For our Wednesday photo blog experience let’s head seven miles up the coast. We have visited this scenic spot with an arch entrance before but as you can tell by the unusual color of the rocks this is a place well-worth revisiting, like the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. If you are a fan of erosion, geological formations or just like the thrill of possibly being trapped at a beach when high tide rolls in, then Yellow Bank Beach is the place for you. These stained golden-yellow sandstone cliffs, which are eroding away from the firmer rock underneath, get their color from mineral deposits. There is no other place quite like it on the north coast. It is an exotic location where the earth has truly gone wild.
Some interesting events have occurred in American history on September 13th. Let’s go back to the year 1814. It was during the pretty much forgotten War of 1812 that a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key was aboard a ship in Baltimore Harbor negotiating a prisoner release while the British were bombarding Fort McHenry. The position of the American flag was distinctly seen by Key through the night by the glare of the battle. Before daylight there was a sudden and mysterious silence. After 25 hours of continuous bombing the British had realized they would be unable to destroy the fort and ceased the attack. Meanwhile, Key waited for the sight that would end his anxiety.
When at last daylight came, the flag was still there! Having been uniquely inspired and being an amateur poet, Key began to write on a letter he had in his pocket. Sailing back to Baltimore he composed more lines and back at his hotel finished the poem. He then hit the mini-bar watched a Jackie Chan movie on pay-per-view.
His brother-in-law took then newly finished poem to the printer and it circulated around Baltimore under the title “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” Two months later an actor sang Key’s new song in a public performance and called it “The Star Spangled Banner.” It became America’s national anthem in 1931 through a congressional resolution that was later signed by President Herbert Hoover.
On a more sobering note, back on September 13, 1971, State Police and National Guardsmen stormed the Attica prison in New York State ending a four day prisoner revolt. Twenty-nine convicts and 10 guards were killed in the attack. A New York State Special Commission later wrote, “With the exception of Indian massacres in the late 19th century, the State Police Assault, which ended a four-day uprising, was the bloodiest one day encounter between Americans since the Civil War.”
The Attica riots were notable in that they brought attention to the condition of American prisons in the U.S. in the early 70′s. For you film buffs, the chant of “Attica, Attica, Attica” was brought to the big screen by Al Pacino’s character “Sonny” in the 1975 film “Dog Day Afternoon” and repeated by John Travolta in his classic role as “Tony Manero” in “Saturday Night Fever.” Here’s a little bit of movie trivia for you. “Saturday Night Fever” was the favorite film of the late movie critic Gene Siskel, who claimed to have seen it 17 times. He liked the movie so much that he bought the white disco suit worn by Travolta in the movie at an auction for $17,000. I don’t see what the big deal is. I stopped bidding at $15,000.
So that’s our show for today. Tune in next time when we’ll take a look at the very lovely Florida Keys, superstar singer and songwriter Alicia Keys and one of my all-time favorite restaurants located on Mott Street in New York City’s Chinatown, Hop Kee. So rock on, rock steady and enjoy that star-spangled banner yet waving. And if you want to add a comment below rather than emailing me please do so because this is America, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.