Travels & Traditions: Springfield, Illinois - #1010

BURT WOLF: Ah yes, there can be no doubt that Springfield, Illinois, is still Lincoln's hometown. On a more official note, you can visit the Lincoln Herndon law offices where Lincoln rose to prominence as an attorney.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): It was a perfect office for a young attorney, because the federal courtroom was directly underneath. When Lincoln was alone in this room, he would lie down on the floor and open the corner of a trap door that was in the ceiling of the courtroom. He would listen to more experienced attorneys arguing their cases. He worked in this room for four years, starting in 1843 and he learned a lot.

BURT WOLF: Just down the street is the home that he lived in with Mary Todd before he was elected president and moved to Washington. For seventeen years, the family lived in this two-story frame house. It was the only house that Lincoln ever owned and the place where Mary gave birth to three of their four sons. It's always interesting to see and compare the homes of where our presidents lived before they moved into the White House. Kim Bauer is the historical research specialist for the Henry Horner Lincoln Collection at the Illinois State Historical Library. 

KIM BAUER: In most of Abraham Lincoln's life he is beardless. 

KIM BAUER (ON CAMERA): He had no beard up to the time that he was president of the United States. Most people don't realize that because they see all the photographs of Abraham Lincoln during the presidency and he has a beard. There was an eleven-year-old girl who helped make his decision on growing a beard. Grace Bidell, from Westfield, New York, wrote Abraham Lincoln in October of 1860. She tells him that she thinks he's the greatest man that, probably alive and that her father is going to vote for him, but she has four brothers. And out of those four, two are probably are going to vote for him and two don't know what they're going to do. So what she suggests, to Abraham Lincoln, is that he grow a beard, and if he grows a beard, she thinks his other two brothers will vote for him for the presidency. He starts to grow a beard and by the time he heads to Washington in 1861, he has a full-grown beard. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): And the hat? 

KIM BAUER (ON CAMERA): Well now the hat is an interesting story too, because Abraham Lincoln quite often when he was going around the circuit as a lawyer, would put letters, legal documents, handkerchiefs, anything that he couldn't stuff into his pockets or if he didn't have a pocket, he would stuff into a stove pipe hat, which is the common image of Abraham Lincoln. So much so that William Herndon, his last law partner, called his hat, Lincoln's hat, his office. And Herndon even goes so far as to say that Lincoln's ears kind of stuck out and the reason why is because he wore these hats that were so full of letters and manuscripts. 

FRITZ KLEIN AS LINCOLN (ON CAMERA): Ladies and gentlemen, we are now into our fifth year since the policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident purpose of putting an end to the slavery agitation. However...

BURT WOLF: Fritz Klein has played Lincoln on stage, on television and in films.

FRITZ KLEIN AS LINCOLN (ON CAMERA): That agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my estimation, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. A house divided against itself cannot stand. 

FRITZ KLEIN (ON CAMERA): I try to approach this from a sort of timeless perspective, where they're not just viewing me as Lincoln up there on a setting, but I'm in their world, addressing them and their concerns as much as I can.

FRITZ KLEIN: Lincoln walked with a hunch. I didn't use to, but I do now. Many of the mannerisms I do when I'm Lincoln, and they've crept into my personal life, even though I didn't want that. I've been thrown off horses in front of an audience. I’ve had dogs run across the set in the middle of a performance. One time when I was at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., I was not in character, just as a tourist, walking down into the museum, and a woman saw me, looked up and just screamed right out loud. 


BURT WOLF: Springfield is also the home of the Dana Thomas House, which is the best preserved and most complete early prairie house designed by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Typical of Wright's prairie style, the exterior is characterized by low horizontal roofs, wide overhanging eaves and ribbon art glass windows. It looks almost the same as it did when it was commissioned in 1902 for Springfield socialite and women's activist Susan Lawrence Dana. More than 100 pieces of original Wright design white oak furniture are still in place, along with 250 art glass doors, windows and light panels and 200 original light fixtures. There's a raised main living level, open floor plan and centralized fireplaces. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Wright was thirty-five years old when he got the Dana House commission and it was a major piece of work. He was in the process of revolutionizing midwestern domestic architecture and this house gave him an opportunity to experiment with some new forms. 

BURT WOLF: This is one of only three Wright-designed double pedestal lamps. It has a hipped roof shade and free hanging moveable glass panels that use the same iridescent glass and pattern found throughout the interior of the house. It is considered to be one of Wright's most important lamp designs. The dining room's butterfly light fixtures are the most elaborate and geometric of Wright's career. The dining room table can be expanded to accommodate forty people, all seated on Wright-designed oak chairs. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): When I saw that dining room table designed by Wright for forty people I thought this house is going to have some kitchen. Wrong. Almost all of Susan Dana's food came in from a catering service. The kitchen is minimal. Maybe you could toast a bagel here you know? In 1902 there weren't any bagels in Springfield so you couldn't even do that. Nevertheless, the Dana Thomas House is well worth a visit. 


BURT WOLF: Springfield is packed with nationally famous historic landmarks, but perhaps its most famous international landmark is its strip of the mother road, Route 66. From Chicago to LA, over 2,000 miles all the way.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Each year thousands of tourists show up in Chicago and buy a used car or a used motorcycle and head out to LA. For about 85 percent of the trip they're on the original Route 66. It was built in 1926 as the first road designed specifically for automobiles and it captured the imagination of the auto buff and it's held onto it too. 

During the 1920s, Henry Ford began producing automobiles that many people could afford. No longer a luxury for the rich, tens of thousands of people started driving cars. But there was one major problem. 

We didn't have a road system designed for them to drive on. America was covered with dirt roads that were originally developed to transport agricultural products to market. We also had some old roads that had been used by stagecoaches to connect one town to another. 

And that was pretty much it. Both federal and state governments quickly recognized the need for a national highway system. And in 1926 began building the great mother road. The ribbon of concrete that ran from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago down to the banks of the Mississippi at St. Louis, and then west to the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles. It became a symbol of America's progress. And so powerful was its attraction, that hit songs invited us to get our kicks on Route 66.

Route 66 was the first major element in the national road system built for the automobile. And for almost 50 years, it was the main street of America. It changed the way we traveled but it also changed the way we ate. 

As Route 66 headed out of Chicago, on its way to St. Louis, it passed through Springfield. Springfield became the state capitol of Illinois in 1837. And visiting legislators and lobbyists required eating-places. It was also Abraham Lincoln's hometown, and tourists began arriving from all over the world. And they expected suitable eateries during their visit. Springfield is home to an important university, and a major medical center. Tourists and local residents make varied demands on Springfield's restaurants and that has made it an ideal community to study how American eating habits changed during the 20th Century. And that is precisely what John Jakle and Keith Sculle have done in their book called Fast Food.

KEITH SCULLE (ON CAMERA): Well, in the 1890s, Springfield was a really hoppin' place. People were coming to town to do business with the county courthouse, but especially to do business with the state capitol, located just a few blocks away. So in between those two nodes, you had a very vibrant economy for restaurants to thrive. But it was also a very lively street trade: vendors for example, with push carts and so forth. There was a fellow by the name of Ed Crastos who is the most memorable. At least he’s the one that’s come down in the literature who was the guy that sold chili on little tin pans.

BURT WOLF: Springfield has had a long love affair with chili. During the 1960s Springfield was a hotbed of chili activity with three chili canneries producing over four million cans of chili each year. The state government passed a resolution proclaiming Illinois as the chili capitol of the civilized world, and recognized the spelling of chili with two L's. 

KEITH SCULLE (ON CAMERA): People who ate out, at the beginning of the century weren't seen in the best light. They were people that lived downtown on a regular basis. They might have lived in boarding houses, but they might have been about in the communities’ life downtown on the streets and so forth. There were associations apart from family life that those people had. As travel became far more common, people had to, of necessity, eat out. Well, roadside restaurants changed the way the country thought about food, and about the way they actually practiced eating. Very influential. 

MAN IN CAR (ON CAMERA): Can I get a special with a root beer and cheese?

WOMAN (ON CAMERA): I need a cheese special with a root beer. 

BURT WOLF: The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop is considered to be one of the earliest restaurants to have a drive-up window. This is the ancient forerunner of McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.


WOMAN IN CAR (ON CAMERA): Hi. Two maid-rites and a root beer.

WOMAN (ON CAMERA): I need two maids and a beer!


BURT WOLF: It opened in 1924 and still serves it signature dish. A mixture of crumbled steam ground beef, onions, mustard, and pickled relish on a steamed bun with a side of French fries, and homemade root beer in a frosted mug. And because of modern freezer technology and Federal Express, Maid-Rite ships containers of the cooked meat and buns to Made Right devotees throughout the United States. Root beer goes back to 1869 when a Philadelphia pharmacist by the name of Charles Hyers put together a blend of sugar, water, spices, and tree barks. It produced a mildly alcoholic, naturally effervescent drink. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Traditional root beer usually contained birch bark, dandelion root, molasses and wintergreen oil. But the distinctive flavor that we associate with root beer comes from the addition of sassafras root which used to grow wild all over the eastern part of the United States.

BURT WOLF: The Federal Food and Drug Administration found that sassafras contained a carcinogen. So today's root beer is artificially flavored. But even with artificial flavoring, each year Americans consume over 200 million cases of commercially produced root beer. In addition, there are thousands of people who make their own root beer at home. Ah, but is it made right? 

KEITH SCULLE (ON CAMERA): By the 1930s, things had changed to some degree. The professional people in the community still found it desirable to eat at home for the most part. They had no need to eat out and on the road. Now, however, people who were traveling and by then in automobiles, and that meant more and more people traveling, found it convenient, in fact, necessary to eat on the road. And restaurants began to change their pitch a little bit. They began to have a little pizzazz in their decor. Some of the food began to change its pitch a little bit. They were presentable. They were desirable places to eat. They were even fun places to eat. 

BURT WOLF: Throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, Springfield developed a middle class approach to restaurants offering foods that were attractive to travelers and office and factory workers. Good eating meant friendly service and ordinary but reliable food in sizable portions. The town’s signature dish is called the horseshoe, toast on the bottom, hamburger in the middle, cheese sauce on top and French fries around everything. The place to taste a traditional horseshoe is Norb Andy’s.

The thirties also saw the introduction of the first Mel-O-Cream Doughnut. Mel-O-Cream Doughnuts are a local specialty. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): I'm a hole-in-the-center kind of guy myself, with maybe a little glaze or sugar on the outside. And I've always wondered who put the hole in the center of the doughnut. Well, no less an institution than The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. has reported on the subject. They tell us that a young man named Hanson Crockett Gregory of Clam Cove Maine, was watching his mother make some doughnuts, and asked her why they were always soggy in the center? She said if she cooked them till they were done in the center, they were burned on the outside, and so she took them out early. Well, young Hanson, culinary genius that he was, took a fork, poked a hole in the center of the uncooked doughnut, so when they fried up, they were perfect, thereby creating the first ringed doughnut in history. 

BURT WOLF: And as long as we're dealing with doughnuts, here's a couple of additional bits of trivia. During World War I, a Salvation Army worker in France prepared a batch of doughnuts for some American troops, which proved to be extremely popular and regularly requested. When word got around that the American units loved doughnuts, they got nicknamed Doughboys.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The folklore around dunking says that an actress by the name of Mae Murray was having breakfast one day, in Lindy's Restaurant in New York City, and she dropped her doughnut into her coffee. Well, she didn't miss a beat. She picked it up, continued eating, and announced that both the texture and the flavor had been improved; thereby, dividing the doughnut-eating world between those who dunk and those who don't dunk. I dunk. 

BURT WOLF: The years that followed the end of the Second World War saw a continuing rise in the number of roadside eating places. The Cozy Dog Drive-In opened on Route 66 in 1950. For over 100 years, the frankfurter, on its bun has been part of American gastronomy. But Ed Waldmire changed that. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Ed was visiting his brother in Muskogee Oklahoma, when a diner cook served him a frankfurter that had been baked in a batter. It took about 15 minutes to cook it in something that was really a homemade waffle iron. But Ed realized that somewhere in that dish was an idea that could change the gastronomic history of America, and he began experimenting. 

BURT WOLF: Eventually he developed a secret recipe, and the equipment necessary to produce a corn batter encrusted, deep-fried frankfurter on a stick. His wife named them Cozy Dogs and developed the logo. Ed introduced them at the 1946 Illinois State Fair. And his reputation was made. 

It was a perfect food for people in motion. And so Ed opened the Cozy Dog House on Route 66. In recognition of his contribution to American road food he has been inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): But in spite of the fact that there are a number of patents in connection with the making of a Cozy Dog, knock-offs have proliferated throughout the United States in the form of a corn dog. But a corn dog is not a Cozy Dog. And the authentic version is only available here in Springfield Illinois, made by Ed's son, Buz.


BURT WOLF: Springfield is the land of Lincoln but it is also the land of corn. As soon as you pass through the suburban areas, you are surrounded by cornfields. In the old days, cornfields were used only for growing corn. But these days, the big idea is multi-tasking. And so cornfields are being put to additional use. This is the Springfield Corn Maze.

DOUG SCHMIDGALL: Flags in the air.

BURT WOLF: During the growing season, it is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. But not when it's raining or the fields are muddy. It all started in 1993 when a producer from Walt Disney teamed up with a designer of mazes to put a maze into a cornfield. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): A maze is a puzzle with many junctions and paths. You go in one place, come out another. The trick, of course, is to figure out which path will lead you out. The great American authority on corn mazes is a guy named Brett Herbst. He has a company that teaches farmers how to put a corn maze into their field. You know, another word for corn is maize. So it's only fair that a field of maize have a maze. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): How did you come to put a maze in your field?

DOUG SCHMIDGALL (ON CAMERA): I've seen advertised in a magazine, about three years ago. And thought it looked kind of nice, and I decided to go ahead and try one.

BURT WOLF: Something in a magazine special that appealed to you?

DOUG SCHMIDGALL: I liked the design that I'd seen from the air. I believe it was a design of a tiger, or something like that. It looked kind of neat. This one is a design like a dragon. We had a little contest and a young man by the name of Wade Morrison give us a design, and we etched it out. On one side, there's the head with the fire coming out of it, and the other side is a tail, kind of like a hammer on it. And it's got wings on it and everything like that.

BURT WOLF: How much do you charge them to go in?

DOUG SCHMIDGALL: A dollar for the easy maze, and $2 for the hard maze.

BURT WOLF: What do you charge them to get out?

DOUG SCHMIDGALL: Fifteen dollars to get out if I got to come find them. 



BURT WOLF: The Rees Memorial Carillon here in Springfield is one of the largest and finest in the world. Its open tower has sixty-seven bronze bells that were cast in The Netherlands. The total weight is 90,000 pounds. They’re played manually by means of a keyboard and today Jim Rogers is on the keyboard. And finally, you should pay a visit to Lincoln's tomb.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The death of Abraham Lincoln on April 15th, 1865, came only six days after the surrender of the Confederate Army. The celebrations that were taking place to mark the conclusion of the War Between the States came to an abrupt end.

BURT WOLF: As the nation mourned its president, the National Lincoln Monument Association started planning a memorial in Springfield Illinois, where Lincoln had lived from 1837 to 1861. The monument holds the remains of the sixteenth president, his wife and three of their sons. The 117 foot tall tomb is constructed of granite quarried in Quincy Massachusetts. Near the entrance is a bronze bust of Lincoln. The shiny nose is the result of visitors rubbing it for good luck. 

On Tuesday evenings during the summer months, the 144th Illinois Volunteer Reactivated Infantry demonstrates Civil War military drills and conducts flag retreat ceremonies. 

At each ceremony, a selected visitor receives the United States flag that flew over the tomb during the previous week.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Springfield, Illinois, lots of Lincoln, interesting museums, an important strip of America's mother road and down home cooking. It's the perfect spot for a family vacation. I hope you've enjoyed this visit and I hope you will join us next time on Travels and Traditions. I'm Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: San Fransisco, California - #1009

BURT WOLF: Most of the cities in the United States were originally settled by small groups of people who shared the same values, the same religion and the same hope for a new life in the New World.

There is, however, one extraordinary exception…San Francisco.

This town was settled by 25,000 people who showed up one afternoon to find gold. They came from all over the world and just about every ethnic or religious group you can think of and as they mixed together they established the traditions that make San Francisco what it is today.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Native tribes had been living in the neighborhood for thousands of years when the Spanish wandered in in the 1700s and began building missions along the California coast. Nothing much really happened here until 1848 when gold was discovered in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

BURT WOLF: Word of the find spread throughout the world and each day hundreds of people arrived to seek their fortune in the gold fields. And each day the fields yielded over $50,000 worth of gold. Within three years of the original discovery the population went from 850 people to over 50,000. They worked in the fields or in the support structure that was set up in San Francisco. The cultural diversity was amazing---it was the most unique population in the world. Almost everyone was a new comer and a risk taker.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): And right there, in the gold rush years is where you find the origins of the traditions that make San Francisco what it is today. When you were working in those fields you never knew where your neighbor was gonna come from. What his religion might be or his beliefs or his lifestyle. You also never knew who was going to strike it rich and live a life of wealth beyond your wildest dreams and perhaps share it with you. So tolerance was very important and some of those guys really struck it rich so there was a love of opulence and that is what San Francisco is about today. It may be the most tolerant city in the world and it has a great love of opulence, makes it a great place to live in but it makes it a great place to be a visitor.

BURT WOLF: The second most significant event in the history of San Francisco was the great earthquake. On April 18th 1906, at 5:16 in the morning, every church bell in San Francisco began ringing. There was a deep rumbling sound throughout the city. Within 48 seconds over 5000 buildings collapsed. In less than a minute the great San Francisco earthquake was over, but the real damage was caused by the fires that followed the quake and lasted for five days. In 1906 the buildings and the streets were filled with gas lines and gas lamps and when they ruptured the city went up in flames. As soon as the fires were out, reconstruction began. And once again cooperation between all groups became essential for survival. 

San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods. They overlap and though you can’t always spot the street where one ends and another begins, once you’ve arrived, it’s easy to see that each neighborhood has its own distinct ethnic history, religion, culture, and food.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): North Beach is the ancestral home of the Italian community in San Francisco. In the 1830s it was a cattle ranch that supplied fresh meat to passing trading vessels that popped in for supplies. Many of those ships came from the northern Italian city of Genoa. And when the sailors heard there was gold they decided to give up their rigging for digging they also sent word back home about the gold which meant that thousands of additional Italian men came here and made a five month exhausting journey only to discover that the good stuff was already gone. Yet it was better here than back in the old country. The land was good for farming, the sea was filled with fish, it was easy to make a new life in a new land.

BURT WOLF: Churches…Coffeehouses… Bakeries … Restaurants…

The entire community honors its Italian heritage.

North Beach is also the home of the City Lights Bookstore. It was founded in 1953 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and was the first bookstore in the country to be devoted entirely to paperbacks. It also became the epicenter for the beatnik literature of the 50s and 60s. After North Beach was destroyed in the fire that followed the earthquake the residents lived in Washington Square while they rebuilt their homes. It was one of the first communities to recover. Within ten months North Beach was up and running. One of the men responsible for the rapid recovery of the city was A.P. Giannini, owner of the tiny Bank of Italy, which served the Italian immigrants. He became famous because the day after the great earthquake he rescued the money and the ledgers from the rubble of his bank. The next day when the other banks refused to open A.P. set up a table on the San Francisco waterfront and began making loans on the basis of a handshake. Today it’s known as the Bank of America. Mr. Giannini would love it.


BURT WOLF: At the same time that the Italian community was putting together North Beach, those who had made their fortunes during the gold rush were building their great mansions, and the greatest of them were about to be built on Nob Hill. The word nob is a contraction of nabob, an Indian word that means prince and that’s who moved in here, the princes of industry.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Nob Hill is the highest hill in San Francisco, it was so hard to get to the top that no one wanted to build their home here until 1873 when the cable car was invented and the railroad barons of California agreed to build their mansions here and a cable car company of their own running down California Street to Market where their offices were. You don’t find many big homes made by the gold miners because they didn’t actually make that much money --- the real fortunes were made by people who sold things to the gold miners like Leland Stanford, who was a grocer, or Charles Crocker, who was a dry goods salesman. Their homes are up here. There was almost one exception, Bonanza Jim Fair, he made a fortune with the largest silver mind discovery in the history of the world and he was just about to build his dream home when he died.

BURT WOLF: His daughters inherited the property and began construction of a hotel. But just before it was scheduled to open it was gutted by the fire that followed the 1906 earthquake. Reconstruction on the hotel began as soon as the fires were out and it opened with a fantastic party just one year to the day after the quake. The Fairmont Hotel quickly became the social center for San Francisco society.


BURT WOLF: The first Europeans to build anything in San Francisco were the Spanish. Starting in1769 they began building a chain of missions between San Diego and San Francisco. The Mission Dolores was built in 1776 and is still standing. It’s San Francisco’s oldest building. The ceiling is covered with ancient Native American designs that were painted on with vegetable dyes. The decorative altar came up from Mexico in 1796. The original bells were cast in the 1790’s and hang above the entrance area.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): When Mexico won its independence from Spain; California from San Diego to San Francisco became part of Mexico until the 1840’s when it was taken over by the United States. During the early years of the 20th century over 10 percent of the population of Mexico immigrated to the United States with hundreds of thousands of those people settling in California. One result is a distinct Hispanic influence in San Francisco.

