Daily Archives: February 1, 2016

Meadowlands Nature Blog Celebrates Black History Month

     We are honoring Black History Month with a weekly post each Monday throughout February on people and places related to the Meadowlands. The posts are taken from our archives and were originally done by former staffer Jim Wright.

Today the focus is Tuskegee Airman Calvin Spann, who grew up in Rutherford. Mr. Spann died this past September.

In future weeks we’ll  look at the Underground Railroad in Jersey City, a slave cemetery in Little Ferry, and a famous black actress and civil rights activist who worked in Kearny.

   Calvin J. Spann, who grew up in Rutherford,  served with the famed Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Spann
From 1943 to 1946, 1st Lt. Spann served in the US Army Air Force, 332nd Fighter Group, 100th Squadron, as part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen — the first-ever group of black Army pilots. 
Spann was among an elite group of Tuskegee Airmen who escorted B-17 bombers and reconnaissance  planes over Nazi Germany during World War. Spann flew 26 combat missions.

   In a phone interview yesterday from his home in Texas, Spann said: “My growing up in Rutherford inspired me to be a Tuskegee Airman. Planes from Teterboro Airport took off right over my house.

   “I was able to do everything any young man in high school did, and when I got into the Air Corps and they said they didn’t think I could learn to fly, I thought that was preposterous. I’d been doing everything everyone else was doing all my life, and it really stuck with me. That was my experience growing up in Rutherford.”

    Click here for more with Tuskegee Airman Calvin Spann.

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Super Bird Sunday Is Coming!

football-egret-right-super-bird-sunday-croppedGet some fresh air before planting yourself on the couch for the big game this coming Sunday by joining the Bergen County Audubon Society’s Super Bird Sunday nature walk! The walk takes place at Mill Creek Marsh in Secaucus, from 10 am to noon.

While looking for winter birds, the BCAS will award prizes to the first participants who spot a bird that is also an NFL team name: Cardinal, Raven, Falcon, Eagle, Seahawk (osprey), Giant (great) egret  and Giant (great) blue heron.

For more information on this fun and educational walk, email greatauk4@gmail.com or call 201-230-4983.