People: Jun. 9, 1986

It was an idea just as broad and almost as hyperbolic as America. On Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, nearly 5 1/2 million people joined hands along a 4,152-mile line across the country to raise funds--and consciousness --for fighting hunger and homelessness in the U.S. Participants linked up for 15 minutes and sang We Are the World, the Hands Across America theme and America the Beautiful, joyfully celebrating the day and the togetherness "from sea to shining sea."

Strictly speaking, it was not Hands all the way Across America. There were wide gaps in many spots outside the celebrity-studded cities,...

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