BURT WOLF: The most dramatic visual manifestations of the Mexican community are the street murals. There are over are hundred of them in the Mission District alone. Many are the work of the Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center that was set up by Susan Cervantes in 1977 to encourage, train and support the artists who wanted to paint murals. You can stop into the center and pick up a map that will guide you to the murals or you can sign up for a walking tour.

BURT WOLF: Why did the mural movement get started in San Francisco - why are there so many murals here?

SUSAN CERVANTES: Well I think that there are so many because there was a mural movement that started in the late ‘60’s right after the Civil Rights which is still continuing today. And it inspired the African American artists and Chicano artists to really understand their own cultural heritage and their roots.

BURT WOLF: Tell me about this specific mural.

SUSAN CERVANTES: What it is is family life and spirit of mankind and that was the theme that everyone agreed to have on it - this is a family oriented neighborhood --they wanted it to show community, they wanted to show people getting along with each other and sharing that community and love.

BURT WOLF: So the mural reflects the dozens of different ethnic groups that are in the community and how important it is for them to get together and love each other.

SUSAN CERVANTES: Well, yeah, the one thing about this community is that it is very diverse and it does reflect that diversity in the basis of the people that are painted in the murals and this is what’s really important to everyone to know that is part of everyone’s heritage. It’s just a wonderful way that they worked and shared and respected each other’s efforts.

BURT WOLF: So it’s a way for someone in the community to discover their own history and then put that in the mural and then to present that history back to their own community in a huge painting.


BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The Spanish were the first Europeans to settle in the neighborhood and the Chinese were the first Asians. In 1848, at the time of the Gold Rush, China was in total chaos. The Manchu dynasty was falling apart and unable to govern. There was widespread starvation and the peasants were in rebellion. Thousands of Chinese left their homeland in search of their golden opportunity which they believed was buried in the mountains just outside of San Francisco.

BURT WOLF: The earliest Chinese workers to arrive in the mines were known as coolies, which comes from the Chinese ku li meaning bitter strength. They did the toughest jobs for the least money and set up their own community in San Francisco. When the gold rush came to an end the Silver Rush started and they were back in the mines again. And when the silver petered out they went to work building the railroads and as always at half the price of whites. At one point nine out of ten workers on the Central Pacific Railroad were Chinese. Today San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest and one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia…the population is estimated at about 100,000. 

The entrance to the district is Chinatown Gate. The words at the top translate as: “Everything in the World is in Just Proportion.” I’m not sure that’s true but it is certainly a goal to work towards.

The Chinese community is a powerful political and economic force in the city and Chinatown is a fascinating place to visit. The main shopping street for both residents and tourists is Grant Avenue. It was named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant who wasn’t much of a shopper, but a devoted tourist. Before he became President he spent many years touring the southeastern part of the United States.

You might also like to take a walk through Waverly Street, known as The Street of Painted Balconies. It feels much like the traditional streets of China. And if your stash of powdered antler horn is running low you’ll love this block.

The French and many other European immigrants influenced the early cooking of San Francisco. But the biggest impact came from the thousands of Chinese laborers who worked in the gold fields, and on the railroads, and at the wineries. They built their own town within a town. Today it is the largest Chinatown outside Asia. Originally it was almost completely a male society. The men lived in small rooms without kitchens. All their meals were taken in nearby restaurants. Hundreds of restaurants, and at all levels of quality and expense. Today some of the finest Chinese cooking in the world is right here in San Francisco.


GROUP (ON CAMERA): Good morning Shirley.

BURT WOLF: Shirley Fong-Torres is known as the wok wiz. 

SHIRLEY FONG-TORRES: All right, now.

BURT WOLF: She's a cookbook author, a historian, and television chef who has created a walking tour of her neighborhood that she calls “I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown”. She also runs daily tours that cover the history, culture, and folklore of the community. 

SHIRLEY FONG-TORRES: So our first stop will be to Sam Wo restaurant for our Chinese breakfast. This is Cheung Fun, in Chinese, in Cantonese means long, and Fun means the rice noodle. This is cold, and inside is lean barbecue pork that they make here, and then there's coriander and green onions and some scrambled eggs. So it's sort of like a breakfast roll. And so you just pick it up with your either your fingers or your chopsticks as a little snack.

One of my favorite produce markets is right there on the corner. Let’s try this. This is called Dow Mil. I hope you order this in a restaurant. We do this cause we just want you to taste it. It's a pea sprout comes from the snow pea family, and when you bite into it, you see that a little bit of an aftertaste. Now that's a lion dance to signify the grand opening of a new restaurant or a business. It's a loud celebration. 

SHIRLEY FONG-TORRES (ON CAMERA): So, to find a nice, good duck, we look for one that has ... that's carmelized, that has, not too fat, like that one has a little bit too much fat on it. But not too skinny because then there won't be enough meat. You want one to have a graceful neck and nice legs and thighs, kind of body I'm trying for. Oh! Back to the duck. Now, which one do we think?

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): We were gonna go with the end one.

SHIRLEY FONG-TORRES (ON CAMERA): The end one. Okay. We'll pick that one.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): That was your pick, so I don’t wanna….


BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Mm, mm, mm.

SHIRLEY FONG-TORRES: Hurry and eat. We have to go lunch. And I love this place because they have excellent dim sum and then also great entrees, and the food we're having today is actually more like a banquet because we have been eating so much on the street already. And the Chinese realized there was a business here. They could open up a restaurant and these non-Chinese would come in and pay money for their meals, and, so, Chinese food started to become popular. 


BURT WOLF: The second Asian group to immigrate to San Francisco came in the early years of the 20th Century, and they came from Japan. Over 25,000 Japanese arrived in California and many headed straight for San Francisco. Today, there are over 12,000 Japanese-Americans in San Francisco, and they make major contributions to the city's business, cultural and gastronomic community. 

The word around town is that when it comes to Japanese food, Ebisu is at the top of the list. It's owned by Steve Fuji, a major authority on sushi, who taught classes on sushi preparation and presentation at San Francisco's DeYoung Museum.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): I'm ready to learn how to make sushi.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Okay. So, you put seaweed on a bamboo shade. And like so. This is the shiny part.


STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): It's outside. And the dull sides go inside.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): So, it's the dull side that goes up.



STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): And then, you put rice. Leave about half inch or so from the top.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): And you go, like so. And then you just bring down easy like so. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): I’m just spreadin' it out.


BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Yours is spreading out better than mine. I’m going to be in remedial sushi making. I can tell.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): And then come to the end. The wasabi. And like so. That’s Japanese green horseradish.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Green horseradish. Okay. 

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Okay. You put this in the middle.


STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): So, bring this mat like so and then bring it over and then when you lift this one up, it’s almost half inch lips over here.


STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): And then pick up the mat, one side, okay and then push it over. Just a little. Not too hard. Okay.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): And then, like this. There you go.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Did I do that?


BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Oh. Look at that. Give me a match. 

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Okay. With a knife.


STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): You run the water down. So, will not stick to rice.


STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): That’s why a lot of people do go like this.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): You have to run the water down. Okay.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): You're right-handed. I'm left-handed. So, you cut them in half.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Cut it in half.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): You got a half? I don't think so.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Well, okay. 

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Okay. Turn this over.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Turn that over. 

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Should be even. Right?

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): No. I'll make it even. Wait a second. Okay.


BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Now, it's even. 

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Cut this into three pieces.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Into three pieces.

STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): Right. Then when you put them in a dish, should be height that be all same. And the fish in the middle. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): So, the first thing I noticed is they're not all the same height, and my fish is not in the middle as effectively as yours. 



STEVE FUJI (ON CAMERA): But as it goes, you will learn.


BURT WOLF: Starting in the early 70s, restaurants in and around San Francisco started developing a style of cooking that became known as California cuisine. They began to use local products produced to the restaurant’s specifications. A perfect example is Hawthorne Lane. Ann Gingrass is the chef and David Gingrass manages the house. The room is beautiful, sophisticated and comfortable. The open kitchen can be seen but not heard, and the food which blends European, Asian and American elements is excellent.

The apple carpaccio was the first appetizer. Next, crispy fried prawns with toasted garlic sauce and fresh spring rolls. A taste of stir-fried lamb with eggplant and garlic chips served in radicchio leaf cups. The main course was spiced marinated grilled chicken with curried noodles and carrot and peanut wontons. And for dessert, a lemon chiffon passion fruit cake with shaved white chocolate.

Since the days when the miners came into San Francisco with their pockets filled with gold, the restaurateurs of this city have made it their business to supply their customers with the best of everything.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): In 1952, the Buena Vista Cafe decided to try and reproduce the perfect Irish coffee, as it was made in the Shannon Airport in Shannon, Ireland. It wasn't easy. They even went back to Shannon to try and figure out what they were doing wrong, and they didn't get it right until the mayor of San Francisco, who once owned a dairy, figured out that they had to let the cream rest for 48 hours before they whipped it to the ideal consistency. At last, the perfect Irish coffee had been recreated in the United States. There was much rejoicing throughout the land and many people lived happily ever after. 

BURT WOLF: And here's how they did it. First, a heatproof glass is selected and pre-heated with hot water. Two sugar cubes go in. Then the glass is filled to the three-quarter mark with hot coffee, and the sugar is dissolved. A jigger of Irish whiskey is stirred in. Now, they only put the whiskey in because it helps hold up the lightly whipped cream which is poured in gently over a spoon.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Not even the Blarney Stone was left unturned in their search for the perfect Irish coffee. Here is to the pursuit of excellence.

BURT WOLF: In 1849, the Boudin family arrived in San Francisco and opened a French bakery. They used French baking techniques but incorporated a sourdough process to create a sourdough French bread. Since then, San Francisco has become famous for its sourdough bread, which is made from a combination of flour, water and wild yeast.

LARRY STRAIN (ON CAMERA): That's the mother dough that we’ve perpetuated since 1849.

BURT WOLF: My guide is Larry Strain, the president of the company. The flour and water are mixed together and exposed to the air in order to attract the wild yeast. Once the yeast takes hold, the mass turns into a starter, or culture, which is the foundation of sourdough bread and acts as a leavening agent like any yeast or baking soda. Each time a new batch of bread is baked, some of the original starter is incorporated in the new batter and some of the new batter is turned back into the original starter. The Boudin bakery is still using the starter that got started in 1849. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): What makes sourdough bread taste different in one part of the world than it does in another is the local wild yeast that grows in the area. The wild yeast in San Francisco is so specialized that it is known as lacto bacillus San Francisco. Now, of course, you could buy sourdough starter in San Francisco and bring it home to any city in the world and make sourdough bread. But it would never taste the same as it does in San Francisco because your local wild yeast would want to join in the fun. 

BURT WOLF: San Franciscans have an extraordinary interest in good eating and drinking. They take it seriously in terms of pleasure. But they also take it seriously in terms of business. There are over 3,500 restaurants in San Francisco. You could eat in a different one every day, and it will take you 11 years to get through them.

Travels & Traditions: Miami, Florida - #1007

BURT WOLF: Greater Miami and the beaches are situated along the east coast of the Florida peninsula – a sophisticated, subtropical city on the same latitude as the Sahara Desert. It is usually bathed in bright sunlight and has an average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Miami has been shaped by ocean waves, waves that formed barrier islands – waves that came in with hurricanes and rearranged the geography.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: But the most significant waves to arrive on these shores were the waves of settlers. Like the waves from the ocean they sank into the soil and changed the shape and the texture of this place. The first settlers were probably groups of native tribes that came over from Siberia about 10,000 years ago and headed south. Even then people were looking for a warm place and a better life. In the early 1500s the Spanish popped in, followed by the English, then the Spanish had a second shot. And finally in 1821, the U.S. government took over.

BURT WOLF: After an ocean wave arrives and sinks into the Miami sand, it will often leave marks indicating its passage. And that is also true for the waves of settlers who came here.

The first major modern day immigration was made up of wealthy northerners searching for a place to get away from the winter cold. The first of the big spenders came to Miami during the early years of the 20th Century and settled in an area known as Coconut Grove. In 1916, James Deering who made his fortune selling farming equipment through International Harvester, built one of the most magnificent winter homes in the area. These days it’s open to the public. Deering wanted to create an estate that looked like it was the home of an Italian family. A family that had lived in the house for 400 years, with each generation adding things from their own time. The property is called Vizcaya, which means the high place.

The old guard is still here but Coconut Grove also has a reputation for a slightly Bohemian lifestyle. An invitation to artists and craftsmen. These days Coconut Grove’s attractions are outdoor cafes, good restaurants, local shops and just down the road from the Grove, the ever-popular Parrot Jungle.

PARROT TRAINER: Are you a funny bird? Do you remember that little dog we saw? Remember that little Chihuahua?

PARROT TRAINER: That little Chihuahua? A noisy Chihuahua.

BURT WOLF: The Parrot Jungle is a well-known bird sanctuary, wildlife habitat and botanical garden. Over a thousand birds live here, but my favorites are the birds that appear at the trained parrot show.

The Parrot Jungle is at the edge of the city of Miami, a reminder that even though this is a modern metropolis, it is surrounded by the natural wonders of the tropics. Drive south from downtown Miami for just thirty minutes and you are in the Everglades. The Everglades is one of the world’s most unusual environments. When the summer rains soak the grasses, hundreds of rare plants and animals fill the park. During the dry winter season the animals come together around the limited water supply. Pools and ponds become ideal spots for visitors who want to take a look at the amazing environment. Vast saw-grass prairies, subtropical jungle, mangrove swamps.

Greater Miami is a compromise. A compromise between getting away from it all in a place like the Everglades or being part of it all in a place like South Beach.

During the Twenties Miami Beach was a major resort. People came to live it up... to do a little gambling, which was illegal but tolerated by the local government... to drink a little alcohol, which was also illegal and tolerated by the local government. During Prohibition, so much whisky came into Miami from the Bahamas that the Beach was known as the leakiest spot in America.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The largest immigrations to the United States took place during the 1800s and 1900s. Europeans coming to Ellis Island in New York City, who for the most part were uneducated and poor and trying to improve the quality of their lives. On the other hand, the Cubans who came to Miami during the 1960s were for the most part talented professionals and successful businessmen and businesswomen who feared Castro’s Communism and were interested in maintaining the quality of their lives.

BURT WOLF: They hit Miami and immediately started setting up the businesses they had back home. Everything from local shops to international banks. They also reproduced Cuban Cuisine. One of the most famous Cuban restaurants in town is La Esquina de Tejas. It’s run by Lian and Alex Chamizo. It is and has always been a labor of love.

LIAN CHAMIZO: The first time I saw the man that would eventually become my husband I was ten years old. We were vacationing here with my parents from New York and we stopped in for lunch, and I remember my mother making a comment as to the young boy behind the counter helping out his parents, and how noble. And little did I know I’d end up meeting him fifteen years later, and we’d marry, have two kids, and now we run the business together.

ALEX CHAMIZO: Dad opened up the business thirty-five years ago, and he used to also be in the restaurant business in Cuba. And basically what we serve is authentic Cuban cuisine.

BURT WOLF: It’s common knowledge that the Cuban sandwich served at La Esquina is one of the best in Miami. But some of the other authentic specialties include a traditional paella. A dish of shredded beef, actually, they call it shredded cow. Chicken and vegetables in a wine sauce. Marinated roast pork. Aand for dessert, a creamy flan and a pound cake soaked in three different milks.


BURT WOLF: Miami has had its ups and downs but it has always found a way to come out on top. After years of being a gastronomic desert, Miami and the beaches had a restaurant renaissance during the 90s. Today it has dozens of interesting restaurants, and almost all of the food reflects the history of Miami’s ethnic migrations and unique character.

When Ponce de Leon showed up in Florida in 1513, he was looking for the Fountain Of Youth. He must have missed Miami's South Beach. Ah, yes, shapes not found in nature. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Too bad about De Leon. Florida did little for him. But he and his fellow explorer, Hernando De Soto, did a lot for Florida, especially when it comes to eating and drinking. They were the first two guys to bring cattle and pigs to North America, and the Franciscan missionaries who followed them brought in Spanish recipes, rice and European spices. So, the Spanish influence on the food of Miami goes back for well over 500 years. 

BURT WOLF: Today the best place to see and taste that influence is in Miami's Little Havana, and the best place to start is the bakery at Versailles. My guide is Herb Sosa, a Cuban-American, a friend, and a serious eater.

HERB SOSA ON CAMERA: Well, Burt this is breakfast in Little Havana for us, a variety of fried and baked goods. We've got everything from croquetas over here, croquettes, we got pastelitos, which, again, are a nice, light, flaky, pastry, that can be filled with anything from meat to guava to cream cheese or a combination of both. Empanadas, over here, those are the guava pastries over there. And this is fun. This is a type of bread. It's a version of the Cuban bread. We call it a patines, which is a roller skate, because it resembles a roller skate with the wheels. And again, the codfish fritters are also a delicacy and, certainly, a favorite, and all of that has to get washed down with Cuban coffee, of course.

BURT WOLF: Ah! I'm ready.

HERB SOSA: Like some?


HERB SOSA ON CAMERA: There you go. Nice and strong and hot.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: What makes it Cuban coffee?

HERB SOSA: The way that it's brewed.

BURT WOLF: Strong and sweet.

HERB SOSA: Absolutely. Lots of sugar and the foam also is a mixture of the sugar beaten before you pour it into the coffee and then makes it come up to the top. Before we go, I want to show you one more thing. 

A variety of omelets and sandwiches here, references to our Spanish heritage. You've got the sandwiches, and the omelets filled with everything from prosciutto hams to the salmons, tomatoes, just about anything you'd like.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: And they're formed like a cake. Built up. And then sliced in triangles.

HERB SOSA ON CAMERA: Absolutely. Layers, nice and filling, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, any time you're hungry.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Interesting. I've never seen a sandwich presented quite like that. 

BURT WOLF: About midday, you can pop into Fritas Cubana. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: A Fritas Cubana. 


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: What does that mean?

COUNTERMAN ON CAMERA: Well, it's a tradition in Cuba. It's a patty, U.S. choice ground beef. It has spices in it, which is a recipe that we have, that my father showed me. It's got onions and homemade potatoes on a Cuban roll.


BURT WOLF: If you enjoy the food in Little Havana, you might like to look at some plates for it to go on, in which case you should stop into the workshop of the Curras twins. Ronald and Nelson are identical twins. But they were born a day apart, which put them under different astrological signs, very unusual for identical twins. Also one is right-handed and the other left-handed, which makes one the mirror image of the other. But those are about the only differences between them. They were born in Havana in 1940 and came to Miami in 1980. They are ceramists, and they make plates, tables and lamps in their home in Little Havana.

TRANSLATOR: Our grandfather who lived in Spain started a ceramics business, and we carried on in the tradition.

BURT WOLF: Where do you draw your ideas from?

TRANSLATOR: The flora and fauna of Cuba, their native homeland, the colors, the architecture, the plants, the animals, everything, that reminds them of their old Cuba. Our colors are inspired by the Tropics. They're hot. They're vibrant, like the Tropics that we come from. We work simultaneously and, together on both the concepts as well as in the actual work. One would start the design. The other one would continue, or vice versa, and also, when it comes to the murals with the ceramic tiles, we lay the tiles out, and, again, we don't have any preconceived ideas or notions on what the design will be. We just start and take it, as whatever inspires us at the time.


BURT WOLF: Much of the food on Miami Beach is designed to look good and make the diners feel good and so is much of the architecture. Miami Beach is home to the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world. Art Deco got started in Paris at the beginning of the 1900s. The objective was to take design elements used in industry and translate them into the decorative arts. The streamlined forms in a railroad train or an ocean liner find their way into the architecture of the buildings, strong vertical lines, rounded corners, portholes, etched glass and the first widespread use of neon lighting. During the 1920s and 30s over five hundred Art Deco structures were put up on Miami Beach. They were Art Deco but with a Miami Beach spin. The Art Deco here came to be known as Tropical Deco. The colors became bright pastels. Concrete awnings called eyebrows were placed above the windows to shade the rooms from the hot afternoon sun. The objective of Tropical Deco was to make people feel that they were having fun in the sun, even though the Great Depression was going on back home. By 1960, however, these wonderful buildings were running down. In response, the Miami Design Preservation League, and forward-looking investors took on the task of redeveloping the area. Tony Goldman was one of the first people to understand the value of preserving what was left in this area, and restoring the rest.

TONY GOLDMAN: I saw a rhythm of two and three and four story buildings along an ocean street with a public park and a great beach. A fascination of colors and shapes that had a rhythm and a connection as a family member would to another family member. When you have similar architecture in critical mass it becomes powerful, as opposed to having a piece here and a piece there from different times different places. But the Art Deco district of South Beach is in critical mass 800 buildings all built within eight to ten years of each other. So it’s a massive statement of architecture and a slice of time that is captured in for real, not in a Disneyesque approach. But it’s captured for real.


BURT WOLF: It appears that the same things that attract tourists... good food... good weather... lots of sunlight... interesting locations... also attract fashion photographers and their models. Miami Beach has become one of the world’s most important centers for outdoor fashion photography and film. They’ve become multi-million dollar businesses. As you walk along the beach you can see the art form in action.

And now for an art form that’s completely different. These are works of the Scull Sisters. They are famous throughout Miami. Three-dimensional murals that celebrate the street life of South Florida. And here they are now – the twins, Sahara and Haydee, and Haydee’s son Michael. In 1969, a freedom flight from Cuba brought them to the U.S. They were on their way to New York, but when they saw Miami, they knew this was the right place for them. And boy, are they right for Miami. Like Salvador Dali, they are as much an art form as the work they create.

