Americans Discover Vacation: As Well As Discrimination and Bigotry

A lot of this I did not know some sadly I did. When my father was transferred to Lackland AFB in 1960 he chose to drive down there from Massachusetts where we lived. On the way we encountered separate bathrooms and water fountains. I couldn’t understand it. To be honest I still don’t. We also stopped near a cotton field where workers were pulling the bolls off. Mama thought education could be found everywhere and demanded we stop. She went up to one of the ladies in the field an asked for a cotton boll to show us. I will never forget those fields and the bent backs of these people. It was tough brutal work. The lady in the field was very kind to this nutty white lady and mama and she had a long talk. My mother talked to everyone I learned a lot from her. I am glad those days of segregation are gone. It was a brutal time. A lot of the Jewish resorts are gone now too. Victims of air travel and time constraints as well as people wanting to expand their world. If you would like to see what they were like see the movie Dirty Dancing. It takes place there. Thanks for this post it really made me think and go back in time.

off the leash

Vacationing got off to a slow start in America with a few of the nation’s elite traveling by coach to resorts on the oceans, in the mountains, or by lakes or springs. As transportation options improved and got faster and cheaper, more and more Americans took vacations and more destinations emerged. Eventually, at some point in the mid-20th century, affordable family autos and paid vacation time meant that most Americans were taking part.

But from the very beginning vacationland America was a reflection of the society of which it was a part. And for racial and religious minorities that meant discrimination and bigotry.

(Wikimages) (Wikimages)

In Working at Play, author Cindy S. Aron describes how Jews were excluded from resorts in New York State in the 19th and early 20th century. A high profile incident in 1877 involved a well known and wealthy Jewish banker, Joseph Seligman…

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