Background Info

On May 25, 1986, the United States celebrated Hands Across America. About 7 million people held hands to raise money for America’s homeless and hungry population—participants paid $10 to save their place in the cross-country line of hand-holders. The line stretched more than 64,300 kilometers (4,000 miles), from Battery Park in New York City to a pier in Long Beach, California. Long stretches of rope connected participants in unpopulated areas like deserts.
 
Hands Across America was one of the first national fund-raising events in America. In addition to the $10 voluntary fee from individuals, more than a dozen corporations donated millions of dollars to the cause. Hands Across America eventually distributed about $15 million to aid agencies.

Vocabulary

Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry

corporation

Noun

business made up of a group of stockholders, or people who own interest in the business.

distribution

Noun

the way something is spread out over an area.

Encyclopedic Entry: distribution

fee

Noun

price or cost.

hungry

Adjective

having a desire or need for food or nutrition.

pier

Noun

platform built from the shore and extending over water.

population

Noun

total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

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Editor

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Producer

Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society

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