HistoryAmerica TOURS

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



Historic Texas: The Alamo to LBJ

TxTexas has the kind of history that legend is built on, but you can't exaggerate the scope of the Historic Texas tour that Ed Bearss will lead you on April 2–10, 2009. When you combine the authentic history of this giant state with the vast knowledge of Ed Bearss, historian guide extraordinaire, the result is a larger-than-life travel experience.

Six flags have flown over Texas, and each nation has had a profound effect on the Texas of today. It all started with the Spanish conquistadores cutting a swath across the New World. After that, the history was shaped by France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.

You will visit sites that figured large in Texas history such as the Presidio La Bahia and the battle of Lipantitlan. You will stand on hallowed ground at the Alamo where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, and you will see where the Texas Revolution ended with only a 20-minute fight.

All the famous characters and events of the past 200 years of Texas history will be brought to life on this unique tour. From missions to battlefields, from the Revolution to LBJ's call for a "Great Society," this tour has it all — something for everyone.



USA Today Features HAT Historians

On Oct. 7, USA Today published an article on the Lincoln Bicentennial. Featured in a color photo is Pulitzer Prize winning author James McPherson standing on the battlefield at Gettysburg where he will be next May for HAT's Antietam and Gettysburg tour. McPherson says, "To really understand that people struggled and sacrificed here, you have to walk this hallowed ground." In his new book, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief, he tells how Lincoln, because of ineffective generals, was forced to become the most hands-on commander-in-chief of any U.S. president. McPherson says, "Lincoln never made a snap decision. He would mull over every aspect of the situation, examine all sides of a controversy before he came to a conclusion." His advice for the next commander in chief: "Don't panic. Don't make snap decisions. Keep your cool."

Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Committee, is also highlighted in the article. Holzer will be guiding our Forging of a Presidency tour next fall, which is based on his book Lincoln at Cooper Union. His latest Lincoln book is Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861. Holzer reminds USA Today readers that Americans long have turned to our 16th president during times of crisis. Lincoln had to confront a financial melt-down and a war "just like Obama or McCain will."

The article listed a series of new books about Lincoln. First on the list was Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symonds. Symonds, another noted HistoryAmerica historian guide, will be taking our travelers on the tour America's Naval Heritage: Anchors Aweigh! in April of 2009.




Icons of the Confederacy: With Lee, Davis and Jackson in Virginia

Sharon McDermott, co-owner of HistoryAmerica TOURS, returned last week from this new tour happy to have seen old friends and equally glad to have made new acquaintances. She was full of enthusiasm and praise for the work by Historian Guide Robert E. Lee Krick. Sharon says that Bob is energetic and highly entertaining, and his knowledge of Lee, Davis, and Jackson is encyclopedic. The participants who had traveled on previous tours with Krick in Virginia were pleased with the new material and insights that he offered. Playing another central role in the success of the trip was our tour director, Phil Waldron ("The Enforcer," according to Krick) who was well organized, on top of the many arrangements, and always looking ahead.



HistoryAmerica News Bits

  • In November Pete Brown and Michael O'Connor will be attending the Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, PA. Also in attendance as presenters will be Craig Symonds and Harold Holzer, HistoryAmerica historian guides. Both Pete and Mike are looking forward to this great week of learning and socializing with some of our favorite history aficionados. This also will be Mike's first opportunity to see the new Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park.
  • In spite of the economic down turns we've seen in the last few months, HistoryAmerica is ecstatic to announce that our 2009 season is apparently very popular. We're getting a great reception and a lot of early sign-ups for which we are very grateful. Don't wait too long to register for your favorite tour.
  • Fall has arrived here in the Black Hills, and the aspen and cottonwood trees have turned a brilliant gold. We must admit that although it is overcast and somewhat rainy now, we are glad to get the moisture and are looking forward to the time when the national forest is no longer under a "high fire danger" warning.
  • Sharon will be out of the office in early November to go on HAT's Civil War on the Carolina Coast tour. She looks forward to meeting Jim and Pat McPherson and spending some time in a warm climate. After Charleston she will join her husband, western historian and author Jack McDermott, in Washington DC. Yearly, Jack spends a couple of weeks ensconced in wonderful historic documents in the National Archives and Library of Congress.

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Updated 25-Oct-2008