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What's New • January 2008
Greetings, Regulars and Other Friends



Nez Perce: The Failed Flight for Freedom

JosephJoin HistoryAmerica TOURS July 5–15, 2008, for an incomparable learning vacation led by Historian Guide Ed Bearss. He will turn authentic events into a spellbinding, unforgettable narrative about the Nez Perce and their tragic Failed Flight for Freedom.

In 1877 the stage was set for the Nez Perce War when President Grant opened the Wallowa Valley to white settlement and ordered the Nez Perce to move to the Lapwai Reservation. It was the same sorrowfully familiar scenario that many Indian tribes experienced as Americans moved steadily westward. Trying to avoid conflict, Chief Joseph, a dignified, well-spoken man, attempted negotiations with the army, but after an ultimatum that included a threat, the Indians began to move away.

Soon raids by the Nez Perce on settlers brought retribution, and Chief Joseph reluctantly prepared his people for war. A band of 300 of his warriors repelled U.S. soldiers who had assaulted their camp at White Bird Canyon. After this initial victory the Indians fled, knowing they could not engage the full army.

While waging a series of confrontations, Chief Joseph led about 800 of his people on a remarkable escape attempt. Traveling more than 1,170 miles, they outmaneuvered 10 units of pursuing soldiers. After a final five-day siege and only 40 miles from Canada, and freedom, the battle-weary Nez Perce capitulated. It was here that Chief Joseph, after his surrender, spoke the famous words, "Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."





Bear Paw Battlefield

Few places in the West are as evocative of the tragic story of the Nez Perce as the Bear Paw Battlefield. After traveling the long and arduous trail that the Nez Perce followed on that summer long ago, you will stand here at Bear Paw Battlefield. At this quiet compelling scene, which adds immeasurably to the solemnity of the past, little has changed since 1877. Here, where they were so close to freedom at the Canadian border, you will remember Chief Joseph, standing at this same site, giving his immortal speech of surrender. HistoryAmerica TOURS is again "taking you where history happened."




BearssHistorian Guide Ed Bearss

Ed Bearss, legendary battlefield historian, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II and served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994. With amazing personal energy, he is the consummate historian tour guide, bringing history alive to travelers of all ages and knowledge levels. He reveals stories that are rich with human interest and little-known facts. When you ask this man, who spends an average of 200 days a year leading tours, to name his favorite, he will say Nez Perce: The Failed Flight for Freedom. No one can capture the drama, excitement, and tragedy of the Nez Perce War like Ed Bearss.



HistoryAmerica News Bits

IrelandTime is running out to register for The Ireland Never Seen: A Journey Into Irish-American History, June 16-26, 2008. Because this is an international tour, we must have our passenger list for the Irish Hotels three months prior to arrival. Don't miss this spectacular, one-of-a-kind vacation because you didn't plan far enough in advance.

Bad Hand Mackenzie: Legend of the Texas Indian Wars and Nez Perce: The Failed Flight for Freedom are filling up quickly. If you want to go on one of these popular tours call (800) 628- 8542 and talk to Sharon or Georgia.

The good news! Sharon is hard at work on plans for another WWII in the South Pacific cruise. The bad news!! Cruises of that type need to be planned so far in advance that it probably will not be on our schedule until 2010.

When you call HistoryAmerica TOURS this spring you will not hear the lilting voice of Molly Dailey greeting you. Molly will be doing her practice teaching in vocal music this semester. However, she will still work weekends on the accounting and billing to make sure that your money is in good hands. She is definitely the "Quickbooks Tzarina" of HistoryAmerica TOURS.

We in Rapid City are getting to the time of year when we wish that HAT were still in Texas. It has nothing to do with the business; it's the weather. We have been fortunate so far this winter (global warming?), but January and February are always a challenge in the Dakotas. We are grateful for the Black Hills that protect us to a certain degree from the brutal cold that assaults the rest of SD.


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4265 Peridot Lane • Rapid City SD 57702
(800) 628-8542 • (605) 348-2250 • Fax (605) 342-8471
Updated 21-Jan-2008