Hands Across America

Except for huge gaps in the Western states, Hands Across America was a complete success. — TV announcer, “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?”

Hands Across America was a 1986 fundraising project that attempted the impressive task of laying a human chain between New York City and Long Beach, CA…over 4,000 miles.

Cutting a zig-zag path across the United States—and thereby avoiding most of the freak states in Big Sky country—Hands Across America brought together almost 12,000,000 hands in an effort to combat global poverty (spots in line cost $10/pop).

Though the turnout was impressive, the United States is a damned big country, and a few gaps inevitably resulted. This despite the participation of piles upon piles of celebrities, including Dudley Moore (Santa Monica, CA) and all three members of Renegade (Amarillo, TX).

Surely everybody involved will remember this timeless music video:

Not that anyone asked, but I’d be willing to bet that the Hands Across America project would be an unfettered success in the modern age. If social media platforms can help summon a mob with the aim of destroying a department store or terrorizing the elderly, we can probably plug that troublesome Amarillo-Albuquerque gap. Let’s get to work.

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