Cross country drives are a longstanding American tradition, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying restrictions, now is not the ideal time to hit the open road. The nonprofit The Pursuit of History is planning to remedy this problem by offering a virtual cross country road trip. The project, titled “America’s Summer Roadtrip“, is a 12-hour live stream experience that will take viewers to multiple historic sites across the country, including some right here in the Northeast.
This virtual “road trip” is an attempt to maintain the cross country tradition in the age of social distancing. The trip will feature twelve one-hour-long live streams from twelve leading historic sites across the country. Many of the sites are currently operating with limited or no public access and services due to the pandemic, so the live stream is a unique way to scratch that tourism itch while staying safe. The live streams will be conducted by leading expert guides and each tour will include a special behind-the-scenes look at something that visitors would not get to see if they visited in person.
The event will begin on August 1 at 9 a.m. Multiple notable historic sites in the Northeast will be featured. At 3 p.m. the roadtrip will make a stop at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange, New Jersey. The park preserves the estate of Thomas Edison, including his library, machine shops, chemistry lab, and his twenty-nine room Victorian mansion and outbuildings.
Also in the garden state, the road trip will make a stop at the Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge. New Bridge landing was a strategically important site during the Revolutionary War. It served as a battleground, fort, encampment ground, military headquarters, and intelligence-gathering post in every year of the American Revolution.
Other Northeast stops include the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers, Massachusetts, the Minute Man National Historic Park in Concord, Massachusetts, and the Great Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. Heading west, virtual road trippers will see historic sites in Ohio, North Carolina, Wyoming, Colorado, and California.
The Pursuit of History’s summer road trip is just one example of the many creative ways events are still being held during the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, a drive-in movie festival was held in Brooklyn to accommodate for social distancing. Additionally, entire streets in New York City have been closed for outside dining and special outdoor plazas have been constructed. Even though in-person interactions are limited, there are still ways to explore and support our historic sites.
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Next, check out Thomas Edison’s Cast-Iron Lamp Post in New York City