The Joseph R. Biden Jr. Aquatic Center

READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - December 2, 2020 - 12:00am

At age 19, Joe Biden graduated from college. Unlike other boys gallivanting around, Joe took a job as a lifeguard in a swimming pool in Wilmington. Since most in his neighborhood were black people, Joe was the only white man at the pool. He wanted to learn more about his neighbors who were so different from the world of the white. In fact, in 1962, segregation was still the Law of the United States. In his autobiographic book titled ’Promises to keep: On Life and Politics’ the former vice president relates: A fellow lifeguard asked me if I could borrow him a gallon can for a trip to see his grandmother in North Carolina. I wondered why. There are many gas stations on that highway. He replied: They will not serve black men at most gas stations.

Some 55 years later the community has named the pool after the former vice-president. The new sign at the building reads: Joseph R. Biden Jr. Aquatic Center. Washington Post as well as Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the unveiling on June 26, 2017. Pictures and videos in the Internet show Joe Biden in a black suit surrounded by children in swimsuits. He told them: I owe this neighborhood so much. Delaware Governor John Carney spoke at the ceremony: I bet there won’t be anything more important to him and the young people of our state than to know that Joe’s commitment to civil rights started right here. And I am sure we will name other things after our Joe.

And that is what they did: The University of Delaware announced the Joseph R. Biden Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration that houses the Biden Domestic Policy Institute in 2017.

Also in 2017, the University of Pennsylvania established the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

An Amtrak railroad station in Wilmington was named after Joe Biden Jr. in 2011. As a  Senator Biden took the train from Wilmington to Washington more than 7000 times what earned him the nickname Amtrak Joe.

And last not least a chocolate chips vanilla ice cream that once he praised as ‘really good’ is also called after the president – elect of the United States of America. - Erich Wannemacher

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