FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, December 5, 2014 — Cate Magennis Wyatt is on a mission. Since 2005, the founder and president of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground has been shining a spotlight on the National Heritage Area, which runs from Gettysburg, PA, through Maryland and West Virginia, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.
Why is honoring and preserving this area so important?
“It’s not just teaching more people about the lives and accomplishments of the Founding Fathers and Mothers that I am interested in,” Wyatt insists. “My goal is to have millions of people visit the historical swath that stretches 180 miles long and 75 miles wide — and includes nine presidential homes and birthplaces, more than 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, and sites from the Revolutionary War, French and Indian War, War of 1812, and the Civil War.”
That’s why Grateful American™ Foundation founder David Bruce Smith wanted to interview Wyatt about her project in the newest episode of the Grateful American™ TV Show.
In this episode, Wyatt explains:
- Why she founded the organization: “When my husband and I returned from London and Moscow to raise our children, I was shocked to find that there was a casino being planned in Gettysburg, and townhouses being planned on Montalto overlooking Thomas Jefferson’s home,” Wyatt says. “The site of the largest cavalry battle in the history of North America, Brandy Station, was being planned for a multimillion square-foot shopping mall. It seemed obvious to me that if we could engage the mainstream community in every town and historic home from Gettysburg to Monticello, then we would have a fighting chance to do the right thing and honor the history made here.”
- Whether kids’ interest in history is on the rise: “Sadly, I don’t think it is,” she believes. “But I have had the pleasure of working with outstanding history teachers. What we have found is that students learn history best through inquiry-based analysis. In other words, do not ask students to memorize dates and facts, do not expect to engage students emotionally or personally with our shared history by having them read a textbook. Instead, in one of our programs, using only primary source documents, we put students ‘in the books’ of people in their own community who lived years ago. No textbooks, no Google allowed.”
- How the organization’s living tribute to the 620,000 Americans who died during the Civil War will be placed along the National Scenic Highway: “When you travel the 180 miles from Monticello to Gettysburg, mostly on Route 15, you pass the largest concentration of Civil War battlefields in the country,” Wyatt explains. “This is where most of the 620,000 men who died fought, so we are planting a tree in honor of each of those men. Each tree planted, from Mr. Jefferson’s yard marching straight on up Route 15 for 180 miles, will be geo-tagged with the name of a soldier, where he was from, and where he died, as well as photographs and diary entries.”
To learn more, visit www.GratefulAmericanFoundation.com.
About the Grateful American™ Foundation
Founded in 2014, David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation is dedicated to restoring enthusiasm in American history for kids and adults. From TV and radio shows to books and Fascinating Facts about the nation’s Founding Fathers and Mothers — the organization has rolled out dozens of interviews with the directors of presidential and historic homes ranging from George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to Alexander Hamilton’s The Grange and the Benjamin Franklin House in London. Sign up for a monthly newsletter, and learn more at www.GratefulAmericanFoundation.com.