Print

Atlantic City Expressway Connector

connector1

Marker is located at the Northwest corner of Mississippi and Fairmount Avenues

Marker text:
South Jersey Transportation Authority
Atlantic City Expressway Connector
Donald T. DiFrancesco, Acting Governor
Commissioners
Stanley R. Glassey, Chairman
Charles J. DePalma - Vice Chairman
Carl W. Block
James M. Dwyer
Charles E. Owens
Louis Toscano
James Washington
James Weinstein, NJDOT
Charles Hance, NJC
James A. Crawford, Executive Director
Kathleen C. Aufschneider, Chief Engineer
July 27, 2001

Additional information:

Although casinos existed in Atlantic City’s Marina district as far back as 1980, no direct highway route to this area was created until two decades later. Until then, tourists would either have to get off of the Expressway and drive through the entire downtown section of the city, or take Absecon Boulevard, a less-familiar route for those travelers from out of the area. In the mid-90s, the proposal of a new casino to complement the existing two in the district generated talks of building a more direct route to the Marina. A tunnel connecting the Atlantic City Expressway with the Marina district and Brigantine was proposed, but the plan didn’t commence without opposition. Many local residents feared that the tunnel’s construction would destroy their neighborhoods, while casino owners argued that the tunnel would simply serve as a “private driveway” to direct patrons to their competitors’ resorts. When the main casino project supporting the tunnel construction was abandoned, however, the route was changed to provide more general access to the casinos in the marina, area roads, and Brigantine. After five years of planning and two and a half years of construction, the 2.3-mile long Atlantic City Expressway Connector Tunnel opened in July 2001. Within a year the route, which reduced travel time from the Expressway to Brigantine to only four minutes, was carrying 20,000 vehicles a day during peak season.

 

Print

Venice Park World War II Memorial

veniceparkwwII-4 

Marker is located on the corner of Grammercy Avenue and Absecon Boulevard (Route 30)

Marker text:
Venice Park Honor Roll
World War II

[list of names follows]

Additional information:
The Venice Park World War II Memorial is one of several in Atlantic City that honors residents of the resort who served and gave their lives in the second World War. Other memorials are located in O'Donnell Park and on the outside of Boardwalk Hall. Venice Park's monument, however, is specific to residents of that sector of the city. The memorial was dedicated on December 9th, 1945. It was placed along the side of the White Horse Pike, a major thoroughfare into Atlantic City, so that, according to then-Mayor Joseph Altman, "everyone can see what ... the youth of Venice Park did" in the war. Four names at the top of the monument - Edward Dayton, Wilbur Horn, Edward Mawhinney and Kenneth R. Stopper - are marked with small stars. Unlike the 104 others on the monument, these four Venice Park residents did not return home from World War II, but instead made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

In 1994, the plaque fronting the memorial was stolen, but the thief apparently had a change of heart. The plaque was returned to Venice Park World War II Veteran Bud Lovett about a month later, wrapped in cloth and with an accompanying American flag. It was swiftly returned to its proper location.

For more information, see articles from:
The Atlantic City Press, September 28, 1994 and October 5, 1994

Print

The Whaling Bark "Stafford"

whalingbark2

Marker is located at Pacific and S Rhode Island Avenues near the Absecon Lighthouse

Marker text:

Before construction of Absecon Lighthouse, many ships and many lives were lost off the coast of Absecon Island. Even though the beam from this light lessened these losses, other disasters plagued seagoing vessels.

The anchor you see here, weighing 1,805 pounds, may be one of two that were recovered by fishing boat crews working near Cape May. It may originally have sailed aboard the United States Navy Destroyer Jacob Jones, which was hit by German torpedoes in February 1942 and sank in the waters off Cape May. The anchor was permanently installed here as a reminder of the important role Absecon Lighthouse played in reducing losses at sea.

Print

Camp Boardwalk

campboardwalk50thconvhall

There are two plaques in Atlantic City which commemorate the 50th Anniversary of "Camp Boardwalk." One is located on the front of Boardwalk Hall, and the other on the dining level of Resorts Casino by Gallagher's Burger Bar.

Boardwalk Hall plaque text:
In commemoration of Atlantic City's finest hour ...

Dedicated to the thousands of men and women of the United States Armed Forces who trained, served and recovered here from their wounds of battle during World War II—and to the devoted citizens of Atlantic City and Atlantic County who served and helped to make them feel at home.

campboardwalk50thresorts1

The marker located in Resorts Casino

Resorts plaque text:
This plaque commemorates Merv Griffin's Resorts as site of Thomas England General Hospital, the largest hospital in the United States during World War II.

From June of 1942 through November of 1945, more than 300,000 men and women worked, trained and recuperated in Atlantic City also known as "Camp Boardwalk." During that time, more than 4,500 war casualties were treated at England General.

With this plaque, we salute those brave men and women and their contribution to the United States of America.

