Tourists and Tourism
In January 1939, Lyra Ferguson of Missouri left her job as a church secretary and took off on a tour of the United States. Her goal was to spend a week working in all 48 states. Alaska and Hawaii weren't yet states, so she didn't have to worry about those. She was equipped with only "a new automobile, a small wardrobe, a little pistol and $200." I'm not sure of her exact age, but news reports said she was "over 40."
She made advance plans to secure a job in a handful of states, but mostly she just arrived and tried to find employment. She also tried to find jobs in industries that seemed representative of each state.
Ultimately she managed to find one-week jobs in 45 states but failed to get work in New York, Nevada, or Arizona.
Her plan had been to write a book about her adventures, but in a later interview she said her attempt at a book was "terrible." So that plan fell through.
However, she did take film footage of her entire journey and later edited this together into a movie which she showed to various groups. Unfortunately I can't find any evidence that this movie still exists.
Below is a list of her jobs in 42 states. I couldn't find any info about her jobs in Arkansas, Colorado, or West Virginia.
- Alabama: performed at the assembly exercises of the Tuskegee Institute
- California: worked for an overall company at the San Francisco fair
- Connecticut: typewriter factory
- Delaware: tanned kid skins in a tannery
- Florida: packed oranges
- Georgia: cafeteria
- Idaho: dug potatoes
- Illinois: made wax fruits and flowers
- Indiana: manufactured refrigerators
- Iowa: pen factory
- Kansas: packed dog food
- Kentucky: ironed shirts in a laundromat
- Louisiana: packed shrimp
- Maine: helped out in a lighthouse
- Maryland: tea packing factory
- Massachusetts: served as attendant in an insane asylum
- Michigan: maid on a Great Lakes steamer during tulip festival
- Minnesota: sewed buttons on suits
- Mississippi: shucked oysters
- Missouri: social hostess at a hotel
- Montana: cooked on a dude ranch
- Nebraska: booked well-known artists for an agency
- New Hampshire: paper factory
- New Jersey: cosmetics factory
- New Mexico: sewed labels on ties made by Native Americans
- North Carolina: weaved homespun suiting
- North Dakota: picked chickens
- Ohio: worked in the printing room of a newspaper
- Oklahoma: wiped windshields at a gas station
- Oregon: packed salmon
- Pennsylvania: made chocolate candy at Hersheys
- Rhode Island: baking powder factory
- South Carolina: textile industry
- South Dakota: took pictures of the Black Hills for the association of commerce
- Tennessee: washed turnip greens
- Texas: delivered packages during the Christmas holidays
- Utah: wove blankets in a woolen mill
- Vermont: helped make maple syrup
- Virginia: weighed peanuts
- Washington: worked at a general store in a logging camp
- Wisconsin: milked cows for a dairy
- Wyoming: worked at Yellowstone
Pittsburgh Press - Dec 24, 1939
Weekly Kansas City Star - May 8, 1940
Sedalia Democrat - Sep 23, 1941
The only follow-up info I can find about her was that in 1956 she had just returned home from a world tour during which she collected souvenirs from the countries she visited. She obviously really liked to travel!
No explanation available.
Was this really the best scene of the "vacation paradise" of Birchwood, Wisconsin
that the maker of this 1970s-era postcard could come up with? And where are the blue gills?.
Here's (what I think is) the present-day view on Google Maps
The state of Nebraska has decided to go for a reverse-psychology approach in its new marketing. In the hope of getting people to visit, it's rolling out new ads that joke about how boring the state is, accompanied by the tagline, "Nebraska. Honestly, it's not for everyone."
Some of Nebraska's previous tourism slogans:
"Nebraska ... the good life" — 1972-75, 1977-78
"Rediscover Nebraska during the Bicentennial" — 1976
"Vacation Nebraska" — 1979
"Nebraska ... Delightfully Different" — 1980-81
"Nebraska ... Discover the Difference" — 1982-85
"My Choice, Nebraska" — 1986
"Celebrate Nebraska" — 1987
"Come See What We're Up to Now" — 1988-91
"Send a Postcard from Nebraska" — 1992-97
"Genuine. Nebraska" — 1998-2001
"America's Frontier" — 2002-03
"Possibilities ... Endless" — 2004-2013
"Nebraska Nice" — 2014-2018
More info: Lincoln Journal Star
German tourist Erwin Kreuz took a flight from Augsburg to San Francisco. When it landed in the United States, he got off.
Three days later, he realized he wasn't actually in San Francisco. Instead, he was in Bangor, Maine, where the plane had stopped for refueling. Kreuz realized his mistake when he got bored of wandering around what he thought were the suburbs of San Francisco, got in a cab, and asked to go to downtown San Francisco. The cabbie somehow managed to inform him (despite Kreuz's total lack of English) that it would be a very long trip.
Kreuz later explained that when he had been sitting on the flight, after it had landed, a stewardess had walked past him and wished him a "pleasant stay in San Francisco." The crew was being switched during the refueling, so she was just saying goodbye, but Kreuz assumed it meant they had arrived in SF. So he deboarded, went through customs, and managed to get a cab to a local hotel.
When the media got word of Kreuz's mix-up, he became a national celebrity. The SF Examiner flew him out to San Francisco at their expense, where he got to meet the mayor and tour the city.
A year later Kreuz returned to Bangor to be the celebrity guest at the opening of a shopping mall, but things for him then went downhill because the brewery where he worked back in Germany fired him for taking too much time off.
In 1979, Kreuz returned to Bangor a third time, hoping to find a job by cashing in on his celebrity. But the only job he was offered was as a janitor. So he returned to Germany.
More info: Wikipedia
, Bangor Daily News
The La Crosse Tribune - Oct 29, 1977
Reasoning that "we don't have much to show sightseers here," the residents of Sayre, Oklahoma
found a different way to attract visitors. They all waved at tourists.
The Gettysburg Times - Oct 1, 1941