Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington DC
2013 was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s infamous “I Have a Dream”
speech, a milestone marked by many remembrances and memorials. As we approach this January 20th, set aside to honor MLK, we are reminded once again that we should never give up on our dreams, which are as varied as the people who dream them.
Tower of old Jamestown Church, ca 1639, shown in 1854 image, Wikimedia comons
. . . including dreams that go back as far as 1607, when the English (some 100+ men and boys plus 39 crew members) established Jamestown as the first settlement of the Virginia Colony, traveling across the ocean to fulfill their dream of religious freedom and a better quality of life.
Today Jamestown, and nearby Williamsburg, are a testament to these early settlers’ fortitude, and what once was their first home reminds us of America’s early history, which have also become popular tourist attractions, drawing people from all walks of life.
1870, Crouffit’s Great Transcontinental Tourist’s Guide, Wikimedia Commons
May 10, 1869 marked another milestone in American History, where the dream of the first Transcontinental Railroad
was finally realized thereby enabling Americans to travel virtually from one coast to the other overland, connecting with the existing Eastern U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa. The dream may have actually begun with Asa Whitney, the widely-traveled cousin of Eli Whitney (inventor of the cotton gin) who said, “[It] would bring all our immensely wide-spread population together as one vast city; the moral and social effects of which must harmonize all together as one family; with but one interest – the general good of all.” Others, like Dr. Hartwell Carver kept the dream alive, with an article published in 1832, where Carver advocated the building of a transcontinental railroad from Lake Michigan to Oregon.
Although the initial building of a transcontinental railroad was very much for commercial purposes, as it evolved it is also provided a means for tourism.