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Nostalgic America: Highways, Byways, Small Towns & Big Cities

By Nostalgic America · May 17, 2024

The Great American Story takes place on the nation’s highways, byways, small towns, and big cities.

Here’s a look back at great places and activities we loved.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Snowball fight in Grafton, Vermont

The great American winter pastime: A snowball fight.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Snowmobiling overlooking Lake Tahoe

A need for speed in Nevada.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Playing in the snow on a typical Saturday

Kids heading out to the slopes at Shawnee Peak – the nation’s oldest ski resort located in Bridgton, Maine. It opened in 1938.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Carnegie Deli Opens on Seventh Ave

The Carnegie Deli was founded in 1937, located near Manhattan’s theater district. Carnegie became the place for entertainers, celebrities, and comics to see and be seen, and to eat the largest pastrami and corned beef sandwiches in the world. Not to mention the potato knishes and cheesecake.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Nathan’s Dogs Half Price of Everyone

It was 1916 in Coney Island, New York when twenty-year-old Nathan Handwerker was washing dishes and later working weekends at Feltman's, the inventor of hot dogs. Within a year, Nathan had saved up over $300, enough dough to open his own business down the road at the corners of Stillwell and Surf Avenue in Coney Island. His signs said it all: Hot Dogs for five cents a-piece, half the price of Feltman’s. Nathan used a twelve-foot grill and put a hint of garlic in his sausages.

Many of the passers-by were suspicious of the low price. At first Handwerker hired bums to stand around the counter and paid them in hot dogs in order to give the impression he was busy. He then took the concept to the next level, and had the bums shave themselves and wear doctor's outfits so they looked well-off. The new sign above the establishment proclaimed, "If doctors eat our hot dogs, you know they're good!"  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

On The Road with Charles Kuralt

As Charles explored America, he took us with him. Here he is on location for his travelogue segment in Bird City, Kansas in 1968.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Stickball in the Bronx

Stickball was a game that originated in the Bronx as a way for boys to play ball without needing expensive equipment. It was originally played with a broomstick and a rubber ball. The rules were to hit the ball far and run around the bases before getting tagged out.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Fly fishing for rainbow trout

Fly fishing for rainbow trout at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, Arizona in 1967  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

The Extraterrestrial Highway – Near Area 51

The drive from the Alamo and Crystal Springs to Rachel, Nevada on Highway 375 should take just a few hours, but it’s fun to imagine seeing a UFO along the way. This stretch of road was named The Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996, because it’s close to the Air Force location that’s associated with top-secret reports of aliens and UFOs.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Vegas is and was everyone’s playground – Amateurs and Pros

The Hot Shot Poker Stars of Vegas in 1971.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Memorial Day at the Indy 500

Pre-race Pageantry at the 1968 Indianapolis 500.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Wall Street Trading Floor

Wall Street is a street in lower Manhattan that became synonymous with the financial markets of the US and is home to the New York Stock Exchange. Times have certainly changed in the financial world over the years!
Dow Jones Industrial Average - Historical Annual Data – December 31st numbers
1920 – 80.80
1930 – 77.90
1940 – 110.96
1950 – 269.23
1960 – 731.14
1970 – 890.20
1980 - 875.00
1990 - 3,168.83
2000 - 10,021.57
2010 – 11,577.51
2018 –25,883.25  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

The Iconic Fenway Park

Fenway Park was built in 1912, with a construction budget of $650,000 and original seating capacity for 27,000 fans.. Fire struck the park in May 1926, destroying the wooden bleachers in the left foul line. This area was not rebuilt until 1933, when Thomas A. Yawkey purchased the Red Sox.

After the 1933 baseball season, Fenway Park was extensively renovated. Duffy’s Cliff was removed, wooden grandstands in right and center field were replaced by concrete stands and the entire grandstand was enlarged, increasing the seating capacity to 33,817. The most significant feature added to the ballpark was the 37-foot-high wall in left field. At the base of the wall was a hand operated scoreboard.

A tragic fire in January 1934 caused extensive damage, but the ballpark was renovated and reopened on April 17, 1934. In 1936, a 23-foot net was placed on top of the left field wall to prevent baseballs from breaking windows in nearby shops.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

The First Hyatt Regency Atrium in Atlanta

The Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel was designed in 1967 by architect John Portman. The 22-story Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta was the first modern hotel to be built around an atrium.

With its futuristic flying saucer shape, the hotel’s Polaris Lounge immediately drew attention when the hotel opened. When Jim Morrison, of The Doors, visited the hotel in 1970, he talked about the “strange sensation” of riding the hotel’s glass elevators.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Canal Street in New Orleans

Canal Street in New Orleans is one of the widest streets in the country, with many movie theaters and music venues. It’s the center of fun during Mardi Gras, with more than a million people there to view the parade and to celebrate. In the mid-1800s, Canal Street was one of the first streets in the world to be lit with electric lights.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas has come a long way since it was a sleepy small town in the 1950s.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images

Delancey Street in New York City

Delancey Street was the main shopping area for Jewish and Irish immigrants in the mid-20th century and was known for its discount and bargain clothing stores.  Nostalgic America / Getty Images