BURT WOLF: Now, every day you’re dressed in something new. Every day! How come?

HAYDEE SCULL: Every day is a new day for us. And we, like everybody, enjoy.

MICHAEL SCULL: They want to make everyone happy around them and around us.

BURT WOLF: How do you decide what’s going to go into your mural?

HAYDEE SCULL: We think about that and talk.

SAHARA SCULL: Like the football.

MICHAEL SCULL: Like a football team we talk about it and then we say how we’re going to do it and all that.


BURT WOLF: How do you decide who does what part?

MICHAEL SCULL: Well, my mom...

HAYDEE SCULL: Number one. I am number one.

MICHAEL SCULL: She is number one. She starts in the background. My aunt does the different accessories, you know, to make the 3-D effect. And then I work on some of the figures, and my mom also, and we exchange that like that.

BURT WOLF: How long does it take you to make a piece?

HAYDEE SCULL: Minimum two weeks, a small painting.

MICHAEL SCULL: Two weeks, small painting.

HAYDEE SCULL: And one year, large painting. Like the bar in Mango’s.

BURT WOLF: Was there any one work that you did that was very exciting for you when you think back?

HAYDEE SCULL: The Queen Elizabeth the painting.

MICHAEL SCULL: When the Queen of England visited Miami, the City of Miami commissioned a painting to greet the Queen with this painting. And this painting was... we did something with the Queen’s portrait at the Vizcaya Palace – that’s in Miami. They thought that it would be an appropriate place to place the Queen. And she’s a Queen she should be in a palace. In the background you see the Vizcaya Palace, and she’s standing on one of those stone boats that they have and she’s kind of feeding manatees in the water with gloves – she’s wearing gloves and feeding the manatees. And they’re kind of smiling to the Queen.

HAYDEE SCULL: And the beautiful eyes manatee, looking at the beautiful Queen... Mas Lechuga, Mama.

MICHAEL SCULL: More lettuce, Mama.

The murals are owned by important collectors. They have a unique vision and if you look carefully at their images, your own view of the subject matter may change and that’s one of the criteria for a serious work of art.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: To come here just for the warmth and the water is to miss much of what this area has to offer. Let me show you what I mean.

EDWARD VILLELLA: Two-three, one! Ta-da! One! Cha-cha! 

BURT WOLF: The Miami City Ballet is quickly becoming one of the most respected ballet companies in the world. It was founded in 1986 by Edward Villella, the first American-born male star of the New York City Ballet.

Today, the Miami City Ballet has over 15,000 subscribers, and over 10,000 single ticket buyers each season. It appears all over the world, and is busy creating works that incorporate the social dances of this century into the traditional ballet of the past. To see The Miami City Ballet in action is to see the future of music and ballet in America. As the Miami classical arts community grew, it not only became a place where great artists came to perform, but also a place where young artists came to train. The Old Lincoln Movie Theater at the heart of the art deco district on Miami Beach has been converted into the headquarters of The New World Symphony. It's North America's only full time national training center for young orchestral musicians who want to prepare for professional careers.

Another organization that will give you a look at the musical future of America is Jubilate.

It started out in 1995, when a group of friends put together a vocal group to help celebrate Black History Month. Since then, it has expanded into the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble, and the Jubilate Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra is one of three in the United States that are primarily managed and staffed by minority musicians. Miami is also the world epicenter for street parties. The tradition goes back to 1915, but like everything else in Miami it is constantly reinventing itself. One of the biggest is Carnaval Miami, which celebrates the Latin flavor of the community with a nine-day festival of music, parades and food. It finishes off in a daylong block party on the legendary Calle Ocho in Little Havana.

Miami and the Bahamas have teamed up to produce the Goombay Festival. With everything from the Royal Bahamian Police Marching Band to Junkanoo parades, it looks like Bay Street in Nassau was picked up and transported to Coconut Grove.

Miami is the home of the annual Orange Bowl football game and the Orange Bowl parade, which has become one of the world’s largest and most colorful nighttime parades.

But festivals in Miami don’t all feature marching bands and floats. Miami has developed into one of the most sophisticated arts and cultural centers in the U.S. There are dozens of arts festivals, including Art Deco Weekend, a celebration of the Jazz Age, right in the middle of the Tropical Deco district.

Almost every week some group in Miami is having a party to celebrate something… the town has an ongoing dedication to having a great time.

For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.


Travels & Traditions: Napa Valley, California - #1005

BURT WOLF: Napa Valley is fifty miles north of San Francisco and easy to get to. It is a protected agricultural preserve, and the primary activity here is growing grapes that will make great wine. There are parts of Napa Valley that look like the district of Provence in France, or Bordeaux, or Burgundy. And anyone who knows Northern Italy will quickly spot parts of the valley that are similar to Tuscany. Napa is one of the most beautiful places in North America.

The busiest months of the year are September and October when the wineries are harvesting their grapes and starting to make wine. It’s also the height of the tourist season.  If you’d like less crush and more care, then January through March is the right time to make your visit. The fields are quiet. Traffic is light. And it’s easier to get a reservation at the best restaurants.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The residents of Napa Valley appreciate visitors and during the early months of the year they have more time to welcome them. You can stop in to everything from a mustard festival to a neighborhood barbecue. But Napa Valley is not the kind of place you want to come to for a single day. You really need three or four days to appreciate what’s happening here.  And no matter what time of the year you come, you’re always better off on weekdays than weekends.

BURT WOLF: The most extraordinary way to see the valley is by balloon. Joyce Bowen is the owner and chief pilot for the Bonaventura Balloon Company.

JOYCE BOWEN:  I love the sense of freedom, the sense of peace, the serenity, the magnificence.  Distances are deceptive in ballooning.  When you are looking at something like a half mile away, it seems like you can reach right out and touch it.  I think that’s one reason why people aren’t afraid of ballooning when they think they’re gonna be afraid of heights.  It’s just so close; it’s like a painting all the way around you, only you’re part of the painting.  I liken it to music; as a musician, I think that flying is like a line of music.  You’ve got vertical considerations and horizontal considerations and you follow a line, and you maneuver.  It’s very much like music

BURT WOLF: That was the first time I went ballooning and I loved it. The feeling of gently floating along above the world… the amazing peace and quiet… it’s a wonderful way to travel.

The valley runs north to south for thirty miles and the main road along its length is Route 29.  The first town that you come to as you head into the valley from San Francisco is Napa. The plan for Napa was laid out in 1847, which makes it the oldest town in the valley. It’s located on the Napa River, which runs down to the top of San Francisco Bay and then out to the Pacific Ocean. During the 1800s, all commercial shipments from Napa Valley, including wine, were transported from the docks at Napa. When the California gold rush got started in 1849, Napa became a favorite winter hangout for the miners. Today Napa still has much of its river town atmosphere and one of the largest collections of Victorian houses still on their original sites.

You can drive out of the town of Napa and head up the valley on Route 29, or you can get a good look at the land and a good meal at the same time on the Wine Train. The Napa Valley Railroad Company was founded in 1864 and continued in operation until 1987 when it was purchased by the Napa Valley Wine Train Company under the direction of Vincent DeDomenico, who at the time knew more about steaming rice and conching cocoa than spiking rails and rolling stock. His family business invented Rice-a-Roni and owned Ghirardelli Chocolate. And he thought it would be great to have a classic old train take people up the valley while they ate and drank. So every day the Napa Valley Wine Train takes passengers on a three-hour ride up the valley. Meals are served in a restored 1917 Pullman car, mahogany paneling, brass fixtures, etched glass, rail travel and dining as it was in the golden age of the iron horse. And you can drink the wine of the vineyards as you pass them.

Three hours later and you are back in Napa. If you’re moving up the valley town by town, the next place on the trail is Yountville.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: During the early 1800s a North Carolina mountain man by the name of George Calvert Yount wandered into the neighborhood and hung around as a handyman. He became friendly with General Mariano Vallejo who was the Governor General of the territory, which at the time belonged to Mexico. In 1836 George changed his name to Jorge Concepcion Yount, converted to Catholicism and was rewarded by the general with a huge tract of land which is now downtown Yountville.

BURT WOLF: Yountville is home to some of Napa Valley’s most famous restaurants. It makes sense to have great food in Yountville.  Napa Valley’s first vines were planted here and today the town is surrounded by some of the valley’s most famous winemakers. And what’s the point of having good wine if you don’t have good food to go with it?


BURT WOLF: This simple building in Napa Valley is actually one of the hottest restaurants in the United States.  It's Thomas Keller's French Laundry.  Now, there are a number of things that can produce top quality restaurant cooking in an area.  Cooking which can evolve into a distinct culinary tradition.  First is money.  If people will not pay for top ingredients and talented chefs, not much is going to happen.  The second is a local agricultural tradition.  The area must be producing good things to eat or drink, wine, cheese, beef something. 

The one place in the United States which appears to be developing a distinct cuisine    which might turn out to be a truly American style is Napa Valley.

For the last 150 years, it has been an agricultural area, and recently it has begun to attract people of considerable wealth.  The first wine makers in California were Catholic missionaries who brought vines from Spain so they could make wine for their religious ceremonies. Today there are only nine Catholic churches in Napa Valley, but more than 240 wineries.  It has become the most densely concentrated wine-producing region in the world.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA:  For the first 100 years the wines of Napa Valley were much better off at mass than they were at meals.  But all that changed in 1976.  That was the year that a group of California wine makers organized a comparative tasting of their California wines against French cabernets and chardonnays.  The tasting was held in France.  And the judges were French wine makers and French wine journalists.  The Americans won in both categories.  The world's perception of California wine was permanently changed. You know, when it comes to the making of food and wine, there's something very special going on in Napa Valley. 


A good place to take a look at the modern history of wine making in California is the Beaulieu Vineyard in Rutherford. During the early 1900s, Georges de Latour, a chemist from a French grape growing family, founded his own winery in Napa Valley. During Prohibition, Beaulieu prospered while other wineries were forced to close. Georges happened to hold the contract to supply altar wine to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. And churches across the country looked to the Archdiocese in San Francisco for their own altar wine.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The Archdiocese referred those requests to Georges. And Georges shipped hundreds of boxcars filled with his finest wine to the churches of the Midwest and the East Coast.

And even though Georges was making wine for religious purposes he always made the finest wines he could. And as those boxcars passed through Chicago, many of them mysteriously disappeared! It seems like the fine vintages that were being presented in the mornings at mass were showing up at speakeasy meals at night.

When Prohibition ended in 1933, Beaulieu was producing excellent wines and Georges' socially connected wife began promoting them to San Francisco society. But Georges was always interested in improving his wine. So in 1938, he hired Andre Tchelistcheff, a Russian born, French trained wine expert who had studied at the Pasteur Institute. Andre revolutionized wine making throughout California.

BURT WOLF AND JOEL AIKEN WALKING: Today, one of his students, Joel Aiken, is the Director of Wine Making at Beaulieu Vineyards. Joel is also one of the great experts on how the barrel that a wine is aged in affects the taste of the wine.

JOEL AIKEN ON CAMERA: Well in a small oak barrel, you get good flavor from the wood. It's a beautiful flavor. The wood is aged and toasted to get a smoky, toasty, woody character that complements the wine.

JOEL AIKEN: It's wood, so it actually breathes a little bit and it turns a very young, green, harsh wine into a nice, mature, full-bodied wine that you would want to drink.

BURT WOLF: One of the indications of the importance of wine making in Napa Valley is that the most famous wine barrel maker of France, Seguin Moreau, has set up a classic barrel making facility in the Valley.  Visitors can come in and see barrels being made with the same procedures and the same tools that have been used for hundreds of years. Our best guess is that barrel making techniques…

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA:  were developed by prehistoric boat builders to keep water out.  But by about 2000 B.C., we see that barrel makers are using them to keep water in.  The first written reference we have to barrel making was actually Julius Caesar when he described the ancient Gauls of France rolling barrels filled with burning pitch at his troops.  In the 300s, it got to be big business.  The Catholic Church was ordering huge vats with deep submersion baptism of the newly converted.  And in the 1600s it gets to be an even bigger business when international trade and intercity trade expand and everybody wants to ship something in a barrel. 

BURT WOLF: A barrel maker is known as a cooper.  And he starts his work by selecting about 30 oak staves that were harvested two years ago, dried, and matured in the company's wood yards.  They're assembled into the shape of a barrel and held in place with metal hoops.  This process is called raising the barrel, or making the rows.  For the next half hour, the barrel is heated over a wood fired flame where the cooper sprays water inside and out.  The heat and the humidity give the wood flexibility. 

A winch is used to gradually tighten and arch the staves producing the traditional barrel shape at which point additional metal hoops are set in place.  The dome shape that results is exceptionally sturdy and resistant to stress.  When it is lying down, which is its natural position, the entire mass of the form rests on a few square inches.  A child can easily maneuver a full, 350-liter cask with one hand.

The newly formed barrel is ready for a 15 to 20 minute toasting over an open flame.  Only the inside is toasted and the amount of toasting is set by the winery that ordered the barrel.  Toasting changes the chemical makeup of the wood.  Hundreds of different compounds are developed each with its own flavor and aroma.  Vanillin is the most dominant flavor but every compound imparts some element to the wine that will be stored in the barrel.  Each wine maker has slightly different specifications for toasting all part of his attempt to control the final taste and aroma of the wine. 

After toasting, the staves are trimmed, and grooves cut in place for the barrelheads that close the ends.  The heads are cut and measured and set in place.  The final hoops go on.  Some sanding and finishing to bring out the beauty of the oak.  And finally, as coopers have done for hundreds of years, the master craftsman signs his work which means, it's time to barrel along.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The only unfortunate interruption in the history of California winemaking was a totally misguided and highly destructive experiment by our Federal Government, known as The National Prohibition Act. From 1919 to 1933 they tried to keep law-abiding citizens from drinking anything with alcohol in it.  Many of the great California wineries were forced to close. But there was, however, one positive benefit to Prohibition. A number those wineries realized that they could use their facilities for making great cheeses.

BURT WOLF: Today California is the nation’s leading dairy state. In 1993 it passed Wisconsin in milk production. About half of California’s milk goes into the making of cheese, which is produced in 130 different varieties. One of the country’s most popular cheeses is also a California original. It is called Monterey Jack and it’s named after the place where it was first made and the guy who first made it. Today it is produced in various forms by more than a dozen different California cheese makers. David Viviani is a third generation artisan cheese maker who specializes in Jack cheese. His grandfather learned to make cheese when Prohibition closed the winery where he worked. In 1987 it was the first cheese factory west of the Mississippi River to win a gold medal in Wisconsin.

Today they are making Sonoma Jack. After the solid curds have been separated from the liquid whey the curds are flavored, measured into cheesecloth and rolled into balls. Dave said I should give it a try.

BURT WOLF:  Fortunately I was in the Boy Scouts.  I can make knots.

DAVID VIVIANI:  This was a hundred pounds of milk this morning.  Now we have ten pounds of cheese.  We’ve got ‘em.

BURT WOLF:  I’d better put this one aside. I wouldn’t want any of your customers to buy that --

DAVID VIVIANI:  You know, it took two cows to make this much cheese.         

BURT WOLF:  It did?

DAVID VIVIANI:  They worked all day to make that much milk.

BURT WOLF:  I hope I don’t run into ‘em after what I’ve done to it.

Down the block is the Vella Cheese Company, which produces Dry Jack, a cheese developed during The Second World War when the Italians in San Francisco couldn’t get cheese from Italy.

ROGER RANNIKAR:  Okay, what we have here is the Dry Jack.  A mixture, what you see here, of pepper, cocoa, and oil is mixed together, and each wheel is individually rubbed and put on the carts, and these will age seven to nine months minimum.  The cocoa powder pepper keep the oil in a state of suspension, allowing the cheese to breathe, and the oil keeps the cheese from cracking.  When you eat it, you will eat the coating itself and everything, because it is naturally made.  And then they’ll just sit seven to nine months, while they age.


BURT WOLF: Napa’s history as an area for winemaking goes back to the work of the Spanish missionaries in the early 1800s.  Its cheese making goes back to the 1700s. But its history as a place to come and rest goes back for thousands of years. These days there are a number of great spas located in the western part of the United States. Many are elegant resorts designed for a three or four day visit in the classic tradition. An example is Meadowood in Napa Valley. Meadowood is a private estate set among 250 acres of thickly wooded land. The main building houses the reception area, and there are rustic small buildings tucked into the forest that house eighty-five rooms and suites. The aspect that struck me the most was its stillness.

The Spa at Meadowood has all the traditional treatments, but whatever they do they take a very Napa approach to it.  During the two weeks I stayed here they wrapped me in grape seed mud to reduce my stress, polished me with grape seed conditioner to reduce my stress, and rubbed me with grape seed oil to reduce my stress.  But there’s historic precedent for all this grape seed business.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: During the 16 and 1700s, the French royalty living in Paris believed that taking a bath in a cask of Chardonnay wine reduced the negative effects of aging. And the more they sat in the wine, the more they drank and the more they drank, the more they believed that it worked. But then the French Revolution came along, and that had a very negative effect on aging amongst the French royalty.  As a matter of fact, most of them just stopped aging and the Chardonnay bath was forgotten.  But not everywhere.

It has returned in the form of Meadowood’s Chardonnay Massage. Of course, the Chardonnay is in a body lotion instead of a barrel, but it’s the thought that counts and that, um, anti-aging thing.

In keeping with the traditional role of a spa, Meadowood entertains its guests with physical activities like swimming in the heated pools, biking along the trails, playing tennis at one of the seven courts, golfing on the nine-hole course, and my new sport:  croquet. 


BURT WOLF: A dramatic way to get a look at Napa Valley is to take a ride in the wine plane.  Jim Higgins and his wife Kim will take guests on a private aerial tour.  It gives you a unique view of how the vineyards, mountains, lakes and canyons come together to form this beautiful valley.

JIM HIGGINS: I find this to be a particularly interesting and beautiful part because of the way that the vines kind of hang on to the hillside.  They have to really struggle to grow.  There is such fantastic drainage here that the root system actually has to dig down and work very hard.  When the vine has to work hard, it produces a more flavorful, intense grape.  And it typically works out that whatever looks good from the air typically tastes good in your glass as well.  And down to the right, you'll notice as we circle around Meadowood Napa Valley nestled in the hills.  It has its own private little valley, and you can see it clearly defined here by the golf course.  And then if you look at the large green spot in the middle that's a perfect square, that's the croquet lawn.

JERRY STARK:  Well, the objective of the game is to win.

BURT WOLF:  Yes, I like that!  I like that!  I’m in!  I got it!

JERRY STARK:  There’s a certain pattern you have to follow.


JERRY STARK:  So you go through each wicket twice, once in each direction.  And the object is for me to get the two balls on my side through all six wickets twice and hit the stake before you get your two balls through all six wickets and hit the stake.  When you swing, you want to swing the whole mallet from your shoulders.  It’s the shoulders are the top of the pendulum.  So you draw your hands back to the body, and you extend out through the ball.  So the whole mallet swings. The arms should move more.  You want everything relaxed; the only thing that should move when you swing a mallet and hit a ball is your arms.  Your head stays down, your body doesn’t move, just a nice, smooth swing from the shoulders.  Just like that.  There you go. That’s not makeable. One of the hard parts about the game is learning to make the balls do what you want ‘em to do.

BURT WOLF:  A lot of physics.

JERRY STARK: A lot of geometry and physics, yes.  There’s one trick shot that comes into play once in a while.  Let’s say red ball needs to make this wicket, but the blue’s in my way and I’ve already hit it, so I’m not allowed to hit it again.  So the only way to do that is to put my feet in front of the ball, which allows me to hit down on top -- that way I got through and I didn’t touch the blue ball and it’s all legal.

BURT WOLF:  I’m real glad we’re not playing for money.


BURT WOLF: And just up the valley from Meadowood:  more good stuff in the town of Calistoga. Lincoln Avenue, the main street, looks like it was part of the set for High Noon or maybe Blazing Saddles. A hundred years ago it was a tough frontier town and much of the architecture has remained. Local shops line the street. No chain stores are allowed in Napa Valley. There are a number of excellent restaurants here and I got to eat in a few of them.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA:  Brannan’s is named after Sam Brannan. In 1859 Sam was living in San Francisco when he heard that the top of Napa Valley was filled with hot springs.  He came up and bought 2,000 acres and put together a plan for a spa and resort that he hoped would rival the famous Saratoga in New York State.  Then he brought up a bunch of potential investors and showed them the neighborhood.  Threw a big party for ‘em.  Lots of eating and drinking.  When it came to the point where he was going to explain his plan, Sam had had a little bit too much to drink, and “Saratoga of California” came out as “Calistoga of Sarafornia.”  But he got his investors anyway, and Calistoga got built.

Brannan’s Grill has a multi-ethnic staff that is reflected in the menu.  We started with skillet clams and mussels, the Italian influence, but the sauce is lemongrass curry, the work of the chef Rob Lam, who is Vietnamese.  The main course was braised lamb shank with roasted onions, pappardelle pasta, and mint yogurt. It’s like the United Nations in a bowl.   For dessert we had a mini-flourless chocolate cake that was served while it was still soft in the center, a scoop of banana ice cream on the side.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The food in Calistoga is good, but Sam Brannan was right -- what makes this place special and has for thousands of years is that it sits on top of an intense geothermal area that sends hot water shooting up from the center of the earth. It even has its own “Old Faithful” geyser.

