National Geographic : 1956 Nov
576 B. Anthony Stewart, National Geograptli Staff Thruway Trooper Radios an SO S for Stranded Motorists near Canandaigua A detail of 138 State police patrols the expressway 24 hours a day. In 1955 the troopers helped 21,518 drivers in distress. Toll ticket instructs motorists: "Park disabled vehicles on right shoulder. For Thruway assistance, day or night, tie white cloth on left door handle and wait." bridge built by the New York State Thru way Authority (page 575). Suburbs vanish abruptly at Suffern, and I found myself climbing into the wildly pic turesque Ramapo Mountains. Soon, tempted again, I left the Thruway and followed a highway dug into cliffs of the hauntingly beautiful Hudson Highlands to West Point. There Gothic masses of gran ite seemed to well with impregnable strength from the earth itself (page 581). Founded in 1802 on a fortified site chosen by George Washington, the United States Military Academy is not only the oldest per manent military post in the Nation but its old est engineering school. Said one of its sons 61 years ago: "West Point is built on a rock, and that rock is mathematics." The genius of an early superintendent, Syl vanus Thayer, set the pattern of West Point education. Cadets spend only two hours a week during the academic year learning mili tary know-how. The emphasis is on a well rounded background in arts and sciences. Over the years the long gray line of cadet graduates has grown to some 21,000 officers, among them many great Americans. As I ob served the superbly fit members of the corps, I could not help but wonder whether tomor row's Robert E. Lee, John J. Pershing, or Dwight D. Eisenhower walked among them.* Where Washington Refused a Crown Majestic Storm King Mountain guards the northern entrance to the Hudson Highlands. Farther upriver at Newburgh stands a farm house where George and Martha Washington lived for 16 uneasy months before the Revo lutionary War officially ended in 1783. At Jonathan Hasbrouck House, Washing ton received guests in an unusual chamber with seven doors and a single window. Logs lay on an open hearth against the wall. A chimney opening at ceiling level sucked up the smoke. While living here the future first President * See "The Making of a West Pointer," by Howell Walker, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, May, 1952.