a resentful poor white Southerner, Andrew Johnson was determined to restore all lands back to the previous white elite “Planter Class”.
Nonetheless not all white owners returned to the Sea Islands. So thousands of black families continued to farm their lands until well into the 20th century and even until today.
#13thAmendment #Slavery #Freedom #Free #AbeLincoln #Confederacy #SeaIslands #AndrewJohnson #blacks #PortRoyalExperiment