Deep beneath Calistoga is a river. As it runs over the molten rock at the center of our planet its water is turned into super-heated steam, which shoots to the surface. Thousands of gallons of water at a temperature of 350 degrees are driven skyward for about 60 feet. The geyser repeats this performance at regular intervals.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: But from time to time the pattern changes, and some scientists believe that change can predict earthquakes. That has certainly been the case in my personal relationships, so I understand why they are monitoring Old Faithful. And speaking of Old Faithful, I hope you will join us next time on Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Chicago, Illinois - #1004

BURT WOLF: The origin of Chicago's importance lies in its location. To the north and east are the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway that runs out to the Atlantic Ocean. To the south is a network of rivers that flow into the Mississippi and down into the Gulf of Mexico. Chicago is the control point between these two waterways. And for thousands of years, people have been using this spot as a central trading post.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: As the United States moved west, Chicago became a commercial center. And in 1825, when the Erie Canal opened, Chicago found itself with a direct water route to New York City, and shipping prices that had dropped by 90 percent. Everybody who grew or manufactured something in the Midwest brought it to Chicago for sale, especially the guys who were raising pork and cattle. Each year, millions of steaks pass through this town, and some of the best of those steaks ended up in the kitchens of some of the town's best restaurants.

BURT WOLF: These days, one of the most popular steak restaurants in Chicago is Wildfire. It's a steak and chophouse with a 1930s, '40s look. The walls are covered with period photographs, and there's a dramatic open kitchen. Their signature steak is a horseradish-crusted filet mignon. 

As Chicago became more and more important, its businessmen and women made more and more money. And often, when you have money, you learn to buy the best, which is why some of the country's best chefs are in Chicago. Perfect example is Charlie Trotter. Instead of going to cooking school, he apprenticed at some of the world's great restaurants, read every cookbook he could get his hands on, and learned his craft on the job.

CHARLIE TROTTER ON CAMERA: Let's go from the top.

BURT WOLF: His restaurant is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in the world. His food comes from a blending of French technique, American creativity, Asian minimalism and the finest ingredients. Over 90 purveyors provide him with foods produced to his specifications. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: As part of his desire to give back to the community that supports him, each week, Charlie invites a group of high school students to come in, have dinner and learn about the realities of the restaurant business. His objective is to teach them that with perseverance and focus, anything is possible. Maybe even a reservation on a Saturday night in his restaurant.

CHARLIE TROTTER ON CAMERA: Folks, are we ready to begin?


MAN: Absolutely.

CHARLIE TROTTER ON CAMERA: Great, great. We have a little something I think that'll be fun to kind of get your juices going. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: During the second half of the 1800s, Chicago's industrial growth required a larger labor force. Thousands of African Americans came up from the south. But the city also encouraged immigration from Europe. During those years, tens of thousands of Germans, Poles and Greeks arrived in this city. They moved into their own individual neighborhoods and opened up restaurants that served the foods of their native countries. 

BURT WOLF: When it comes to Greek food, a good spot is Papagus, which means Grandpa Gus. The Chicago Tribune called it the best Greek restaurant in the city. It's divided into areas, each representing a different part of Greece. The Paros room represents the northern part of Greece. Handmade cloth tarps line the ceilings. The walls are white washed. And the blue bottles represent the Mediterranean Sea. It's where you'd find the shrimp phyllo bag, roasted jumbo shrimp wrapped in phyllo dough and served on saffron rice. And whole fish grilled over wood. The grill they use in Papagus is 150 years old, and burns only cherry wood. It's also the place for flaming cheese… a Greek specialty. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Chicago also has a large Mexican community that arrived here during the second half of the 20th century. And as you might expect, they brought their native cuisine to the city. But what you might not expect is Topolobampo and the Frontera Grill that are thought of as two of the best Mexican restaurants in North America. Rick Bayless, who grew up in his family's barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City, is the chef. As an undergraduate student, he majored in Spanish and Latin American culture. Three of his favorite dishes are tortilla soup with pasilla chili, fresh cheese and avocado. Fish braised with tomatoes, capers, olives and herbs. And quick fried shrimp with sweet, toasted garlic


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Chicago is also the home to one of the most interesting restaurant companies in the United States. It's called Lettuce, as in the green leafy stuff, Entertainment You. And as you can tell from the name, it is creative and has a sense of humor about what it creates.

BURT WOLF: It was started in the early 70s by Richard Melman and with his partners, built into a $170 million business. But unlike most restaurant groups that have a good idea that they take all over the country, Melman has opened almost all of his businesses in Chicago. Curious to find out what commercial insight lay behind this unusual decision, I asked why he did almost all of his work in one town.

RICHARD MELMAN ON CAMERA: I hate to travel. I don't like the aggravation of going to the airports and the delays with the planes. And I have a horrible sense of direction. When I do get to another town, I never know where I am. And I'm a homebody, and I like being with my family. And that's ... that's the reason.

BURT WOLF: Of the top four restaurants listed in the Zagat guide for Chicago, three are Melman's. Ambria for excellent French cuisine in an elegant atmosphere with Art Nouveau architectural touches. It features a light approach that relies on the use of the freshest ingredients and cooking techniques that enhance the food's lighter flavors.

Everest is on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange building, and has one of the great views to dine by. Considered one of the city's top dining rooms, it operates under the direction of chef/owner Jean Joho, who has been described by the Chicago Tribune as the most creative chef in the city. 

And Tru, which presents a progressive approach to French cooking and serves their dishes on a spectacular array of non-traditional surfaces. Like caviar on a glass staircase, or marinated sushi in a bowl with a Japanese fighting fish. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Those three restaurants are rather upscale, and their energy is directed towards producing a great cuisine. But the company showed its sense of humor early on. During the 70s, they opened a restaurant called Jonathan Livingston Seafood, and another one called Lawrence of Oregano.

BURT WOLF: And for years, I've been a fan of Big Bowl, which is a casual Asian cafe that offers an eclectic menu of simple fresh foods. Asian noodles, stir-fries, soups and wraps. And everything is inexpensive. One of Lettuce Entertain You's most popular restaurants is Mon Ami Gabi, which is an authentic reproduction of a Parisian bar the way they looked in the late 1800s. A signature meal at the restaurant would start with onion soup, followed with a main course of steak with garlic butter and French fries, and end up with crepes banana foster for dessert. 


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The first candy bars made in America were made in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. But by the early years of the 20th century, America's great sweet tooth had moved to Chicago. The reason was very simple; it was an easy place to get corn syrup, dairy products, real estate was relatively inexpensive, and there was a great pool of intelligent and devoted labor. But the event that really changed America's sweet tooth into a full bridge and an upper plate was the First World War.

BURT WOLF: The U.S. Army ordered American candy manufacturers to produce bars that weighed 20 to 40 pounds. They were shipped to Europe and then cut into smaller pieces at the front. Eventually the job of making the candy in smaller pieces was assigned back to the manufacturers. By the end of the war, candy bars were a regular part of the American diet. And over 40,000 different candy bars were being produced. These days, the candy business in the United States is estimated at over $20 billion. And that's nothing to snicker at, especially in Chicago where the M&M Mars Candy Company makes Snickers. Snickers are America's number one selling candy bars and it produces almost $1 billion of annual sales, which really satisfies. It's made from a nugget base, topped with a mixture of caramel and peanut, which is then enrobed with milk chocolate.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The Snickers bar was developed by Frank Mars. And the original version was not chocolate coated. Frank believed that by combining the food textures found in nature, his candy bar would satisfy hunger. Nice try. But his customers soon told him that chocolate-coated hunger satisfaction was much better.

BURT WOLF: In terms of hunger, Frank's claim to fame was not limited to the Snicker's bar. During the 1920s malted milk drinks were very popular. So he developed a candy that felt like a portable milk shake, and he called it a Milky Way. It's made from chocolate, caramel and nugget. Similar ingredients to Snickers but without the nuts. He also believed that there was an ideal shape and size for each bar and based his designs on the ratios used by the ancient Greek and Egyptian architects. And like those venerable mathematicians, Frank Mars looked to the heavens for guidance, with a particular interest in Mars, the Milky Way and Star Bursts.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Chicago is also the home of the Tootsie Roll, which was the first penny candy to be wrapped in paper. In 1896 Leo Herschfeld immigrated to the United States from Austria, opened a little shop and began to make candy from a secret formula. He named that candy after his daughter Clara, whose nickname was Roll. Tootsie. 

BURT WOLF: These days, the president of the company is Ellen Gordon. She showed me how Tootsie Rolls are made. They start out from a base, which is primarily sugar, corn syrup, soybean oil, skim milk, and cocoa. That mixture is heated, cooled, thinned out, rolled, cut and wrapped. Over 60 million Tootsie Rolls are made each day. Tootsie Rolls also come in the form of a Tootsie Pop, which was the first soft-centered lollipop. The hard candy outside starts as a hot strip of sugar and water. As it cools, it's formed around a cone. Tootsie Roll mix is fed into the center of the cone. A unique machine turns some of the sugar candy around to form a ball over the Tootsie, and then pops in a stick. And over the years, it's become apparent that most Tootsie Pop lovers want to get through the hard candy outside and into the Tootsie as fast as possible. And so the company began to reduce the thickness of the coating. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: This Company represents the sweet dreams of my youth. Not only do they make Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops, but they make Dots and Crows and Sugar Daddys and Sugar Babies and Charleston Chew and Junior Mints. This is what I used to eat when I went to the movies. As a matter-of-fact, I went to the movies to eat candy. I thought the movies were something that the candy guys threw in to keep me quiet while I was eating.

BURT WOLF: Candies can be divided into three categories; chocolate, hard, and soft. In general, hard candy and soft candies have similar ingredients; water, sugar, and flavoring. And if the candy turns out to be soft or hard is a function of how much heat is applied to the mixture. The higher the heat, the harder the candy. Chicago is home to the largest maker of non-chocolate candies in the United States. The company is called Brachs, and it was started in 1904 by Emil Brach. They make 300 different candies including Peppermint Starlight Mints, and they are masters at the mixing of jellybeans. I learned that almost all jellybeans start out with the same-based mixture in the center. The specific flavor comes only from the coating. When it comes to most jellybeans, flavor is only skin deep.


BURT WOLF: Like many cities in the United States, Chicago's love of sweets includes a group of specialty bakers. And one of the most famous is Eli's who's been baking cheesecake since 1977. Chicago is the largest cheesecake market in the country. And Eli's is the largest specialty cheesecake bakery, turning out 16,000 cakes each day. Mark Schulman, an attorney who gave up suing for sifting, is the president of the company. The plant's daily tours are a top attraction. Each day the company goes through 15,000 pounds of cream cheese, 4,000 pounds of sugar, 265,000 fresh eggs, 5,000 pounds of sour cream, and 200 pounds of Madagascar vanilla. All cheesecakes are based on the simple process of sweetening fresh cheese curds and baking the mixture. And that's what Eli does with over 75 different recipes, including ones based on Heath Bars, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and Key Limes. But the best seller is still the original plain. They have a dessert cafe in which they offer a series of creations based on cheesecake. A Dipper is a slice of cheesecake that's frozen onto a stick, dipped in chocolate, and coated with the topping of your choice. A Smush is cheesecake and ice cream smushed together. And finally, shakes made from cheesecake and ice cream.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Cheesecake is one of our earliest baked goods. Historians tells us that the ancient Greeks took goat cheese and sheep cheese, sweetened it with honey and made a cheesecake that was fed to the athletes at the first Olympics which took place in 776 BC. 

BURT WOLF: Much of the food in Chicago is based on the cooking found in the ethnic neighborhoods. A perfect example is The Swedish Bakery in Andersonville. It opened in 1928 and continues to bake the breads, cakes and pastries that were dear to its founder. A neighborhood favorite is the Andersonville Coffee Cake. It's a light cardamom yeast cake with a topping of almonds. The great bakers that came to Chicago with the large German immigration of the 1800s and early 1900s are represented by Dinkel’s, which opened in 1922. It was opened by Joseph Dinkel of Dinkelsvule in Southern Bavaria. They're famous for their sweet German Christmas bread, which is called a Stolen. And if you are interested in tasting a perfect doughnut, the way they tasted before they were mass-produced by national chains, this is the place.

Another fine German bakery, Schmeissing’s. It was opened in 1934 by Gene Schmeissing who came here from Castle Germany. Good breads, fine fruit tarts, and a turtle cookie made with a sweet cookie dough base covered with nuts, topped with caramel and crowned with chocolate. The baker calls them a turtle. But I think they should be called a tortoise, because one bite taught us to love them.


BURT WOLF: While I was analyzing Chicago's sweet dreams, I stayed at The House of Blues Hotel, which is a Loews Hotel. The interior decoration is a mixture of Gothic, Moroccan, East Indian, uptown, downtown, across town and high-tech. In the same way that The Blues Brothers film took a relaxed approach to Chicago, the House of Blues Hotel takes a relaxed approached to the somewhat staid manner you find in most hotels. When you check in, you get a CD of Blues Rocker R&B.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The elevators run at a perfectly normal speed. But just to make sure you don't get bored while you're waiting, they have placed a television set in the wall next to the doors. Unfortunately, the other day somebody changed the station from CNN to an old Marilyn Monroe movie. And I was two hours late for my appointment. But I was in a good mood and mood is very much what this hotel is all about.

BURT WOLF: The hotel has a special deal with the Crunch Gym, which is on the bottom floor of the building. 

COACH: Way to go! Way to go!

BURT WOLF: There's also a state-of-the-art AMF bowling center in the hotel's building.


BURT WOLF: Directly across the courtyard from the hotel's entrance, is the House of Blues Restaurant and Music Hall. Every Sunday they hold a Gospel brunch. The buffet is basically Southern food and it's an all-you-can-eat service. About 25 different dishes including jambalaya, sweet potato hash, barbecued chicken, buttermilk biscuits, and bread pudding with a bourbon sauce. The interior space is based on an old opera house of Prague with three tiers of Baroque balconies. But the decorations are based on African American folk art.

Each week a different gospel choir comes to The House of Blues and gives everyone an opportunity to praise the Lord and pass the biscuits. Today's group is Andre Patterson and the Shop Choir. Andre used to be a hairdresser and he needed money to buy more chairs for his shop. He brought together some of his clients and fellow hairdressers and formed a gospel group to raise the money.


BURT WOLF: Since 1959, the Second City has been touring the world and making people laugh. Its alumni list reads like a Who's Who of American Comedy. Alan Arkin, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Robert Klein, Dan Ackryod, Martin Short, Gilda Radner. The Second City troops are masters of improvisational humor, and very often, part of a joke.

WOMAN ON CAMERA: I'm a waitress and I'm a sinner. Sometimes folks come into the restaurant and they'll order a salad with fat-free dressing, and I give 'em regular. I don't know what's wrong with me. I mean, I bet I get some sort of you know, evil pleasure out of seeing people eat a lot of fat, when they don't think they're getting any.

MAN: Let me ask you, have you or anyone in your family ever been a witness to or a victim of ...

MAN: Yeah.

MAN: All right. 

WOMAN: Have you or anyone in your family been witness to or a victim of a drug crime? SEATED WOMAN: Well, I haven't, but I think Joan has. 

WOMAN: And Joan would be.


MAN: Doctor, I'm ready for my physician-assisted suicide.

NURSE: All right, Mr. White. I have two options for you. The deluxe or the economy?

MAN: Well, my family doesn't have a lot of money, so the economy. 

NURSE: I understand. 

MAN: Hit the button.

WOMAN: I'm sorry. I forget every time. You just look great.

MAN: Oh, you look great. You look really good.

WOMAN: You look better. Oh, I love you. 

MAN: I love you too.

WOMAN: I love you more. Oh, honey, I'm sorry I was late. I was at brunch with the girls. 

I lost all track of time.

MAN: Oh well, you know, time flies.

WOMAN: Time flies when you're having fun. I'm having fun. Oh. How about you? 

You okay?

MAN: Oh yeah. I'm getting by, you know.

WOMAN: Good. You're coping?

MAN: Coping? Yeah, coping. What's new?

WOMAN: Oh everything. Everything is new. I'm so busy. I'm meeting people and doing things. I ... oh, I just wish you were with me to experience it all. You know? 

MAN: Oh, so do I.

WOMAN: You know, when they first put me in prison, I thought it was gonna be hell, but I'm having a great time. 

MAN: Man, do these trains take a long time, or what? 

WOMAN: Going to a costume party or something? 

MAN: Oh no, I'm a super hero. 

WOMAN: Oh, like uh, Superman or something like that. Huh?

MAN: Yeah, no. I'm Captain Apathy. I have all of the powers of Superman, but none of the willingness to use them.

MAN: Aeeyah (humming "Amazing Grace") ...

BURT WOLF: For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - #1003

BURT WOLF: Philadelphia is the city where the Founding Fathers of the United States met to declare their independence from England, to draft the Constitution, to put forth the idea that all men are created equal. It is a city of firsts. It's the home of our nation's first fire department, first hospital, first zoo, first art museum. Its citizens were the first to wear bifocal eyeglasses, to take books out of a lending library. It is the historic heart of our nation and designed to capture the heart of any tourist. 

The number one tourist spot in Philadelphia, the one most visited, is The Liberty Bell. Number two are the outlet stores at the Franklin Mills Mall, which seems to confirm my belief that our nation was founded on the freedom to shop. And it all got started because of a bill that was overdue. England's King Charles II owed 16,000 Pounds to William Penn, but the king was a little short of cash, so he paid off the debt by giving Penn a huge tract of land in North America. It was actually bigger than England. William Penn was an aristocrat, which the king liked, but he was also a Quaker, which the king didn't like.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The Quakers were much too liberal for the king. They believed in freedom of religion. They thought that a government should represent the needs of all of its people, outrageous ideas! He threw 10,000 of them into prison, including Penn. So the idea of paying off a debt, getting Penn and the Quakers out of his hair, shifting them off to the colonies 3,000 miles away seemed like a great idea. Penn could conduct his great holy experiment so far away that the king would not be bothered. Only one problem, the ideas that came to Pennsylvania with the Quakers were the very ideas that formed the basis of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolutionary War. Some days, you just can't win.

Philadelphia was the capital of Penn's colony, the City of Brotherly Love, but what the brothers loved the most was freedom, particularly freedom from England. In 1750, as part of the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania's Charter of Privileges, a bell was ordered from England. The inscription around the crown reads, "Proclaim liberty through all the land to all the inhabitants thereof." 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: They hung it in the State House, which is now known as Independence Hall. The first time they rang it, it cracked, so they recast it. They tried to ring it again, and it cracked again. The point seemed to be that anybody who trusted England to give the colonies a fair shake had to be cracked, and besides, the relationship between England and the colonies really was never what it was cracked up to be anyway.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Eventually a group of people who felt the same way ended up here in Independence Hall. They were delegates to the Continental Congress and had come from each of the 13 original colonies. On July 4th, 1776, they adopted the Declaration of Independence, which led to our fight for freedom and made Philadelphia the capitol of the United States.

But there was life in Philadelphia before the Revolution. Chris Klemek, who's a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania working on his doctorate in history. Under the name "Poor Richard's Walking Tours", he will walk you through the history of the city. Slightly irreverent and thought provoking, his tour is an interesting way to see Philadelphia. Chris is passionate about history. And when he's teaching, you just hang on and learn. Here we go.

CHRIS KLEMEK: William Penn is a radical guy. This is an aristocrat who converts to Quakerism, and he's going to bring some revolutionary ideas into the world with him when he comes, especially, to set up his colony in Philadelphia. Probably the most immediately obvious evidence of the radicalism of William Penn is the way he lays out his city. He creates basically the first pre-planned city in the modern world. It's a grid. He lays it out as a perfect grid, and this is in stark contrast to the London that he's born in and which he watches burn to the ground in 1666 because it's so dense and unplanned. The other radical idea that William Penn brings with him into Philadelphia is this idea of religious tolerance. And you see again, he's reacting against the persecution that he's been subjected to as a Quaker in England, so he wants to create a colony in which all faiths are tolerated, and the result of that is what we get here in Philadelphia, is America's first truly diverse society. CHRIS KLEMEK: All this tolerance and radical ideas proves very popular to the point that Philadelphia is going to end up being the largest city in the English-speaking world after London by the eve of the Revolution. And I don't think that there's any better illustration of the wealth that comes to Philadelphia in this time than this Anglican Church, Christ Church, that's built in the 1730s and '40s and really represents the grandest style, high Georgian architecture, the greatest building that you could find on the American continent at this point. What a great contrast we have here between the ornate Anglican Church that we just saw and this plain, austere, frugal Quaker meetinghouse, which in so many ways embodies the ideals that William Penn was trying to bring to his wholesome colony, his religious experiment. But the very success of that colony, that we've already seen, is going to ultimately undermine many of his ideals for what was to happen here. Probably the best example of this, is slavery, the slave trade is at the heart of much of the wealth that's coming into Pennsylvania. And yet the Quakers are at the forefront as early as 1688, of calling for the abolition of slavery. So now the question is - let's turn to the American Revolution – “Why here? Why Philadelphia?” And the answer is obvious. We've already shown, this is the largest, most cosmopolitan, wealthiest city in the Americas, so it's a really a no-brainer that when it's time to come together and forge a new government, that they're going to plot the revolution here, and even after the revolution, this will be the seat of the new national government that's put in place.

BURT WOLF: In that building.

