South Mountain, MD
When they realized easier passages to their north and south meant they were about to be left behind in commerce, the people of the Allegheny Mountains built a portage railroad to connect canals between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It wasn’t easy to build a transportation system that could drag canal boats and their contents up and down mountains, but the designers did it anyway. At each of these places, I’ve looked at the area and just said, “HOW?” But these strong Americans didn’t stop with “How will we?” and kept going until they could say, “We did.”
|Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS|
|Elvis' Outstanding Young Man Award (1970)|
Graceland, Memphis, TN
Over the past two years, I have not only had the chance to read about history, but also experience it hands on. You could say I’ve had quite an American adventure. It's one thing to read about "they worked hard," but to experience it, you get an idea of just how "hard" hard was. Even looking at the Kennedy-era Apollo rocket, you wonder how did anyone ever think “Let’s see if this will send three men to the moon?” (Or, what made the astronauts decide “I’ll try it out!”) More impressive: after seeing the tragedy of the Challenger explosion, what made the next crew say, "Put me on the next flight!"?
|Space Center Houston|
This year, I’m celebrating Independence Day by exploring the people and events that made this country great. I want to encourage you to do the same. Choose not to simply read about them from your comfy chair because it is easy, but get out and experience America!
Cover image: Rice University Lectern used for Kennedy's "Because They Are Hard" speech, 1962, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://adventureswithjude.com