Hands Across America was a fund-raising event that aimed to create an unbroken line of people from coast to coast. Here, participants stretch across Eakins Oval along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Photograph by Sam Cali, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
  • 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.
  • 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.