CHRIS KLEMEK: Yes. This is Carpenter's Hall. It's the hall of a Carpenter's Guild, where they keep all their secret documents about how to plan buildings, and that's why the revolutionaries are going to meet here first in 1774 because they want secrecy. They want to be hidden from the street because they're discussing radical ideas, the radical ideas like Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" that say you can overthrow a government, that you can challenge a millennial tradition of monarchy. And they're saying, "We're going to plot treason. We're going to take on the most powerful army and navy in the world." And the amazing thing, we call them Patriots now, because they won. So they win, you've got a newly independent nation with its own institutions, but that still leaves us with the question of just how radical was this revolution, and it could be said that this is actually an oxymoron, a conservative revolution because it doesn't fundamentally restructure the American society. I mean, we think that the connection between money and politics is something new, but few people realize that George Washington is the wealthiest man in America, even before the Revolution. Then there's the issue of all these illustrious documents that are produced here in Philadelphia, proclaiming enlightenment, ideals of liberty and equality for all men, but they're not resolving all the tensions from William Penn's time of how slavery is going to exist in this ostensibly enlightened nation or whether women are going to be allowed to vote or even if Native Americans should be citizens. So all those tensions are going to create an irony around a symbol like The Liberty Bell, which in the 19th century is adopted by abolitionists as a flawed, cracked, emblem of an unfinished revolution. But there's life in Philadelphia after the Revolution. And this is where we need to talk about good old Ben Franklin, because all through the 1700s, Ben Franklin has been founding some path-breaking institutions for cultivating practical knowledge, useful skills. This includes the first lending library, America's first modern university, the University of Pennsylvania, or the American Philosophical Society, which is the premier scientific institution of its day. And the presence of all these institutions, unique in America, are going to lead Philadelphia to the vanguard of a new revolution: the Industrial Revolution. And Philadelphia in the age of the Industrial Revolution, when the railroad is the great symbol of this technological marvel, Philadelphia is the center of the railroad industry. It's in Philadelphia that we get the world's first billion-dollar corporation. Guess what? The Pennsylvania Railroad. It's also here that John Wanamaker is inventing the modern department store, and the best part about Philadelphia, is no matter what we're looking at, the religious toleration of the 17th century, the political revolutions of the 18th century, or the industrial revolutions of the 19th century, all the monuments are still standing. So Philadelphia really is the best place to come if you want to understand America.


BURT WOLF: Philadelphia has the largest collection of outdoor murals. They were put up as part of the Mural Arts Program. Russell Meddin, a member of the Mural Advocacy Board, took me on a tour.

RUSSELL MEDDIN: This mural is particularly interesting because, not only is a wonderful piece of art, but it really shows what murals can do for a community. In this area of Grays Ferry, there was a really nasty racial incident in this ethically diverse neighborhood, and they needed a way to bring people back together. And this one has really done it, and it really has worked. The Mural Arts Program began in nineteen eighty-four. It was set up, as a way to combat graffiti because, at that time, Philadelphia was just being blasted with graffiti all over the town. And it was thought that if we could take the people who had been caught for putting tags on walls and sort of channel their energy into something a little more positive, it would be a great way to change things around.

BURT WOLF: That makes sense.

RUSSELL MEDDIN: This one was done last year, and it's called Crystal Snow Skate, and it shows just a wonderful winter scene in the city. Right across the street from the recreation center, this wall had had graffiti on it and has totally taken care of the problem. Burt this is one of my favorite murals because it's large and really colorful. It's called the Philadelphia Muses, and it was done for the Avenue of the Arts, which is a block from here and so, also up here, we have members of the art community. They're members of Philadanco, which is dance company, Philadelphia Opera Company are all depicted on this mural.

BURT WOLF: These are real people, too.

RUSSELL MEDDIN: These are real people, real artists in Philadelphia, what is really fascinating is this is a complete stucco wall. It started as a complete stucco wall. And if you look to the right and left, you see brick columns. She painted those. Over the 2000 murals that we put up, we've had very, very, very little re-hits of graffiti on those walls. So it really has done what it was supposed to do. A lot of our newer murals are being funded by corporations and foundations, so if you have a corporation or foundation and would like to fund a mural in Philadelphia, please give us a call.

BURT WOLF: I don't have one, but you might mention it to them.

RUSSELL MEDDIN: Well, if you have a corporation or, foundation and would like to fund a mural in the city of Philadelphia, please call the Mural Arts Program. We have a wall for you.


BURT WOLF: During the Colonial period, Philadelphia was North America's most important commercial city. It was the home of the American Revolution. And the first capitol of the United States. But it was also a center for great eating and drinking. It was famous for its bakers and pastry makers, ice creams, and restaurants. And it still is. It's the place where a visitor can trace and taste many of the major influences on the history of American eating and drinking.

This is the Reading Terminal Market. It has supplied the cooks of Philadelphia with excellent products for over 100 years. But it is also a good market for tourists. In addition to all of the foods that are meant to be used by local residents, the Reading Terminal Market has foods that are to be eaten here, taken back to your hotel, or brought to your home. You should try the soft pretzels, which are served with a topping of mustard; hoagies, which were developed to celebrate the first presentation in Philadelphia of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta; and cheese steaks, which have become a signature food in the history of Philadelphia gastronomy. Many of the foods at the Reading Terminal Market come in from areas just outside the city, areas that are well worth a visit. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The plantations that grew up around Philadelphia were based on the English manor system. A central element was the bake and brew house that used yeast to produce beer and bread. Wheat was the major cash crop of the colony and it was used to produce the money that the colony needed to trade with England. But it also produced some great bakers.

BURT WOLF: Baking bread was the most important work. But Philadelphia was a great trading port with access to an extensive range of spices. The Mennonites in Germany and the Amish in Switzerland were attracted to Philadelphia because of its promise of religious freedom, but they were master bakers and skilled at the use of spices. Cinnamon buns were one of their specialties. The fame of the sweet baked goods of Eastern Pennsylvania is based on their recipes. They also produced great fruit pies. Three times each week ships sailed into Philadelphia with fresh produce from the Caribbean ... coconuts, bananas, pineapples, limes. They were regularly available. People expected the market to have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Foods and spices came up from the Caribbean but so did settlers. Many of the members of the first African-American community in Philadelphia came up from the Caribbean and introduced West Indian recipes. And it was the city's African-American cooks who, in the late 1700s, and early 1800s, helped organize the city's catering industry. They introduced the first catering contracts and changed the way people entertained. 

BURT WOLF: Market stalls have been in this area since the late 1600s. But the Reading Terminal Market came into existence in the 1890s when The Reading Railroad tried to have a group of market stalls demolished so it could build a new terminal. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Not a chance. The farmers held together and the railroad had to build their station above the market. As a matter of fact, the tracks are still up there. For many years the market and the railroad worked as a team. Someone in the suburbs would place an order, the market would pack it up, put it on the right train, the conductor would drop it off at the right station, and hold it until the customer came in and got it. As we developed a national railroad system, the food manufacturers in Philadelphia learned how to distribute their products throughout the nation.

BURT WOLF: In the middle of the 1800s, Philadelphia headed off to a new place in the world of gastronomy. For over 150 years, it had been a center of individual creativity. Now it was becoming a center for industrial innovation. The small store-front shops making small batches of ice cream by hand were still here. But in 1848, Eber Seaman patented a machine for making ice cream on a large-scale basis. It turned the luxury food into something that could be distributed to a mass market and made Philadelphia-style ice cream famous throughout the country. In 1858, John Mason invented the Mason jar and home canning took off. The market is filled with products that could only exist as a result of Mason's innovation. Philadelphia was also well known for its cheesecake. A shop called the Cheesecake House was in operation during the 1730s. Cream cheese is also a Philadelphia specialty. It was made here during the 1700s from fresh cream that was thickened and pressed into little rectangular forms. Cream cheese and other dairy products from Pennsylvania developed a national reputation for quality. So highly valued were Philadelphia dairy foods, that some products that were never made in Philadelphia carried the Philadelphia name so people would think well of them. Like Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese that was made in New York State. Animal crackers were introduced here in the 1870s by the Wilson Biscuit & Cracker Bakery. Philadelphia became America's focal point for the mass production of quality food products. But it also continued to develop its own local specialties.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The streets of Philadelphia, like the streets in many American cities, are filled with food vendors. Here in Philly the tradition got started with guys who were selling food at the centennial celebration of 1876. They were known as hokey-pokey men and what they sold has changed over the years with changing food fashion. Pepper-pot soup became Italian ices. Breads were introduced with sausages. They even sold antipasto!

WOMAN ON CAMERA: Hi. Can I get two soft pretzels with mustard, please?

BURT WOLF: These days they're famous for soft pretzels served with mustard on top. They've been sold in the streets of Philadelphia at least as far back as the 1820s.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: One of Philadelphia's most interesting gastronomic innovations took place in 1879. Gilbert and Sullivan were giving their first Philadelphia performance of their new operetta "H.M.S. Pinafore." To help celebrate the event, the bakers of the city introduced a bread in the shape of a boat which they called a "pinafore." To join in that celebration the hokey-pokey men began serving their antipasto on that boat-shaped bread.

BURT WOLF: People called the sandwich a "hoagie" using a contracted form of hokey-pokey. These days it's made from luncheon meats, lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and mayonnaise and presented on long Italian bread. And while you're tasting the specialties of Philadelphia, you should include a slice of scrapple. It's a mixture of pork that has been cooked in broth and thickened with cornmeal and buckwheat flavor and served for breakfast along with eggs. It was introduced to America by Pennsylvania Dutch farmers and based on the pot-puddings of Northern Germany. You might also try some of the water ices that came to Philadelphia with immigrants from Southern Italy. And finally, the famous or infamous Philly cheese-steak. Thin slices of chuck-eye steak are cooked on a grill. You can choose from four kinds of cheese.

COOK ON CAMERA: We’ve got American Cheese Whiz … provolone … mozzarella and pepper-jack. The most traditional is the Cheese Whiz. If you ask for a cheese-steak, they kind of expect to get the Cheese Whiz on it.

BURT WOLF: Whichever you choose, it’s melted on top and onto the roll, and finally a topping of grilled onions.


Not on most lists of sites to see in Philadelphia but right downtown and worth a visit is the Masonic Temple, home of the Freemasons. The Freemasons are the world's oldest and largest fraternity, and many of the men who founded the government of The United States here in Philadelphia belonged to the Freemasons, including George Washington.

JOHN MINOTT: Well good morning and welcome to the Masonic Temple.

BURT WOLF: There are free daily tours of their building, and I took one along with a third-grade class from the Friends Select School. Our guide was John Minott.

JOHN MINOTT: This is Oriental Hall, and everything in this room was modeled after different sections of the Alhambra Palace in Grenada in the south of Spain.

BURT WOLF: Masonic Lodges began in Scotland in the 1700s and came to Philadelphia with some of the earliest settlers. This building houses their meeting rooms.

JOHN MINOTT: This building was one of the first in the city of Philadelphia to receive electric power. This is indeed Egyptian Hall, and it is very authentic, down to the Egyptian writing, or hieroglyphics, that can be translated.

JOHN MINOTT: And last, but not least, is the turkey. Now, I have to admit, we really don't know why that turkey is there, but we like to think it's there to honor Benjamin Franklin. Do you know the eagle was the symbol of our country? Well, he wanted the turkey to be the symbol of our country. I would like to thank you very much for visiting us. It's been great fun doing this tour with you guys.


BURT WOLF: Philadelphia has become the leading city for African American tourism in the United States. Part of the reason is historic. But just as important is the role that African American artists play in the city's present cultural life. A perfect example is Philadanco. Joan Myers Brown is the founder.

JOAN MYERS BROWN: Philadanco is a modern, contemporary dance company, and I say modern and contemporary even though it might sound redundant, but we're modern and we do contemporary work.

JOAN MYERS BROWN: Well, I had two dance schools back in the 60s, and by the time we got to the 70s, I had youngsters I had trained who had no where to go and nothing to do with that training, so I thought I would provide a vehicle for them to show their talent.

BURT WOLF: Philadelphia also has an unusual blend of music and dance, which is put on display during the first day of each year.

That's when the Philadelphia New Year Shooters and Mummers Association holds its annual parade. 

Shooters because the early Scandinavian settlers who came to this area in the 1600s would fire their guns as part of their New Years' celebration, Mummers because Momus was the ancient Greek god of mockery. Those two elements came together in the French word mumeur, meaning a disguised participant at a festival who makes fun of society. James Bland, an African American composer of the 1800s wrote "Oh, 'Dem Golden Slippers", which is the official song of the parade. And the official dance step is called a cake walk, a high strut with a backward tilt.

BURT WOLF: For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: New York City - #1002

BURT WOLF: The great cities along the Atlantic coast of North America were originally colonized by groups of people who wanted to build communities based on their religious beliefs; Puritans in Boston, Quakers in Philadelphia, Anabaptists in Rhode Island. There was, however, one extraordinary exception: New York. New York was founded in the 1620s as a trading post by the Dutch West India Company, a profit center for a corporation. The directors of the Dutch West India Company had one objective, to make as much money as they could as fast as they could. All other issues were secondary.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Four hundred years have gone by, but the priorities on this island are still pretty much the same; making money comes first. But at the heart of making money is creativity. You need an idea or an invention that will make money for the investors and the creators. So, Manhattan also became the center for creativity. And once you have creativity and money in the same place, people become interested in culture. 

BURT WOLF: Today, Manhattan is a world epicenter for all three: money, creativity and culture. It is an extraordinary place to live and an amazing place to visit. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Let's start with the money, the big bucks, the money that changed everything in New York City. It came floating into town when the Erie Canal opened in 1825. The canal was 135 miles long and it connected New York City with the Great Lakes. Suddenly, products that took a month to get to New York were arriving in a week. Shipping charges that were a dollar dropped to a dime. New York City was connected to the heartland of America and the products that were being made there were now being shipped through the port of New York. 

BURT WOLF: The Erie Canal made New York the mercantile center of the new world. The stocks issued to fund the canal and the money needed to deal with the city's sudden growth made it the financial center of the country. By 1830, New York had passed Philadelphia to become the nation's most important money market. And it still is. 

This is the floor of The New York Stock Exchange, the largest equities market in the world. On an average day, over 35 billion dollars worth of stock is bought and sold. It started in 1792, when two dozen brokers got together under a tree near 68 Wall Street. It became an official place for trading stocks in 1863 and the ticker was introduced just four years later. It took over 100 years, but in 1975, The New York Stock Exchange got its first woman member.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: When you buy a membership in The New York Stock Exchange, what you get is the right to buy and sell listed shares with other members. The general public when it wants a share has to go to a member. Another word for a membership is seat; but, as you can see, no one gets to sit down on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange. In the 1870s, a seat sold for 4,000 bucks. In 1999, that same seat, slightly reupholstered, sold for two and a half million.

BURT WOLF: When the Exchange is open, so is the visitor's gallery. You can stand above the trading floor and watch vast wealth coming and going. 

Just down the street from The Stock Exchange is The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It's one of the 12 regional reserve banks that was set up to serve as the central bank of The United States. The Fed sets the monetary policy for the country. It's also the warehouse for hundreds of billions of dollars worth of gold and securities, and tourists can come in and pay the gold a visit.

From its earliest days, circulating money was an essential part of New York, and to a great extent that circulation depended on immigration. During the 1640s, Peter Stuyvesant was the Governor of the colony. He ruled with an iron fist and a wooden leg. And was New York's first official bigot. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: He begged the Dutch West India Company to let him keep the Jews out. But the company was into riches, not religion, and they told him to stick it. His instructions were to let the Jews and any other race or religion into the colony so long as they would enhance its economic standing. And you know what? That's pretty much the predominant view in New York today. 


BURT WOLF: By the beginning of the twentieth century, immigrants were arriving from all over Europe and Asia. Thousands were coming in each day and they were allowed in for the simple reason that the city needed cheap labor for its new factories. And massive immigration to New York is still going on. An analysis of U.S. census figures indicates that during the 1990s, over one million immigrants settled in New York. Today, over 40 percent of the city's residents are foreign born.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: There's major immigration to other American cities. But, for the most part, those cities are receiving large homogeneous groups; lots of people who come from the same place, like the Cubans in Miami. But the immigration to New York City is coming from all over the world, and it's revitalizing the town. In the 1620s, there were 500 people living on this island. They spoke 18 different languages. Today, the people who live in Manhattan speak over 100 different languages and some of them even speak English.

BURT WOLF: The immigrants and their children are also the source of much of the city's creativity. Pete Hamill's father and mother immigrated to New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Pete became a journalist, Editor-In-Chief of both The New York Post and The New York Daily News, a screenwriter and a novelist. We stopped in at the Tribeca Grill to talk about New York and creativity. 

PETE HAMILL ON CAMERA: I think, first of all, that the immigrant generation, the people that come from the other places, don't imagine in any conceivable way careers for themselves. They go to work in those grocery stores, whether they were Irish or Jewish,70 years ago or they're Korean today, so that their kids don't have to do those jobs. They are here to make the careers of their children possible. And so they gave those kids something that was extraordinary, and that wasn't money. It was optimism. It was the belief to create in them the belief they could be anything. You want to play the left field for The Dodgers? You could be a left fielder. If you have real bad luck, you can be President of the United States, but if you're really lucky, you can be a free man or a free woman. You can be an artist or a writer or a playwright or whatever. I think the art, particularly the arts, were amazingly nourished by that European immigration generation; by the Irish, the Jews and the Italians. 

The roads took different paths, but the arts in America, the twentieth century arts were essentially the results of the children of immigrants plus African Americans. And when you put those combinations together, you got American art in the twentieth century. We are seeing now I think the beginning of the amazing gifts that we will get back from the new generation of immigrants. It's for that reason that the city feels replenished, the city feels excited again, the city feels full of possibility. I think it's very hard to create art in total isolation, that all those little collisions, the irritations of living in a city like New York are the same kinds of irritations that can create pearls. A grain of sand gets into a little irritates the ... the oyster and a pearl results.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Well, this is one of the most irritating places in the world.


BURT WOLF: Naturally the arts should be wonderful.

PETE HAMILL: Exactly. 

PETE HAMILL ON CAMERA: For me, New York makes my blood pulse. Um, I need the kind of isolation like a lot of ... writers need to be able to focus deeply and surrender to the trance of the work. You need that kind of isolation. But when I get to the end and I take a breath and say that's it, I open the door, I'm out in the street and there's a Chinese woman yelling at somebody else in Chinese while a Latin guy is arguing with a Haitian over a parking spot. And when I hear that, when I hear the bouncing of languages, all those vowels colliding with all those consonants, my blood races. I'm so happy to be there. I'm so happy to be in cement. 


BURT WOLF: Cement that holds up some of the most interesting buildings constructed during the twentieth century. Norval White is the author of The American Institute of Architects Guide to New York. It's a definitive record of the city's architectural heritage. I asked him to show us a few of his favorite structures.

NORVAL WHITE: This is the Chrysler building, which is one of the great art deco buildings of New York City. 

BURT WOLF: What makes it special?

NORVAL WHITE: Well, it's one of the great examples in New York of the art deco style. It's a marvelous skyscraper. It has many details of fascinating interest. On the third setback, you can see the radiator caps of an early Chrysler automobile. And then way up at the top, you can see the falcons projecting into space, kind of modern gargoyles. And then above that, this rather glorious finial, this steel sphere lancing into the sky. 

BURT WOLF: And for a brief time, it was the biggest building in the world.

NORVAL WHITE: It was the tallest building in the world until the Empire State came along, which is distinguished really only for its height. This one is distinguished for its architecture, as well as its height. 

BURT WOLF & NORVAL WHITE ON CAMERA: This grand space is the main reading room of the New York Public Library. It's called the Rose Main Reading Room after the philanthropist who endowed it. And it's been brought back to its original spark, which was when it was opened in 1913.

NORVAL WHITE: It's really an inflated copy of an Italian Renaissance palace and the ceiling, which could come from a majestic fifteenth century Florentine palazzo, is twice as big in every direction as anybody could construct in that time. So the engineering of the late nineteenth century allowed this colossal expansion. 

BURT WOLF: Wonderful woodwork there too.

NORVAL WHITE: Fascinating oak, Roman Tuscan columns. This is where the books are returned and a very grand place. 

BURT WOLF: And speaking of grand, our next stop was Grand Central Station. 

BURT WOLF & NORVAL WHITE ON CAMERA: Since Pennsylvania Station was torn down by the vandals, this is the great place to celebrate one's arrival to New York City.

BURT WOLF: When was it built?

NORVAL WHITE: 1913 it was finished. I think it was built between 1903 and 13. A fantastic combination of engineering, which made these great spaces, and the rich end of the nineteenth century what we call beaux art architecture, grand architecture of those times. 

BURT WOLF: Those are amazing windows.

NORVAL WHITE: Yes, those are, actually you can walk across those. Those are glass bridges. You can walk from one side to the other. But the architects who have completely redid the station and did this magnificent restoration of the zodiac up here in the sky.

BURT WOLF: One of the most interesting things about the ceiling is that the star scape is in reverse. If you look up at the night sky, this is not the view you will see. This is the view from outer space looking down at the stars. 


BURT WOLF: The idea for New York's Central Park came from Andrew Jackson Downing, a well-connected landscape architect who felt that the upper-class citizens of the city were no longer coming into contact with the lower classes in ways that might be beneficial for both. He believed that a large park in the center of the city would accomplish this objective. Citizens of every class would come to the park and be reminded that underneath we are all brothers and sisters. Sara Cedar Miller is a historian with the Central Park Conservancy, and she took me on a tour.

