After what many have referred to as the most hectic American election cycle in centuries, involving controversial mail-in ballots, accusations of fraud, and riots all across the country, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has officially been inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America.
As many people in the area know, Biden is quite a legend in southeastern PA and Delaware. Pictures of him with owners and proprietors of local restaurants are somewhat common. One such picture hangs on the wall of La Michoacana Ice Cream in downtown Kennett Square. Another picture in La Verona Italian Restaurant. However, Biden is more known for his history in Delaware than anything else.
Biden grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before moving to Wilmington, Delaware, at a young age. He attended the Archmere Academy for high school. While he was never a top student, he was a star football player and was also elected president of both his junior and senior classes. After graduating from the University of Delaware and going on to law school, Biden eventually decided to pursue the Delaware senate seat. He won, but his wife and daughter were tragically killed in a car crash shortly after his victory. He considered resigning to take care of his two remaining sons but was eventually persuaded otherwise. Instead, he decided he would make the commute back and forth from Wilmington to Washington DC every day by Amtrak Train, so he could tuck his sons into bed. Soon, he got to know all the conductors and workers on the train, to the point where his nickname became “Amtrak Joe”.
Biden’s local legacy lives on in a variety of local institutions. The University of Delaware Public Policy school which he once attended bears his name. As does the Wilmington train station that Biden used for his daily commute. Eventually, a Presidential Library will, too.
Until then, all we can hope for is a stable and productive 4 years. Maybe Biden will give Kennett another visit, too!
— Martin Heintzelman