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Howard Johnson and 1963 March on Washington

In 1963 Howard Johnson’s, (Ho Jos) founded in the early 1900’s, had the only nationwide chain of hotels and restaurants in the United States. The company also had monopoly control of all of the rest stop refreshment stands on then newly constructed New Jersey Turnpike. It’s not clear if organizers of the march negotiated with Ho Jos but the restaurant chain made massive changes in its turnpike concessions for the march.  Previous to March its stands remained open for bus traffic on the turnpike “only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday” reported the 

New York Times

 on August 28, 1963. Benton E. Caldon, New Jersey manager for the refreshment stands, moved to expand bus parking at turnpike rest stops from 85 per stop to 800 and kept the stands open between 1 and 6 weekdays and weekends. He increased his staff from three shifts of 22 people employees to two shifts of 200. He stocked piled his supplies at the stands to have on hand “6,000 half-pint containers of soft drinks, 2,400 half-pints of milk, 2,400 ham sandwiches, 12,000 frankfurters and 5,400 chicken halves” reported the 



March on Washington  and Food Series:


Bayard Rustin’s Sandwich Brigade & the March on Washington: 




Stories in the Series Feeding the Revolution with Related Recipes: 


A Herkimer Food Memory: Hot Sandwiches Too Good To Be Legal

A Herkimer Food Memory: Hot Sandwiches Too Good To Be Legal

Notable Eateries and Hole-in-the-Walls from the Past

Notable Eateries and Hole-in-the-Walls from the Past