SARA CEDAR MILLER & BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: We are on the mall in Central Park, the straightest line in the park. If you can imagine that you are walking down the nave of Chartres Cathedral, the landscape architects used plant material in the exact same way that architects used stone. So you have the trees as the columns of the buildings, the sculptures as the apses with the chapels inside and the beautiful branches of these American elms acting like the ribs of the Gothic vaulting. 

BURT WOLF: Unusual to see so many American elms in one place. 

SARA CEDAR MILLER: This is the largest span of American elms in North America, even perhaps the world. They are 70 years old.

BURT WOLFON CAMERA: They don't look a day over 50. 

SARA CEDAR MILLER: Right now, we're in the heart of Central Park, at Bethesda Terrace. I like to think of it as Central Park's living room, and the fountain as the TV.

BURT WOLF: Nice. That's the television. 


BURT WOLF: So you're getting one channel.

SARA CEDAR MILLER: Right behind the fountain is the lake. Central Park has three different kinds of landscapes. The formal landscape, we just came down the mall, we are here at Bethesda Terrace, more or less the Versailles for every man. And behind us is the pastoral park, the Great Meadows and the great big, broad sheets of water like the lake. Behind that is the Ramble, the third kind of landscape, which is the picturesque landscape of the woodlands. 

BURT WOLF: Nature.

SARA CEDAR MILLER: Nature all over the place. We're on Beaux Bridge, the largest span in the park and the second oldest cast iron bridge in America. They knew that cast iron could break.

BURT WOLF: It's a brittle material. 

SARA CEDAR MILLER: Brittle, very brittle material. So what they did was bury cannonballs at the base of the bridge to act as ball bearings so the bridge could have a little movement when the lake froze for ice skating.

BURT WOLF: Very clever technology. So, after all of these years, it has become what Olmstead dreamed about, a park for the people.

SARA CEDAR MILLER: It is a park for the people. Indeed. 


BURT WOLF: In addition to their cultural contributions the immigrants brought their gastronomy. There are over 10,000 restaurants on the island of Manhattan, so you can find just about anything you want.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: In the beginning, most of the cultural and gastronomic influences were from the English. After all, we speak English. Our laws are based on English common law, and much of the cooking was based on English recipes. As immigrant groups arrived, they wanted to assimilate and be like everybody who was here and, so, they accepted the English tradition. There was, however, one group of people who thought we needed a little cultural help and that the cooking was absolutely terrible. They flatly refused to give up their old-country ways, and, I think, changed America in many ways more than we changed them, and those were the Italians. 

The key decade for the Italians was the 1880s. A conflict was developing between the Italian immigrants arriving in New York and the scientific community. Researchers were developing theories about the relationship of what people ate and drank to their overall well-being. They were also teaching these theories, as if they were scientific facts. The scientists had some interesting ideas. They thought that the tomato was poisonous and could kill you. They thought that fruits and vegetables had so much water in them, that from a nutritional point of view they were useless, they thought that green vegetables were the worst of all. They thought garlic was so dangerous it was like a self-inflicted wound. They were very nervous about eating different foods at the same time. If you put meatloaf and mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables on the same plate and ate them at the same time, it might put too much stress on your digestive system, and you'd get sick.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Ludicrous stuff. Imagine a family coming to New York from Italy, and the government tells them that everything they love and have been eating for generations is no good for them. Outrageous! Fortunately, they stood their ground and we’re lucky they did.

It's easy to credit Italian immigrants for America's love of pizza and pasta. But they're also responsible for the widespread acceptance of fruits and vegetables. This is the Fairway Market on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and it's easy to see what the Italians brought in. Bins of fresh pasta. Shelves of dried pasta. A wall of olive oils. Tubs of fresh olives. Tomatoes. Artichokes. Broccoli. Baby eggplants. A dozen different espresso coffees and biscotti. And that's just the easy stuff. Steve Jenkins is in charge of Fairway's Cheese Department, and he has his own story.

STEVE JENKINS ON CAMERA: At this counter, there's probably some 400 cheeses. But I'd say, France aside, the majority of them are Italian. We started in the Northwest corner of Italy where there's one of the five greatest cheeses in the whole world. It's called Fontina d’Aosta, from Aosta, the great semi-soft, raw cow's cheese from near Mont Fontin, the greatest melting cheese in the world. And from there, we just fell across the Piemonte border and discovered that the great Paglia cheeses and the Toma cheeses and Bra, the great, great cow's milk cheeses of Piemonte, in addition, the goat's milk Roccaverano and the sheep's milk Murrazzano, and now, they're sort of ... they're staples. They're things our customers absolutely have to have. From Piemonte we travel West into Lombardia, where we discover great mascarpone. From there we went into Tuscany and pioneered what I think is my favorite cheese in the world which is Pecorino Toscano, name-controlled, sheep's milk cheese from Tuscany. Comes in a variety of sizes and shapes and ages. It's always raw milk. It's one of the most satisfying cheeses I know. And into Campagna. And we bring in mozzarella di bufala which, since the 2nd Century A.D., has been been the definitive mozzarella, not cow's milk. They don't even call cow's milk mozzarella. They call it il fiore di latte. That's Campagna. That's the area that's all around Napoli. We make sure we've got 'em every day, and they sell in ever-increasing amounts, and it's an enormous source of pride.

BURT WOLF: For centuries, the idea of good eating meant meat and fat. And in the early 1900s, researchers discovered vitamins and dietary minerals and all the rules changed. Suddenly, fruits and vegetables became good foods. The Italians also brought in America's favorite dessert. The Chinese had been making something like ice cream for about 5,000 years. But it was the Italians who introduced ice cream to Europe and eventually to the general public in North America. The ancient Romans loved ice cream. They would send a runner into the mountains to get ice, bring it back to town, mix it with crushed fruit and cream and end up with something like what we have today. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Ice cream follows a rather rocky road in ancient Rome. If you came back from the mountains and your ice was melted, the Emperor might just feed you to the lions. Things were better in Colonial America. George Washington had his own ice-cream making machine, and Thomas Jefferson had his own recipe for French vanilla. But it took the immigrants from Italy to make ice cream what it is today. Yummy!

BURT WOLF: And it was the Italian immigrant community that developed much of the American wine business. Many of the great vineyards in California were started by Italian farm families that came to the United States at the end of the 1800s.

New York is also the center of Italian gastronomy in the new world. So you should definitely stop into one of the city's great Italian restaurants. These days, the superstar is Babbo, which is the Italian word for daddy. The two daddies that own the restaurant are Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali. Mario's in the kitchen and he started me off with marinated fresh anchovies, pasta with toasted garlic, hot peppers and pecorino, and for dessert, sweet corn crema and zeppoli, which are little dough nuts.

One of my favorite hot spots in New York is Balthazar. It has the feeling of a traditional French brasserie, and like the famous brasseries of Paris, it's a place for celebrities to see and be seen. I usually come in in a group and we share the dishes. For starters, a chicken liver and foie gras mousse, roasted beet salad and Brandade de Morue, which is a mixture of cod and potatoes. The main courses were pan roasted chicken, steak in a pepper sauce and whatever the daily special is. Today it’s saddle of lamb. For dessert, a fresh fig and raspberry tart and a pineapple upside down cake with coconut ice cream. The wine list is excellent and the bakery next door offers top-notch breads, sandwiches and pastries. 

There are tens of thousands of Japanese living in the New York metropolitan area and they have encouraged the growth of Japanese restaurants to a point where some of the best Japanese food off the islands of Japan is on the island of Manhattan. The most innovative is Nobu, which has brought a new style of Japanese cooking to the city. Nobu is owned by actor Robert De Niro, celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa and restaurateur Drew Nieporent. The restaurant has lots of natural wood, tall birch tree columns rising into the ceiling and Japanese fabrics. 

The food is fantastic. We started with yellow-tail tartar with caviar, sashimi salad with Matsuhisa dressing. Then Moroheiya pasta salad with lobster. For dessert, a parfait; dark chocolate on the bottom, caramel in the middle, white chocolate on top and hazelnut Florentines on top of the top. A work of art. 

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The author Lewis Mumford said that Manhattan itself was a work of art, the creation of human imagination. And I think Frank Sinatra had the best take on the place when he said "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere," and you can make this place a great vacation. Burt Wolf, Travels and Traditions, New York, New York.

Travels & Traditions: Immigrating to America, Part 2 - #810

BURT WOLF: Every person who lives in the United States is an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant. In every case they were people looking for a better life. Social tensions were always part of their experience. Immigrants were stereotyped and discriminated against. Many suffered verbal and physical abuse because they were “different”.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Even Benjamin Franklin, that great lover of freedom, was opposed to German immigration. He felt that so many Germans were coming here that they were going to take over the country and turn us into a nation that only spoke German.

BURT WOLF: Franklin complained that the Germans don’t look like us; they don’t speak our language, and they don’t share are values. These are the same arguments that have been used to oppose immigration for decades. And it begs the question---who is us.  These are the same arguments that were used against the Italians, the Irish, the Chinese, the Catholics, the Jews, and today they are being used against Mexicans and Latinos. 

CARL ANDERSON ON CAMERA: Well it’s no surprise that waves of immigration have caused waves of resentment and negative reaction.  That’s been the history throughout the history of the United States.  It is clear in the short term there is some disruption to the economy, to daily life patterns and so it’s a fact. But what we know in the United States, over time, is that these waves of immigration have brought great benefit to the country and the immigrants do find their place in American society and make a wonderful contribution to it.

The statute of liberty has become iconic in American society standing for everything that we prize but often times we forget what’s written on the base of the statue that great poem by Emma Lazarus talking about the tired, the poor, the homeless.  These are the people that came to the country in the millions and the great miracle of America is that they help build this country into the wonderful nation that it is.  So we might say that the stone that was rejected by the builder in so many countries, in America, became the cornerstone.

BURT WOLF: Lynda Zengerle is the Partner in charge of immigration practices at the Washington Law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. She believes that a point system might work. 

LYNDA S. ZENGERLE ON CAMERA: There are a number of countries now that have a point system.  Interestingly enough, most of them used to be colonies of the United Kingdom.   But Australia and Canada and I believe the UK all have what they call point systems.  You get a certain number of points for having a certain level of education.  You're given a certain number of points for having skills.  You get a certain number of points for not having any criminal violations on your record.  And when you reach the critical number of points, you're given permanent residency.

BURT WOLF: So how do you solve the problem?  What do you do with the twelve million people who are here?

LYNDA S. ZENGERLE ON CAMERA: You give them a way that will allow them to come out of the shadows, which is extremely important for everybody's sake, and having either paid a fine or pay some price - it can't be an amnesty.

BURT WOLF: So, let me see if I can summarize this.  For the twelve million people who are here illegally, we have to have some kind of system to bring them into a legal position where they don't have to hide but they have to pay some price in some way for having come in illegally so that it isn't an amnesty.

Congressman Charles Rangel is the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and for many years he’s been dealing with the issue of immigration.

CHARLES B. RANGEL ON CAMERA: People are not honest enough to admit that there is absolutely nothing that we can do with the 13, 14 or 15 million people that are here illegally.  And, so, as long as we talk about them having to go back to where they came from or searching for the path for citizenship, the dishonesty makes it difficult to come up with a plan that people can understand.

I mean, we have people arguing here as though the terrorists are coming across our Southern border.  And, so, therefore, we have to treat this like an act in the war against terrorism.  They know that this is not so.  And they also should know that if we had the ability to identify each and every person, Mexican or otherwise, extract them out of the general population and send them back where they came from, the economy would collapse.

This country is so beautiful and so great, and has such great opportunity that I can understand how anyone would want to come to the country legally or illegally in order to improve their quality of life.  But we have to be a country of laws.  And we have to respect it.  And we have to make certain that those who want to come in come in legally.  Because we've done such a terrible job in the past in terms of who is here and who is staying here.  And because most all of these people are hard-working people that are scared to death of exposing themselves for fear of deportation.  It seems like we got ourselves into a position that we're going to have to face reality and get on with it, and fix this thing in the future.

CHARLES B. RANGEL ON CAMERA: And what do I mean by that?  I mean, first of all, you make legal the people that are here.  And first find out who the heck they are, which is so important if we're talking about national security.  And to make them as whole as possible those who are deserving of citizenship.  The second thing that you do is to make certain that you don't have a guess-working program to come into the United States and to evaluate what do you have already in the United States so that you can take care of your long term needs.

How does an American treat these types of problems?  I would suggest, with sensitivity.  Thinking about locking up people, deporting people, keeping the kids and sending the parents back home.  To me, that's not America. 


BURT WOLF: By the end of the 1800s China was a madhouse. Its five most important port cities were under the control of foreign powers. Because they were port cities, the local Chinese were getting a look at the outside world and they soon realized that immigration to Europe or the United States was the best way to improve their lives.

The horrendous conditions in China were the “push”. The need for cheap and subservient labor in America was the “pull”. U.S. employers were so concerned about a supply of labor that they had our government sign a treaty with China that allowed Chinese immigrants to immigrate without restriction.

Able bodied men were recruited under a system that gave them passage to America in exchange for a period of work. They came to be known as “coolies” after a Hindi word for hired servant. But because they were usually forced to do the most difficult work they probably thought they were being called “ku-li” which in Chinese means “bitter strength”.

When the California gold rush came to an end the Chinese went to work on the railroads.

As usual they did the toughest work for the least money and virtually no credit.

This painting was made to commemorate the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad that connected the Eastern part of the United States with the west.  In spite of the fact that over 10,000 Chinese worked on the railroad, you can’t find one in the painting.

On the other hand, this photograph taken at the actual event is filled with Chinese laborers. It’s a clear indication of the difference between what immigrants actually contribute to our society and what our society wants to see.

1900 TO 1950

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: During the 1920’s one of the most important political issues was limiting immigration. In 1921 the Federal government passed a law, for the first time, imposed numerical limits on the number of people who could immigrate to our country.  Clearly some kind of limitation was necessary but it’s sad that the Federal government chose to enact a law that was clearly racist.

BURT WOLF: During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, there were years when more people returned to Europe than immigrated to the United States. It wasn’t that things were economically better in Europe. It was the simple fact that it was easier to be poor in a poor country than in a rich one.


BURT WOLF: In 1945, The Second World War came to an end with eleven million displaced Europeans trying to stay alive.  Some were able to return to their own countries but for many their countries no longer existed. Some had been displaced by the Holocaust but there were also thousands of people trying to escape the Russian Army as it advanced to the west. 

In spite of the obvious need for assistance, American officials did almost nothing to relieve the suffering of the displaced persons. We had moved on to the Cold War with Russia and our priorities had shifted.

A series of laws were passed that were clearly designed to keep people from immigrating to the United States. One of the hurdles for anyone wanting to immigrate was the requirement of a document showing that the individual would not become a financial burden to the government. Their economic support had to be guaranteed. 

President Truman reduced the impact of that demand by allowing blanket guarantees for large numbers of people to be issued by social service organizations. The three most important were religious organizations representing Catholics, Protestants and Jews. These agencies began to play a major role in immigration and they still do.   

CARL ANDERSON ON CAMERA: One of the first groups of immigrants to come to the United States described this new land as a shining city on a hill.  And it certainly has been that for generations of new Americans and in fact we can look at it a slightly different way because America has been so welcoming to so many diverse people, economically, racially, nationally. America truly is that shining city on a hill not just because of the way immigrants have perceived us but the way we have welcomed generations of immigrants.


BURT WOLF: For decades after The Second World War, our governments’ immigration policy was based on a series of contradictions. Some elements were liberalizing. The labor unions who had opposed new arrivals since the Civil War shifted their position and began supporting European immigration. There were two reasons for labor’s shift----first, during the Roosevelt presidency collective bargaining became a recognized part of American industry and the unions felt more secure, and second, many of the union members were the sons and daughters of the type of people who were trying to immigrate.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: In 1952, Congress passed the McCarran-Walters Act. It was clearly a response to the Cold War and our fear of communism. It tightened things up but it also put an official end to the ethnic and racial barriers that were preventing people from immigrating to the United States or becoming naturalized.  The key word here however is official. Administration is always more important than legislation. Congress can pass whatever law it wants to pass but whether that law is enforced or not enforced is the key issue.

MAN SWEARING IN PEOPLE: To defend the constitution and the laws of the the United States of America.

BURT WOLF: During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the increase in legal immigration was mirrored by an increase in illegal immigration. The largest groups of illegal immigrants were from Mexico and Ireland. Ireland had large numbers of well educated and skilled workers, more than the Irish economy could employ. So many came to the United States with visitor’s visas and stayed on to work.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Throughout history the reasons for immigrating to the United States have always been pretty much the same.  If you thought your life was going to improve socially, or economically, you came.  If you didn’t think there was going to be a significant improvement you stayed put.  By 1965 Western Europe was in great shape.  And Western European immigration dropped off.  Eastern Europe however was in terrible shape and the Eastern Europeans wanted to come here.  But the Communist governments wouldn’t let them out.

MAN: Congratulations my fellow Americans.

BURT WOLF: Large numbers of people in the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia felt that coming to the United States would improve their lives and so they immigrated in larger and larger numbers.

MAN GREETER ON CAMERA: Congratulations sir, Good luck sir; congratulations, nice to have you.

CARL ANDERSON ON CAMERA: In a way borders are more important than ever but we have to look beyond borders and no country as rich as the United States has as many miles of border with a country as poor as Mexico.  So even though questions of border security are absolutely important we have to look beyond our borders to make sure that economic opportunity, the rule of law, factors that we take for granted as Americans, others outside of America, also have the same opportunities in the future.

BURT WOLF: The Chinese were the earliest Asian immigrants to America and they now represent greater numbers than any other Asian group. China was a key ally during the Second World War and that led to the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act and their right to become naturalized citizens. By the early 1980s, the image of a Chinese immigrant had completely changed from that of an underpaid laborer to a highly motivated member of a model minority driven to excel especially in science and technology. 

Following the Second World War, there was a massive increase in the immigration of Filipinos. The vast majority were nurses. English was the primary language of instruction in the Philippine hospitals that were training nurses and because the Philippines and the United States were closely associated in many areas, Philippine nurses were educated on the American model.

NURSE ON CAMERA: You don’t need the monitor anymore.


BURT WOLF: In 1980, during the administration of Jimmy Carter, Congress passed The Refugee Act, which was the first attempt in American history to add human rights to American foreign policy.

The act was a distinct change. It also introduced the right of asylum and created a new category of refugee. The category was set up to cover a person who was in the United States, either legally or on a tourist or student visa, or a visiting athlete or a performer, or illegally and claimed the right of a refugee. Eventually, the person must meet all of the criteria of a refugee or be expelled but unlike a refugee who is attempting to enter the United States this person is already in the country. The law also put a cap at 5,000 of this type of refugee per year.

For the first time in the history the United States it accepted the idea that it had an obligation to take in refugees---an extraordinary change in attitude when you consider how our government ignored the needs of refugees during and after The Second World War.


BURT WOLF: Mexican immigration legal and illegal is a special story. At the beginning of the 20th century a series of events pushed and pulled more and more Mexicans into the United States. The Mexican Revolution created almost twenty years of chaos throughout Mexico. That was the “push”.

The development of industrial farming throughout the American Southwest was the “pull”. Advanced techniques for irrigating the land, the introduction of the refrigerated railroad car and the development of a nationwide system for distribution created an ever growing demand for labor and Mexico became the source.

John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath immortalized the lives of people forced by The Great Depression to become migrant workers in California. But in reality, the majority of people working on the farms of California during the great depression were Mexican immigrants. 


BURT WOLF: It’s true that since 1970, the number of immigrants to the United States has risen but it’s still well below what it has been in the past. The common belief that we are being inundated with immigrants is just not true.

But reaching a balance is difficult. Too many immigrants and you run the risk of introducing a type of tribalism that increases the tension among groups. It can increase crowding, the cost of social services, and pollution. It can also limit the future possibilities for the people who are already here. 

CARL ANDERSON ON CAMERA: Of course in the issue of immigration we’ve got to have a strong reaction, effective reaction to criminals that come into our country or people when they’re here who break the law but to treat everyone in the same way, even when they come from desperate poverty in order to provide for their family, is simply not only mean-spirited but is unjust.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Immigration can produce social difficulties, but it can also produce a new vitality. Immigration changed American culture but it also proved that diversity, as well as unity, was the source of our national strength.

VARIOUS CHILDREN SINGING ON CAMERA: I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. 

BURT WOLF: For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Immigrating to America, Part 1 - #809

BURT WOLF: Each year the United States grants permanent residency to more immigrants than all the other nations of the world combined. Most people come here believing that with hard work and determination they will end up with a better life---more money and more freedom. In fact, everyone who is in the United States today is either an immigrant or the descendant of an immigrant.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: For over 30 years I have been traveling around the world reporting on cultural history.  And usually it’s pretty easy for me to figure out how a wave of immigrants or conquerors effected the place I was in. 

BURT WOLF GREETING FATHER PAUL LAWLOR: How are you; good to see you.

BURT WOLF: I remember a church in Rome where the ground floor was built by a pagan tribe. On top there was a small Roman Temple. Then a hidden Christian shrine.

FATHER PAUL LAWLOR: So now we go up to the level of San Clemente.

BURT WOLF: …and finally a magnificent church. The man in charge of the building was an Irish priest. Each layer represented a different culture. Understanding the culture of each layer below gives you an understanding of what’s on top. The layers in the church are the same layers that produced today’s Rome.

