Susan C. Anthony

First Observations on Returning to the United States

May 14, 1988

  • People on the airplane were speaking "American" (using words like gonna, wanna, gotta).
  • The grass was green. Spring already!
  • Lots of American flags were flying. Large flags.
  • "Welcome to Chicago"—signs were correctly spelled!
  • Toilets were well-marked and easy to find.
  • Toilets were sparkling clean and supplied with toilet paper.
  • Rest rooms were free!
  • The lines through customs were orderly and moved quickly.
  • The forms asked for month/day/year, not day/month/year.
  • The customs official knew someone in Anchorage.
  • No customs checks or baggage searches.
  • The luggage arrived immediately.
  • The woman at the Information Desk had the information we needed and more. An Information Desk with information! What a concept!
  • When we asked for directions, people were specific and didn't just wave their hand.
  • Signs were everywhere. It was nearly impossible to get lost. The escalator even had a sign that said "Up" (as if we couldn't figure that out without assistance).
  • People smiled and looked me in the eye.
  • A package of gum cost $.65.
  • The ticket agents were fast, courteous and efficient.
  • Shelves of new books filled the bookstore, the latest books.
  • I could browse in peace, without anyone pressuring me to buy something.
  • Someone handing out religious literature thought we looked European.

It was great to be back!

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Source:, ©Susan C. Anthony