Hammonton, NJ’s Famous Rock is a Remembrance of Presidential Visit
September 19, 1984, was a big day in the blueberry capital of the world.
That was the day that President Ronald Reagan paid a visit to Hammonton.
Reagan was there stumping for reelection support and it might have been the biggest day in the history of Hammonton.
That visit is commemorated with a huge rock that stands right in downtown Hammonton, at the corner of Central and Bellevue Avenues. It's the spot where Reagan gave his speech. There's a plaque on the rock that states according to Waymarking.com:
40th President of
The United States of America
Honored the Town of Hammonton
By Addressing the residents of the Community
And Southern New Jersey From This Site On
September 19, 1984
the town of Hammonton
The Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce
To Commemorate This HIstoric Event
The speech given that day by Reagan included the lines: "You know, today my treat is seeing for the first time the Blueberry Capital of the world. It's the home of the fighting Blue Devils and the St. Joe Wildcats and your fighting State Senator, Bill Gormley; a town whose schools offer 4 years of three different foreign languages -- your town, Hammonton, New Jersey."
The President's speech also included this line: "America's future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire -- New Jersey's own, Bruce Springsteen."
According to RoadsideAmerica.com, "People even vaguely familiar with the songs of Bruce Springsteen know that they rarely contain messages of hope for America's future. But Reagan was oblivious."
At the Hammonton stop, the Reagan-Bush team rallied the crowd with the sounds of the Springsteen song, "Born in the USA." Springsteen, a Democrat, would later have the song pulled from use by the team.
You can read Reagan speech in it's entirety on the ReaganLibrary.Gov website.
Here's the speech via YouTube:
About the rock: it's still there, still on the corner. All these years later.
Were you there?