Because of my work, I have spent most of my life as a stranger in a strange land trying to understand what was going on. A few years ago, I decided I needed to have a look at my own country. I wanted to uncover the true story of immigration to the United States.


BURT WOLF: Anthropologists tell us that the first people to immigrate to North America came from Asia between 15,000 and 35,000 years ago. They crossed a land bridge that was about a thousand miles wide and ran between Siberia and Alaska. They were big game hunters following herds that were migrating east. Several genetic studies indicate that our entire Native American population descended from the people of Siberia and they may have descended from a group of only 70 people.

For at least 15,000 years the Western Hemisphere seemed to have developed without any additional immigration. But in 1492, Columbus’ first ship arrived in the Americas and everything changed. For the next hundred years after the voyages of Columbus just about everyone who came through North America was an explorer looking for a way to get rich as fast as he could.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Starting in the early 1600s, however, we began to get a group of people who wanted to settle in and make a new life for themselves. And like every group that immigrated to the United States they came because things were not working out in their old life. If things at home are fine you stay put. It’s when things at home are a problem that you suddenly want to immigrate.

BURT WOLF: That was the case for most of the people who came here from England in the 1600s.  King Charles I, not on my list of nice guys, decided to reestablish the idea that the king ruled by “Divine Right” and could do whatever he wanted, especially when it came to religion.  About 20,000 people, known as the Puritans disagreed, and moved to what we now call New England.

Later in the 1600s, in much the same vein, England’s King Charles II gave William Penn a huge tract of land which eventually became Pennsylvania.  The King, who was a little short of cash at the time, owed 16,000 pounds to Penn. Big Money. The King offered to pay off the debt by giving Penn some land in the American colonies. The land was actually bigger than England but it was still a win-win deal.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Penn was an aristocrat which the king liked. But Penn was also a Quaker, which the king didn’t like. The Quakers had this idea that a government should represent the needs of all of its people. The king thought that was outrageous and apparently some governments still do. So the king took Penn and 10,000 Quakers and threw them into prison.  The idea that he could satisfy the debt and at the same time ship Penn and the 10,000 Quakers off to the colonies was a no-brainer.

BURT WOLF: There was, however, one serious problem that the King did not foresee. The ideas that came to Pennsylvania with the Quakers were the same ideas that formed the basis of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolutionary War which resulted in the King losing his American colonies. Some days you just can’t win. 

The colonies that formed the Untied States began without the rigid class system that was so much a part of life in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Immigrants were attracted to the cheap land, religious freedom and the chance to improve themselves---

SHOP KEEPER ON CAMERA: Good Morning Mrs. Russett.

…a chance to escape from persecution and poverty. In the 150 years before the American Revolution, dozens of different religious and cultural groups managed to find a way of living together in relative harmony. It was a major improvement over the bloody Reformation and Counter-Reformation wars that were ravaging Europe.

But not all the immigration was voluntary. Starting in 1619, millions of Africans were taken from their homes and forced into slavery in North America. In 1808, Congress banned the importation of slaves and that appalling traffic slowly came to an end.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: During the 1800s, almost all population growth in North America was internal. High birth rates and low death rates had shifted the population to almost 98% of it was local born.

But during the 1820’s things began to change that was also the same time that our federal government began to keep track of people who immigrated by boat. And during the twenty year period, from 1820 to 1840, immigration increased every year.

BURT WOLF: During the 1800s, immigration to the United States increased even further. Europe was in mass confusion---crop failures, famine, shortages of land and jobs, increased taxation, and disease. Millions of people where heading to America.

In 1892, the federal government opened a new immigration center on Ellis Island in New York harbor and for the next 50 years, Ellis was the primary immigration center for the United States government. During its peak years, 1900 to 1924, over twelve million people came through Ellis.

There were three classes of service on the steamships that sailed between Europe and New York. If you could afford to travel in first or second class life was easy. Officials from the U.S. Immigration Service would clear you while you were still in your cabin and you were free to begin your new life.

Third class was a different story. Steamship companies saw the immigrants who traveled in third class as profitable cargo…cargo that even loaded itself. They were called steerage passengers because they were kept in the back of the boat, next to the steering equipment. They were packed together in appalling conditions---conditions that were breeding grounds for disease. Thousands of people died during those voyages. And when your ship finally arrived in Manhattan, you were ferried across New York Harbor to Ellis Island.

Barry Moreno has worked in the Museum Services Division at Ellis Island for over a decade and authored a number of books about immigration through Ellis.

BARRY MORENO ON CAMERA: This is where the Immigration and Naturalization Service brought the aliens, the immigrants, to Ellis Island aboard barges.  What they would do is they would bring them from the steamships, and the barges were coming all day long, and they would dock here.  Then the immigrants would come out, and directed by men called groupers, they would form two lines.  One line, for men and boys and the other line for women and girls.  So, then they would continue into this main building at Ellis Island.  This is the registry room.  This is the place in which the fate of the immigrant was decided by an inspector.  And the inspector was assisted by an interpreter in case the load of ... the shipload of immigrants were non-English speakers, and there was always a clerk at the inspector's side.

BURT WOLF: At those desks.

BARRY MORENO ON CAMERA: That’s correct. The inspector was really looking for ways of keeping the immigrant out of the country, weeding out the alien. That was the idea.  You had to find out whether someone violated the laws in advance of entry.  They would find out:  Does the immigrant have enough money?  Is the immigrant a criminal?  Does the immigrant suffer from some contagious disease or immoral disease?  Or is he handicapped in some way that would prevent him making a living?

BURT WOLF: I understand that some people came here with money.

BARRY MORENO: Yes.  Actually, a good many did. 

BURT WOLF: Why?  Why would they come if they had money?

BARRY MORENO: Well, they wanted to invest in this country, to buy land and settle down here, buy shops and go into business, and that was the way to do it.  You were frugal. You'd save your money, and then you came to America.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: And if they got through, what happened next?

BARRY MORENO ON CAMERA: Well, if they actually passed through, then the next question was, how soon they could they get off of Ellis Island, because people didn't really like Ellis Island. 

BURT WOLF: In spite of the fact that Ellis was processing twice as many people as it was designed to handle, the staff did a remarkable job. The average immigrant was in and out of Ellis within five hours. Medical exams were completed, stability interviews conducted; there was a place to change your old-country money into U.S. dollars and a spot to buy railroad tickets if you were going on to some other part of the country. If you were staying in the neighborhood, you went through a door marked “Push to New York”. On the other side was a ferry that would take you the last mile of your journey to Manhattan.


BURT WOLF: On New Year’s Day of 1892, a 15-year-old girl named Annie Moore arrived from Ireland’s Cork County and was the first person to pass through Ellis Island.

EDWARD T. O’DONNELL ON CAMERA: The Irish, of course, had been coming since the Colonial period. But their biggest wave was certainly in the 19th century. And their contribution, one of their biggest contributions, was that they arrived in such huge numbers and really shocked America and forced America to really think about what it meant to be an American. By being mostly poor and from Ireland and Catholic for the most part they forced America to rethink what it meant to be American and kind of expanded the definition.  America was not particularly pleased with the arrival of the Irish, gradually over time, it took a couple of generations, accepted them as Americans. I mean you can look at something like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  It’s held all across the country now every year on March 17th, it’s a celebration of Irish identity but it’s copied and replicated by every immigrant group since.  Other contributions by the Irish, probably the most evident one is in the role that they played in building the American economy as laborers.  They came with very few skills and with almost no money, but they did arrive with a need to work and a willingness to work, and if you look across America, the great infrastructure that was built that made America the greatest economy in the world by the early 20th century, the railroads, the canals, the great projects like the Brooklyn Bridge all were built overwhelmingly with Irish labor.

BURT WOLF: Irish immigration also set a pattern for mutual assistance within a community.

Most of the immigrants who came to the United States during the 1800s were single men. But when the Irish potato crop failed in 1845, and hundreds of thousands of Irish men and women fled to America, many came as families. And of the others who did not come as families, there were almost an equal number of men as women, which allowed for the immediate formation of more families.

Patrick and Mary McGivney were typical of the Irish families that arrived during the middle-1800s. Patrick landed with very few skills and with almost no money, but like most of his fellow immigrants he showed up with the need and the willingness to work.

The McGivney’s settled in Waterbury Connecticut and Pat became a molder in a nearby brass mill. The McGivney’s were not faced with the prospect of starvation which had haunted them in Ireland but they did live in the grip of poverty. Their oldest child Michael grew up in a community filled with the sorrow that comes along with scarcity.

When Michael was thirteen years old he went to work in a spoon-making factory so he could contribute a few dollars towards the family’s survival. At sixteen he left the mill and began his studies for the priesthood. On Christmas Day, 1877, Father McGivney began his ministry as Curate of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

It was a time when parish clubs were popular. For the most part, they were social organizations that gave the Irish community a chance to hangout. But Father McGivney saw them as an opportunity to build a fund that would provide for the financial needs of families that were overwhelmed by illness or death.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Father McGivney began working with a group of Civil War Veterans that had come to the United States from Ireland. They wanted to form an organization that would help protect their families during times of stress and they called their group The Knights of Columbus. They wanted to make the point that they themselves were still struggling for equality in our own country, but they were now in the new world.

BURT WOLF: Today, The Knights of Columbus combine fraternalism with an insurance program that meets Father McGivney’s vision of support for families in trouble. There are over one million seven hundred thousand Knights and during the past ten years they have contributed over one billion dollars and four hundred million hours of volunteer service to charitable causes.


BURT WOLF: Though the Irish opened Ellis Island for business they were the second largest group to pass through --- the largest group were the Italians.

EDWARD T. O’DONNELL ON CAMERA: The Italians brought with them first and foremost themselves, by the millions, and one of their most obvious contributions to America were the millions of people that filled the factories, the work sites that built the roads and produced the great abundance of the American economy in the early 20th Century.  These are mostly nameless, faceless people that we don't know anything about; except that they were Italian and that they came to America. But among the millions, there certainly are many very notable ones that do stand out.  Probably, one of the best examples being Marconi, who invented the wireless set and eventually founded the company that becomes RCA, one of the biggest and most important corporations in the 20th century.  Enrico Fermi won the Nobel Prize for his research in nuclear science.  You could shift to the arts and look at people like Enrico Caruso, probably the most popular entertainer in the early 20th century.  Into areas like baseball.  New Yorkers would certainly argue and, I think, a lot of other baseball fans would agree, that Joe DiMaggio is one of the great baseball players of all time, Yogi Berra, certainly, another great one.  You could shift to Hollywood and see that Frank Capra, the man who brought such great movies, like It's a Wonderful Life to the silver screen.  So, you have both lots of nameless, faceless people who made their contribution and then certainly notable ones that stand out.

BURT WOLF: Another major group came from Eastern Europe, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Romania. As the 1880s came to a close, Eastern Europe found itself in constant turmoil.  Crops were failing.  There was agonizing poverty throughout the population and religious persecution was rampant.  During a 50-year period starting in 1875, over 2 million Russians took passage to New York. By 1914, two and a half million Poles had passed through Ellis. 

EDWARD T. O'DONNELL: The heyday of Eastern European arrival to America, mostly Jewish, was at the turn of the century, and they were the ones most closely associated with Ellis Island. They come by the millions, largely due to factors in Eastern Europe, persecution, war,

EDWARD T. O’DONNELL ON CAMERA: famine and general overpopulation.  And they arrive in America at this time, usually going through Ellis Island and fill American cities.  They're very urban people.  And they  like all the immigrants before them make a tremendous mark.  Think about the Jewish contribution to the arts.  People, like, everything ... from Irving Berlin to the Gershwins.  Go back a little bit earlier.  Late 19th century, early 20th century.  Vaudeville was probably the most popular form of entertainment in America, and it's overwhelmingly, full of Jewish entertainers.  The Marx Brothers were originally a vaudeville routine.

BURT WOLF: Most immigrants settled near their ports of entry but a large number found their way inland. My mother’s mother arrived in New York in 1909 and went straight to Chicago. Some states, especially those with small populations, tried to attract immigrants by offering jobs or free land for farming. There was also a desire to move to communities that had been established by earlier settlers from their homelands.

As soon as the immigrants arrived they started looking for work. There were jobs, but never enough and employers often took advantage of the immigrants. Immigrant men were generally paid less than other workers and women less than men.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: We tend to think that the largest number of immigrants to the United States were either Irish or Italian but that’s not the case. The 1990 census indicated that over 60 million Americans are the descendants of German immigrants which makes them the largest ethnic population in the country. In 23 states they actually represent over 20 percent of the population.

BURT WOLF: What we think of as a traditional Christmas celebration is based on German tradition. Most of our great symphony orchestras and glee clubs are based on German societies. They gave us the kindergarten, the hamburger, the frankfurter and the delicatessen.

In rural areas they pioneered scientific farming, crop rotation and soil conservation. They started some of our most important companies in food processing, brewing, steelmaking, railroading, printing and publishing.

The first permanent German settlement in America was founded in 1683 at Germantown, Pennsylvania by a group of thirteen families who had emigrated from Krefeld. Germantown became the center of German immigration to the American colonies. But many families used Pennsylvania as a staging point to move to other areas.

Military units raised from German American communities played a key role in the Revolution. A little known but fascinating fact --- George Washington’s personal body guards during the war ended up being German-Americans. His first set of bodyguards turned out to be English spies. He felt he could only trust German-Americans.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: No wonder you never see a picture of him smiling---poor guy was surrounded by assassins. For Travel’s & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf. 

Travels & Traditions: Alaska - #807

BURT WOLF: It starts up at the top of the Alaskan panhandle and runs south along the coast of Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia. It covers a thousand miles and ends just below the U.S. border in Seattle, Washington. It’s called, the Inside Passage.

And that is precisely what it is: a sea passage that runs along the northwest coast. But it runs between the coast and a series of islands that protect the route from the open sea. At its southernmost point the course is shielded for three hundred miles by Vancouver Island. Then the Queen Charlotte Islands take over the defense. And finally the route is safeguarded by the more than one thousand islands that make up the Alexander Archipelago. It is a magnificent stretch of wilderness.

I started my journey from the Canadian city of Vancouver.

Archeologists believe that native tribes have been living in the Glacier Bay area for at least 10,000 years. The first Europeans to explore the territory were the Russians, who sailed through during the 1740s. About fifty years later the French stopped in to check things out. By the 1880s, tour boats were coming in to take a look. Glacier Bay is truly one of the fascinating places in Alaska.


BURT WOLF: This morning’s port of call is the town of Skagway. The name Skagway comes from a native American word meaning the windy place. It’s located at the northernmost point on the Inside Passage. The area was never a permanent settlement for any of the tribes, but it had been used for hundreds of years as a seasonal ground for hunting and fishing.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The first European to take a serious interest in Skagway was a retired steamboat captain by the name of William Moore. In 1887, he staked a claim for 160 acres of land and with the help of his son he built a small cabin. He knew the area so well that the Canadian government asked him to help their surveyors find a pass through the mountains. He did and it eventually became known as The White Pass. Moore had been watching all of the mining activity going around in the territory and he firmly believed that it was just a question of time before there was a major gold strike. He also believed that when that strike came Skagway would become the seaport for the gold rush.

BURT WOLF: And boy, was he right! When word of the Bonanza Creek gold strike got out, over 100,000 people set out to seek their fortune in the Yukon, and the route they took to get there started with a ship to Skagway. In the end, only about 30,000 people got here but they turned the place into the classic gold rush boomtown. In 1898 Skagway had almost one hundred saloons filled with gamblers, thieves and ah, ladies of perpetual availability.

These days Skagway has about 800 permanent residents, and a great nostalgia about its past. Much of the original commercial district has managed to survive and the United States Park Service conducts guided walking tours through the historic areas of the town. My guide today is Rick Fields.

RICK FIELDS ON CAMERA: Burt, this is The Red Onion Saloon, that actually was a saloon and bordello during the time of the Gold Rush. Downstairs’s the saloon, upstairs the ladies of the evening. Actually, during the time of the Gold Rush, if a gentleman wanted any kind of woman’s accompaniment, he could walk into that saloon and behind the bar was a display case with dolls dressed in like of the ladies that were working the floor that evening. And so if a gentleman had any particular lady in mind, he could actually look behind the bar and if the doll was standing that she was very much available for your accompaniment. If she was laying down, well she was busy.

The AB Hall here, Burt, was also an original structure. It was a fraternal organization that was developed by the stampeders as a kind of social club, if you will. There’s over 10,000 pieces of driftwood actually nailed onto the face of that building. The last known member to ever join the Arctic Brotherhood here in Skagway was Warren G. Harding, our president. In 1923 he came to visit us for three short hours. We then initiated him into our Arctic Brotherhood Lodge. 

BURT WOLF: What goes on in the Arctic Brotherhood?

RICK FIELDS: Today it’s actually our city museum. Actually we have a fine arts museum of some of the old paraphernalia you might have found during the time of the Gold Rush all inside our museum and it’s set up as a display so that you can go in and spend a few minutes and enjoy.

BURT WOLF: You know like little kids they like to take matchsticks and build things out of them and that’s what happens when those kids grow up.

RICK FIELDS: That’s right.


RICK FIELDS: They just make bigger piles, don’t they?

RICK FIELDS: Well this is actually the Mascot Saloon, and the Mascot has actually been set up as a display only by our National Parks Service, so the kind of saloon you’d actually see during the turn of the century here in Skagway; got the old hardwood floors and the lighting as it was back in 1898. Actually, the bar I could never seem to ever be served at here. I keep trying, but it’s just not ever happened, but some of the old cigars that you might, would have found as you would have come here. We’ve actually restored all of these buildings along this block back all to their original condition: wallpaper, paint, colors, everything is back to its original condition. It’s really a pleasure to be in a community that had such community pride of their buildings. I really do enjoy living here.

RICK FIELDS: Well, Burt, this is Kirmse’s Curios. Actually Herman Kirmse was one of the very first pioneers that came into Skagway when the words of the Klondike Gold Rush happened throughout the country. And Herman, actually, instead of traveling over the pass and heading for the gold 600 miles away from here, he actually stopped here and established his jewelry business. He was quite an entrepreneur, like many that had to travel the trail up here.

BURT WOLF: I get the feeling that the real gold was in the retail business and not in the creeks.

RICK FIELDS: I’m gonna have to agree with you, Burt. It seems as though the guy who made a living and a good one up here was the packer, the storekeeper, the guy who sold you services.

BURT WOLF: When the prospectors headed out of Skagway they had to choose between two routes to the gold. One was the Chilkoot Trail. That’s what it looked like during 1897 and ‘98 when some 30,000 prospectors made the six-hour climb up what came to be known as the “Golden Stairs.” And because each of them was transporting a minimum of 1,000 pounds of supplies, they made that trip at least twenty times. 

The other Skagway trail used by the gold seekers to get to a claim was the White Pass. It was less steep than the Chilkoot but no less dangerous.


BURT WOLF: In 1900, things got a lot easier. That was the year that the White Pass and Yukon Railroad opened and connected Skagway to the town of Frazer in the Canadian Yukon. The rails run through some of the most rugged terrain in North America.


The roadbeds were carved along sheer rock cliffs. Tunnels were hammered through solid granite. When it was completed, it was considered to be one of the engineering marvels of its time. Today it’s a marvelous guided tour for visitors to Skagway -- and the guide is Sharon Hannon.

SHARON HANNON ON CAMERA: We’re coming up now to the Denver Glacier Bridge. This is mile-post 5.8 on your railmaps. We’re going to be crossing over the east fork of the Skagway River. As we make a real sharp left curve over the bridge, you’ll have a nice opportunity to view the train -- all fifteen parlor cars that we’re pulling. So it’s just amazing to think that this railroad that we’re traveling on this morning is nearly one hundred years old. And how they built it back then is absolutely incredible. What they did was, these workers were roped together while hanging on the slopes. And the smooth granite obviously offered no footholds whatsoever. So in hazardous winter weather, these men chipped all of this granite with hand tools in order to plant the 450 tons of blasting powder. This was obviously extremely hard, very dangerous work, for thirty cents an hour. And they say that this was a railroad that was impossible to build. There is very little advanced planning involved. Now there was no rolling stock, there was no construction materials or heavy-duty equipment. There was no means of feeding or housing the work crews, and remember a total of 35,000 men worked on the line. Also, the site was more than a thousand miles from the closest supply base which was in Seattle, Washington. So the railroad had to compete for ship cargo space with the thousands of stampeders that were also headed up north. And I mentioned earlier the workforce, highly educated professional men, but by no means skilled railroad laborers. So this railroad was built against all odds and it was completed in only two years, two months, and one day -- all built by hand. And it cost ten million dollars to build it, and then another two million dollars to outfit it for service. And it’s an international railroad. It was financed by the British, contracted by the Canadians, and engineered by the Americans.

BURT WOLF: The White Pass and Yukon Railroad certainly made the trip from Alaska to the Yukon easier. What you’re looking at is the last remaining section of the original pass that the prospectors used. Can you imagine hiking thirty-five miles, carrying hundreds of pounds of gear on your back on a path that narrow? And by the time the railroad was finished the gold rush was over.

About an hour boat ride south of Skagway is the town of Haines. It started out as settlement for the Native Alaskan Tlingit tribe, and they still play a very active role in the community. 

A non-profit association called Alaska Indian Arts has dedicated itself to the revival and perpetuation of native craft and culture and in Haines they present the Chilkat Dancers, a group whose authentic performances have given them a worldwide reputation.

