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Hands Across America



Thirty four years ago, on Sunday, May 25, 1986, "Hands Across America" was an event in which approximately 5 to 6.5 million people held hands for fifteen minutes in an attempt to form a continuous human chain across the United States. Here is an MTV promo of the event:



Despite the claimed intent, there was never any realistic chance of forming an unbroken human chain from coast to coast, as hundreds of miles of low-population areas along the route through the US midwest and desert Southwest would have required hundreds of thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars in transportation, provision and coordination costs to keep the chain intact. Regardless, the event was declared a major success by the participants, particularly in larger urban areas where there was greater enthusiasm and a large amount of fundraising.


A newscast from CBS Massachusetts Affiliate included an endorsement by Senator Ted Kennedy:



The official "Hands Across America" Video:



Many participants donated ten dollars to reserve their place in line. The proceeds were donated to local charities to fight hunger and homelessness and help those in poverty. The event raised about $15 million for charities after operating costs.


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