The San Bernardino, California, City Hall visited by the Bicentennial hikers on July 20, 1976.

SCOTT KING and George Hormell hiked the 420-mile distance from east to west across Arizona in 14 days, covering an average of 30 miles per day. They were walking from Maine to California in honor of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. Their unique project was sponsored by their community club, the Meredith (N.H.) Jaycees. Their fellow volunteer and Meredith Jaycee, Chris Hurd, accompanied them in the supply van, and provided general assistance.

On July 14, 1976, King and Hormell crossed the Colorado River, which forms the western border of Arizona, by walking over the I-40 bridge. That night, Hormell wrote in his journal, “WE MADE IT TO CALIFORNIA! At 11:30 today we walked into Needles, California, to mark the beginning of our last state. It was 110 degrees, so we decided to rest this afternoon and continue after sunset when it is a little cooler.” The city is named for the “The Needles,” the beautiful rocky spires in the nearby Mojave Mountains in Arizona.

Aurore Eaton is a historian and writer in Manchester, contact her at or at