BURT WOLF: The Haines area has always been important to the native tribes. It was the end point for the ancient trail into the interior, and it was also the site of the gathering of the eagles. Today the region covers 48,000 acres and is known as the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Each year some 4,000 bald eagles take up residence along a five-mile stretch of the Chilkat River. They’re attracted to the spot by an annual late run of spawning salmon. In addition, warm water upwellings in the river bottom keep parts of the river ice-free during the winter, providing even more fish for the eagles, at a time when many other food sources are exhausted. This is nature throwing an all-you-can-eat buffet for the eagle, and it’s been going on for thousands of years.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA:  But it almost came to an end in 1917 when someone in the government decided that the eagles were eating too many salmon and began to offer a bounty on them. Over a hundred and twenty thousand eagles were shot for a dollar or two dollars each before someone realized that in fact the eagles were not doing any damage at all. Just another episode in the endless saga of government stupidity.

BURT WOLF: Fortunately the eagle is now protected. It is a federal crime to harm or possess a bald eagle, and with any luck, the law is being enforced.

And if you’ve ever wanted to see Alaska from an eagle’s eye view, take a look at this.


BURT WOLF: Fragments of the earth’s crust drifted together to form Alaska. And they are still very much in the process of drifting and forming. And what they have formed is already the largest state in the United States of America. It’s twice as large as Texas and has fifty percent more coastline than all the states in the lower 48 put together.

The Spanish were probably the first Europeans to explore this coast, but the Russians were the first to try and take control. The Russians showed up in 1741. Actually, it wasn’t really a Russian. It was a Dane named Vitus Bering who worked for the Russians, and eventually lent his name to the Bering Straits. When his crew got back to Russia, they showed everybody the sea otter pelts that they had acquired -- skins that were immediately judged to be the finest fur that anyone in Russia had ever seen. That did it. The exploration and the exploitation of Alaska was underway.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The word Alaska comes from a native phrase that means “the object towards which the actions of the sea are directed.” But it wasn’t only the Russians who were directing their actions towards Alaska. The British were beginning to nose around. Captain James Cook came through in 1778 and picked up a few otter skins of his own. And to make matters even worse, the Spanish were thinking about coming back. They’d been down in Los Angeles, and when they realized that the movie business wasn’t going to begin for another hundred years, they started moving up along the coast to see what was happening here.

BURT WOLF: Sure, Alaska was beautiful, and the sea otters made a great fashion statement, but by the 1860s Russia wanted out. Well, actually what they wanted was to sell out before somebody just took Alaska away from them without making a payment.

A Russian agent went to see William Seward, who was then the U.S. Secretary of State, and somehow convinced him that buying Alaska was the deal of a lifetime. And at 7.2 million dollars -- or 2 cents per acre -- it was.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: For hundreds of years, the Gastineau Channel along the southern coast of Alaska was a quiet fishing ground for the local Tlingit tribes. But all that changed in 1880 when a Sitka mining engineer offered a reward for any tribal chief who could bring him a piece of gold-bearing ore and show him where that ore came from. A Tlingit clan elder by the name of Kowee brought in the sought-after sample, and George sent a couple of prospectors down to check out the location. One of them kept a diary that has the following entry: “We knew it was gold, but we were surprised to see so much of it, and not in particles -- in large streaks running through the rock and in lumps as large as peas and beans.” I like these guys. Not only did they know about gold, they were into good eating.

BURT WOLF: Their names were Richard Harris and Joe Juneau. They staked a 160-acre townsite and the gold rush was on. Originally the town was called Harrisburg, apparently because Harris could read and write and Juneau couldn’t, so Harris did the recording of the claim. Eventually, however, Juneau got his name back.

Unlike many gold rush towns, Juneau survived and even prospered after the gold rush was over. Today it is the state capitol of Alaska, and home to about 30,000 residents. Juneau is on the small side in terms of the number of people who live here, but in terms of area it is actually the largest town in North America and second largest in the world. It covers 3,108 square miles. The city clings to the base of two mountains that top out at over 3,500 feet above sea level and literally lock Juneau into its waterfront cove.

As a tourist there are a number of things of interest in Juneau.


Behind the mountains that form Juneau’s backdrop is the Juneau Icefield, over 1,500 square miles of ice cap, and the source of thirty-eight glaciers, including the Mendenhall. Mendenhall Glacier is just thirteen miles outside of Juneau and it is one of the few drive-in, walk-up glaciers in the world.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The Mendenhall in Mendenhall Glacier was Thomas C. Mendenhall, the Superintendent of the U.S. Coastal and Geodetic Survey at the time that the border was surveyed between Canada and the United States.

BURT WOLF: As moisture-filled air comes in from the Pacific Ocean, it runs into the peaks of the coastal mountains. The encounter causes the air to give up its water vapor and it does so in the form of snow... over one hundred feet of it each year. Because the air is so cold up here, the snow never melts. It just gets heavier and heavier, and packs together so tightly that the air between the molecules is lost. In the process, it transforms itself into glacial ice. Under this extraordinary pressure, the ice begins to flow. The Mendenhall Glacier flows down the Mendenhall Valley for twelve miles at the rate of two feet per day. But it never gets anywhere, because at the same time that it is flowing, it is also melting. Each day, large chunks of ice break away from the glacier and float off into the lake at its base. The process is known as “calving.” In addition, glacial ice just melts away at the front edge. When the rate of Mendenhall’s flow is compared to the rate of its melting, you end up with an annual withdrawal of about thirty feet. And it’s been withdrawing since the 1700s.

The easiest access to a spectacular view of the area is from the Mt. Roberts Tramway. Its base is right in front of the dock where the cruise ships tie up, and its top is 1,750 feet above... overlooking Juneau and the Gastineau Channel.

For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Santa Fe, New Mexico - #701

BURT WOLF: Santa Fe in northern New Mexico rests in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Native Americans have been living in and around Santa Fe for at least 12,000 years. The Spanish arrived in the 1600s, about the same time that the English showed up in Virginia. In 1821, the territory was taken from Spain by the newly formed government of Mexico. And in 1850, it became part of the United States.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Nothing much happened for the next 60 years. But then the First World War made it impossible for wealthy Americans to take their annual trip to Europe and so they decided to understand their own country and suddenly anything and everything that had anything to do with the American Southwest was fashionable. And anthropologists came in to try and understand and preserve Santa Fe.


BURT WOLF: In the center of town is The Palace of the Governors, an outstanding example of Spanish adobe architecture. It was constructed in 1610 and is the oldest government building in the United States. For about four hundred years, it has been the residence of Spanish, Mexican and American governors.

The Palace houses The New Mexico History Museum with over 17,000 historical objects that document the history of the area: 223 years of Spanish control, 25 years as part of Mexico, 66 years as a territory of the United States, and statehood since 1912.

The Palace Photographic Archives contain over 750,000 historical images and copies are available for purchase.

The building is also home to the Palace Press. In 1834, the first printing press arrived in New Mexico and was used to produce religious and political materials as well as school primers. In 1877, the first book was printed in a Pueblo language.

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: The capital letters are arranged alphabetically with the exception of J and U which follow X, Y, Z.


THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: Because they're recent additions to the Roman alphabet.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Huh, when did they come in?

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: Probably 16th century…a - J, is a modified I and U is a modified V. So the printers just added those to the end of X, Y, Z.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: That's amazing, new letters.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Okay, so let's set.

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: As you're setting that you're really reading it upside down and the letters read backwards. Now in the old days, no you picked a K, the printers were amazingly fast…

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: I'm going to put these in now so would you hold those for me?!

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: Certainly. Once we have the type set then we need to lock it up in the iron chase, this frame right here, so I have to carefully lift the letters out, you don’t want to spill them…put it right there. My mallet and plane and tap it down to that all the letters are the same height. Give it another slight twist, everything looks good, test it like that.

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: Next we take it over and put it in the press.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Ok, any particular level of pressure?

THOMAS LEECH ON CAMERA: Well actually the faster the easier it is. The faster you go the easier it is to pump.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The faster the easier it is.

Just want to take my pulse here for a second…


BURT WOLF: Outside the Palace dozens of Native American artists display and sell their work --- pottery, jewelry and other crafts from each of more than 20 different Native American communities in New Mexico. They are participating in a museum program that regulates what they may sell. Everything must be handmade by the craftsman or his or her immediate family. The pieces must display a maker’s mark and be registered with the Palace of the Governors. In effect, these objects have been authenticated by the museum.


BURT WOLF: The Chapel of San Miguel is the oldest church structure in the United States still in use. The original adobe walls were built in 1610 by Indians who came here from Mexico and worked under the direction of Franciscan missionaries.

The altar screen is considered to be one of the great works of colonial art in the Southwest. It was hand-made of native pine and held together with wooden pegs and joints.

It was designed to accommodate paintings on canvas of Saints and Spanish royalty that were brought from Mexico as well as locally produced sculptures.

BROTHER LESTER LEWIS ON CAMERA: The chapel is dedicated to Saint Michael, who's the patron of the church, and because this was a military chapel from 1610, so, you have the favorites up there, particularly over the Franciscans. On my upper right hand, is Saint Teresa Arriva. She was a Carmelite nun in the 15th century. The large middle painting is Saint Michael the Archangel. To the right, the oval painting is Saint Gertrude of Germany, a Benedictine Abbis that lived in the 12th Century. Below Saint Teresa is the painting of Saint Francis of Assisi. And opposite of that is King Louis IX, King of France. Now the large painting that separates Saint Francis and the King is the Spanish rendition of The Passion of Christ.

BURT WOLF: The altar screen includes a series of Solomonic Columns that were copied from the Bernini columns that flank the great altar in the Basilica of St. Peter’s in the Vatican.


BURT WOLF: Northern New Mexico has been home to talented artists and craftsmen for thousands of years and what has always inspired them was the natural landscape.

Manfred Leuthard, the owner of HeliNM, runs helicopter tours over some of the most beautiful parts of the Southwest. Places that would be almost inaccessible except by air.

MANFRED LEUTHARD ON CAMERA: The first spot I want to show you is the Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch. It is nestled eight miles south of Santa Fe in the foot hills here. Many films have been shot here: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cheyenne Social Club, Lonesome Dove, Young Guns and many more.

We're now turning west. The peaks ahead of us are the Jemez Mountains they were created 1.2 million years ago by a series of volcanic erruptions. The geologists estimate that about 200 cubic miles of material, enough to cover the entire state of New Mexico six feet deep, were spewed out in numerous cataclysmic events.

As we fly up Peralta Canyon look out for strangely shaped conical structures and then you know we've arrived at a place called Tent Rocks. These sculptures are composed of volcanic ash and are highly eroded. Sometimes you see little rocks balanced on top of these conical structures, it's that little balanced rock that protected the underlining softer stone from erosion. Tent Rock National park was not built where the prettiest tent rocks are; it was built where there was a road. The prettiest tent rocks are in a canyon, in the Peralta Canyon, and it's about a mile and a half long. The only way to get there is a very, very long hike, horseback ride or helicopter.

Now we come to the rim of the Valles Caldera. This vast grassland is one portion of a volcanic crater 15 miles in diameter, the flat area you see on the left is essentially the filled up crater from the volcanic eruption. There is only very little soil underneath this volcanic ash and therefore nothing grows here except a little bit of grass. It used to be a cattle ranch, now it's a nature preserve. It's used for hiking, hunting and there is a large population of elk up here.

Below us is the town of Abiqui. The area around Abiqui is what inspired Georgia O'Keeffe for her paintings and Ansel Adams for his photography. One of the thrills I can offer you on the way back to the airport is to fly through Diablo Canyon. It looks narrow but it's plenty wide for the helicopter. I know that because I've been through here before.


BURT WOLF: Santa Fe has a number of galleries that specialize in Native American artwork.

The Morning Star Gallery is devoted to historic Native American art and has an extensive collection of beadwork, pottery, basketry, masks, clothing and textiles.

It also has a collection of ledger drawings, which are exactly what their name implies; drawings on the ledger paper used for bookkeeping.

VANESSA HERNANDEZ ON CAMERA: As we are approaching the end of the 19th century, the Plains people are quickly changing their cultures. The access to buffalo hide, to hides in general, are becoming more difficult, so what the Plains artists do, being innovative, they make the transition of this pictographic artistic tradition onto paper.

These are two wonderful examples to highlight, and interestingly enough, they're done by the same artist. In the top image we have two male warriors, these are Arapahoe warriors, and they're dressed to the nines, they're in their best outfits. They're in their best outfits because they're getting ready to go courting. They're going to see their sweethearts, and as you see, they're taking their horse with them; they're going to show off their wealth and say, what a good match we will be.

This image is actually more classic, it's a hunting scene. But what's particularly interesting about this one is that it shows the perils of the hunt. Hunting buffalo is certainly not easy, and there are lots of accidents that can happen.

If you notice, to the left of the heads of the people, there is a little round shape. That's called the name-glyph, and in this case we know that this artist is called Dark Cloud.

People often times read these as children's drawings, because they seem overtly simplistic, but that's actually far from the truth. These are incredibly sophisticated drawings, they're pictorial shorthand that work as memory aids for the men to tell stories. It is very formulaic, languages have to be. So men learned to do these types of drawings from elder men. They learned that horses, when are in movement, all four legs should be up off the ground, to show progression in space.

So all of these things do work as a symbol that is recognized by the rest of the tribe, so that other people can also recognize the accomplishments of the man, so they work like a record, that everybody gets to read.


BURT WOLF: The most famous artist to take up residence in the neighborhood was probably Georgia O’Keeffe. And Santa Fe has a museum that is completely dedicated to her works. O’Keeffe was born in 1887 and died at the age of 98 in 1986. The museum traces the development of her work from her early days in Wisconsin and Texas to her years in New Mexico.

BARBARA BUHLER LYNES ON CAMERA: This picture was done in 1917, when Georgia O'Keeffe was in Texas. And one of the things that interested her about Texas was the beauty of the night sky, the flatness of the horizon and the activity in the night sky. It's one of the most innovative and important abstractions of American art in the 1910s. What she does is create an extremely simple, minimalist image in which the stars are conveyed to us through the actual paper, so she's using the paper as a component of the imagery.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: What did O'Keeffe love about New Mexico?

BARBARA BUHLER LYNES ON CAMERA: It was a landscape that she immediately identified with, and I think it has a lot to do with the light and the color and the crispness of the contours, and the severity of the landscape appealed to her. She often said that when she walked in the landscape in New Mexico, she felt she had been someplace that no one had been before.

This is another spectacular Georgia O'Keeffe flower painting. It's called "Black Hollyhock and Blue Larkspur", and it was painted in 1930, the second summer that O'Keeffe was in New Mexico.

When she first started painting floral forms in large scale, the critics interpreted it as a manifestation of her sexuality, which she was really angry about it, because she felt her work was about the sensuality and sexuality of the natural world.

So by depicting this the center of the flowers, she's focusing on their androgyny, because they have male and female parts. So it's really a joke on the critics, but they didn't get it and they still don't.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: How many works do you think she produced?

BARBARA BUHLER LYNES ON CAMERA: She produced 2,029 works that our Museum would document, so that includes oil paintings, pastels, charcoal drawings, finished works, as well as, you know, sketches. THE LORETTO CHAPEL

MARK CHILDERS ON CAMERA: The chapel was built by the Sisters of Loretto. They were an American born teaching order from Kentucky and they were brought here by the first archbishop of Santa Fe, Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. And he asked them to come and open a girl's school. The chapel was actually built with the sister's dowries, with their own savings from their families.

BURT WOLF: It was the first stone masonry structure in Santa Fe. And these days it's famous for its Miraculous Staircase.

MARK CHILDERS ON CAMERA: After the chapel was finished they realized there was one major architectural flaw. They had a beautiful chapel, a choir loft, where the sisters could sing the liturgy. They had no way to get to the choir loft. So the sisters did what nuns know how to do, and that was to pray.

BURT WOLF: A stranger arrived, built the Miraculous Staircase and disappeared without asking to be paid. Word circulated that the staircase had been built by St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

MARK CHILDERS ON CAMERA: The staircase makes two full 360 degree turns. It stands apparently on its own weight without any center supports. And it is built without nails. It was built simply held together with square pegs. It has 33 steps, which we would know from our bible history, 33 is the number of years that Jesus lived on this Earth. It is regarded as the first gothic structure built west of the Mississippi. They started construction in 1873 and it was finished by 1878.

The beautiful alter itself is made out of a plaster and wood composition and then painted to look like marble. The mosaics that are in the ceiling that you would see, and also the borders, under the windows, around the chapel, the mosaics are actually just paint made to look like mosaic tile.


BURT WOLF: In 1888, a 40 year old self-taught anthropologist named Adolph Bandelier went to New Mexico under the sponsorship of the Archeological Institute of America. His goal was to trace the customs of the people of the southwest. One of the areas in which he worked is now the 32,000 acre Bandelier National Monument.

GARY ROYBAL ON CAMERA: Bandelier is a sacred place, a beautiful place. And the people who lived here chose this because of the abundance of water and wildlife. Their main staple was corn, beans and squash at the time. But they also had wild life, like wild turkey, deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels. You look around; you see a lot of small and large caves. They built into the walls of canyon and built structures in front of it. And that's the result of the volcanic eruption millions of years ago. The holes were made from very soft volcanic rock called tuff - t-u-f-f. So, very soft materials so if people had maybe used stone tools or deer antlers in order to shape it and carve it.

This is the largest village in Frijoles Canyon called Duwinny in the Caras language.

And this village is here in Frijoles Canyon and may have been two and three-story high in some places. And the rooms were very small. Their interior rooms may have been used for storage of their grains and crops. And the exterior rooms were used for living quarters. And if you look around, you'll also see the plaza where many of their daily activities would happen as well as many of their ceremonial activities and dances.

We're going up to the cliff ones you can see that structure up there called the Tallis House. It's a reconstructed building on top.

My grandfather helped build this structure in 1925. And this structure was built to give an idea of how some of the structures that looked like here in the cliff walls where there were two and three-story high as well and ladders maybe leading up to the second room. The ceilings were blackened with the soot and the fires that they built inside and the walls were also plastered as well as the flooring. Up and down this mile-and-a-half of Frijoles Canyon, this is what you would have seen at the time they occupied this area from the 12 to about in the mid-1500s.

It's important to know that the people just didn't vanish from here. They did migrate to the Rio Grande. The people have very close ties to Bandelier.  It's very sacred to them and they still come and make pilgrimages to some of the different sites that we do have.


BURT WOLF: The ancestors of the Pueblo Indians have been living in northern New Mexico for at least twelve thousand years. They were primarily hunters. But when crops like corn and beans came up from Mexico the population began farming and started building above ground structures made of stone held together with mortar and covered with mud. The architectural style is known as adobe.

MICHAEL MOQUIN ON CAMERA: This is adobe which is really mud and it has the most critical factor is how much clay you have and the quality of the clay and not cracking too much. Rest is sand, small gravel, silt and add straw to it to help it dry out quicker and repel rain a little better.

This goes on all over the world; all the cultures have had the phase where they were farmers and making adobe homes. This is how it all started and this is how the Pueblo

Indians survived by being permanently settled in adobe homes, they weren't in teepees that could easily be run through with a horse. They could defend themselves and stuff so that's why the Pueblo Peoples are probably the most intact of all the Indian cultures in the United States.

I'm wetting the surface of the adobe so it will better bond with the mud plaster that'll go over it. If you didn’t do this it would soak all the water out of the mud plaster and not have enough to actually create the bond so it's critical. And then I kind of dust off the small gravel and stuff that's on the surface. And then throw the mud on it.


BURT WOLF: Santa Fe’s love of history even extends to its hotels. In 1876, Abraham Staab, who had immigrated to Santa Fe from Germany purchased a plot of land and began working on the mansion which he had promised his new bride. The building was a formal brick structure in the classic European style. About 100 years later the structure was incorporated into a new hotel complex known as La Posada with means “the resting place”.

Today, La Posada consists of six acres of adobe buildings, pine trees, sculptures, pools, and fountains.

Its restaurant, Fuego, is well known for its excellent food and an extensive selection of wine.

Each week during the spring and summer there is a performance by Ronald Roybal, a self-taught musician with Pueblo and Spanish colonial ancestors.

The hotel has a Spa that offers some rather imaginative treatments that reflect the area's history. Both chocolate and hot chili peppers are indigenous to the New World and considered medicine by the Native Americans. La Posada has combined them into a chocolate-chili body wrap. It comes in both milk and dark.

Ah, but there’s more.

In 1948, Margarita Sames, working as a bartender in Acapulco, Mexico, blended a shot of tequila with some orange liqueur, and introduced her creation as, a Margarita.

But Danny Herrera of Tijuana claims that he invented the drink for the actress Margarita King.

And to make matters worse, the Russian, Ivan Yukovanovich, declared that he invented all 20th century bar drinks in his laboratory at the KGB headquarters in Moscow.

Today Americans drink over 100 million Margaritas each year.

And the bar in the Staab House has become famous for its Silver Coin version.

BURT WOLF: The land here is called New Mexico but it is actually very old. In fact it contains the oldest site in the United States, continually inhabited by the same community. The Native Americans of New Mexico call themselves “The People” and they have lived on these lands for over 12,000 years. In terms of their history, the Hispanics and Anglos are what's new. But the Hispanic and Anglo influences are powerful, and a new culture is emerging--- it's a blend of the ancient Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures.

For Travels & Traditions, I’m Burt Wolf.