DEDICATED ON JUNE 1, 1992
BY CAMP BOARDWALK 50TH REUNION

Additional information:
When the United States entered World War II in late 1941, no time was wasted in readying troops and facilities for combat. In 1942, Atlantic City became occupied by the military, with 47 different hotels and hostels being repurposed for the war effort. Atlantic City, now nicknamed "Camp Boardwalk," was an ideal location for military training and soldier rehabilitation. Since its once-high visitation rates were in decline, many of the resort's hotels were nearly empty already, meaning displacement was minimal. Atlantic City's coastal location ensured that valuable training exercises could be performed on the sand, something troops needed for later beachfront battles in France and Japan. The Boardwalk provided a perfectly even path for injured soldiers going through physical therapy, especially those who were now amputees learning to use prosthetic limbs. Many amputee veterans later expressed that without the help and environment given to them at Camp Boardwalk, re-entering society would have been almost impossible. From 1942-1946, Atlantic City housed over 300,000 soldiers. Boardwalk landmarks were renamed, as the massive Convention Hall became the Army Air Corps Technical Training Command Center, and the Haddon Hall hotel (later Resorts Casino) became the Thomas England General Hospital. Originally encompassing 5 different beachfront hotels before being reduced to just the Haddon Hall, England General was the largest hospital in the world at the time. The environment in the city was different too - beaches were closed at noon so that soldiers could do calisthenics on them, lights had to be turned off at night or windows covered with blue cellophane, and no girl under 18 was allowed on the Boardwalk unescorted after 9 pm. Despite the changes, however, Atlantic City's residents embraced the military presence. Many families invited soldiers into their homes for Sunday dinners, and training exercises on the Boardwalk drew large crowds. The Saturday Evening Post quoted Private Herb Dotten as saying that the spectators "give... an added snap and makes you feel the importance of a job you otherwise might think as a lot of drudgery." The military presence, in turn, helped Atlantic City return to its former glory. Celebrities once again turned out in droves to visit the soldiers; famous names visiting the resort included Bob Hope, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott and Costello, and Joe DiMaggio. Many military families also came to vacation in Atlantic City in order to see their boys off before going to war. Winners of Atlantic City's famous Miss America Pageant participated in War Bond tours nationwide during these years. In 1992, the 50th Anniversary of Camp Boardwalk was marked by a reunion of soldiers at Resorts, many of whom met again for the first time since the war's end.

For more information, see articles from:
The Sun, November 5, 1986 and February 14, 1986
South Jersey Advisor, April 10, 1992
Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28, 1986

Print

44th Nat'l Encampment Grand Army of the Republic

44thGAR2

Marker is located on Vermont Avenue, in the grounds of the Absecon Lighthouse

 

Marker text:
From September 19 to 24 1910, about 45 years after the last shot of the Civil War was fired, the 44th National Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Encampment (convention) was held in Atlantic City. The G.A.R., a Union (Northern) Civil War veteran's organization, had in attendance over 18,000 of its 214,000 members arriving from across the nation, many still suffering from wounds inflicted decades before in the War Between the States. The days of the gathering were marked by parades, and meetings for the Encampment were held at Steel, Million Dollar, Steeplechase, and Young's Ocean piers. Among the notable Civil War veterans in attendance were Major General Daniel E. Sickles, Lt. General Nelson A. Miles, and Johnny Clem, the famous "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."

It was the only time in the 83-year history of the Grand Army of the Republic that a National Encampment was held in New Jersey.

Additional information:
The Grand Army of the Republic was the nation's largest organization of Union veterans. Encampments were important events amongst Civil War veterans and their families, and Atlantic City had been campaigning to host one for many years before the GAR finally arrived in the seaside resort in 1910. When it did, Atlantic City did not disappoint. A huge variety of events were held in virtually every section of the city, including sightseeing tours, religious services, parades, meetings of several GAR organizations, and a general reunion amongst fellow troops, some of whom had not seen each other since the end of the war. The local press also reported on the presence of the "Custer Gun" (aka Custer Cannon), a cannon made of melted-down relics from various Civil War battles, which had been brought to 28 different encampments. This artifact unfortunately became lost to history some time in the 1920s. Several inspiring moments occurred during the events. When General "Fighting Dan" Sickles, who was confined to a wheelchair, was presented with a chest of silver, four fellow veterans lifted him up onto the stage, chair and all, to be honored. General Hilary Herbert, a former Confederate soldier, addressed the GAR veterans poignantly, declaring, "Had I been told when I was in Antietam, that in years to come I would stand side by side with Federal soldiers and grasp the Stars and Stripes with them, I would have been insulted. But I love the old flag now." When the Encampment's 100th anniversary took place in 2010, the occasion was marked by a short parade from Garden Pier to the Absecon Lighthouse, where the current historic marker was unveiled. The location was chosen because the lighthouse had been constructed by George Meade, a Civil War veteran who commanded the Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. Events also included historic reenactments by those wishing to preserve the history of the Civil War and the memory of the Encampment which brought its importance to life in Atlantic City.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, August 16, 2010
Courier Post, September 22, 2010
Atlantic Review, September 19, 1910 and September 21, 1910