It was an impassioned outpouring in tandem with America’s response to the famine in Africa in 1985. The West Coast terminus in Long Beach, Calif., was anchored by an unemployed man, Bill Jones, 34, his wife and five children who live at a homeless shelter. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 New Yorkers linked hands from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge on the north to form the easternmost link in the chain. The route did not include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where rain forced the postponement of the Indianapolis 500 until Monday.
On the Arkansas side of the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge over the Mississippi River, Laura Danielson, 25, married Scott Youry, 18, shortly before the couple joined hands to participate in the hookup. ″I’m a little nervous,″ said the bride as tractor-trailer trucks roared by, shaking the four-lane bridge. Two couples were married along the Hands route near Phoenix, and a bar mitzvah was celebrated for Sol Berger near I-17. A spur line weaved through the stadium, stretching from the screen behind home plate through one of the stadium’s main gates to reconnect with the main line. Actress Brooke Shields, from a perch on the midway point of the 3,500-foot George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey, had a view of a human chain snaking for miles down the West Side Highway.  Just as there were sections where the "line" was six to ten people deep, there were also undoubtedly many breaks in the chain. Divers and boats joined to cross the Susquehanna River. Gaps large and small were reported throughout the route, including the urban and beach areas that organizers felt certain would be filled.
One desolate area 30 miles west of Desert Center appeared to have no link of any kind. ARIZONA. OHIO. At least 80 percent of the route was filled in each county, she said.
For the state, participation was estimated at 400,000. Vern Peyser, city editor at the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, said there were major gaps in the exclusive resort community. ″I think its just incredible and I hope this feeling carries on,″ he said. ILLINOIS. At least 80 percent of the route was filled in each county, she said. When it was over, 5,000 red white and blue balloons were released and white doves trailing blue and red streamers soared into the sky after them. A theme song, titled "Hands Across America," was played simultaneously on hundreds of radio stations at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time (noon Pacific time).
Officials estimated that 90 percent of the 156-mile route was filled. INDIANA.
Hands Across America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS committed to finding ways to help provide food and shelter to the hungry and the homeless. Schoolteacher Keli White and truck driver Doug Roose got married in the northeastern Ohio community of Twin Lakes while on the line.
 Regardless, the event was declared a major success by the participants, particularly in larger urban areas where there was greater enthusiasm and a successfully large amount of fundraising. Celebrities near the end of the line, which organizers said included 350,000 Californians in all, included Raquel Welch, Cecily Tyson, Ben Vereen and Dudley Moore. Elsewhere in Washington, thousands gathered on the Ellipse and at other sites. In southeast Missouri, farmers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kansas joined Missourians to fill a ″rural mile″ purchased by Monsanto Co. about 20 miles north of Cape Girardeau.
Considered at that time to be the largest community participation effort in our nation’s history, HANDS was just impossible enough to be possible.” The dream quickly erupted into an unparalleled show of heartfelt concern. In Hammond, Ronald Price and Patricia Webb were married on the line by city Judge Peter Katic in a five-minute ceremony. KENTUCKY. Wayne McBride of the Flagstaff office of the state Department of Public Safety said there were gaps of up to 40 miles on I- 40. Cities along the route included the following: The event was conceived and organized by Ken Kragen. As the then newly minted number 1 rated radio station in Philadelphia (with a whopping 8.8 rating in Arbitron's Spring 1985 Period), WMMR was "word of mouth at scale" in Philadelphia and could generate enormous crowds at various events. About 165,000 people were needed for the 125-mile Tennessee route that crossed the Mississippi from Arkansas and snaked through Memphis before heading northeast to the Kentucky border. Jerry Scott of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reported several gaps - measuring more than a mile and sometimes as long as three miles - between Memphis and Covington, between Ripley and Dyersburg and between Dyersburg and Union City. Paula Casey, coordinator for the Tennessee link, said about 180,000 people participated in the chain, but explained that many of them congregated in one place, particularly in Memphis and at Ripley - the midpoint of the national chain.
According to the estimate, it would have taken about 200,000 people to fill the stretch. About 50,000 people held hands across Delaware, organizers said. Six-year-old Amy Sherwood of Brooklyn, whose family was living in a city welfare hotel until earlier this month, was picked to stand on the eastern terminus of the line. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Dennis Walto, operations director for New Mexico, said the largest gap was between Tucumcari and Newkirk in eastern New Mexico, where there are few people and no access roads to Interstate 40.
Gaps were reported in downtown Columbus, along U.S. 40 between Dayton and Springfield and north of Twin Lakes. The turnout in Albuquerque was good with a solid line through New Mexico’s largest city, the longest unbroken chain in the state.
An estimated 400,000 people were needed to fill the 323-mile, 17-county Indiana route and 250,000 showed up, according to organizers. In Pittsburgh, the chain snaked into Three Rivers Stadium from downtown, but did not disrupt the National League baseball game between the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.
According to The New York Times, only about $15 million was distributed after deducting operating costs. Many participants donated ten dollars to reserve their place in line. ″I think the whole event is uniquely American. Gaps were noted by ham radio operators around the state in western Maryland, in Washington and Frederick counties and in parts of Baltimore County. Event implementation was through USA for Africa under the direction of Marty Rogol, the founding Executive Director. Organizers estimated that 620,000 people joined the line in Texas. All Rights Reserved. The dream quickly erupted into an unparalleled show of heartfelt concern. In Chicago’s Lincoln Park, traffic was bumper to bumper Sunday morning as people arrived nearly three hours early to stake out a spot in the line. At Rodney Square in Wilmington, Gov.
The proceeds were donated to local charities to fight hunger and homelessness and help those in poverty. Alan Jackson, state press secretary for the event, said between 64,000 and 65,000 people participated, and that was enough to fill the 52-mile Kentucky route.
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